French born house and electronic producer Boston Bun has previously signed music to Ed Banger Records, Big Beat Records, and Toolroom Records, though it’s definitely his own Circa ’99 imprint where he has really come into his own as a creative.
The label has released tracks from names like Devoted, Boogie Vice, and Picard Brothers, alongside Boston Bun’s debut full length studio album, ‘There’s A Nightclub Inside My Head’.
We catch up with the Circa ’99 founder more than half a decade after its launch to chat about the beginning of the label, how he looks for new music to sign, and what we might hear from them in the near future. Read the full conversation with Boston Bun below.
You first launched Circa ’99 back in 2017, what were some of the biggest hurdles you faced in the very beginning?
Honestly, not that much. I was quite surprised how simple it was to create your own imprint. And the only objective was (and still is) to release good music and let it grow by itself. I never tried to enter into the mad race of releases. I would lose anyway. The hardest part was to give life to the label offline. It’s easy to do Instagram posts, and nice press shots, but how to fill a club? How to connect human beings together? How to create a family? This was the hardest part.
And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since then?
DEADLINES DON’T EXIST. I feel like sometimes we forget that (we) the artists are making this business. Not labels, not managers or A&Rs or booking agents. It’s just you and your creativity at the top of the pyramid. So do not rush your creativity, you will regret it for years. This why most of the time I ask artists to create their own deadlines. Music takes time.
You’ve released music from names like Boogie Vice, Devoted, and Picard Brothers, what do you typically look for in a potential artist?
It’s only based on the music. I receive a demo, I start playing it in my set, send some suggestions on the track, and we try to get it to the point where everyone’s happy. Now I’m also quite interested in the artist’s ambitions for the next 2 years, the life of a record can be long. If an artist is touring, promoting, and pushing a release in the long run, it can be game changing for the record and their career.
Do you have anyone helping you run the label or do you handle all the roles yourself?
I’m working with my management team at Allo Floride. It’s part of the renewing of Circa as well. We are a real team of A&Rs helped by Valerian, an amazing graphic designer who took over the visual identity. I think handling all the roles can be dangerous. I tried for a bit in the beginning but I got rinsed really quick.
Who might we expect to see release on Circa ’99 in the near future?
There’s a new french duo called JERSEY who will be the next release. We also have two singles from Jean Tonique and a single from Fatnotronic (AKA Philippi & Rodrigo) from Sao Paulo, to name a few.
What are some of your favourite labels?
Oh man there’s a lot, from XL to Pampa, from Smugglers Way to Hot Creations, and Ninja Tunes’ Technicolor has been amazing lately too.
If someone was starting a label of their own in 2023, what advice would you give them?
There’s a hundred ways to run a label and work with artists. Find your niche and be an expert in it. Run the label like you’ll run it for 10 of your best music mates.
Thanks a lot for answering our questions, is there anything else you want to plug before we go?
My pleasure. I’m looking forward to showing you what we’ve got in the bag.
JERSEY – Listen Again is out March 24th on Circa ’99.