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April Keen & Jekyll Feature in New Music Videos

Its difficult to comprehend sometimes just how lucky we are to have some forward thinking and creative types in and around the Blackpool area, who are willing to give up their time and put a considerable effort in to helping new musicians get the promotion they need.  Unsurprisingly though, there is an abundance of creative people waiting to unleash their skills, but then choosing to pick the best moment to do it. When locally based IGI Music & Media and independent video producer Jester were given the opportunity to strike, they grasped it with both hands and the result of that being two wonderfully creative music videos, shot entirely for the benefit of two brilliant young emerging music artists, Jekyll and singer-songwriter April Keen

Blackpool band Jekyll will no doubt be highly delighted at the wonderful work of Jester in producing an eye catching but simple video concept, shot entirely in a rehearsal room above the iconic Blue Room just over a week ago. After a good few sleepless nights editing the video, Jester has come up with something astonishingly effective. As someone who has previously worked on videos for the likes of Laura Catlow, The People & The Drop Out Wives, Jester admitted,  “I’m doing this for nothing just to help local talent out. This is a hobby really, as I’m an aircraft technician-turned-plumber”. Some hobby and certainly some talent!

“I also grow weary of seeing camera phone videos of bands that look like they’ve been filmed through a vertical letterbox” added Jester.

Having previously worked on video productions for Heineken, he obviously has some pedigree. So, to offer help to a young band is a very generous gesture indeed and one that should hopefully give the lads some good exposure through his efforts. Jester continued, “I met Jekyll through my nephew and offered to help them after hearing their songs on Soundcloud. All of them were good, strong, catchy songs, which really impressed me. I liked Cramp because it was a bit moody, with a killer chorus, so I was pleased when they allowed me to work with it”

“We started off with a cartoon idea, but it was too light-hearted, so I switched to a darker idea, which was achieved on a green screen, in a room above The Blue Room pub and then edited in Adobe After Effects and sewn together in Adobe Premiere. The ‘3D’ portions each taking 3 hours to render (on an 8 core Mac Pro) with 2 takes for each member, so that’s a day right there!” added Jester.

He continued, “I have a passion for animation and film – nothing but a hobby really – which ended up at quite a high level. As for the local talent, if my meagre skills can help them in their quest for success, that’s great! I will continue to help out where I can”

So here emerges a creative mind with the enthusiasm to assist young bands by offering his skills and time. In an age where it costs so much money to put video productions together – money that these upcoming bands don`t really have – its incredible that there are people like Jester quite willing  to chip in and help them on their way and without a shadow of a doubt it will be very much appreciated.

IGI Music & Media, an ambitious Blackpool based video and music production company owned and run by Ben Lalgee, a highly trained musician and his partner Stefan Cardwell, who is a video production expert, saw the opportunity to take the cream of the area`s acoustic musicians and offer them a filmed session in beautiful surroundings, at the church where the studio is based at Raikes Parade. Over a period of around two months, each artist was invited to play three live songs in the church and then Ben & Stefan worked their considerable magic on putting the whole concept together, which has resulted in a wonderfully classy series named `The Church Acoustic Sessions` which will be aired periodically by the company on YouTube. 

One beneficiary from their brilliant skills with both camera and audio production is Blackpool based singer/songwriter April Keen, who in November was invited along to shoot three of her amazing original compositions in what can only be described as sub-zero conditions in the airy church atmosphere, along with its incredible natural acoustics. The result was creatively wonderful, with the cold air adding to the effect of the video, but the real advantage was the beautiful sound it produced. IGI Music & Media had been forward thinking enough to take some very talented musicians and allow them to perform naturally to bring out the very best in their music, both in a visual way and sound wise.

The finished sessions are nothing short of stunning and over the coming weeks we will see the whole series unfold. I will be catching up with both Ben & Stefan in a future article to ask them about their plans and future projects at IGI. But here we have another pair of brilliant creative minds, willing to contribute their time and skill, freely in this instance, to helping out the area`s upcoming musical talent. It all bodes wonderfully well for the future of not only the local musicians, that will obviously benefit, but also the fact that Blackpool has such creative people who will no doubt go from strength to strength in perfecting their art.  Here is the session from the series featuring the obvious star quality of April Keen. Keep your eyes peeled for the future sessions coming soon, which we will be following here at altblackpool.

Images courtesy of Jester & IGI Music & Media

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    Blackpool based self-confessed music fanatic involved in the local music scene around the Fylde and particularly passionate about promoting and assisting new upcoming bands and artists breaking through.

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