Tomorrow evening (Saturday the 29th of May) NI collective MINDS is hosting an online audio visual listening party with 100% of profits going to PIPS Hope & Support. The event will present 22 tracks along with unique visuals hosted on Bandcamp. The audience will be able to vote for their top four tracks of the night, and those winning tracks will be pressed to vinyl, the rest will be released digitally and 100% of profits will be donated. All artist names will remain anonymous during the listening event and until results have been announced. Sam from The Jumble spoke to Adam Magill from MINDS about the event.
Let’s get started with an introduction, can you explain a little bit about MINDS and what they do?
MINDS was initially intended as a one-off fundraiser for PIPS Hope & Support, getting as many local artists under one roof for one day to raise money and awareness all while having fun and celebrating the wealth of talent in the city. The event was a far bigger success than we could have imagined, so we decided to make it an annual thing, trying to build on the collaborative effort of artists for a good cause. We appreciate that we may not be in the best position to support individuals suffering with their mental health but having been through my own struggles as have so many of my friends and family, if we can raise money for those who are best suited to help, it is a step in the right direction in combating a pandemic that has been affecting this country long before Covid.
As concerts and in person events have disappeared over the past year MINDS have sadly had to adjust to less opportunities when it comes to fundraising, how did you come up with the idea of MINDS21 as a Virtual Listening Party?
Collaboration has been pivotal to MINDS from day one, and we felt that by hosting a virtual listening party, we could engage more creatives than had we just hosted a DJ livestream or something along those lines. By hosting a virtual event, we were able to get the help of Jane Catterson, a graphic designer from Belfast but based in Manchester who came up with this year’s aesthetic and designed the accompanying merchandise. Eoin Robinson, a videographer and theatre maker from Portadown, who has been outstanding throughout this project, and who I can’t thank enough for the work he has done in creating hours of unique visuals, not only for the listening party itself but for our event with Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival, and all our promotional material. This was the first time we had the opportunity to work with Eoin, and that has been another joy of this project – discovering and working with new creatives so incredibly passionate about their craft. We also worked with Matt Megaw at Printroom, who is offering artists another revenue stream in these difficult times by linking his background in music and art, handling all our merchandise needs, from screenprinting to online orders. Not to forget, obviously, all the incredible artists and ST Mastering who have provided some of the most outstanding music for what really is a special release (if I’m allowed to say so). Never before had we really referred to ourselves as a collective, but the way in which everyone has come together for this project, devoting their time and effort for such a good cause, I felt it was the only fitting description of what MINDS has become this year, and for that I can’t thank everyone enough.
The event is also a fantastic opportunity for the artists involved, and participants will have the unique experience of voting for their 4 favourite tracks to be made into a record that will be pressed on vinyl. What inspired you to come up with this kind of interactive event?
I might be starting to sound like a broken record (excuse the pun), but what would be the point of a collaborative effort if we could not somehow engage the audience for, who after all, the music was intended. I wanted to somehow think of a way that we could engage the audience, so when the vinyl comes around, there is a degree of ownership that is not always there in music. In a modern, social media driven society, where digital music has become far too throwaway, it is easy to become lost and disconnected as a music fan, so to involve the audience in the process, and those who are ultimately supporting our message and end goal of supporting local charity, that was crucial. Friends are what made MINDS a reality, and it is important that we look out for them in what way we can. We lost one this year in James, and it is for that reason, as little a token it may be to how wonderful a guy he was, MINDS21 is devoted to you, mate.
Other than tomorrow nights event, how can people get involved to support the work you do as MINDS?
Look out for your mates first and foremost. By doing that you have done what we set out to do with MINDS in encouraging people to be open about what is going on inside and being there for one another when it matters most. Support local mental health charities. PIPS Hope & Support is who we have supported as a result of a personal connection, but there are so many amazing charities and individuals doing phenomenal work that are simply not getting the attention and much needed public funding they deserve. Get behind the artists, the creatives, and everyone who has made this possible. We have such a wealth of creative talent in this country, and by supporting those on our doorstep it will prevent further creative drain becoming all too common, with artists seeking greener pastures elsewhere. And for the bit I hate, self-promotion, if you want to support MINDS this year there is our virtual listening party this Saturday. All tracks from the night will soon be available digitally, and the 4 audience chosen tracks, going to vinyl, with all profits going to PIPS. We will also have a cracking t-shirt and hoodie designed by Jane Catterson and printed by Matt at Printroom, again contributing to the release and all profits going to PIPS. We have a few ideas in mind for where we would love to take MINDS, and how we can continue to raise money for those charities that mean so much to us, all while celebrating those around us, so to anyone who reads this, we would love to have you on board!
Text Interview by Sam Dineen
Learn more about the work of PIPS on their website.