Wlad and Mancini’s Hedzup Records has, over the past few years, become a stand out addition to the house music scene as a whole.
Their catalogue boasts works from Ray Mono, DJOKO, James Dexter and others, and the latest release on the label brings an original EP from co-founder Wlad and a remix from Rich NxT.
We spoke to the two co-founders about their transition from vinyl to digital, the day-to-day challenges of running a successful label and what’s to come in the near future.
HedZup Records first launched in 2018, what kind of struggles did you face in the beginning?
Wlad: Hello and thank you for having us. Indeed, we launched the digital part in 2018 and it was not an easy task. There is a whole distribution process which is a bit long to set up. We chose to work with the English guys from Labelworx after a long analysis of the market. We do not regret our choice at all in the end. On the music side, as we already had the vinyl part of the label, we already had a lot of quality demos, so it was easy from a musical prospective.
And you have since released tracks from Ray Mono, DJOKO, James Dexter and Stephan Bazbaz, what do you look for in an artist when considering them for a release?
Wlad: That’s a very good question. Yes we were lucky to come out with very good newcomers and other artists. We first launched into various artists releases digitally to see how it all worked. Digital was very new for us since we were really in the vinyl world. So the VA format was good to start with. Then we started to receive quality demos of whole EP’s and we finally started with one, then two, then three. Now we release more EP’s and remixes than various artists albums, but we still keep releasing some VAs to also give a chance to talented newcomers who send us quality music to come out on our label.
We receive a lot of quality demos and unfortunately we cannot get everyone out, but do not hesitate to continue to send us your demo which we will listen to with interest and if ever there is a slot we will be happy to put it out.
What information can you give us about who we might expect to see on the label in the coming months?
Mancini: Hmm, we have so many great artists coming such as Djebali, iO Mulen, James Dexter, Nolga and many other nice surprises. Stay tuned because it’s our biggest year so far!
What are your typical day-to-day roles regarding managing and promoting the label?
Mancini: Honestly, we are really complementary. We each bring our stone to the building. One deals with marketing, the other with communication etc. We choose the music and negotiate together. No decision is made by either one alone. Everything is carefully chosen together. It happens that we do not agree but precisely not agreeing allows us to communicate and move forward. But in the end, it’s “MUSIC FIRST”.
And what is one of the most difficult tasks in running a label that people might not know about?
Wlad: Managing a label is a long day by day process and hard work. For us it takes almost all our time. Full day job. If our girlfriends could tell you, they would say we are always working on the label, sometimes even during night and weekends. We spend a lot of time on phone calls and meeting with the hedZup team.
Has there been a track on the label that you really define as a turning point for your success so far?
Mancini: We cannot say that this or that track played a role in the success of the label. Even if there are tracks that sell better than others, we have some others that have less sales but are definitely very good quality. So for us all our outings contribute to the reputation of the label, but we can mention our first track that reached the Beatport top 10 and was one of our first digital releases, Ray Mono’s Altered Carbon.
Lastly, before we go, what is your favourite label besides your own?
Wlad: Difficult to say, there are so many quality labels that are more or less known but obviously we are big fans of Fuse London, always delivering quality music and insane parties and their vision of a crew is excellent. It’s not only a label, they made it a global movement and they’re always sticking to their course of conduct.
Wlad – Full Squad is out now on Hedzup Records.