Our first publishing company was JT Music which seemed a little egocentric even for John Telfer – there was a very early off-shoot for some of our reggae writers which was Hairtrigger Music – the first single was Falling In Love Again – not very appropriate for a company called Hairtrigger… great song though!
So JT and Hairtrigger became Basement, and John opened the doors of Basement as a music publishing and artist management company back in 1978 together with Eileen Treacy and John Cefai.
Eileen sadly died in 2001, and her constant stream of good advice and humour is sorely missed by all of us who had the good fortune to work with and/or know her.
We managed a wonderful and diverse range of great, original artists including Joe Jackson, Everything but the Girl, Hal Willner, Television, Tom Verlaine, Sweet Honey in the Rock and The Proclaimers among others and gathered lots of platinum and gold awards to cover the holes in the walls.
Initially we were building the publishing company slowly and looking after a number of the best reggae writers and singers. Barbara Cefai joined us a few years ago bringing her computer skills into the company
We have published Dennis Brown, Prince Lincoln Thompson, Augustus Pablo and Roy Cousins for many years and they have given us an important legacy of music, and not just to the reggae community.
We now publish and administer a wonderful array of music from all over the world, and with the opening of Basement Brazil we have been able to bring many great Brazilian writers and catalogues such as Mawaca and Spin Music (City of God) and Miguel Barella and Benjamim Taubkin into the Basement catalogue.
These fit very well with our established rock artists like Television and Willard Grant Conspiracy. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd have released a number of solo cds as well as their Television recordings. Josh Abrams is a welcome addition with his improvised bass compositions.
The Spin catalogue especially has seen a lot of good synchronizations.
The most recent signings are Doghouse Roses. They are a duo from Scotland who write and sing very beautiful songs that are reminiscent of early Fairports and Pentangle.
In this age of downloads, uploads and ever-evolving businesses, we have always supported songwriters and their rights for a fairer royalty rate on the various streams of income generated. We work closely with organizations like the Music Publishers Association, MCPS/PRS, the International Managers Forum, and Merlin.
Basement work with a very carefully selected network of sub-publishers around the world, and have been together with some for a long time. We believe that friendships are important in this world of business.