How I Signed a Record Deal with Universal

Bruce Stein studied our Audio Production degree and is one half of Truth Be Told alongside his childhood friend, Tommy Lamb. Our SAE Liverpool alumnus spoke to us about Truth Be Told’s success in signing to 3Beat Records/Universal, and making Capital’s A-list Dance playlist with their song, Voodoo — a collaboration with Hannah Boleyn and Philip George. If you’re interested in following in his footsteps and studying with us, then please get in touch.

Truth Be Told has signed to a major record label – how do you feel? Which label is it, and what do you hope to see from working together? 

Yes very excited. It’s with 3Beat Records/Universal in Liverpool, a shop we frequented a lot in our vinyl buying days!

Releasing on any new label can open doors for you so we’re hoping for the same this time around!

How is your own label, Imaged Records, going? 

We have some plans to release more music on there pretty soon but we’re being really picky with what we want to release. There’s only been one release up to now as we want to keep the label for our bigger, more special projects.

How do you feel about Voodoo making the Capital’s A-List dance playlist? 

Amazed, Capital and Mistajam supported us from the start. It’s since made it onto their main channel and has been played a few times! MTV have just announced they’ve added it to their MTVClub playlist now as well. Can’t believe it!

You worked with Hannah Boleyn and Philip George on this track – how did you come to work together? 

I believe Hannah is a family friend of Phil. We’ve been friends with Phil for about five-six years now too.

We’ve been wanting to collaborate for ages and already have a few collaborations that never made the cut. Mainly club type music though. We worked on a few instrumental ideas and Phil had an idea to get in touch with Hannah for some vocals.

What was your and Tommy’s involvement with the track – what did you each do for it? 

We all had an idea on what type of track we wanted to make which was a more upbeat pop record with hints of disco.

Myself and Tommy had a few ideas down already when Phil sent over the vocals from Hannah. There was this one idea that really suited the vocals. We wrote some chords to fit and added a new bassline to make the track darker to suit the vocals. The original idea was a very stripped back, Dua Lipa-style happy disco record which Phil then converted to a dancier record by adding bigger drums and FX.

The music video is really good – talk us through the process behind the making of that.

The lyrics in the record hint at an addiction which ‘we’ the listener automatically take as maybe being addicted to a lover. The guys behind the music video interpreted it differently. They show a girl who’s addicted to social media and the impact it makes on her emotions with how people react to her posts. We loved the idea and think it’s very fitting in today’s world.

How does your current work build on the skills you developed at SAE? 

Having that drive to finish projects and the in-depth knowledge behind music production and music theory skills that my audio production course SAE helped me develop really got this record over the door and ready to release. Those skills gave me the confidence and speed to finish the record and present it to the label to a high standard.

What other musical projects do you have in the pipeline at the moment?

We have our remix of Voodoo coming out. We have three other collaboration records we’re hoping to release too. These also push our style to different regions of the dance music world.

Do you have any tips or tricks for students finding it hard to be creative? 

Do what we did and dabble in new genres or styles or offer to mix-down a someone else’s record. It really opens things up having work to do and deadlines to hit. It could also open new doors for future projects.

What are your hopes/plans for the future? 

To try and get the collaboration records out to the world. I think it will surprise people the route we’ve taken with a few of them.

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