Interview: Endor

British DJ, producer, and now label owner Endor went from making bootleg remixes in his bedroom to releasing one of the most successful tracks to ever drop on Defected Records.

The 2019 released ‘Pump It Up’ has since seen more than 300 million plays across YouTube and Spotify, and made the Brighton-based talent one of the fastest rising names in all of house music.

Fast forward to 2022 and he has launched a new label of his own, RUFF CUTZ. The imprint finds its inaugural outing in the form of Endor’s own ‘Mammals’, a tech-driven and highly rhythmic club cut that is already gaining a lot of steam both online and on the dancefloor.

We spoke to him recently, where he asked all about his reasons for launching a label, what the near future might have in store for both him and RUFF CUTZ, and what he’s learnt from the labels he’s worked with before. Get the full discussion with Endor below.

Thanks for taking some time out to chat to us, tell our readers what you have been up to this week so far?

Yo! Thanks for having me. I’ve been finishing off my studio build, finding a way to drill into my wall without bursting a pipe or electrocuting myself. We’re good on both fronts for now.

You just launched your record label, RUFF CUTZ, why do you feel that 2022 is finally the time for you to become a label owner?

I felt like I needed a way for my music to go quickly from my studio out to the people. It was born of necessity really. When you sign to other labels, you just don’t get that immediacy. It also gives me a lot of inspiration knowing that the music I’m working on can be released at a moment’s notice.

The first track on the label is from yourself, titled ‘Mammals’, talk us through the process of how you made the main parts on this one?

Yeah! Mammals is one of those tracks that was made several years ago and I’ve been hammering it in my sets ever since. It was a long time ago but when I produced it, I had just come back from Amsterdam and I wanted to capture the dark and tribal vibe of a club there. It was all about playing with the bass and kick until the pattern was working. Then I found the acapella and bolted it together and it seemed to work alright! It came together pretty fast.

It comes as a single, but the style of the track seems ripe for remixes in a bunch of different sounds, is that something you’ve been looking at?

Not for this release, but possibly further down the line. The label is going to move pretty fast, pushing out different originals almost once a month, so we might not have too much time for remixes.

And which other artists might we see release on the label in the near future?

For now, the only artist you’ll see on RUFF CUTZ is myself. I think it’s important to lay the foundation and set out the sound for the label first before I let anyone else contribute. It’s a pretty lone wolf venture right now, which I like, because whether it sinks or swims is totally on me!

Which other labels will you be working with yourself in 2022?

I have a single coming out on Repopulate Mars in March, and one on Kaluki in May.

In the past, you’ve released your music on the likes of Defected, Solid Grooves, and Repopulate Mars; what’s one lesson you’ve learnt from these guys that you’ll carry on as a label boss?

That it’s important to have other facets than just your music. Obviously the tracks you put out are the most important thing, but people can buy into a label much more if it has a dope aesthetic and a clear vision. I want people to see RUFF CUTZ as a movement if at all possible. KRS-One said it best on his track Health, Wealth, Self; “Sell your image, never sell a record – image is respected, records come and go and get collected”.

Thanks a lot for answering our questions. Is there anything else you want to plug in before we go?

My pleasure, I have nothing to plug, but I just want to say I hope you enjoy the new sounds in 2022!

Endor – Mammals is out now on RUFF CUTZ.