Two years after shuttering his record label, Nanaimo-based musician James Kasper is reviving Mighty Speck Records with the hope of bringing together and mentoring community-minded Island artists.
From 2012 to 2018 Mighty Speck, then operating out of Victoria, grew to boast a roster of 15 artists from around B.C. while also raising awareness and money for more than 20 provincial charities. Kasper said the main reason he chose to close down the label was because “I have several projects on the go all the time, so I needed to give some time to some of the other projects, including my own music.”
In late January Kasper announced he was bringing Mighty Speck back as an Island-focused label and musicians have until Feb. 15 to apply to be a part of it. The new roster of musicians will be revealed on March 1.
“We want artists who have a quality live act and at least the beginning of a quality recording, even if that’s just one song to start with, and then we’ll build it from there,” Kasper said.
He added he’s also looking for musicians who are “community-minded in terms of caring as much about the community and local business and other musicians as they do about their own music.” Kasper said each artist will also be asked to support a charity of their choice.
He said limiting the artists to Island residents is meant to develop a connection and rapport between the artists and management. He said that was a challenge for the previous iteration of Mighty Speck, as the label’s artists on the Lower Mainland were physically separated from those on the Island.
Fostering musical community on the Island has long been an interest of Kasper’s. He founded and produced the Vancouver Island Music Awards for 11 years with that intention, and once he found the awards were becoming “all about competition,” he formed Mighty Speck.
“When I started the label I decided this is a better way for me to do that: Bring together different facets of the scene, different musicians of all different styles but that have a similar philosophy on being community-minded, and passing on the knowledge that I do have about the music business … to emerging musicians who are always struggling and who could use that kind of help,” Kasper said. “So I just feel like I want to get back to doing that.”
Island musicians may contact Kasper at email@example.com for more information.