David Jenkins helped an acquaintance in the music business to draw up a businessplan for a record label two years ago, thinking nothing would come of it.
“I was completely surprised when Roy [Carter] asked me to come on board as director,” said Jenkins, who spent 20 years as an accountant before qualifying as a solicitor two months ago.
Now Jenkins, of Dass Jakhu Solicitors in Birmingham, has to juggle his day job with the increasing demands of the new label, Magna Media, and has already invested 3,000 in the venture. “Theoretically we could become as big as Sony, although I’m not anticipating that just yet,” he said.
Jenkins’ business partner Roy Carter, formerly a bass player in Heatwave and The Drifters, provides the musical knowledge and contacts, while Jenkins deals with legal and financial issues such as negotiating and drafting contracts. “I think having me on board made the whole venture look more substantial to banks and investors, because people tend to think that musicians can be a bit scatty with money,” Jenkins said.
With backing from a private investor, the label has already signed five names, including singer Jaki Graham, and the first single, a reworking of the Heatwave classic Boogie Nights, has already been recorded. “It was sent out to DJs before Christmas, and we hope to get it into the shops by February,” said Jenkins.
Alias Dass, senior partner at Dass Jakhu, said that the experience has been “very useful” for Jenkins and the firm. “We’re trying to build up our profile as a firm,” he said. “Letting David use the meeting room for his negotiations with big-name musicians will certainly help get us known in the general community.
“But I’m still waiting for my first ticket to a celebrity party.”