Small record label has big aspirations

Mighty Speck Records have performing showcase at Leir House

Mighty Speck Records is hosting a performing showcase Aug. 22 at Leir House Cultural Centre starting at 7 p.m.

The show features “folk noir” artist James Kasper, the originator of Mighty Speck Records, accompanied by cellist Larry Burke.

Also performing is Jonny Miller, who brings a country-folk style, and hip-hop artist Mister Waugh.

Kasper said the three of them are unique in both their musical genre and their performing style which is one of the defining characteristics of the music label.

Before dedicating himself to working on his recording label, Speck was producer of the Vancouver Island music awards show.

However, rather than focusing on a single night of recognition for musicians, he was more in tune with the idea of transitioning into building a small sized, community-based label helping to develop an artist without the focus on musical competition.

Speck also added a unique element for those signed to the label.

“Every artist  on the label is asked bring awareness to a charitable organization of their choice,” he said. “That’s an important part of our mandate. We focus on artist development, which is something that major labels don’t do anymore.”

Speck said the label focuses on helping each artist become the best live performer possible, to make the best recordings as possible and try to help them build a relationship with their fan base.

“For me personally, it’s always been important to have a grander purpose around recording and performing live music.”

He likes the idea of people using their musical talents to help bring awareness and to promote music with socially conscious purposes in mind.

“Music is a vehicle for positive social contributions, and we’re really see in that on a higher level now with the label,” said Speck.

About a year ago he began by putting out a call for artists that fit certain criteria and were also interested in making a social contribution. The artists chosen are the featured ones for this year. At year’s end, Speck said he’ll re-evaluate how an artist is developing and send out another call for artists later this year.

“We might lose two or three and we might pick up two or three,” he said.

His goal is to progress as a label and to be recognized for its accomplishments, musically and socially and for each artist.

During the past 18 months, Speck has signed 12 artists.

The Penticton show is 10th of 12 shows performed by artists signed to Mighty Speck Records, with nine artists having been featured at various venues.

The final performance is being held Aug. 30 in Victoria.

Tickets for the all-ages show are $10 and are available at the door.