Label Mates: Demi Riquisimo / Semi Delicious

Since launching his Semi Delicious record label back in 2019, London-based DJ, producer, and label boss Demi Riquisimo has put out some excellent club music from production talrents such as Abdul Raeva, Manuel Darquart, and Kassian.

The Detroit-native, who is a Rinse FM resident for 2023, is also heading up a newly announced sub-label to Semi Delicious, which will be called A Lifetime On The Hips, and share its title with Demi’s first vinyl EP on the main label.

Demi joins us for this months instalment of our Label Mates series, where we talk about the early days of starting a vinyl imprint, who else we might see on Semi Delicious in the near future, and why he’s decided to a launch a new sub-label.

Hi Demi, how are things for you in London at the moment?

Heya! Yes, very good thanks. I’ve just been away for two months on tour so it’s really nice to be back on home turf. I recently did my first all night long set at NT’s Loft in London and last weekend we did a night for our new sub-label A Lifetime On The Hips at Tola in Peckham with Abdul Raeva, Jive Talk, and Malaika which was a big vibe! So it’s been all systems go.

You first launched Semi Delicious back in 2019, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the very beginning?

The biggest challenge was knowing if anyone actually liked the music and would commit to buying the vinyl. The first release was also my first release with my new alias at the time (Demi) so there was a big risk there. I’d actually already planned the first 4 releases out that year which were 4×4 track EPs by myself and I had committed to pressing 1000+ vinyl that year so the pressure was on for sure.

And you’ve since released music from Abdul Raeva, Manami, and Manuel Darquart, what do you typically look for when signing new music?

I’m looking for something that’s original and has a sonic identity; tracks that sound good now and hopefully in 10-20 years, without conforming to current trends or fads.

Who else can we expect on Semi Delicious in the near future?

We have forthcoming EP’s and VA’s from Michelle Manetti, DC Salas, Jive Talk, Gallagos, and many more – I’m super excited to get them out there!

You recently launched a new sub label to Semi Delicious, called ‘A Lifetime On The Hips’, how does that differ from the main imprint?

The main imprint, especially the VA’s, are meant to offer a more eclectic range of underground dance music. A Lifetime On The Hips is designed to offer straight up big hitters every time. No frills, just good club music to make you move.

What’s one of the most important roles in running a label that most people may not be aware of?

I think the hardest thing is keeping to a time schedule, especially when you’re primarily a vinyl label like we are. Over the last 4 years lead times for vinyl pressing have massively fluctuated due to supply/demand, Covid, and even pressing plants burning down – so sticking to release dates can be tricky at the best of times.

And what advice would you give to anyone that wants to launch their own label in 2023?

Make sure you have a definitive plan and vision along with an original concept and musical identity. I would say ideally plan your first 4 releases before launching and only release music you completely 100% believe in.

Do you have a favourite label?

I’m not sure I could single one out but some labels I’m loving at the moment are Paramida’s ‘Love On The Rocks’, ‘Not For You’ by the wonderful Jive Talk duo and ‘Gestalt’ and ‘Kalahari Oyster Cult’.

Is there anything else you want to mention before we go?

Just to keep an eye and an ear out for what will be the fifteenth release on Semi Delicious. This one is another VA that features records by Last Magpie, Lulah Francs, Michell Manetti, myself, and others, out in July!