Denton's Newest Label Looks To Save The World One Album At A Time.
Sleep Whale's Paul North is a busy man. When not interning and building microphones at Placid Audio under Mark Pirro or juggling his own musical endeavors, he's also a partner in a new nonprofit, multi-city label with spokes in Philadelphia, Denton, and Los Angeles.
In some ways, the new label, called Human Kindness Overflowing, is the result of Neon Indian's success. Both Philadelphia's Keith Hampson, also known as Power Animal, and North's own Sunnybrook project were in talks to sign with Lefse Records during the chillwave boom in 2010. Neither ended up signing any paperwork — and with Lefse spending so much time on growing star Alan Palomo's Neon Indian project, maybe that was for the best — but, during his talks with Lefse, Hampson came up with the interesting idea to donate 10 percent of his future revenue to charity.
North was especially inspired by the idea — so much so that he and Hampson got together and began working to turn the charity-driven label idea into a reality through connections made with labels across the country, including Lefse.
To be clear, though, this new Human Kindness Overflowing endeavor is not a business. In fact, North reveals, HKO is currently in the beginning process of filing paperwork so it can exist as a nonprofit organization. But, certainly, in an era where labels are seeing revenue fall sharply as music becomes free, it's intriguing to see a new model that eliminates the nature of profit entirely. Currently, HKO is donates 50 percent of its profits to the Japanese Red Cross. The rest of their profits are being used to line up other projects as the label gets off the ground.
“This is like a hobby to us,” North says. “We both have regular jobs that we make money from. We just want to help artists and give credibility to their work using the networks we have.”
And their network is a fairly wide one. Hampson operates out of Northeast Philadelphia, North plies his craft in Denton and Xavier Abraham of Vicious Buzz PR in Los Angeles has signed on to function as the label's publicist. Already, the camp is hard at work: Hampson came down to Denton last year and recorded some for People Songs, Human Kindness Overflowing's first release of pre-existing songs from Power Animal's catalog. Last week, the label released Power Animal's Exorcism. North, meanwhile, reveals that he's working on his own material right now with a planned release to be announced soon.
Currently, North is looking to add more artists to Human Kindness Overflowing from the North Texas area. So, y'know, if you've got a heart and you want to help others through the power of music, get in touch with the label via their Facebook page.