Label Mates: Clash Lion

Clash Lion is a Barcelona-based imprint managed by Daniel Watts, TERR and Shall Ocin. Since launching the label in 2017 they have released music from names like ANNA, Maetrik, Third Son and others.

The label recently put out their 10th catalogue release, marking the milestone with a various artists EP that featured productions from Daniel Watts, no_ip, Fairmont and Shall Ocin.

We spoke to Daniel and Shall for this months edition of Label Mates, discussing the launch of Clash Lion, how they handle things as a team with multiple founders and what the future might hold for one of Spain’s most exciting techno projects.

Clash Lion first launched in 2017, tell us about putting together the Maetrik release?

Nicolas: At the time, we had been thinking about starting a label for some time and organising ideas as a team. When I told Maetrik about our plans, he said he has these tracks that he thought could work. Of course, they were all amazing, and we said yes! This if course gave the label a huge boost on its launch with such a big release, it was a huge honour for us.

And what is your typical day-to-day regarding the label, how do you balance things between the three of you?

Nicolas: There are no fixed roles, to be honest. We do what we need to do, we try to work as much as possible in the fields we feel more comfortable in, but everything is very flexible. And the team is not just us three, we always have other professionals involved, so everything normally runs smoothly!

What is the hardest role managing a label that people might not know about?

Daniel: There are a lot of boring moments, a lot of office work, etc. But I personally hate to say ‘no’ to an artist demo. I know people put a lot of hard work on their music, I wish we could release every good track we receive, but sometimes it doesn’t fit with the sound we are searching for to align with the vibe of the label, or sometimes we just do not have a slot available for some time, as we plan quite far in advance.

You have now put out music from ANNA, Third Son, Cardopusher and others, what do you look for in an artist when considering a release?

Nicolas: We listen to the music and if we like it, we release it. We don’t really care about its genre or if it will be a huge hit or not. We are always looking for fresh sounding music, music made with passion, love and new ideas.

And we live in a time when there are thousands of new tracks coming out everyday, what has been the key to keeping Clash Lion above water?

Daniel: We never think about that, I think we would get crazy if we thought about “surviving as a label” or something alike. Our work is releasing good music in the best possible way. If it resonates with the audience, with the DJs, with the media and they decide to pay attention to us, that’s great – but we cannot control that. Success is usually a consequence of good work, so we try to focus on this.

What record on your label are you most proud to have put out?

Daniel: It’s all more or less the same. We are really into every track we release, so it’s always a pleasure to work on a new EP. Of course the details are always different. We have had huge artists like ANNA and Maetrik but at the same time we have had awesome new names including Risa Taniguchi and no_ip that released their first tracks with us. And our own EPs, of course. Every release is a new chapter of a bigger story.

And who can we expect music from on Clash Lion in the near future?

Nicolas: More good music. We have some releases planned for 2020 that we are really excited about.

Lastly, where do you see the label in a few years time?

Daniel: I don’t have any idea about how the music industry be in a few years time, to be honest. I don’t know if people will still buy tracks, how they will consume music. Everything is changing very fast, but I am sure we will still be around making some music and collaborating with other artists. If the future still has a place for music labels, we’ll be glad to be there.

Clash Lion’s Culture Clash Vol.1 is out now.