Label Mates: Jacob Groening / Kamai Music

Since launching his Kamai Music imprint back in 2018, Berlin-based DJ and producer Jacob Groening has released a strong arsenal of organic and deep leaning house sounds.

Previous appearances on the label have come from names like Timboletti, Lunar Plane, and Robin Schellenberg, and their catalogue also includes a number of impressive VA compilation albums.

Their latest outing will see another VA join the family, this time in the form of their new ‘Visions’ album, which features tracks from Amentia, Namito, Kon Faber, and Budajevo, among others.

We welcome Jacob and Kamai to our Label Mates series this week, where we discuss the early days of the label, what we can expect to hear on Visions, and where things might be heading in the near future. Get the full discussion with Jacob Groening below.

Kamai Music was launched back in 2018, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the very beginning?

It was very challenging to create an infrastructure for the label, to find a way to organise the royalty splits and the first royalty payment was a lot of work.

To run a label takes a lot of organisational skills, I think there are parallels with a restaurant where everything has to be in the right place at the right time. It’s all about timing and the right ingredients in the end.

And what made you want to become a label owner in the first place?

I always wanted to create a label from when I was living in Hamburg and was organising events in the former EGO club, as well as being impressed by the Diynamic label and the releases they put out.

Since then you have released music from names like Timboletti, Lunar Plane, and Iorie, what do you look for in an artist when you are considering them for a release?

The most important quality for me is the music. Of course it’s more beneficial for a label to work with more established artists, but the focus should be the music itself. Sometimes it’s just a raw diamond that needs a bit more shape and then it can be released. The artist behind the music is also an important factor.

Your next outing will see you release a new VA album which includes tracks from Amentia, Namito, Kon Faber, and Budajevo, how would you describe the album in your own words?

It’s a journey that is split into 4 different parts. You can listen to the compilation from start to end and it tells a wonderful story. On this compilation you will find a wide variety, encompassing a multitude of genres from organic, ethnic vibes to more techy dance floor tracks.

I believe it’s your fourth VA album on Kamai, are compilations something you enjoy putting together?

Yes, it’s great to have the possibility to bring different artists and styles together into one bigger selection.

Which other names might we see on the label in the near future?

These are a secret for now, sorry, but I am very much looking forward to the upcoming releases that will be released on Kamai.

And where do you see things five years from now?

I think that producers will gain better benefits from their work in the studio. There will be advancements in technical features for things like tracklists and having their music played at festivals and elsewhere will be better monitored, which will be good for the artists.

Thanks a lot for answering our questions, before we go, what’s your favourite label, besides Kamai of course?

It’s hard to pick just one favourite, but I like Get Physical, Kindisch, Heimlich, Watergate, Ouie, and of course so many, many more that are out there.

Visions VA Compilation is out August 5th on Kamai Music.