How hard can it be???

jungle_fever

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#1
I was moaning to someone one day about how some record labels are so lucky to be in the position they are in where people actually notice all of their releases and yet have half arsed release schedules where everyone kinda thinks that they cant be arsed, and he told me that i should start up my own if i thought i could do better and for once i agreed and i am kinda now thinking about setting up a record label. trouble is i have no clue where to begin and i was wondering if any of you guys had any experience/ideas/advice/feedback with the running of a label? obviously i kinda get it but im sure there are some people on here with some real experience with this and it would be silly not to ask here of all places.

i would really appreciate any response cos i really dont want this to be yet another of my ideas that kinda withers and dies!
 

Matty28

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#3
Now I know nothing about running a record label but I know what I like in one. I remember reading/listening to interviews with Presha from Samurai and his advice is excellent imo. Having a theme and a clear ethos is a great idea, Samurai started from his interest in Japenese tattoo culture and it grew from there. Another interesting point he made was about having a clear idea of what kind of sound your label has as being too eclectic can confuse the buyer. I would recommend listening to the first 10 minutes of Ashorecast 1 (link below) and the resident advisor interview as they are both very insightful into creating a successful record label.

Another thing I deem to be important is quality artwork. One of my favourites is Space Cadets and a massive bonus to the excellent music they make, which again sticks with a clear ethos, is the brilliant artwork and makes it an easy choice for me to keep buying them. It is less common place these days but people used to buy a release on artwork alone without even listening to the tune (Chris from Blu Mar Ten mentions it on one of the BMTM Podcasts). The overall package is extremely important and good artwork, for me, can make the difference.

Theres my two cents away from the usual vinyl/digital, genre aspects to think of

http://soundcloud.com/preshasamurai/ashorecast-1-presha
 
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jungle_fever

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#4
Thanks for the reply. yea to be fair Presha is one of the better label bosses in my opinion. will definitely give that link a listen. i was thinking about setting up a blog along side the label with reviews of other releases, free tracks etc but more focusing on unknown talent as i think that too many blogs that only recognise the big names. has anyone else got any ideas on how to launch this successfully? as far as scouting for talent etc?
 

Matty28

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#6
I dont think you necessarily have to be a big name or 'famous' for people to send you stuff, especially if the blog you set up gets enough exposure as everyone needs a platform to start from. The main blogs I read are EDJ, Organic & Urban Essence and I think all 3 of those do a good job of balancing well known acts/artists with up and coming talent. I reckon its important to strike a good blend of the two as talking about better known artists will get you hits but introducing new talent could be your niche so to speak. I've thought about setting up a blog myself, but stumbled on all the artwork stuff of getting a logo/web design etc. maybe in the new year
 

rysk

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#7
develop a 'signature sound' but don't be afraid to switch it up, as long as what you plan to put it out is something that you can genuinely say is a brilliant piece of music.

as for talent scouting, you're literally 2 clicks away from a whole sub-forum of new talent, that, coupled with the likes of soundcloud etc, would make it very easy to find new tunes.
 

jungle_fever

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#8
all of this is really helpful.

as long as what you plan to put it out is something that you can genuinely say is a brilliant piece of music.
i think this point is absolutely key. i can imagine it being pretty difficult to get inspired over releases that you dont even like.

especially if the blog you set up gets enough exposure as everyone needs a platform to start from.
yea hopefully a successful blog would encourage producers/other labels to get in touch if they want exposure or possible releases. im thinking about blogging on a nice blend of releases, mixes, dubs, nights and anything inbetween.

do you guys think it would be wise to get the blog completely up and running before approaching people about possibly signing music? also has anyone had any experience with distributors? which ones are best/most approachable etc
 

grubbers

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#9
I think it would definitely be wise to get as much done as possible before approaching people for music. Getting the website running and looking professional as well as having a "mission statement" of sorts established will help give your record label some credibility. By mission statement, I mean knowing the direction you want to take the record label in and what you would like to accomplish with it, just something you can relay to potential signings. The first few releases will be the most difficult, but are probably also the most important in terms of establishing a label. It's all about creating a credible and recognizable brand, prove that you can release quality music that stands out and producers will start coming to you. It'll just take a hell of a lot of work to get to that point.

That being said, I have no experience when it comes to running a label (although the idea has popped into my head on occasion), so don't take it as gospel.
 

jsmith89

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#13
The main blogs I read are EDJ, Organic & Urban Essence and I think all 3 of those do a good job of balancing well known acts/artists with up and coming talent.
cheers boss! our eventual goal is to become a label once we have enough support as we have experience in label management but kasra if you're willing to do this q&a i'd be most interested and grateful!
 

jungle_fever

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#14
The first few releases will be the most difficult, but are probably also the most important in terms of establishing a label. It's all about creating a credible and recognizable brand, prove that you can release quality music that stands out and producers will start coming to you.
yea i think this will be key as well. theres no point rushing things. if the music isnt there or isnt of releasable standard then theres no point in releasing it for the sake of releasing it.


I did actually offer on here to do a label managment Q&A but no one took me up on it
Is there any chance that if i set up a thread this could still happen? this would be eternally helpful for me as critical is probably at the pinnacle of well run labels
 

Matty28

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#20
cheers boss! our eventual goal is to become a label once we have enough support as we have experience in label management but kasra if you're willing to do this q&a i'd be most interested and grateful!
Its an excellent read mate, i'd love to start my own but am a long way off yet.
 
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