In the third installment of our feature “Delicious Labels” we take a trip up North to Belfast, the birth place of the Titanic, Georgie Best and the home of the excellent Seven Music!
The brainchild of Ric McClelland and Sean Grieve, Seven Music is quickly getting a reputation for quality electronic music. With 16 releases already under it’s belt since its inception in 2011, we can only see big things happening for this innovative and interesting label.
Always a big fave of the Delicous Mix Sessions, we are especially digging the recent Volta Cab “Caribbean Undercover” EP with it’s excellent Mark E remix but make sure to check out the equally impressive Seven Music Vol. 1 – a collection of tunes from label artists Robotalco, Sandoz, Volta Cab & Stephen Day and the massive Giorgio Luceri “Upstairs” EP which features a killer remix from slow house don Andy Ash. All are available digitally and on vinyl HERE
We caught up with Ric who has been a big supporter of our show since day 1 and he gave us the low-down on breaking into the record industry!
Delicious Labels | Seven Music
How did it all begin?
I had been toying with the notion of starting my own label for years. A lot of people in the industry just think its the done thing, so I was always over cautious! Last year though, everything just felt right and I was as comfortable with the idea as ever. We (myself & Sean Grieve) launched the label in May 2011. The first half of the year was spent planning and once we had all our ideas in the pot, we launched in May. We had a few set backs straight away though.. Our concept was for releasing vinyl as well as digital downloads, but we had to start as a digital only label until we got our physical distribution deal in place at the end of the year. From the start of this year, we are now firing on all cylinders and as we originally planned.
What are the ingredients for a successful label?
Ha ha, we are still working on the recipe. Seriously though, I think it takes a huge amount of time and dedication. In the digital age there are so many micro labels, run by artists and primarily for their own output. Although Sean and I are producers, we won’t be hogging the release schedule and Seven Music isn’t just about us or for us. We are looking to discover and showcase new and established talent. We’re in it for the long run. We’re so far from where we want to be and have massive plans. We are also trying to build a family of artists. We don’t want to sign 1 offs. We want to develop our label while establishing friendships and lasting relationships. So I suppose the answer to the question is time, dedication, loyalty and a vision!
If you could go back ten years in time and sign any act, who’d it be and why?
10 years ago was a very inspiring time for me. Classic Recordings was ruling the roost, pushing a fresh and forward thinking style of House music. Bob Sinclar’s Africanism was creating amazing music too and I suppose we were in the middle of the West Coast House explosion! I’m more into ‘music’ than ‘names’ or artists. I suppose anyone involved with the above would have been a solid signing.
Which producers/artists are really catching your attention at the moment?
Again, I don’t want to focus on ‘names’ too much. Someone who I like now could probably be knocking out garbage next year lol. That aside, I like the artists who are leaving ‘House’ music behind for the moment and focusing more on original ‘Dance’ music. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a House music artist and all my peers are too, but I respect the guys who are pushing the boundaries a bit more these days and experiment with non-conventional tempos, sounds and recording techniques. House music has become a parody thanks to Beatport and Resident Advisor etc. People need to re-connect with their souls (and brains), wether that be when listening to music or making music.
What direction do you see electronic music moving in 2012/13?
As I mentioned above, it’s all becoming a lot more retrospective. Sub genre walls are being broken down and people are starting to feel music again rather than worry about what BPM or key it’s in. The same sensibilities are being applied as would have been years ago, before people knew what House or Techno was. They just made music to get people dancing or create a mood or feeling. As long as its not for the sake of it, change is a great thing. So I think 12/13 should see lots of diversity in music!
How many demos do you have to deal with every week?
It goes up and down. Some weeks 5-10, other weeks maybe 30. We are still a young label though.. I’m sure big labels get about 500 a week lol. I have to admit, we haven’t been sent anything too bad. On the other hand we don’t get sent much that blows are socks off. We are continually tightening our belt in terms of demos. As Gilles Peterson says, we’re “in search of the perfect beat”!
…And what makes one stand out above the others?
As soon as a I hear a run of the mill 120-125 bpm ‘in the box’ style deep houser I’m turned right off. Dont get me wrong.. There is lots of amazing 120-125 bpm deep houser’s, but Sean and I are looking for exciting electronic dance music. That could be what people see as House, Techno, Bass, Disco, Downtempo, Drum & Bass, whatever.. We are looking for ‘original’ music regardless of genre!
What projects/artists have you got in the pipeline and we should be getting ready to buy?
Out today (7/5/12) we have our 14th release which is a various artists 4 track EP with Volta Cab, Baldo, Stephen Day and Robotalco. On the 21st of May we have a new EP by Giorgio Luceri with a great Andy Ash remix, then towards the end of June we have a quality 4 tracker by Kastil. Over the summer and later on this year we have more amazing music by Orlando B, Eddie C, Autodeep & Deepchild, South West Seven and Club Silencio 🙂
Three words on illegal downloading?
‘I don’t care’. Seriously though, I’ve given up caring. It’s part and parcel of the music industry now. It’s a level playing field from Madonna to Kerri Chandler. I think any self respecting human who claims to DJ or love dance music will spend the money on a download, CD or vinyl. These are the people we are concerned about connecting with us as a label 🙂
Many thanks to Ric for taking the time out for the interview.
Delicious Mix Sessions Online: Tues 18:00-20:00 GMT www.powerfm.org