Expansion Records is committed to Soul, Jazz and RnB for today's aspiring artists to a wealth of heritage acts and has done so for the last thirty years.
The UK based label prides itself in releasing a high standard of quality Soul largely abandoned by the American major companies many years ago, providing a platform for both new and heritage talent to reach UK the burgeoning soul scene, and where possible, an international stage through their vast network of music fans and business affiliates.
Expansion has signed such great talents as Leon Ware, Howard Hewett, Stephanie Mills, Gary Taylor, Leroy Hutson, Billy Griffin, Atlantic Starr, Ali Woodson (ex-Temptations), Jean Carne, Angela Bofill, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and more recently Steve Harvey, Frank McComb, Adriana Evans, Marva King, James Day, Maysa Leak, Kloud 9, Trina Broussard, Ebony Alleyne and much more. There is real passion in the team behind Expansion Records, which is what keeps them going through sunshine and rain, especially through these ever more changing and challenging times - declining physical sales and niche audiences.
Not all the music Expansion releases is new, much of what they do includes re-issues of rarities/new discoveries, compilations and previously unreleased music they recognise as collectable. They have major distribution for both physical and digital releases.
The label is run from London by Ralph Tee, while the events side of the business (luxurysoulweekender.com, see also myspace.com/luxurysoulweekender) is headed up by Richard Searling in Manchester. Together we are Expansion where our record releases, music events and DJ-ing activities reflect the personal tastes and love of classic soul.
The first releases on Expansion were through Richard Searling and John Anderson of Soul Bowl Records in Kings Lynn. Ralph joined at the time Ronnie McNeir released his Life & Love album for the label (1989), and John left after Gary Taylor's Take Control release, a year later.
Expansion's name was thought up by Richard to represent 'stretching the boundaries of independent soul'. Early success came with the singles Give Me The Sunshine (Leo's Sunshipp) and Memory (James King, formerly of The Futures). At the same time Ralph was Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul magazine, for whom he still writes. Blues & Soul also voted Expansion as the UKs No.1 soul label for 5 consecutive years.
Through the 90s, Expansion worked on over fifty artist album projects and released numerous compilations in legendary album series like Expansion Soul Sauce, Soul Chasers, Winners Circle, Phat Jams, and Friend In High Places. In 2000 the label launched the Soul Togetherness album brand which continues to this day.
The Soul Togetherness weekenders paved the way for the Luxury Soul events which thrive on the same adoration for the music as the label. More recently, some compilations have been collaborations with ambassadors of quality soul like David Nathan (soulmusic.com), Andreas Hellingh (thesoulofamsterdam.com), Paul Clifford (myspace.com/soulguru_uk), Dan Dodds (Soul Jones), Eleanora Cutia (undergroundsoul.com), Chris Hill and Geoffrey Bingham.
In 2008 Expansion joined forces with Jazz FM for a new joint venture label Jazz FM Records launching a series of compilations including The Sound Of Jazz FM series, The Soul of Smooth Jazz and Funky Sensation. Ralph Tee also presents a Sunday afternoon show on Jazz FM from 4pm and is joined by Richard at 6pm weekly.