With their headquarters based in Berlin, Nhan Solo and his Mother Recordings imprint have built a barracks of quality releases with music from Mat.Joe, Superlover, Simion, David Keno, Dilby, Supernova and more, and even being named Beatport’s #2 house label of 2017.
We had Nhan tell us about the early days of Mother, how he build a family around music and what is coming up on the label, on this months Label Mates.
Mother Recordings first launched in 2013, tell us about the hustle of putting out your first releases?
Hello Inflyte. I launched my baby in 2013. At Mother we are a small collective of friends and music aficionados from the foot of the Kreuzberg mountain in Berlin. Together we felt that the time was right to start our own thing.
The actual impulse was to create a platform that gives us the freedom to release the music that we create, a sort of playground for friends that has taken the shape of an independent house label. We all stopped smoking and saved up the cash for a month, rented an office, invested in a phone and a nice coffee machine! Everything has run pretty smoothly for us so far.
The hardest thing was the vinyl business. Actually, it still takes ages to produce vinyl with a minimum 3-4 months lead time for production. I remember at the beginning we did not have a vinyl distribution, so for the first releases we went from one record store to the next in Berlin offering our releases. The first release was only available at OYE Records and we grew from there.
And what is your typical day to day regarding the label, do you manage it yourself or is there a team behind the curtain?
As a label owner, I’m very lucky to have an amazing team around me! I need to give a huge shout out to my lovely team, who are always happy to work on Mother Recordings. We’re a pretty small label with a 360 set up now. Vinyl and digital distribution, our own publishing, PR and booking agency. We all push the label to the fullest.
Mother Recordings is run very democratically. We discuss everything and decide on the direction as a team. I’m very proud of our crew and proud to be an independent house label. As well as this amazing team, I’m super thankful to work with such talented and supportive artists. Together, those guys always help to keep everything running.
What is the hardest role managing a label that people might not know about?
It has been amazing so far seeing the other side of the industry, and I’m very happy that everything has been super smooth so far. It sounds cliché but no pain no gain. For sure it has been a lot of hard work and dedication, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Mother Recordings is my baby and it’s so nice to see my baby growing.
In the beginning it is always tough to get things rolling, but when it starts working out… it’s a goddamn awesome feeling! It’s still tough to run the label with all the deadlines, PR plans, or to pick the right tracks and to say “NO” sometimes. For example, we already said “NO” to couple of #1 hits. But the most important thing is that it remains fun and I continue to love what I do.
You have put out some physical releases, how have you found the transition to the digital age?
Actually for us it was never a question of yes or no. Mother Recordings stands for a certain type of savor and quality. We definitely do not see ourselves as ‘just another digital label’. We continue releasing on vinyl, even if it’s just to please the dinosaurs, hahaha… I am joking, we come from vinyl roots and so do the majority of our artists! All of this is important to us and our fans are feeling it too. The feedback so far has been amazingly positive and that gives us the motivation to raise the bar even further.
I believe one has to go with the flow and be very adaptable. We live in times of constant change and everything is in a state of flux, including progress in technology and music. In today’s modern, digital world a lot of work-flows have been simplified by following the principle ‘faster, higher, further’.
I personally embrace this! For me the biggest shift came with the switch from vinyl to CD. These days I mostly play my music with CD players from a USB stick, I personally love the fact that I don’t have to carry around tons of vinyl anymore – no more back pains and no more excess luggage fees at the airport! Having said all of that, I love vinyl, not only because of its distinctive sound but also because if you treat it right it will stand the test of time.
And we live in a time when there are thousands of new tracks coming out everyday, what has been the key to keeping Mother Recordings above water in a sea of mediocre music?
We believe in friendship. We believe in loyalty. We believe in talent that grows within a network. And we believe that passion, hard work and a firm focus on quality will always pay off somehow in the end.
We release only once a month, with no remixes, and we always give 100% love and our full attention to our artists and their EPs. As we still press vinyl, everything needs to be planned a minimum of 4-6 months ahead. It sounds kind of old school, but the feedback is amazing. We are all trying to release only quality music; quality over quantity.
We don’t want to put out a flood of music, we don’t focus on obvious, and we don’t jump from one bandwagon to the next. This is our philosophy, and this philosophy guides the way we run Mother Recordings.
What record on your label are you most proud to have put out?
It’s not easy to answer that one. In my opinion every record is special in its own way. But, here is a funny story. For my track ‘Easy’, I wrote Lionel Richie personally, after couple of weeks I received a call and he told me that so many artists tried to remix the track and, in his opinion, they were all were shit! But, he went on to tell me that he liked my version a lot, so he was happy for me to go ahead. This track went on to become MOTHER001, the birth of our baby!
And who can we expect music from on Mother Recordings in the near future?
You can expect house, house and more fucking house! We have releases coming from our tight and regular artist roster consisting of David Keno, Dilby, MMat.Joe, Simion, Superlover and myself of course. We are going to open a few spots to our friends Supernova and Illyus & Barrientos this summer as well.
Definitely the release we are all excited for is Leon & Shaf Huse. What a win! We cannot tell you how happy we are! After 5 months, we received the official master & publishing clearance for Wildstyle’s 90’s classic, ‘Renegade Master’.
Lastly, where do you see the label in a few years time?
The future is unwritten but I believe that if everything is done with passion and a true sense of sincerity, you will always find your way.
Thank you so much for the interview. Yours truly, Nhan Solo.
‘Everything’ by Nhan Solo & Robert Owens is out now on Mother Recordings
Grab it HERE.