A few questions today about what you’ve been proposing to us for a while now with Impact!
1. How did you get the idea to create a label? Had you been thinking about it for a while?
Hey guys! So the idea was running around in my head for a while to be honest, I was just waiting to have a certain « credibility », if I can say that, to be able to do it, and also to have the funds to do it, haha! As for actually making it a real idea, it came to me in part through discussing with Tobax, who would send me dubz regularly and he didn’t know where to put them out there, so we both talked about it and I decided to jump feet first.
2. What kind of artistic direction do you want to give him; are there any specific tracks that you would love to put out there but that you’re holding back on?
So the artistic direction for Impact is this: it’s a Drum&Bass label in all senses of the term. I don’t want to fix limits, I would find that really sad given all of the diversity in the world of D&B music. Ideally I’m looking for tracks that work on the dance floor without necessarily having to be bangers. There have to be vibes and originality. And, otherwise, yeah, I love Jump Up, and I’m releasing a track at the end of summer and I think you’ll like it, but I don’t honestly think I’ll release much of it.
3. What were the first obstacles you had to overcome? Do you still come across the same problems?
The main problem you have to deal with as a new label (especially in France) is to find artists, to manage to negotiate releases with them. It’s really hard seeing as the big labels really have first pick of the bunch when it comes to young producers to follow, or up-and-coming producers as our friends across the pond say, but nothing’s impossible so you can’t give up!
4. You’re talking to a guy who tells you that he wants to start a similar project, what advice would you give him?
I would advise him to get prepared for one year at least, basically to already have a graphic designer to work with, 3 or 4 releases ready as well as a pretty solid marketing plan because, nowadays, digital marketing is primordial if you want to make a name for yourself amongst all of the well-established labels.
5. Are you alone with Impact?
6. What were your main goals at the launch? What are they now?
My goals were to be present on the big YouTube channels, to sign at least six new releases during the year, and to be « playlisted » by big DJs/ Producers as well as on radio stations.
Today my goals stay the same, with organizing Impact nights kind of everywhere and maybe some merchandising on top of that, why not.
7. Thanks to your notoriety as a DJ, that helped you to gain more credibility at the launch of your label and grab people’s interest from the beginning, do you see yourself using Impact to develop something else completely different to do with Drum and Bass?
Do you see yourself getting into production someday?
The only thing I could possibly bring to another label is diversity. Most labels close in on one specific style, which is also a good thing because it’s important to have artistic direction, but I want to bring what I share through my DJ sets: eclecticism.
As for producing, I have no idea, for now it’s not something that interests me 100%, but I’m keeping it in the back of my mind.
8. We’re going to talk a little about a taboo subject, but… is it easy/ possible to live on money made by your label in 2017?
Honestly, it’s really difficult. To be able to live from it, I think, you have to have enormous means to begin with, to be able to invest a lot. You shouldn’t even hope to make your money back from digital sales, at least for a few years. To live on the money made from a label, you have to sell your merch, organisé club nights (that make profits if I have to be precise) and release vinyls (and sell them…), it’s a business like another so you have to manage it as such, calculate your costs precisely, like any good company.
9. Do you agree with producers who look to release tracks exclusively with big labels?
Let’s say that I can put myself in their shoes and understand their decision, without wanting to make the same choice. For example, to refuse a great release with an up-and-coming label to be part of a compilation with a big label along with 26 other producers, I can’t really comprehend it, and I even find it pretty wasteful. On the other hand, keeping your best tracks on the side for a big label who promised you the release of an EP/ Single, that’s completely understandable.
10. Give me three reasons to release a track with Impact!
1/ We pay the artists.
2/ We promote like crazy.
3/ The artwork is generally pretty bangin’.
(4/ All it takes is a look at the quality of our first releases to understand that Impact will become a big label and that we want to be part of the future!)
11. Today, with hindsight, what should you have done differently for Impact?
Hmmm nothing really, I’m pretty happy with everything I’ve done with the label up ’til now. It was a pretty big gamble in the beginning, but it’s paid off for now!
12. What strengths does a label have to have to stand out from the bunch, in your opinion?
Good digital marketing, to be graphically impeccable and, obviously, release sick tracks (if it has to be said 😉 ).
13. 3 artists you would dream of signing?
Well, they’re not legendary producers, but they’re the best of their generation in my opinion and have completely opposing styles:
- Dub Motion
14. What do you think of the current vinyl industry? You’re releasing a vinyl edition of Mk Ultra/ Spaz Out by The Clamps, what’s the deal?
Vinyl is still really current, a bit more « in fashion » than the last few years but far from being as sexy as it used to be. Very few DJs mix on vinyl during their sets in public, but quite a lot will but them to mix on at home, it’s a hobby, a way to see the mix other than in digital, and a lot of people collection them, too!
As for The Clamps on vinyl, we’ve made 300 copies: 150 with black sleeves, and 150 with special sleeves. They’re available to pre-order on our bandcamp, and you can also find them on Redeyes Records or even Toolbox!
15. Do you think you’ll release your next tracks on vinyl, too?
I think I’ll sort a couple, yeah, but it’ll be a few well-chosen EPs.
16. Finally, could you tell us a bit more about the labels next releases?
We have an EP coming out on the 7th of July, by an Russian artist who has already been featured on a few great labels. We have a single by a French artist which is coming out at the start of the school year, as well as an EP by another Frenchie, which I can’t wait to share with you. Plenty of other things in the works, but we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to get them all ready!
17. Any shout outs to finish with?
Massive thanks to Mc Fly Dj for this interview!