Label Mates: Mendo / Clarisse Records

Proudly People, Gruuve, Franklyn Watts, Fabio Neural, and Simon Kidzoo are just a fraction of the talent that has released on Clarisse Records since the launch of the label back in 2007.

This month finds the label release a brand new various artists album, which combines sounds from Lucas Ferreyra, Jorge Mattos, and Copasetic, among others.

We sat down with Clarisse boss Mendo to chat about the past, present, and future of the label, including the new VA release, what advice he would give to anyone wanting to start a label, and what they have planned for the near future.

You first launched Clarisse back in 2007, what was the most difficult challenge you faced when putting together the first release?

For our first release, the hardest part was making the vinyl, because we wanted to mark the occasion by sending a copy to all the big DJ’s.

Getting the record in the hands of DJ’s like Roger Sanchez and Chus & Ceballos, we knew was going to really help launch the label and we didn’t really have social media outlets to showcase support & videos of people playing the record to help break the music so we needed people to be playing the record, hearing the record on the dancefloor and trying to find out what it was they were hearing hopefully liking it enough to head to the record store to pick up the vinyl.

And you’ve since released music from Franklyn Watts, Simon Kidzoo, Fabio Neural, and Gruuve, what’s your typical process when it comes to signing new music?

The most important part is the originality of the track and the quality of the sound. I’m always very careful that there is a good low end between the kick and the bass, otherwise I ask the producer to fix it before I can do the mastering. It’s also important that the artist who sends us his demos, writes to us by presenting himself with a discography and bio, because I do not listen to the demos sent with only a link and no hello.

You’ll be releasing a new various artists album at the beginning of October, what can our readers expect to hear on this one?

For VAs, we try to focus on and vary the music between tech house and minimal deep tech, as these are where the label sits sound wise, our VA’s are great as they also help us to reach a larger audience.

We also like to sign lesser known artists that we are sure have the potential to explode in the future. We’ve previously had artists including Mihalis Safras, PAX, and Ammo Avenue to name a few.

And who else might we see on the label before the end of 2021?

We’ll have Angel Heredia back on the label with his Take A Trip EP on November 5th, which is a release we’re really excited about putting out.

Quite a few of the EPs on Clarisse include remix work from yourself, what’s your reasoning behind this?

If I fall in love with the track, I suggest to the artist to remix it as part of the release. It also allows me to stay active on the label which is something that’s really important to me.

With the development of platforms like Spotify and YouTube, the way people consume music has completely changed since 2007, what are some of the biggest differences you’ve noticed in marketing your releases?

Back when we launched in 2007 there weren’t as many labels, now there are so many, so much music out there for people to listen to, its hard to keep up. More than ever we have to make sure that we sign music we believe in and that we are passionate about. We’ve definitely seen the impact it’s had on sales and we are continuing to build our presence on streaming platforms.

Our marketing on each release is key, making sure the right people hear the music before it’s released helps us build a story around the music, we want people to get to know the artists we are releasing so we work closely with them on each campaign, we want to show and celebrate the successes we have on each release and social media is such an important tool in sharing real time information and news.

Working with digital and press partners are also very important for us on each release, we want to make sure that as many people as possible hear the music we release as a label.

What is your favourite record label, besides Clarisse of course?

Hot Creations is my favourite one!

What advice would you give to any aspiring label owners in 2021?

To release quality music partnered with the best release campaign possible on each release. Remember to continue to build the labels profile alongside releases.

Thank you for answering our questions, is there anything else you want to mention before we go?

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the label and all the artists that have released on the label over the last 14 years. Thanks to you for the questions! Everything is good.