Hi Vengeance, thanks for taking the time out to do our Label Feature for DNB Muzik!
Can you start off by telling us when the label launched, how and why?
The label was originally established in 2009 with the release of Vengeance 001 on vinyl followed by 002 through load media distribution. I later moved distribution to Nu Urban Music to release 003 on vinyl. That was the foundation for what now is a digital label. I originally set up the label as a platform for my own material.
Like any young artist starting out I was hungry to get my name and releases out there. Digital sales had not taken off at that point so it was a case of getting tracks signed to labels that would release them on vinyl. With Sales of Records beginning to decline I was finding it increasingly frustrating trying to get the amount of tunes I had out there and within a good time frame. The logical thing to do was set up my own label!
Now I have an outlet which I had full control of. I learnt how to build websites and I was already doing graphic design for a few labels through load media so things started to fit into place. After a few solo releases I began bringing new artists to the fold. Some artists like to go down the getting signed to established labels root and a lot of my peers are now doing very well for themselves and playing all over the place by doing this. I now understand it’s important to get some releases on big labels so people will take you more seriously. Recently I signed exclusively to Dread Recordings under the alias name Excalibur. I’m quite tight with my tunes as I like to maintain the rights to my work and build my own brand up which is what I have been doing all these years. It maybe the long way to go about things but hopefully it will pay off in the long term.
What’s been your most successful release to date?
I would like to say one of my original tracks but the most popular release was a couple of remixes which I initially put out as a 12 inch single. On one side was a track called The Cellar remixed by Bladerunner. This was well received and got some air time on 1Xtra being featured by Crissy Cris. On the other side was a track called Swallow Your Soul which was a Nightwalker remix of Swallow this! Both tracks are now available as part of the Dead Evil Remixes LP.
The most popular EP on the label so far has been Imperial March by Bad Influence which was his debut solo project, so he definitely came correct with that one. My most popular solo release has been the Excalibur LP.
Do you limit the releases to one a month or one every 6 months or is it as and when?
I try and be constant with releases. This year I’m trying to put out a release each month but it all depends when tracks come my way, and if my work flow is good in the studio. I can usually produce something myself to put out every 2 months maybe more if I’m in the flow. In between my releases I look to put out other artists tracks either as solo projects or think of ideas for projects which could include other producers usually remixes from the back catalogue.
What do you think makes a good record label?
I think the label has to have a clear direction on what style you are going to push and get a name for. I believe quality over quantity is better. A lot depends on the support from top DJ’s and most of the time this will dictate how successful your release is going to be. There is a lot more aspects to building a successful label which I’m still learning myself.
I would consider my label to be in the realms of the underground and is still relatively undiscovered, however I am happy with the progress and where it currently stands within the scene. I believe the label has respect for keeping to its roots by doing things a little bit differently and not following the trends. I tend to think if you follow current trends the tracks will date quickly when the new trend comes along. This may put me on my own path but in the end could lead to discovering new ideas. Of course the driving force is chasing success but for me I have to be 100% into the beats/style I’m pushing. I feel the label has strong foundations to build things up in any direction I wish to take it.
At the end of the day everyone who runs a label has their own take on how a label should be run. My aim is to try and have foresight releasing tracks that will be played in sets for years to come.
You have a lot of recognisable names on your label artist roster, do you have anyone new joining you soon?
I’m in contact with Mr Ray Keith on a regular basis as I do some work for Dread behind the scenes so I’m hoping in the future he will be into doing a track or a remix for my label in the future. I also have my eyes on a couple of up’n’coming producers I’d like to feature on the label, one of those guys is a very talented producer from Japan called Tomoyoshi who I have already been in touch with, and is confirmed to do a remix for Vengeance. I’m always on the lookout for good tracks to put out so if you’re a producer with some tracks I might like please get in touch.
Are your tracks available on all digital websites or are you limited?
I have a distribution deal with Cygnus music and they deliver the releases to all the major digital outlets. I also have a digital store where I put out exclusive material and dub versions of certain tracks which are forthcoming on the label. You can access my store via the main site.
Are you strictly digital or do you put out vinyl?
When I first established the label I released vinyl unfortunately both distributors I had a deal with went under, so from then on I decided to just stick to releasing digitally. I always wanted to put out picture discs but the cost to do that is above my station at the moment. Maybe one day when I have the funds and the label is popular enough I can for fill this dream.
Any favourite music videos you can point us to?
There’s not any recent videos I’ve put out. I use to upload clips all the releases which can be found on this Youtube channel link: http://www.youtube.com/user/cuttingedgesoundz
Do you have any label nights coming up?
Not currently. Most of my time is taken up running the label and making new tracks for it. I use to promote events so I know first-hand how much time and effort it takes to get a successful night up and running. If there’s any promotes out there that are interested in putting a Vengeance label night on I’d love to hear from you.
Which artist on your label most inspires you?
All of the artists which have featured on the label in some form have influenced me in some way, but there’s 2 producers which I admire for their productions – Bladerunner and DJ Westy. They always deliver consistently high quality tracks.
What’s in the pipeline?
My next solo release on the label is the Iron Mask EP which will be the ice breaker for my alias production name Excalibur this will be followed by another EP Dark Heaven which features some epic new styles.
I’d like to big up all the artists who have featured on the label and all those that have shown support over the past 5 years. I’d also like to send a big thank you to Darren aka Deadly P & Tobie aka Terra for believing in me and helping to establish the label in the beginning.
Catch The Vengeance Show live Fridays 8-10pm on www.styleradiouk.net
Interview By Missrepresent