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Exclusive Communion Mix

The three-year-old network of London's Nu-Folk music scene celebrates with an exlusive Dazed Digital mix as we talk to founder Kevin Jones about Communion's past, present and future

The idea for Communion is simple: a network of like-minded people who share a common ethos providing new musicians with an established platform. Founded three years ago by Kevin Jones, of Cherbourg; Ben Lovett, of Mumford & Sons and producer Ian Grimble, the collective has become a flagship for London’s nu-folk scene and has since developed into a nationwide club night and record label. Imperatively, the ethos that started Communion is still the driving force behind the collective. Dazed Digital caught up with Kevin Jones to discuss the history of Communion and the importance of musical independence in a market being saturated of all things idiosyncratic.

Dazed Digital: What is Communion?
Kevin Jones: On the surface Communion is a record label and club night set up by me; Ben Lovett, from Mumford and Sons and producer Ian Grimble. We are also a network of musicians, songwriters, industry and music fans who all share a common philosophy and set of ideals: we are trying to create communities of people that are like minded and generally get involved in good music!

DD: How did it begin?
Kevin Jones: It began about three years ago when Ben and I were in an old band together. There was a tiny bar called the Bosun's Locker on the Kings Road under a pasty shop in Chelsea where some brilliant singer songwriters used to play, everyone from Laura Marling and Charlie Fink from Noah and the Whale, Marcus Mumford, Alan Pownall, JJ Pistolet, Andrew Davie and others would hang out and swap ideas and songs.  When that place closed we wanted to set up a similar platform for friends or bands we admired, we were making a record with Ian Grimble at the time and he hooked us up at Notting Hill Arts Club.  It kind of spread from there, more and more people got involved and it became a loosely formed musical collective.

DD: Why did you start the label?
Kevin Jones: It got to a point where we wanted to do more than just promote bands by booking them for gig.  Obviously Ian was already producing records and Ben and I had both begun to get involved with that side of things too.  We wanted to try to push artists we admired to more people than we were able to at the Arts Club and making records with them seemed the perfect way to satisfy both a creative need to produce and a passion for bringing music to a wider audience.

DD: How important do you think independence is in the current musical environment?
Kevin Jones: I think it's key.  For an artist you can go so far these days without relying on Major labels, it is harder now in some ways too but even five years ago the idea of being able to record your own demos, put your music on a worldwide platform, sell your music online - these things just weren't possible in the way they are now.  In some ways it's a lot more democratic than it used to be. From a label side of things too, there are many independent labels that are flourishing while majors trying to adapt to a constantly changing market are struggling to keep up.

DD: What's next for Communion?
Kevin Jones: Lots of records!  We are in the middle of recording some great artists at the moment; we have an EP by Pete Roe out in June and another by the fantastic Marcus Foster in August.  On top of that we have another compilation project happening in July.  We are getting as many like-minded musicians and bands as we can to the Flowerpot in Kentish Town for a week, setting up studios throughout the building and recording the chaos that ensues!  We can't say who's playing but it's going to be pretty special we hope...

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