The Start Up Files is a series that aims to find out where good ideas come from and how they happen. Each fortnight we chronicle the journey of someone who brought their idea to life through the Renew Adelaide program. In this article, we chat to Joel Byrne about Part Time Records, a local record label he co-runs with Emma Coyle.
While Joel Byrne has never run a record label before, he’s been in the Australian music industry for a while. As the frontman and guitarist for Wolf & Cub he toured throughout the 2000s, playing festivals such as Big Day Out, Falls Festival and the first ever Laneway Festival. It backstage at a festival where he met Emma Coyle for the first time.
The pair met again years later when they both ended up working together at Music SA. Combining their industry experience and mutual passion for the local music scene, Joel and Emma teamed up to start Sundial Productions, a management label for artists including local band Heaps Good Friends and Sydney producer Wade Keighran.
The push to start a record label came when their friend Chris Panousakis (Timberwolf) sent them some unreleased music he’d recorded with his partner Bree Tranter as Siberian Tiger. Joel and Emma had been considering starting a record label for a while and after hearing those demos they knew they’d found the first artist they wanted to sign.
Part Time Records started its operations in an office in Emma’s house. It was a comfortable setting but working out of a house meant it didn’t quite feel like a real business.
“We were working out of Emma’s house and from her perspective she needed a different space to work in. There’s a psychology that comes with physically going to another space where it legitimises what you are doing.”
Being a new business in an industry notorious for being difficult to make any money, Joel and Emma weren’t in a position where they could afford to lease an office space.
As luck would have it, an office that met all their requirements became available and it was being offered rent-free under the Renew Adelaide program. They put in a successful application and moved their operations to The Block in Hindmarsh Square.
“If we see a space we aesthetically aren’t vibing on, we know straight away it’s not where we want to be. It’s hard getting two people to agree on the same thing but when we saw that office space we were both on the same page. As soon as we walked in we felt really comfortable, it was a place we wanted to be in.”
While Joel and Emma were no longer working from home, they decorated the space so it feels like one. With second hand couches, Persian rugs, a road case for a coffee table and a record player spinning Joel’s prized vinyl collection, they have created a space they enjoy spending time in. While Part Time Records has the legitimacy of an office it still feels like a home.
“There’s something about being able to invite people to come in for meetings. There’s a vibe. It’s becoming a place we want people to be in. We’ve got the best of both worlds at the moment in that it’s centrally located but it’s also really comfortable. That’s essential to me. I don’t want to reluctantly go somewhere.”
Since moving into their office Joel and Emma have been busy. After a sold-out launch gig at the Crown and Anchor, Part Time Records are currently working on numerous projects including the upcoming release of Siberian Tiger’s debut EP.
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