Clare record label making waves in music world – The Clare Echo

AS ANTHONY Daly famously alluded to on the steps of the Hogan Stand at Croke Park in 1995, we love our traditional music in County Clare.
However, one Kilfenora-based record label and management company is bucking the trend, putting Clare in the mix when it comes to an eclectic range of musical endeavours.
Welcome To The New World is an independent record label run by musician Enda Gallery, who from his home in rural north Clare has artists on his resume including singer-songwriter Tolu Makay (famed for her version of the Saw Doctors’ N17 with the RTE Concert Orchestra) and trailblazing Irish rapper Strange Boy, among others.
Enda grew up in Leixlip, County Kildare however already had strong links to County Clare thanks to his father hailing from Ennistymon, where Enda spent his summers, and his mother from Kilfenora. A business graduate, Enda traded in his 9-5 office work for a life in music. After completing a Masters in Music Technology, Enda moved to Berlin where his music career began to flourish. Alongside his own music, Enda delved into the world of music production. “Then I met an entrepreneur who saw I was really developing the artists that I was producing and he asked if I’d like to start a record label with him. We really vibed on the idea of facilitating and amplifying special, brave artists who didn’t get the look from the mainstream, who didn’t fit that classic mould of artists who get funding.”
The pair grew the company and invested in a number of artists who have since started to gain accolades and widespread acclaim including Tolu Makay, Strange Boy, and Willzee. Enda himself is an accomplished artist, and in recent years had his song Its Alright feature on BBC’s hit series Normal People. “We do three things. We’re a record label, where help groups develop as artists, help release and distribute records; we’re a management company where we nurture and develop the careers of artists; and we also create music for specific purposes, such as apps or television.”
The trajectory of the company changed during Covid 19 as the company which invested in Welcome To The New World went into liquidation, giving Enda the opportunity to buy out his company. “At that point I’d been living in Clare for two years so I bought out the contracts and continued and expanded it on from there. It’s been great and it’s been really great to have the support of Clare LEO as well, it’s helped get a start for some of these groups. It’s a really difficult industry but it has a really big and meaningful impact on who we can help.”
Welcome To The New World represent in the region of eight artists and Enda has a matra of ‘three S’s’ when it comes to developing relationships with new artists. “If an artist is a right fit for us, they’ll be soulful, skilful and sound,” Enda notes. “We want all of the music created on the label to be deep, meaningful, real and truthful. That’s something that’s very important to us. They’ve also got to be very high up in terms of their craft.”
In September 2022, Welcome To The New World took part in an exhibition in Los Angeles with thanks to the support of Clare LEO and the TAME programme. “I went to the States in March playing, I received a visa because I was in a programme called Ireland in Music. Two of our artists were selected to go over and play shows in the Irish Arts Centre in New York. While over there I got to learn about a lot of the opportunities in America and was tipped off about this conference in Los Angeles in the music production space. I applied to LEO for support to go to that conference and exhibit, tell people about what we do. It resulted in us forming an opening partnership with BMG which are the fourth largest music company in the world. That among other things including forming our first projects with an English company called MediaTracks. So it was so fruitful and those relationships could become lifelong and extremely valuable relationships.”
“It seems there’s quite a lot of awareness about the LEO because there’s a lot of awareness around them and a lot of people pointed me in their direction.”
Speaking about conducting his business in rural Clare, Enda admits that phone reception and internet reception has posed various challenges, but the advantages outweigh these. “Clare is an amazing place for music. It’s a really creative place, the vibe is great, artists love to come here.
Email Enda at enda@wttnw.com or find Welcome to the New World on Facebook“A lot of the artists we work with are from Limerick, ones from Clare. There’s something really special about music in Clare, and it seems like there always has been so from that point of view the fit is amazing. Having good small local businesses around the place or places to meet with different people for brainstorming projects in towns like Ennistymon, Corofin, Kilfenora, that makes a big difference because when you’re working with an artists and you want to take a little break, you can take a spin into town, coffee, have a sit down, if you go into the Cheese Press in Ennistymon there might be a session happening a 2 O’Clock in the day. That’s really cool.”
Enda adds, “There a great community of artists here, and the Clare LEO have been great. Businesses in Clare like Hotel Doolin are great, they put on great music programmes and of course there’s the nature. So there’s a lot happening.”
 
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