Hey Sean, welcome to Minimal Mag. How are you doing and where are you chatting from?
I’m really good, it’s been a super busy summer so in some ways I’m pleased to be out the other side. I’m at my home office today and using my Saturday to get some demos and promos checked which proves tricky in the week.
You started the label, Future Disco, in 2009. What was the catalyst behind this venture?
In some ways it was forced upon me. Azuli Records where I was working stopped and I had already done one album with Future Disco, which had been successful. So when the Azuli label ended we agreed I would continue future disco on my own and that led me to create Needwant as a record label for the compilation series. Future Disco has since blossomed into its own label as well as parties, radio show etc and Needwant has gone from strength to strength as an artist focused label.
How has the journey been so far?
I would say emotional is one word to sum it up. It’s an absolute rollercoaster running a record label. It’s a constant evolution because tastes change, technology changes, the environment around you changes and as a record label I always believe you are invested in culture, so you are both giving and taking from the world around you. So it’s important to find a harmony. It’s amazing now to have a team of six people all dedicated to records and artists rather than just me at the very start at the kitchen table distributing my own vinyl.
Thirteen years is a long time to have been running. What do you think are the key factors behind its success?
It’s a really long time, but I think the best record labels don’t even get going until maybe 10 years in. Just from my experience and lessons I’ve learnt is it takes a very long time to bed in as a record label and build a catalogue and reputation. It’s definitely not an overnight success business.
As for being successful, I think mainly it’s a passion of both myself and the team, that’s definitely number one. With music and A&R at the forefront. We try to experiment and not stay still and then from a more business perspective over the years you refine your systems, you get better at the administration of running a record label and now I like to think we have a really strong systems and networks where we can really grow artist careers.