By Julia Milet
Shoreditch has built a reputation throughout the last decade, attracting music and club lovers. Easily bored and looking for new dynamic events, Londoners are always exploring this area for something new and vibrant. Something unknown, yet, that they could boast about. #TheGarageDoor, a musical youtube channel, has chosen Shoreditch High Street to settle its cameras each Saturday, in a bar’s basement, Juno, in order to film new undiscovered artists.
The youtube channel started around a year ago, with a modest place. The name of the channel derives from the idea itself. Alexandria Butler – the Executive Producer – created the concept leading to its inception. By being an editor of music online website ‘MusicNews.com’ this enabled her to gain a repertoire of contacts within the music industry. When she moved into her new apartment, she wondered how she could use her empty and useless garage. Her passion for music and the influence from her job convinced her to combine this empty space with young new artists, consequently creating #TheGarageDoor « I wanted to create a live music series that would give artists the platform they need to showcase their talent through filming sessions with us » explains Alexandria Butler. She called then a few friends who had experience in filming and sounding system in order to build a team « I joined the project through my friendship with Executive Producer Alex Butler. » shares Peter Corrigan, member of the unit . In fact, most of the members of the team work for filming companies and photography studios such as We Film UK and Blundell Street Studio. They all joined the adventure in order to collectively share their skill and passion.
While the objective of the first series was just about having fun with new musical talent, they want to take it to a higher level for the second series. « Anyone who knows me, knows I love East London! For me, its vibrant, creative, fun and the perfect place to film #TheGarageDoor » declares Alexandria Butler. A new set was then settled in Shoreditch, with a greater budget, however, Alexandria kept her initial technical team. Even though the producers want to maintain the excitement of the shooting, they are looking forward to make more views and popularize the platform for their own interest. Still, the main goal of the team is to put these hidden artists under the spotlight « The main goal behind #TheGarageDoor is to help artists get their music out there and as long as we are fulfilling that requirement, I will be happy » claims Peter Corrigan. In fact, the British capital attracts more artists than it is capable of promoting, which increases the competition between them. Banditsu, a London-based artist who was filmed by the team, witnesses:
« In my experience in life in London as an artist I would say that my road has been very difficult. I barely get paid and I’m overlooked for a lot of work I put in. »
Every Saturday afternoon, the team is stepping away from their daily routine in order to be fully involved in their commonly shared passion for live music « Live music has always been a passion of mine when I first started using my camera » shares Peter Corrigan, « I used to film live bands in local bars in camden and always thought that it would be something people would be interested in ». Eager to share their music interest, the staff are always willing to explain or teach any technical tips or queries « I have been impressed by the team’s spirit and enthusiasm. I felt happy to work with them. I was also moved by watching people helping each other » says Janet Guo, also an intern during one of the several sessions.
Furthermore, most of the artists called by the platform are usually not well recognized, they don’t have thousands of followers on social media. But when the team welcomes and films the artist in each session, he is treated as unique. Banditsu claims that « #TheGarageDoor was something that reminded me of that passion I hold on so dearly! It is out of the box and truly allowed me to perform the way I wanted to. I think there should be way more platforms like #TheGarageDoor. » While working with the team, I was surprised how before and during the filming, the cameramen and the technicians created an intimate atmosphere, like a music lovers reunion, that could easily be reflected in the videos.
As a foreigner, I have never seen a place as lively as Shoreditch musically. It may be said though that since Shoreditch is located near the City, lots of bankers are taking over the area transforming it as a wealthy and expensive neighborhood, taking away the do-it-yourself concept. Brixton and Dalston are recently rival neighborhoods with Shoreditch for obtaining the honor of being the ‘coolest place in London’. However, Shoreditch, due to its smaller size, still has this local atmosphere which captivates more venues to live music events or nightclubs. Therefore, #TheGarageDoor’s willingness to attract music lovers explains why they moved in this area « In my opinion, the venue suits #TheGarageDoor’s atmosphere » confesses Janet Guo.
For the past three weeks, #TheGarageDoor posts a new video every Monday. Alexandria Butler shares the result of the first videos « we have only reached a small part of what we hope to achieve in the future but they say patience is a virtue » and concludes positively by saying that « we hope we can continue to do what we do on a much bigger scale because there will never cease to be an abundance of incredible talent out there. »