I am pleased to welcome Adam Rahman, one of the Label Heads at KitchenSync to the BRC Label showcase interview, your participation is greatly appreciated. We thank you for the mix and the time you have invested in preparing for everything that BRC requested.
What made you create this label? Why? What is the idea and inspiration behind it?
Starting off a label has always been on our minds. Soon after we launched KitchenSync
Sessions (our pre parties in the kitchen) it was just a natural progression to get the label up
and running. Our whole brand revolves around the Kitchen – where you find people hanging
out and vibing. This space is the inspiration for everything we do.
How long had the idea of a label been on your minds before its official launch? What were the challenges running up to its launch?
The idea of a label has been floating around in our minds for maybe around 10 years or so.
A few label ideas almost came to life over the years, but it was not until the KitchenSync
concept came about that we all felt it was a natural step forward.
With all such passion projects there are always a few challenges - but as a collective we really
wanted to put some good music out there and that was the driving force. We have been
pondering over this subject for a few years so we knew exactly what needed to be done -
just waiting for the right concept and timing. One main challenge we would say was finding the right artists to trust us and come on board with us.
What is the inspiration behind the logo and artwork?
Like we were saying our whole brand is inspired by the Kitchen, so even our artwork reflects that. From the grill, the ingredients, the colors, the utensils, the textures – we curate every release and also have a theme every year that ties things together. It could range from spices or confectionaries to the microscopic detail of textures in utensils. We have a lot of fun with it! Based on whether its an EP or a single, the central shape changes into a hexagon or a circle. For an album we switch things around.
What genre of music the label hosts and what do you look for specifically in a track that gives you that sense of belonging in a track to release it on your platform?
We are a House & Techno label mainly, with a touch of electronica and ambient tones for good taste ;). For our dance floor releases it’s always the house and techno side of things and for our listening albums more of the electronica, ambient, leftfield stuff.
Our musical taste keeps evolving. Today if you ask us, we like the deeper, acid, hypnotic,
driving bass lines. We also like the more stripped down house and techno with a solid groove
and groovy basslines. It would be best to first check out our recent releases before sending
us demos. Since all three of us DJ, if even one of us think we can play out your track in our
set’s then we don’t mind looking into it.
In terms of demos, how do you accept, review and reject all the thousands you receive?
We believe that you need to take some time thinking about your demo and how you put it
together, cause most times that first glance on an email itself is a deal breaker. How you
come across to a person you have never met in your life is something you need to think about. We accept demos as private Soundcloud links (not something that has already been played out by someone else), an email with a solid introduction, and definitely how the whole
package feels and looks. Remember the lazier you come across, the more easy for us to
skip over your demo.
What are the challenges in sifting through the boatload of demos you receive for releases and the communication you maintain with aspirants?
The main challenge is listening to so much of music that may not be something we are
looking for and in the process our ears tend to get tired. So what we do is take about 2 hours
everyday to hear demos and we choose the ones who seem to have put some thought into
it. Whoever we listen to, we always make sure we get back to them with our feedback. We
understand how awful it is to see the plays on your track and not get any feedback.
How many VA and compilations do you release in a year and what kind of tracks you choose? What kind of artists do you select for the VA? Basically what purpose does a VA
serve to a label?
So far we have never released a VA. It’s something we have spoken about though. Would
we put one out? yeah maybe. It would be more like a “best of” compilation from all our
previous releases. A VA/compilation works well if you have a good concept behind it. It
definitely can boost sales with the right talent that would be involved to make it happen. But
this needs a lot of planning and a good strategy.
Which one has been a highlight release and why? (share artwork of the EP)
Adam: Coma Conscience - From Keys To Chains
I love the way he has curated the whole album from start to finish. The spacey tones, the
heavy kicks and the most subtle fillers. The most amazing 45 mins of music. You can just
press play and enjoy it while getting on with life.
Zico: Adam Rahman - Stranded in BCN
The sounds and feel of this EP is just so refreshing. And the energy of each track I feel is
enhanced by what the listener wants it to be.
Jovi: Hoolz - Night Tales
Hoolz throws me into a groovy energy between all 4 tracks. These tracks can be thrown within the first 30 mins of your listening session to pick up the pace and mould the dancefloor.
What do you expect from new talent when you sign them? What makes you reject them from releasing on your label?
Well, music is everything. Unlike most other labels who have a very particular sound to their
label, we have a broader spectrum, but in saying that we do have our unique style which is a
deal maker or breaker. We love music made with passion and not something that’s made
just because it is the trend right now.
From your country, which other label is pushing the same music as you are and how do you think everyone is helping push the local producers?
We haven’t found anyone here with the same idea as us so far - either they are a techno
label or a house label. Like we said we have a broader spectrum and we are open to
anything within this spectrum of sounds. We try and look at a lot of local, regional and Asian talent and give a lot of preference to demos from these geographies. You can check our list of artists and you will see quite a few from this geography who have already put out music with us.
What kind of support do you look for from artists and other parties in promoting your music worldwide?
We are always trying out new ways to push out music from all our channels which helps the
artists and of course the label. This is the most important factor for us as we understand how
competitive this market is and not to forget the amount of content that is released every day.
We definitely have a marketing budget and plan in place for all our releases. It is important
that the artist chips in too, so we send in a complete marketing plan in advance along with all
the artwork and dates and try to execute a solid plan from the beginning.
What are the challenges in promoting music to corners of the world where you may not be as popular as in your home country.
We think the main challenge is making sure we are in the right circle of people, which is why we need a good plan in place for each release. We approach each release differently. There is no standard template for every release and we look at all aspects of the release i.e. release dates,
genres, artists and the best marketing mix for it.