Skip to content


We’re back with our artist insight feature ‘NE Hot Seat’ – where we sit down with some of the North East’s brightest talent on a monthly basis, shine a spotlight on their latest work and find out what they have planned next.

This month we have something a little different for you! For April we are bringing you a special spotlight on the incredible artists on our First Notes programme. First Notes enables local early career artists aged 18-25 to professionalise their craft and develop their original music, supported by industry professionals from initial recording stages right up to release.

On the 14th May, we’re hosting a special First Notes showcase on the Cumberland Arms terrace which will debut new music developed on the programme – a fantastic opportunity to see the next generation of North East artists all in one laid back gig. Free tickets on sale here

In the meantime, have a read below for the exciting activity some of our First Notes artists have been up to in April – from new singles, EPs to headline gigs!


MAIUS MOLLISWe love your new track, can you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Thanks so much! “Feel It Hard” is my official release from my time spent on Generator’s First Notes programme. It’s about the tropes that women can at times find themselves falling into in relationships and the toll providing emotional labour can take. I’ve been super lucky to receive support from Arts Council and Youth Music this year to release more music and this track will be one part of a 5 track EP planned to release Autumn 2023.


PURLE – Tell us a little about yourself and your musical journey so far?

Hi, I’m Purle and I’m 18 years old and based in Newcastle. I make Hip Hop/ Melodic Rap music. I’ve been making music for around five years now, which is crazy to me. I originally started out just producing and making beats from an old laptop I used to have, but three years later, just for fun, I decided to sing on one of my beats… and it was awful. But here we are two years later, and I’ve performed at ‘this is tomorrow’ festival, at the FIBA World Cup as half time entertainment, been played on BBC Introducing and have acquired 19,00 total streams on Spotify alone. I am proud of everything I have achieved so far, and this is only the beginning. Exciting things are coming soon as well, I’m expecting to put out one or two more singles after the greatly successful release of the first one ‘paris’ all gearing up for the album later on in the year. So, keep a look out!


COSIAL – It’s been great to see you perform across the North East recently, how have you found testing your new music on the road?

It’s been really fun! It’s so fulfilling and gratifying seeing people actually enjoy my songs, and being really on board with the new direction I’m going in. I write loads so I think most of the songs we play are actually unreleased and not recorded. Need to catch up with that so I can get all this stuff out there! 


RIVKALA – It’s been great to see your progression over the last few months, what can we expect from you later this year? 

This year I started working with my phenomenal band, so you can expect a fully realised sound influenced by Jazz, Funk and Soul – think Amy Winehouse meets Stevie Wonder meets Carole King and you’re getting the picture. I’ll be releasing my debut single ‘Zip Lock Teeth’ as summer begins and I have some exciting live gigs in the books including supporting Swannek at Hoochie Coochie on June 16th, and at the Old Coal Yard on August 27th. Big things are coming and I can’t wait! 


BORRELLE – We love your new track! How dd you find the recording process, and did it help shape your sound? 

 As this was my first time in a recording studio and working with a producer, I found the whole recording process very eye-opening. I learned what it takes to lift a song demo off its feet, and the structure of recording and mixing across 3 days. It was amazing and felt like an honour to be working as a team with Sam Grant to make my music a reality for the first time in my life. And having Chris McManus on the drums was also very exciting, as I have never had someone play any part of my music before- that felt like an honour, really. I believe it has given a new depth to my music and earthiness, and I feel more inspired now to hopefully push this in future songs. Being someone that predominantly sings with just a ukulele, I am determined to keep fleshing out my sound (after seeing the importance of bass and live drums) and I am motivated to experiment and continue making my sound larger and more complex. 


KEIRAN BOWE – You’ve been gaining some amazing traction in the local scene, tell us about your music and what’s next for you!

My name’s Keiran Bowe and I’m a singer songwriter from the North-East in Gateshead. Throughout my music, I try to capture my latter teen years and events that have taken place, in all their glory, and talk about life growing up in the North East. Some of the lyrics strike deep but I think they’re lyrics a lot of people, particularly up here, would be able to relate to. I’ve had recent success with previous releases (such as ‘Hinny’ getting played at St James’ Park) and I’ll be taking my new material out on the road in the summer, with a headliner at Bobiks in Newcastle, on July 7th. Me and the lads have been grafting hard on the background so it’s a great opportunity to come and get a taste for what’s to come.

Tickets on sale here


Lots more to come from the rest of our First Notes cohort! Maxine Jenali Tia Leoni Claire

Listen to previous releases from our First Notes cohorts below

Delivered with