Interview: Cloonee

Following a number of releases on well respected house labels such as Big Beat Records, Solid Grooves, elrow, and Moon Harbour, Cloonee starts a new chapter in his career with the launch of his own label, Hellbent.

The Birmingham native kicks off the imprint with his new single ‘Tripasia’, a collaborative track between himself and Brazilian artist Brisotti.

We welcome Cloonee to Inflyte to chat about the new project, who we might see release with the label in the near future, and what lessons he’s learnt from working with established labels in the past. Get the full discussion below.

Your new track ‘Tripasia’ just dropped, how would you describe the track in your words?

It’s an uptempo, no nonsense club record. It’s stripped back but everything that is in there works perfectly in getting a reaction out of a crowd, which was exactly the idea!

It’s a collaboration with Brazilian artist Brisotti, how did that collaboration come about?

Brisotti had been sending me music all through the covid lockdowns when I was doing my live streams. I loved his music and sound, one of the tracks he sent over was the first version of Tripasia where the vocals instantly caught my ear. My label ‘Hellbent’ hadn’t even been started yet but I knew the record could be massive so we started going back and forth until we landed on this current version.

And perhaps the biggest announcement to come from the release is that it marks the launch of your new label, Hellbent, what made you want to become a label owner?

So, I actually had my own personal label before called CLNE, this was strictly for my own music and I never branded or posted about the label, it was just an outlet for my music.

The freedom to release my own music whenever I wanted to was such a blessing, but I always wanted a label that I could properly brand and release others’ music too. After years of ideas I finally landed on the brand identity I knew could work, so here we are!

Do you have anything special planned alongside the music? Merch or events perhaps?

The music will be the core of the label of course, it’s our identity. However in the long run there will be numerous limbs to the brand, my mind is non stop with ideas for the future and the possibilities are endless.

And which names can we expect to see on the label in the near future?

In the next 6 months or so we have releases from Classmatic, Shaf Huse, Nightfunk, and plenty of other upcoming artists whose music I play regularly, plus myself of course.

Your own music has come via Big Beat Records, Moon Harbour, Solid Grooves, and other top house imprints, which other labels might we see the Cloonee name on soon?

Honestly, you probably won’t see me on any other labels besides Hellbent and one or two others. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with so many amazing labels but I think now is the time to really focus on my own project.

And what’s one thing you’ve learnt from working with these guys that you will carry over to your own label?

Oh this one’s easy. So I used to always dig really far back on artists or labels back catalogs just out of curiosity, mainly to see where it all started and to almost study how they grew I guess.

One thing I noticed about successful labels, they all create a family of artists, no matter how big or small they may be, and all grew together. This ideology really appeals to me, especially in the current climate where social media following is king.

I plan to strip it back to those roots and sign artists whose music I believe in and who can grow alongside Hellbent. I don’t care about Instagram followers, Spotify listeners, or Facebook likes. I just want good music and people with passion and desire to grow and improve.

As my favourite definition of hellbent states, it’s someone who is “determined to achieve something at all costs”.

You’ve just been on tour down in Brazil, how did you find that part of the world?

Amazing. The most passionate fans a DJ can ever play to. It truly is a beautiful country with even better people. I have big plans for future tours and cannot wait to go back.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to plug before we go?

My pleasure, no plugs really, just keep an eye on all things Cloonee and Hellbent if you fancy!

Cloonee ft. Brisotti – Tripasia is out now oon Hellbent.