As a YouTube channel, Berlin-based curators Selected. have amassed almost 3 million subscribers and 1.7 billion views, and since 2015 they have also been pushing their favourite artists via the brands official record label.
They have seen strong success across releases from names like Ansah, TCTS and Jerome Price, and most recently welcomed Irish-born producer Jay Pryor to the label for his new collaboration with Chaya, titled Say Something.
We spoke with Selected’s two founders to chat about the new release, how they find new music, what’s to come in the near future, and who they think is going to do big things in 2021. Get the full discussion below.
You first launched the Selected. label in 2015, what were some of the biggest hurdles you faced in the beginning?
The biggest challenge was to draw the line between being a music blog and being a record label. No matter what, we want to support artists and songs we believe in, even if they don’t sign with us. Being supportive outside of our label ecosystem also meant artists signed elsewhere, because we would support them regardless. Since then, many realised that there is still a huge advantage to a full release with us, compared to a simple YouTube upload.
And what’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since then?
If you’re transparent and people like to work with you, that word will travel far.
You’ve released music from TCTS, Ansah, and Jerome Price in the past, what is your typical process when it comes to signing new music?
Selected as a brand is quite niche, sound-wise. So usually we discuss tracks, not artists. In an ideal scenario we would want to sign an artist long term. But for now it’s most important that the track fits our channels (YouTube, Spotify playlists, and so on) and that it is something we can get behind 100%, without compromising where we stand as a brand.
And you’ve just released a great EP with Jay Pryor and Chaya, what can our readers expect on that one?
It’s refreshing for us to find a progressive-influenced house track like ‘Say Something’. There are very few people releasing this kind of sound at the moment. The second build up in this track is one of a kind, so sick!
Alongside a few million subscribers on YouTube, you’ve also seen millions of plays across your releases, did you ever think you would see this kind of success when starting the label?
Back when we started the label we had these numbers across YouTube and SoundCloud, too. But back then it was hard to pull these streams on other DSPs. Since the beginning of last year, we’ve strongly focused on building a similar standing on Spotify as well as what we have on YouTube. Not being dependent on blog support or editorial gives us a lot of control. We’re only releasing around 4 tracks a month, so there is a lot of space to accumulate streams on a few songs a month. So overall you could say that this was anticipated!
When it comes to the day-to-day surrounding the label, do you handle everything yourselves, or is there a team behind the scenes?
On the label side there are 4 people working full time and we have a few scouts pitching tracks to us on a weekly basis. Everything is done in-house except for radio plugging. Busy times!
Who can we expect to see release on Selected. in the near future?
Parx, Pablo Bravas, Harrison, SOMMA, James Carter and many more.
Besides your own, which label would you say is your favourite?
Hard to pick a single label, but we definitely love Defected, Anjunadeep & Ninja Tune.
And before we go, who is one producer that you think is going to explode in 2021?
Keep an eye on SOMMA, big things are coming!
Jay Pryor & Chaya – Say Something is out now on Selected.