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Judge #7: Aug / Sep / Oct 2008

Jonny Goodwillie – Co-Founder Catskills Records


Jonny Announces 7th Competition Results;

"Firstly I want to say what an absolutely pleasure this has been. In these dire times it’s reassuring to know that there is so much musical talent out there right now. It was a really tough job getting to my top 10 but after that it was almost impossible to get down to a top 3. I really fell for all of my top 10, listening 2 or 3 times daily to all the tracks as I made my way around with beats booming on my headphones. The guys at Carbon Logic were ready to announce a week ago but I wanted to make sure I made the right decision so I either put them off or ignored their calls to give me more time! All of the top 10 were of an amazingly high standard, I truly feel any of them are deserving of a deal in some form or another, I only wish we could have had 10 winners."

WINNER ! - "Larkin About" - Amongst The Pigeons ft. Frank Turner.

"To be honest I was gutted to find out just a few days ago that the ATP guys were from Brighton. As soon as I first heard the track I was sure it would be a potential winner, the combination of  the electronic production against Frank Turner’s vocal was just amazing and listened to it 4 times back to back. After spending a few days agonising over whether it would be seen as nepotism to vote my winner from my home town, I realised that it mattered not, it’s about the music and this is simply my favourite track, and also I see that I can offer ATP a lot of help with the release of their debut album."

2nd Place - "Black Track" - Reaxion.

"I’m a sucker for drum and bass and Reaxion’s Black Track is just about as close to my favourite style as you can get. Tearing drums, heavy bottom end but with melody and soul breaking through the cacophony. The arrangement is solid, the intro builds and drops like thunder and is scattered with great breakdowns throughout. I can see this tearing up dancefloors wherever it gets played and it needs to be signed!!"

3rd Place - "Walk Away" - Amy Duncan.

"The first time I heard Amy’s voice it was a goose bump moment, it is a unique and haunting song and from the moment you hear the opening lines ‘It was so easy’ you know that the subject matter won’t be but the song touches on something we have all faced at some point. Simple production, beautifully captured voice and a simply incredible vocal delivery."


Independent Label Scheme is a proactive reaction to the ongoing changes within today’s music industry, providing artists with clear & impartial advice.  With 30 yrs combined music industry and intellectual property legal experience we are uniquely equipped to give artists taking the DIY route an honest appraisal of the best options available. ILS is 100% independent and not tied to any other companies meaning we can objectively pinpoint opportunities and make informed recommendations on progressing artists' careers through consultation, label management or with our Jumpstart and Legal packages.

Jonny is in charge of the label management and creative consultation side of the Independent Label Scheme.

Jonny Goodwillie - Background:

Jonny has been involved in music since the tender age of 11 when his parents were foolish enough to give him £100 for a battered set of Premier drums, which he then set about annoying his neighbours with for the next 5 years and playing in various bands in and around the Bristol area. Fortune took him to Plymouth to undertake a degree in Photography and Design where he joined a band that destiny decided to take to Brighton. This was 1989 and within a month he had landed a job at the dingiest rave club on the south coast. His DJ career set off in earnest, running the top bar of the club, spinning reggae to gurning clubbers about to expire from the excesses of the main room. Soon Jonny was filling in for the residents (John Digweed and JC Reid from Skint Records) and 2 years slipped away without seeing much daylight.

In 1991 Jonny helped set up the Killa Riddim Sound System, a heavyweight rig built in his living room, and hosted a Monday night club that ran for 3 years, also taking the sound system to fields and seafront hideaways that were part of the incredible free party scene that was emerging in Brighton. In 1994 he set up Riddim Records, often cited as being the best record store that Brighton has ever seen, and moved club to set up Roots Garden, still going 13 years later and currently the longest running weekly reggae club night in the UK. The record store thrived for 2 years, selling reggae, hip hop, big beat and drum and bass, and Jonny expanded his DJ’ing and promoting to encompass all forms of dance music. In 1996 he teamed up with two mates, begged and borrowed enough money to press some vinyl, and set up Catskills Records, a label formed to represent the cream of Brighton unsigned artists.

With the record store closed to concentrate on the label, Catskills grew in stature and soon became one of the most respected indies in the country, and was seen to represent the huge big beat and breaks scene alongside labels such as Skint and Wall Of Sound. However with an ever expanding love of music Catskills moved into new territories, signing artists from outside of Brighton and indeed the UK, and in 2000 they landed a major advertising campaign with their Finnish band Pepe Deluxé with Levi’s jeans. The advert was to become Levi’s biggest campaign to date and the single Before You Leave went on to be a huge chart success right across Europe, with the band selling in excess of 150,000 albums. More advertising successes followed as Catskills artists soundtracked major worldwide advertising campaigns for brands such as iPod, Hyundai and Ray Ban.

The following 7 years saw Catskills grow and sign other exciting artists such as Husky Rescue and Black Grass while Jonny wore many hats at the head of Catskills, looking after the A&R for the label and gaining vast experience in all aspects of running a music company whilst at the same time kept his hand in on all sides of the industry, from promoting major club nights to presenting a radio show on Brighton’s main FM station where he still remains, championing new artists and music every Saturday night. In 2004 he came up with the concept for independent download site Beathut, and saw through the development of the site and affiliated online magazine.

In late 2007 feeling the shift in the music industry and relishing new challenges, Jonny left Catskills to join up with the Independent Label Scheme team, a new and innovative take on the music industry which helps to empower independent music companies and artists through expert advice, contacts and services.

In 2008 Jonny joined the Beachdown Festival team to help curate the festival’s musical lineup, drawing on his extensive knowledge of music, years of promoting and presenting exciting new music radio shows.


Links and Information:

Competition shortlist

September 2008 - December 2008