A singer-songwriter from Glasgow who last year set up Conviction Records, Scotland’s only record label for ex-offenders, is asking the public to buy her new track to fund an ex-offender’s first music video.
Proceeds from the sale of Neverending Song by Jill Brown, released on Monday October 18 and available to buy on Bandcamp for any amount, will be used to enable Ryan Kershaw to make a music video.
Conviction Records is currently working with Ryan with a view to making him its first signing.
Ryan, 38, who is married with two young children, spent six months in Addiewell Prison in West Lothian after ordering a pepper spray online.
Although he cancelled the order the next day, it was too late to spare him a jail sentence.
During his time in prison Ryan picked up a guitar and started writing music again having abandoned his dream of pursuing a musical career after settling down and becoming a dad.
In jail, music was his lifeline and he contacted the newly established Conviction Records after his release.
Jill, whose story was featured in The Courier’s Weekend magazine earlier this year, said: “Ryan sent me a song called Tiger in the Well and as soon as I heard it I forwarded it to my colleague, Eric McLellan, in the US. I could tell Ryan was the real deal.”
Eric is an A&R (Artists & Repertoire) expert in the music industry, responsible for identifying and developing new artists. He heads this area up for Conviction Records and immediately loved Ryan’s sound.
Eric said: “When I heard Ryan I thought of Bob Dylan. Ryan has a real honesty and this, combined with his simplicity and talent for melody, makes his music very powerful.”
Former STV news presenter
Jill Brown, a former STV news presenter, has become better known in recent years as a musician working with a range of producers and releasing ear-catching singles.
As well as performing at the likes of King Tut’s and the Tut’s stage in the Clyde Auditorium, she has been working on and off, voluntarily, in Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison for the last decade.
Early in 2021 Jill piloted some song writing workshops in the jail which led to the creation of Conviction Records.
The social enterprise aims to give former offenders a voice and an alternative to criminality, restoring dignity and purpose through music.
She said: “Writing and recording songs enables you to turn the ugliness in your life into a thing of beauty. I know first-hand just how important it is to find your voice and use it. Not only is it therapeutic but you can help and encourage others in the process.
“Music has given me new life and direction and with the label we’re offering this opportunity to others.”
To buy Jill’s new track, and the rest of her music, go to https://jillbrown.bandcamp.com/album/neverending-song
Jill’s music is also streaming on all major platforms.