hmv 1921 Records: Newcastle student announced as first signing to label - here’s when album will be released

hmv throw their hat back in the music industry ring and announce their first signing - Newcastle student India Arkin.

It’s been 20 years since retailer hmv released an album themselves, but with grassroots artists struggling in the streaming age, it took a Newcastle based artist for the company to do something about it.

1921 Records picks up where EMI left the retailers in the 80s, and is using the upcoming National Album Day 2022 to make their mark in the ever fluctuating music industry.

Their very first signing, which ended up being the nucleus for hmv returning to the record label front, is currently a Fine Arts student studying at the University of Newcastle.

Newcastleworld takes a look at who the north-east signing is, alongside why hmv have once again decided to join the business of releasing music rather than just selling it.

What is 1921 Records?

The flagship hmv store on Oxford Street in London; it was opened by The Gramophone Company to sell works by their signed musicians.

1921 Records was born from hmv’s Live and Local programme, where local hmv stores curate performances from local performers alongside stocking their works within the CD or vinyl bins in the artists’ local shop.

It not only has led to over 1,000 grassroots shows occurring in hmv stores across the country but for the retailer to hark back to its roots; 1921 being the year that The Gramophone Company opened His Master’s Voice on London’s Oxford Street.

10 years later, the company would join with Columbia Gramophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries – more commonly known as EMI.

hmv owner Doug Putman explains that 1921 Records wants “to do what we can to help debut artists make their mark in a tough industry.”

Streaming algorithms mean it’s hard for new artists to get their voices heard, so we’re giving them the chance to get their albums in our stores where music fans can discover them for themselves.”

Who is India Arkin?

India Arkin appears at an hmv store in Newcastle as part of the launch of its new record label, 1921 Records

Originally from Bath, India Arkin moved to Newcastle to study Fine Art at the University of Newcastle, juggling her studies with her songwriting.

It was in Newcastle that Arkin performed at one of hmv’s Live and Local shows and subsequently inspired the retailer to start 1921 Records with her debut album, Home Truths, marking the first release from the new label.

She earned rave reviews from Newcastle hmv staff, with comparisons already being made to fellow singer-songwriters Laura Marling and Billie Eilish.

“India’s music is absolutely incredible and we’re thrilled to make her our first 1921 Records signing” Doug Putman states. “She has such passion for her craft, and she’s a true musician who writes, plays instruments and performs.”

Upon the announcement of her signing and her debut album coming out through hmv’s new venture, Arkin said “I’m thrilled to be releasing my debut album with 1921 Records, and it’s almost unbelievable that gigs in the store in hmv Newcastle would lead to this.”

“I can’t wait to see my record on the shelves and tour the country performing with my band.”

India Arkin tour dates

  • October 15 - HMV Newcastle, Unit 2b, Blackett Bridge Eldon Square, Shopping Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7XJ
  • October 16 - HMV Glasgow, Unit 5/6, Lewis’s Bldg, Argyle St Glasgow, G2 8AD
  • October 21 - HMV Gateshead, 47 Garden Walk, Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9XY
  • October 21 - Bobiks, 125 Jesmond Rd, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1JY
  • October 22 - HMV Manchester, Unit 92, Manchester Arndale, Shopping Centre, Manchester, M4 2HU
  • October 23 - HMV Birmingham, Unit msu2a, Birmingham, B5 4BE
  • October 29 - HMV Bath, 17/18 Milsom St, Bath, BA1 1DB
  • October 30 - HMV Bristol, 24 / 26 Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 3HA
  • November 26 - Head of Steam, 2 Neville St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5EN

When will India Arkin’s album be released?

Home Truths by India Arkin will be released on 12” vinyl by 1921 Records on October 15 2022 as part of National Album Day 2022.

Pre-orders are now available through hmv’s online store.

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