Criminal Records: Singer creates label for jailhouse Scots

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A view within a cellular at HMP Barlinnie, Scotland’s greatest jail

Johnny Money, John Lee Hooker and BB King all recorded are living albums in jail.

In the ones instances the inmates have been the target audience, however now a document label has been set as much as give a voice to jailhouse Scots. Its title? Felony Information.

For the decade Jill Brown has been carrying out track workshops in HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow. Those studies in Scotland’s largest jail have impressed her to start out a label aimed toward the ones doing time.

“My function is to provide folks a voice and it is merely that,” says Brown, a singer who additionally information her personal track. “It is to provide folks a voice that really feel they’re denied that, and it is to plant a seed of hope to allow them to see that their lives can also be higher and they may be able to give again to society.”

‘Any other shot at lifestyles’

The plan is for the label to start out operating with ex-offenders as soon as they’re launched from jail. However the eventual function is to document and free up information with those that are nonetheless within.

“I believe the response will probably be combined,” admits Brown. “We would not paintings with someone who continues to be thought to be to be a threat to society. And clearly we do should be delicate relating to there being sufferers.”

Brown believes track is usually a actual, certain drive. “I do assume that you’ll be able to’t lock folks up and be expecting them to come back out modified, if you have not undoubtedly contributed to their lives whilst they’re in there,” she says. “In my view I believe it’s refreshing when any person is given any other likelihood and any other shot at lifestyles.”

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Jill Brown

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Singer Jill Brown says the brand new label will give musically-minded inmates “a voice”

From carrying out a songwriting workshop in Barlinnie simply earlier than lockdown, Brown came upon it’s hip-hop to which nearly all of prisoners are drawn.

On that instance, 4 prisoners labored on raps and carried out them in a sport room to an target audience of 1 – a jail guard. Ryan, who’s in his early 30s, delivered his rhymes with nice self belief. He rapped:

“It is time to drop that gun / Time to drop that knife / Time to take a step again and get started valuing lifestyles.”

Afterwards he defined what position track has performed right through his incarceration, pronouncing: “It is the whole thing in reality. It provides me one thing certain to do on a daily basis. When I am in my cellular it provides me one thing to sit up for – confidently the use of it to stay me out of the prison when I am out of doors.”

Fellow prisoner Danny consents. “The workshop will get me out of my cellular and is helping me with my psychological well being. As a result of being at the back of the ones doorways for 23 hours an afternoon isn’t excellent for someone’s psychological well being, is it?”

Jail’s were given skill

Brown has enlisted heavyweight assist from america to get issues going. Eric McLellan spent a decade at Sire Information, signing new acts for the label that used to be as soon as the house of Speaking Heads, The Ramones and Madonna. Now he will be seeking to spot Scottish prisoners with the possible to turn into pop stars.

“There are 15 prisons in Scotland so I’d consider there is going to be a wealth of skill,” stated McLellan, who labored at the contemporary Best 30 debut album via British indie band The Lottery Winners.

  • Oh Sees: Actually making jailhouse rock

“I believe this generally is a option to file what is going on as of late. The more youthful prisoners are most likely going to gravitate against hip-hop and dirt. I am in reality simply looking for other views like self-reflection, regret, guilt, sorrow. All of that makes for fascinating subject material.”

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Felony Information

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Song boss Eric McLellan notes how US rapper Tupac recorded some songs directly out of jail

McLellan used to be additionally impressed via the instance of the past due US rapper Tupac Shakur.

“I began fascinated by one of the crucial rap stuff in america,” he provides. “Tupac, when he used to be signed via Dying Row and Suge Knight, he used to be in prison. They posted his bail and I believe day after today, when he were given out of jail, he recorded All Eyez on Me which is a diamond-selling document.

“I’d consider he wrote a majority of the ones songs in jail. So if there used to be an opportunity a option to document artists in jail it may well be in reality cool.”

Felony Information will act as a social undertaking, producing source of revenue via coaching. Brown hopes to lift cash together with her personal observe Promised Land, which is to be had on Bandcamp.

The concern is for her and McLellan is to make their first signing.

Regardless of Scotland now not being well-known for its hip-hop, Mercury Prize-winners Younger Fathers excepted, McLellan believes the label’s first act will virtually indisputably be a rapper.

“It is about giving folks a voice to unfold positivity,” he says. “That is in reality the function.”

That used to be indisputably the message of inmate Ryan’s rap lyrics, again within the Barlinnie;

“Seeking to teach the troops, with a couple of house truths / Attaining out to the adolescence, after I step within the sales space.

“Pay attention the boy’s working example, spitting info on tracks / Dangerous boy long gone excellent, hanging Glasgow at the map.”

Felony Information hopes to do the similar.

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