Allow me to introduce you to Scott Orr of Other Songs. When I first moved to Hamilton, Other Songs was my first connection to music in the city. I have fond memories of writing essays to the sounds of Other Songs artists that I found on their Bandcamp – the Medicine Hat (now Ellevator), James Hoffman, The Good Hunters, and Scott himself. These bands and artists became very dear to me – they were the soundtrack to my every day life. I would bus downtown from the mountain to go to house shows at Scott’s house featuring artists on the label, or find myself in Hamilton venues for the first time.
Needless to say, Other Songs has significantly impacted my life and my story – I think that must be true for a lot of people. Over the past little while, Other Songs has expanded. They started doing studio tours of other recording studios in the GTHA. Most recently, they have started a podcast, which takes at the behind-the-scenes goings on of a record label, and more. I caught up with Scott to find out more!
How long has Other Songs been around? What is it's story?
Other Songs started in 2005 as a fake name for a fake label to go on the back of my first DIY albums. In 2010, a few of my friends and I had the idea to start a label by pooling our resources, fans, equipment, etc. and so I suggested we use the name Other Songs as it already existed in the fake world.
What inspired you to become more than a label? What prompted the studio tours and the podcast?
To be honest, I was just tired of talking about ourselves and our artists on social media and in marketing materials. Everyone is just promoting their own thing and it’s hard to be heard. So I thought it would be fun to try to talk about other people for a change and to promote them and their talents and offerings, and in turn people have found out about our label, artists and releases because of the podcasts and the studio tours.
What should someone expect to hear from the podcast?
I am excited about the podcast because there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes information that’s being shared from these record labels that hasn’t ever been talk about publicly or openly before. The podcast is geared towards people who are running a record label, thinking about starting a record label, or DIY musicians who are self-releasing their records. The guests of the podcast so far have been extremely generous with their knowledge and experiences.
Do you have a plan for more in the future of Other Songs?
I’m not sure what you mean by this so I will just answer what I think it means… My goal is to keep up with 2 podcasts a month, 2 studio tours a month, 2 full-length records per year, and a handful of EPs, singles, and special music releases. I am excited to see what happens with the podcast, I have loved chatting with these label owners and I think the stuff they’ve been sharing is so valuable to me and to other DIY labels/artists.
How can people support your label?
I want the podcasts and studio tours to inspire people to do what inspires them. And this is no more true then for the artists on our label. So when people financially support our initiatives (via Patreon.com/OtherSongs) or subscribe to our things, they are ultimately helping us help artists do what they were born to do. Which I think is great. At the end of the day, listening and sharing our music within your community is the most natural way to help artists.
Any upcoming events we should know about?
Our 10 year anniversary is in 2020 and I expect to be summoned to England to be knighted by the Queen if she is still with us.
Featured images via Jay Jillard.