Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 4 November 2010
HeavyFeet happy with the 'hard work'
HeavyFeet are Mike Burgess (l) and James Medina

Dance production duo HeavyFeet have revealed that their idea to release a single a month for a year has been a labour of "blood, sweat and tears."

The pair, who started the project in April 2010, have worked with different collaborators on each track.

Having recently released their eighth track, producer Mike Burgess said they have been reflecting on the work.

He said he was happy with the project's success, especially as "some were dubious as to whether it would work."

Confident with collaborators

The pair released their first single, a collaboration with vocalist Jenna G, in April and have since put out tracks with grime collective Virus Syndicate, Real Dolls' frontman Rod Hotly and reggae artist Serocee amongst others.

Mike said that choosing who to work with has been something of an organic process.

We never limit our options; whatever month, day or hour, you never know what great opportunity or opening might land in your lap
Mike Burgess

"When we embarked on this project, the process of approaching vocalists and guest remixers took quite a while as it was a new venture and, quite rightly, some people were dubious as to whether it would work as we hoped it would.

"That said, we had a lot of people who were totally into our vision and that was a big confidence boost.

"In terms of who chose to collaborate with, we try and keep all four of our eyes focused on different vocalists, interesting singer/songwriters, hot MCs and cool bands, so we had a few starting points when we began sketching things out.

"Some artists found us and were keen to be involved, while others were people who we came across online, who then recorded vocals at their local studio and sent the audio to us in Manchester via the wonderful world wide web."

'Steady international awareness'

The duo have now have the releases "95 percent wrapped up", something that Mike admitted had taken a lot of hard work, but work that was definitely worth it.

HeavyFeet played a set as part of In The City 2010

"The idea of releasing 12 different singles with individual vocalists and individual guest remixers has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears but, I hasten to add, for all the right reasons.

"It took a lot of hard work to start the project moving in October 2009 when we began to put the concept together to get it ready for April.

"We've been carefully monitoring all forms of media, be it radio, blogs, magazines or whatever for signs of increased awareness, and we're very happy with the results we've been seeing over the eight released singles so far.

"The increase in BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra airplay, not to mention BBC Radio Manchester, the support shown from our ever-expanding fanbase, and our DJing opportunities around Europe have really seen the pick up on this project go from a few hundred fans and handful of media to what we see as steady international awareness.

"We have regular correspondence with radio stations in Australia, Poland, Ukraine and beyond for example, all of whom are hugely behind our moving forward as artists."

Helping the acts of tomorrow

The increase in profile also saw the duo take part in this year's In The City event as delegates for the first time, leading a workshop on how they are trying new ways to break through and set up a label.

Mike said that the experience of the workshop had been a very positive one for HeavyFeet.

"The workshop was the first time we'd presented anything about us as artists and record label managers to a crowd of people who were keen to learn.

"We were unsure as to the level of interest people would have in things like setting up a label, being your own boss, guiding your music through the channels you want it to go and such, but we were pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

"And judging by the queue of people who were asking for our cards and our advice on their own projects, we feel we did a good job at relaying some really valuable information back to the artists of tomorrow.

The pair provided advice to the up-and-coming at In The City

He added that he felt like the event in general had been a great success too.

"From going to ITC showcase events in previous years down on Peter Street, it felt very right for it to be in the Northern Quarter this year, not just because it has become an uber cool area, but because of the transport links and the hotels that were used as registration and delegate venues.

"We met a great number of people over the three days, from artists to publishers to managers to radio people.

"Some of these people have already been in touch with us about future projects and, of course, we've been contacting many of the people we met ourselves.

"Music networking opportunities in Manchester can often be limited to quite a small circle of people and it really was a great three day period for that circle to expand and for those not based in London to thicken up their address books."

All possibilities

That thickening of the books should see HeavyFeet pulling out a few surprises once they have completed the last third of their releases, as Mike explained.

"Obviously, we're working on the follow-up to the current singles project, and are midway through planning some really supreme releases for mid to late 2011, which won't just be HeavyFeet's music.

"It may well involve a couple of other like-minded artists, but we can't say who just yet!"

"To reiterate what we said at ITC and what we often say to people we meet when travelling about, in terms of working with someone unexpected, there's always the possibility.

"We never limit our options and are always looking at new avenues for musical output; whatever month, day or hour, you never know what great opportunity or opening might land in your lap."

HeavyFeet's latest release, Parking Meter (which features guest vocal by Serocee), is out now on their label, Stamp! Beats



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific