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Willis Earl Beal exits XL’s Hot Charity, confirms new independent LP

By | Published on Thursday 12 June 2014

Willis Earl Beal

Mr Willis Earl Beal has cut loose from his one-time label, XL imprint Hot Charity and is branching out on his own.

Having signed to the label as its first in-house artist in 2012, he has released a pair of LPs since, in 2012’s ‘Acousmatic Sorcery’ and 2013’s ‘Nobody Knows’, following those with two independent mixes, ‘A Place That Doesn’t Exist and ‘Curious Cool’. Beal is now set to self-release a new LP, “lo fi symphony” ‘Experiments In Time’ on 8 Aug.

Citing in a pretty deep and meaningful interview with Under The Radar a series of “very tedious circumstances” that arose between him and XL/Hot Charity, “like legal disputes, misappropriations of funds, songwriting credits”, Beal adds: “Then, on top of that, I haven’t had autonomy with when I want to release music. Rappers, they do mixtapes and all sorts of things. I had a very simplistic outlook as to what I could and couldn’t do from the beginning and what all this would mean. In fact, I probably didn’t even have an outlook at the beginning. All I saw was the good money I was being given”.

And: “The alternative to not taking the money seemed to be just continuing a life of mediocrity. And I can’t lie: signing a record deal was the best, most exotic thing that had ever happened to me. But it was incongruous with what I really needed. What I needed was the attention by the record label and the support of the record label, but I think I should have been signed to a more substantial subsidiary within XL Records, because the subsidiary I signed to [Hot Charity] was an upstart. I was the flagship artist. And with respect to the people involved, I just don’t think that they were prepared – not only to deal with an artist but to deal with a human being”.

Oh dear, that oughta sting.