Rejecting the traditional route into the record industry, the London-based duo Honey Ryder have attracted just as much attention for their business strategies as for their actual music.
Named after the Bond girl played by Ursula Andress, Martyn Shone and Lindsay O'Mahony began writing together after being introduced by mutual friends. Shone had been a working guitarist while employed as a city banker, and O'Mahony previously worked at MTV alongside Edith Bowman and Alex Zane. Using a similar model as several British film companies, the pair became involved in a unique business enterprise in which shares in future profits from any income they expected to generate were sold to various investors. This unorthodox funding scheme caught the eye of former EMI CEO Eric Nicoli, who, as well as investing in the idea, also became a personal mentor to the duo. Their debut album, Rising Up, produced by Goldust (Bryan Adams, Natasha Bedingfield) and featuring the hit singles "Numb" (number 32) and "Fly Away" (number 31), was released in 2008. After supporting the likes of Michael Bolton, Will Young, and Hue & Cry on their U.K. tours, Honey Ryder performed at the SXSW festival in Texas, and were personally invited by the wife of O'Mahony's childhood hero, Roy Orbison, to appear at a tribute event for the late singer. They also embarked on an innovative national schools tour, which involved recording the shows and selling the music through their website, giving the profits back to the schools. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi