Mark Doyle is the main man behind Fierce Angel Records. The compiler of the CDs, A&R for the record label and world renown, headline DJ at the events across the world.
The numbers make staggering reading; the creator of 3 best-selling dance brands, a DJ for 25 years, a radio presenter for over 12 years, compiler of over 80 best-selling albums resulting in over 3 million sales plus a phenomenal ear for a hit record with 3 top 10 UK chart records and another 10 top ten club chart hits under his belt.
His phenomenal career began in 1988 when he started promoting a club night at the now legendary Haven Stables in Ealing, West London. Another 10 years of DJ’ing in London clubs followed until Mark found himself working at London’s Jazzfm as a marketing executive.
After running the radio station’s jazz record label for a short period Mark suggested that the station branch out and market a new label targeted at clubbers who had grown up during the birth of house. In 1998 the Hed Kandi brand was created incorporating a record label, a radio show and international club nights. During Mark’s tenure, Hed Kandi sold millions of albums worldwide and his unique A&R and marketing vision helped them deliver a string of Top 40 singles and significant artist album sales. In addition, he developed a career as a radio DJ, creating the weekly Hed Kandi Radio Show broadcast on JAZZFM and then across the Galaxy network. Mark established the Hed Kandi brand in Ibiza in 2000; London parties soon followed and the branded events then toured the world, setting the standard that has often been imitated although never equaled.
Mark Doyle created Hed Kandi in 1998 and it was his choice of artwork, music and presentation that succeeded in distinguishing the brand from other house music labels. Mark had previously run the jazzfm compilation label and after much success was asked to come up with a new concept that the listeners might relate to and purchase. Mark produced an album that he would want to buy, It had to have great music, stunning packaging and a unique look, it was here that Hed Kandi was born.
The idea of Jason Brooks “Kandi Girl” style artwork started with the release of Nu Cool 2 in 1999 (the first volume of Nu Cool were re-released with new artwork). The designs were by British illustrator Jason Brooks whose work Mark had first seen on flyers for the Pushca club night. Mark stumbled across Jason’s contact details on his work for Faberge’ and contacted him to ask if he would be interested in supplying images for the albums. Jason provided around 50 artwork designs for the brand until 2005 when they both left to join Mark Doyle’s new company.
Hed Kandi had its own radio show, which was broadcast late night/early morning on radio station JazzFM for the first 3 years. Mark Doyle presented each show and presented a mix of funky house, chillout and guest interviews. The Show was taken on by the Galaxy network and quickly moved from a late night show to a prime time slot at 9pm on Friday. Mark presented all the shows for nearly 6 years.
Another key element of the Hed Kandi experience were the many branded parties that commenced with a hugely popular night at Rouge in London. The parties were soon appearing worldwide and Mark recruited a team of DJs to help headline the events. These included Matt Collins, Mike Van Loon, Eric Kupper, Stonebridge, Hatty Lovehearts, Andy Norman, John Jones & Craig McGivern. The events became even more popular after Mark chose EL Divino to host their amazingly successful weekly party in Ibiza.
Whilst at Hed Kandi Mark also created and compiled a number of other labels which had a style of their own. The Base Ibiza series consisted of a mix of house music that was popular at Hed Kandi parties held at The Base Bar in Ibiza And Es Vive- a plush hotel in Ibiza from where the compilation takes its name, which provided the backdrop as a companion compilation to Base Bar, comprising primarily chilled and downtempo house. In 2005 both these compilations were released as one 3CD set as opposed to the usual separate releases that had gone before (Mark Doyle’s new music label Fierce Angel took over the release of Es Vive compilations from 2006.)
The Acid Lounge series was compiled by Mark & mixed 45 Dip and consisted of music ranging from chill to acid-trip lounge house and included a ltd edition comic. The Stereo Sushi series was a collection of deep soulful house and was themed around an anime Japanese Idea. This series was very successful and mark compiled 7 releases in this series.
Mark also successfully picked a number of club and chart hits from artist projects he signed to the label. The first artist projects included albums from Afterlife, 45 Dip and Anthea plus singles from Lazy Grace & Fuel. The label enjoyed huge success with the Stonebridge album project which produced two top 10 singles and another top 30 single. Mark also signed Peyton, LNM Project, Late Night Alumni And Solu Music Feat Kimblee.
During the last two years of Mark’s time at Hed Kandi the entire Jazzfm company was purchased by GMG radio and Hed Kandi was included as part of this deal. Since the creation of Hed Kandi Mark had been an employee of Jazz FM, contrary to many opinions Mark never actually owned any part of Hed Kandi and it was mainly due to this that Mark decided to leave in June 2005.
Mark was solely responsible for the creation of Hed Kandi while working for Jazzfm .He presented the radio show, compiled the albums, planned the marketing and art directed the covers. Mark’s last compilation for Hed Kandi was HEDK049 Beach House. He left Hed Kandi in June 2005 to set up his own completely independent record label.
In July 2005 Mark launched TOKYO PROJECT alongside some of the original members of his team at Hed Kandi including the Artist and Illustrator Jason Brooks. The period June 2005 – February 2006 was a very difficult time for the new company. Immediately after his departure Hed Kandi launched a prolonged legal action contesting the new labels right to use Jason Brooks’ art. The entire case was covered in depth on a variety of legal sites a quick search of the internet will turn up all the details for those interested. Although Mark successfully fought the court case it left the label in a difficult financial position. Tokyo Project was then beset with further funding problems and the label had to be closed in February 2006.
Shortly after the legal case concluded, GMG decided to sell Hed Kandi and negotiated a deal with Ministry Of Sound.
Although Mark had endured 9 months of legal wrangles and a variety of problems he decided to move forward with a new label concept and secured a new deal with UK label All Around The World. Instead of taking on any investors Mark remortgaged his house and launched the new label as a completely self-funded project.
In May 2006 Mark launched Fierce Angel Records & Fierce Angel Events. Once again he was joined by Jason Brooks who supplied the artwork for the first 9 releases and his wife Kate Penny-Doyle. During this early period Fierce Angel also secured residencies at some of the finest UK clubs and Mark was joined by a new team of DJs that consisted of a number of old friends including Eric Kupper, Richie Jones, Mike Van Loon, Hatty Lovehearts, Marc Rowell, Verity Mayes and Martin Wright.
In July 2007 Jason Brooks ended his 9 year relationship with Mark and announced his decision to return to the now Ministry Of Sound owned Hed Kandi for an undisclosed sum (Jason was dropped from creating Hed Kandi artwork in 2012). At this point Mark began the search for a new artwork direction for the brand. In November 2007 is was announced that UK illustrator and graphic designer Jason Cook would be joining the Fierce Angel Team.
Jason Jaroslav Cook trained at the University of Wolverhampton & London Guildhall University where he gained a 1st Class BA(hons) & A Master Of Arts with Distinction respectively. Jason Completely re-invented the Fierce Angel look and supplied artwork for the brand until 2013.