Before The Needle: Making vinyl with a cause

By in Features





Before the Needle is a series that pulls back the curtain on the journey your favourite records embark on, from the studio to your turntable. Learn through videos, interviews, and photos, all straight from the heart of the action at The Vinyl Factory pressing plant in Hayes, London.

We all know vinyl is for life, not just for Christmas but, this year, The Vinyl Factory pressing plant in Hayes has played a role in bringing a festive single to turntables across the country.

When Aurora, member of duo TEM-PLE, was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), she decided to use her talents to raise awareness of the condition, alongside her musical partner Suzette. Together, they created “Never Be Mine This Christmas Time”, a gospel-influenced Christmas single.

“Our music is nothing like the track,” Suzette laughs. “We write rap and this is quite gospel, sort of Motown. It’s a Christmas song, and we wrote it quickly and it happened so fast that we just thought, “Okay, we’ve got this song but what do we do now?” 

The duo’s next step was to enlist the London Community Gospel Choir for the song (“They absolutely loved the track”) before reaching out to different avenues for promoting and distributing the release. One such avenue was The Vinyl Factory pressing plant.

Following an email exchange with Adam Teskey at the pressing plant, the wheels were in motion for a pro-bono vinyl release of the single. “I love vinyl,” Aurora says. “It’s always been our dream to have a record because it’s a piece of art. There’s an essence of you in that disc. There’s something magical about it.”

The result is an aptly festive snowflake-splattered record reflecting the snowfall in its artwork. It’s a tangible vessel for the message the pair wants to share. “I’m here to change people’s lives and to raise the profile for people that haven’t got a voice with EDS, “Aurora explains. “We got this amazing email, and it was just this woman saying thank you,” Suzette adds. “It’s so touching”.

See how The Vinyl Factory made the snowflake splatter vinyl for TEM-PLE below.


@thevinylfactory Getting Christmassy in the pressing plant with @TEMPLE.SOVND ❄️ #thevinylfactory #pressingplant #vinylpressingplant #howitsmade #splattervinyl #aesthetic #christmas #vinylrecords #vinyltok #vinylcheck ♬ Never Be Mine This Christmas Time – TEM-PLE

We caught up with Adam to find out more about the project.

How did the pressing plant get involved with the TEM-PLE single?

On the 24th of June 2023, we received an email from Aurora and Suzette telling us they were looking for a pressing plant to press a Xmas single to help elevate awareness of a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I’m ashamed to say my knowledge of EDS was virtually non-existent, and the email made for a captivating read.

Why did you choose to get involved in the project?

Historically, VFM Ltd has always tried to do one Xmas charity release per year, and Aurora and Suzette’s email was both enlightening and full of passion. They were very well organised, so it was an obvious choice and a great cause.

Tell us about the snowflake splatter vinyl. What was the process behind achieving a snowflake design?

There is a bit of a backstory to the vinyl production because initially, the vinyl was going to be pressed using crystal clear PVC with an etching on the B side. Very close to going into production, Aurora emailed to ask if a snowflake effect vinyl would be an option. Funnily enough, we had recently produced a similar snowflake effect for a Snow Patrol release, so it wasn’t as leftfield a request as maybe she first thought. The brief was to try to emulate the snow on the sleeve cover. After a quick meeting with our senior colour effect operator and a bit of playing around on the press, before long, the effect was created and signed off by TEM-PLE.

What role do you think vinyl manufacturers have to play in the wider community?

Vinyl is a much-loved medium and is a brilliant vehicle for allowing a charity to either gain better awareness for their cause, raise vital funds, or, in the ideal world, both. VFM Ltd is a great advocate of the triple bottom line; people-planet-profit, and we are committed to focusing on social and environmental issues as well as the financial side of running a business.

We are already working on our next charity release with War Child – The Secret 7″. This series of unique 7″ releases was first launched in 2012, and VFM Ltd pressed the last iteration in aid of the charity in 2020. In that time, over £500,000 was raised by War Child, and it is being relaunched for 2024. Once again, VFM Ltd will be the pro bono pressing partner.

Learn more about The Vinyl Factory pressing plant.

Read more: How recycled PVC is being used to make vinyl