Local music label True Music to bring new events to Norwich and give young artists studio opportunities

Norwich based rap artist COLL. Picture: Bartosz Halicki

Norwich based rap artist COLL. Picture: Bartosz Halicki - Credit: Bartosz Halicki

A local music label is set to bring some new events to Norwich along with a great new studio deal for up and coming musicians.

Norwich based rap artist COLL. Picture: Bartosz Halicki

Norwich based rap artist COLL. Picture: Bartosz Halicki - Credit: Bartosz Halicki

Founded at the start of 2019, True Music is the joint venture of Rutendo Matsika from Earlham, who is also known by his stage name COLL, and his fiancé Amber Winter. The label focuses on hip hop, rap and R&B acts hoping to provide opportunities for urban acts in the city.

Having faced issues with racism since moving to Norwich just over 10 years ago, Matsika wanted to start a project that creates something positive after his battles with mental health and racism. True Music also focuses on ensuring no one else feels alone as he now has a network of other urban artists such as Norwich rappers Cenzy and Julzey J.

Since establishing the label, Rutendo has now secured funding from Arts Council England which will allow him to move into larger venues, such as The Waterfront, The Nick Rayns LCR and Epic Studios, and to invite bigger artists to Norwich whilst supporting other young people to make music in East Anglia.

“Our first event at The Waterfront was meant to be in May but we have had to cancel it due to COVID-19,” explains Rutendo Matsika. “We are now working with The Waterfront to reschedule all our events for the beginning of 2021 if all goes well and it’s safe to do so.”

“We secured the funding towards the end of last year and it was our fourth time of trying as a record label.”

Pirate Studios in Norwich. Picture: Bartosz Halicki

Pirate Studios in Norwich. Picture: Bartosz Halicki - Credit: Bartosz Halicki

“We had only been running True Music Events since April 2019, so we had been operating for at least six months when we got the funding. We have already spoken and confirmed the venues/artists and booking agents and we have two big artists confirmed for our first two events - who will come to Norwich when everything has calmed down with COVID.”

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Alongside these shows, True Music have struck a deal with Pirate Studios, a studio and recording space based on Bessemer Road in Norwich, to give free studio time to up and coming musicians through working with the label. The sessions will be available three days a week starting from this month, August 2020.

“The studio opportunity came about through social media. I did an Instagram takeover for them in June 2020 during lockdown through my COLL page as an artist. We got to talking with the Pirate team and I mentioned True Music and what we have been trying to do for the local live music scene and they were very interested in working together more.”

“I am very pleased to offer this, as it is an opportunity I certainly didn’t have when I was starting out in the industry, it’s pretty unbelievable as I haven’t heard of something like this especially in Norwich.”

“It will help a lot of musicians out as paying for studio time can be really expensive especially when you are working on a tight budget. I hope this will encourage more young artists to start making their own music. “

“The initiative between Pirate studios and us is to get as many young artists as possible into a studio environment where they can learn, network and develop their craft.“

Whilst juggling these projects, Rutendo Matsika is also still working on his own music as COLL.

“My own music journey has been very good over the last year and I have managed to perform at some big festivals such as Latitude and Sundown Festival last summer - and a live stream for Latitude last month too.”

“I currently have a single called Rockstar that’s out now and my second EP titled Blue Magic 2 will be out in late September this year. It will be accompanied by some music videos and exciting collaborations too.”

- If you are interested in the studio time, get in touch with COLL/True Music via their social channels by sending your name, age, what music you make/produce, what studio/room you would like along with the dates you are available

- To keep up to date on upcoming events or to find out information about the studio time, follow True Music’s Facebook and Instagram and COLL’s Facebook and Instagram

- To hear COLL’s single Rockstar, head over to his YouTube channel

- For more local music check out the Enjoy Music More podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other streaming platforms and follow Enjoy Music More on Facebook and Twitter