London-based minimal house label RAWSTREET found themselves facing the unique challenge of launching a brand in the midst of a global pandemic, but that hasn’t put a break in their step for one second.
Over the past few months they’ve released tracks from the likes of Ray Mono, Parsec and Juliche Hernandez, and their most recent offering saw an EP from The Willers Brothers which included a great remix from Per Hammar.
We spoke to the three label founders, Josh, Kristian and Dom to chat about the new release, how the pandemic changed their plans, what we can expect to hear from them soon and what advice they might have for anyone considering launching a label of their own. Get the full discussion below.
You launched the label back in April, you must have faced some unique challenges launching during a pandemic?
Josh: As an underground label the music we put out is aimed at dance floors and DJ’s, so with everything going on in the world with COVID at the moment, it’s obviously had an impact on that side of things. It’s been hard putting out all of this music and not being able to see people enjoying it first hand.
Our initial plan was to throw parties alongside running the label so it’s given us more time to focus on the music and developing our brand and sound.
And you just released an EP from Per Hammar and The Willers Brothers, how did that one come together?
Kristian: The Willers Brothers were one of the few artists that we had on our radar from the get go, from the stuff that they had put out on We_R House & Moan more recently, to loads of other stuff going way back, we all agreed straight away that we wanted to get them involved and the fact that we could get them locked in on the label so early on was huge!
We felt like by bringing on The Willers Brothers it was only right that we got a big remix to compliment and round off the EP and Per Hammar fit that bill for us exactly. We had previously spoken to Per about possibly getting a release on the label but it wasn’t the right time. We did however go back after a while and asked if he would be up for remixing the Play EP – that worked out well for us both and we’re very happy with how the remix came out and to have Per onboard.
Amongst your other releases you’ve also put out tracks from Ray Mono and Juliche Hernandez, what do you look for in an artist when considering them for a release?
Dom: The artists that we’ve brought on and the ones coming up, are all artists who’s music we buy and support in our sets so that’s always a good starting point for us. With the newer up and coming artists that we may have never heard of we have a sound that we want the label to follow so as long as the music fits that and the artists are friendly etc, then we will want to work with them.
Who else can we expect to see on the RAWSTREET catalogue soon?
Josh: Without giving too much away we’ve got some wicked EP’s coming out from some talented up & coming producers like Cajal, Franco Radetich, Leo Christopher & A04F. We’ve got some HUGE releases lined up that we can’t give away just yet, 2021 is gonna be a big year for us!
Owning the label as a trio, how do you manage issues such as whether or not to sign a certain track?
Kristian: We’re all close mates, our tastes aren’t that much different. If one of us hears the track first and digs it then chances are the others will too. Most of the time when we get demos through we’ll pick a favourite track each and go with that, we think this works well.
Even though your label is still quite fresh, what advice would you give to anyone that’s considering launching a label of their own?
Dom: I suppose it differs depending on what the person wants to get out of it. If they want to be serious it’s hugely important to be good at communicating with artists and have good people skills. It’s important to keep a good relationship with the artists even after the release & know the sound they want to push and just work hard. You have to be fully committed and passionate about it otherwise what’s the point. That’s how we look at it.
And besides your own, do you have a favourite label?
Josh: Its hard to pick a favourite, there’s so many good labels out there but the ones we’re really feeling at the moment are hedZup, Aesthetic, Hoarder, Botanic Minds, Blind Vision Records and our friends over at Eject Records are putting out some top music at the minute.
The Willers Brothers’ Play EP is out now on RAWSTREET.