London-based Independent Akira Records has re-signed with The Orchard as the label celebrates its 10th year of operations.
Akira Records is a British independent record label founded in 2013 by Stevie McMinn, a member of the band Mt. Wolf, who at the time was a promoter and worked as a scout at Sony Music.
Stevie McMinn said: "We’ve been with The Orchard since day one and we’re delighted to re-sign with them. The relationships we have built over those 10 years are key. Akira started out as a bedroom label, as a one-man operation, and there is no way we would still be here today without the investment and the love and support of The Orchard. Whether it’s the day-to-day support, logistics, strategic input or international connections, they have such a wealth of experience and artists to draw from to give the best possible service. They are also aligned with our ethos and have high standards when it comes to the quality of the music, and the credibility of the artists they work with."
Ian Dutt, managing director, The Orchard, said: "The Orchard is thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Stevie and Akira Records. It's been a pleasure to see the label grow from relatively humble beginnings to where they are now, and an honour to be part of their journey. Fostering long-term relationships is central to The Orchard's philosophy. A key to that process is acknowledging where The Orchard needs to grow and develop in order to continue adding value to our labels' creative output. I very much look forward to celebrating the next 10 years of success with Stevie."
Akira Records’ artists include Irish indie rock band Modernlove, who are about to start an autumn tour of the UK and Europe before a second tour of the US this year. Meanwhile, Ghostly Kisses will be releasing her second album in 2024. Another act on the label, Phoria, released their third studio album earlier this year.
New signing Jasmine Jethwa recently featured on the official soundtrack to the Lionesses World Cup campaign and she has sold out multiple shows on her debut headline tour of the UK and Europe.
The label was born out of the streaming boom, but we’ve since pivoted more towards core fanbase building
Akira has recently focused on core fanbase building, selling physical music and merch alongside streaming and also live promotion via Akira Live. It has fully promoted gigs in London whilst co-promoting regionally in the UK, with plans to do the same across Europe.
McMinn added: "We’ve got so much going on at the moment with amazing artists across different stages of their careers. From second EPs all the way through to fourth albums, from sold-out debut headline tours to festivals in China, it’s a very exciting time for us right now. We have a flexible approach in the way we work with artists. We're very hands-on with certain aspects of certain projects, whether that's A&R, creative, socials, live, but are also able to give artists the space to fully take the reins at times. It depends on the project’s needs, and also the ambition of the artist and their team.
“In our 10 years, the industry has changed so much and you have to be adaptable. The label was born out of the streaming boom, but we’ve since pivoted more towards core fanbase building, helping artists develop across the live side, helping to formulate and maintain an effective social media strategy, building out their mailing lists, selling physical and merch, in order to build sustainable long-term careers, which is what I want for Akira artists."
Berkeley Edwards, principal and head of music at Clintons, who have been Akira’s legal team since the beginning, said: "It’s been brilliant to get the chance to work so closely with Stevie and Akira over the past decade and a privilege to work alongside a label who gets so involved in so many different aspects of the development of an artist’s career. We’re all excited to see what the next 10 years will bring for Akira."
PHOTO (L-R): Rich Pattison - The Orchard, Hannah Celnikier - The Orchard, Stevie McMinn - Akira Records, Ian Dutt - Managing Director, The Orchard, Joey Arnold - Akira Records