Ben Campbell's nascent Christchurch creative co- operative Fledge is showing a bit of muscle.
The former member of Zed and Atlas, who now channels his music into House of Mountain, is a mentor for the New Zealand Music Commission and a director of Fledge Records - and now he has found chart success with Jed and Hera's debut album, Live At York St.
"It's really exciting to see such talent emerge from Christchurch," says Campbell of the group's official New Zealand chart debut at No 13. "The prolific amount of music and performance these two musicians are producing is amazing."
The Jed Parsons and Hera Hjartardottir story evolved out of Parsons' involvement with House of Mountain. They were on tour and Hjartardottir, who had recently returned from Iceland where she had already released a gold-selling record, was the support act. They found a common musical interest in songwriting and a supportive creative environment in Fledge, of which Hera is also a director.
"Fledge is more an ideal than it is one person," Campbell says. "It's certainly something I am very passionate about but not something that I can really take credit for because there are too many artists who have supported it and believe in it." Live At York St is the first official release on the label, which is an offshoot of the co-operative.
"I was blown away by the chart success in the sense that it was amazing to see the recognition for what I believe is a great piece of work," Campbell says. "On the other hand, I was not really surprised because I think it deserves it. It's something you never expect. It feels like it is reaffirming that what we are doing has merit and credit."
Live At York St was produced by Campbell.
"I love producing," he says. "Right from my early teens I knew that after I had fulfilled my ambitions as a performer I wanted to get involved in production and management. It's interesting that's the position I'm now in."
Fledge has albums and singles on the horizon from Campbell's House of Mountain, Natalie Slade, Odyssey and Happiness Stan.
- Sunday News