Adrian Harpham starts an imprint label within Ropeadope Records Modern Icon Recordings.


In my musical life, my core concept has always been (consciously or not) to go deep. Deep emotionally, creatively, historically, authentic-true to form, genre, self etc. The real deal, going In. But also, go deep into what’s happening right now, what will happen in the future. Every artist goes inside of themselves to tap into the many layers that could be informing us of what will come. Future art, future music.

I’ve been pushing myself with every project to merge deep authenticity, historical weight with modern innovation. Muddy Waters hanging out with Brian Eno and James Blake. Duke Ellington with Hiatus Kaiyote and Vulfpeck.. There is a link. Fats Waller and Dizzy Gillespie – were probably received as progressive to people’s ears in their day; ahead, but with deep roots. New, with an old soul.

The goal of Modern Icon: Introduce new artists’ music to the world with a sound, message and feel that’s substantial, timeless and Iconic. Music that is not temporary. The flip: Bring classic artists music into a forward edgier sound. Merge the worlds, create a new movement in the process.

The future of music? It’s fair game and our only choice is to make the strongest possible statement. We have to really bring it, not just because of the state of transition in the music industry but because art is now reacting to the times-it has no choice. I think now is one of the most exciting times I’ve witnessed in my musical life. Those of us who didn’t experience the 60s will never know how that felt, true.. But now? Just watch, incredible sounds are emerging from this frenetic air we now find ourselves in.

Adrian Harpham


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