What made you create this label? Why? What is the idea and inspiration behind it?
Firstly I would like to thank you and BRC for inviting me to your Label Showcase and I’m delighted to do the interview.
Growing up when I first dived deep into the electronic dance music scene, I was inspired by listening to the Global Underground and Renaissance CDs from DJs like Dave Seaman, Robert Miles, Sasha, John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo etc. Over the years I developed a taste for progressive house, and wanted to create a platform where up and coming artists have the freedom to showcase and craft their musical talents on Droid9.
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?
I always had the idea of a more deeper and darker progressive sound reminiscent of the early 2000s era in the back of my mind, as I was running my other label Fuzzy Recordings, a couple years prior to Droid9. The challenge really began with Fuzzy Recordings and finding a reliable distributor that would fit our genre. Fuzzy Recordings started back in 2012 under Proton Distribution, a solid platform for underground dance music genres for progressive house, melodic techno, organic house etc. Some of the challenges leading up to running Droid9 like any other label, was to find a roster of quality artists that would fit our sound. Since then we have shaped our own brand of Progressive House with some of the most amazing artists in the scene!
What is the inspiration behind the logo and artwork?
I wanted a futuristic look and a techy font logo to reflect our modern progressive house sound.
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?
Progressive House is the main genre of the label, but I do also have Progressive Breaks, Melodic Techno, and Organic House tracks sometimes if I feel it’s a fit for us. What I look for specifically in a track are mainly the feelings and emotions. How dynamic the track is and how it builds from beginning to end also plays a big factor.
In terms of demos, how do you accept, review and reject from all the thousands you receive? What are the challenges in sifting through the boatload of demos you receive for releases and the communication you maintain with aspirants?
I try to answer each and every demo, but it becomes quite a challenge with the amount of demos that I receive and all the tedious work that comes along with managing a label. As far as the process goes for reviewing a demo, if I like a track and feel it’s a fit for our label then I will simply accept it.
Being a DJ for so many years, I feel it’s the same concept. If you like a track then you will play it, similarly if it's a demo you like then you will sign it. You wouldn’t play a track you didn’t like in a DJ set, right? Sometimes it’s difficult to say no, but you have to do it once in a while. By signing tracks you really like, this will better shape and mold your label’s sound and will draw more artists to send you demos that you actually like.
If I feel the track is not quite for Droid9, but feel there is potential then I will reply back to let that artist know to keep sending us stuff and there might be a chance for a future signing.
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?
As of now I do two Various Artist Compilations a year. The first one is “ADE & Friends” based on the Amsterdam Dance Event in the Netherlands, and to showcase some of our top and upcoming artists. The other one is “Essentials” which we release with our sister label every year, Droid9 South America, that summarizes the top selling tracks of the previous year.
Which one has been a highlight release and why?
I would have to say that both Soulmade (AR) - UFO X Dharma and Niceshot - Early Unlocked have been highlights for this year so far. They define the deep driving progressive vibe filled with emotions and atmospheric soundscapes that we are known for and are accustomed to at Droid9. The releases have been featured on Beatports Progressive page and have seen support from Hernan Cattaneo, Armen Miran and other top artists.
What do you expect from new talent when you sign them? What makes you reject them from releasing on your label?
As stated earlier, we are looking for quality productions with deep and dark emotions that fit the Droid9 style. Aside from that we are always looking for something unique and original that we feel that fits our sound.
There are a number of reasons for us to reject a track, but I’ll mention a couple. A major turn off is when an artist sends a demo via email to multiple labels expecting to get a reply back. Another is when they don’t bother to read the description of our label, or listen to our catalog and send us a hip hop or EDM demo thinking it will get signed. These demos automatically get rejected.
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?
SLC-6 and JourneyDeep are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are not many American Progressive House artists, as the majority of artists we sign are from Argentina, Sri Lanka, and European countries.
What kind of support do you look for from artists and other parties in promoting your music worldwide? 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 usually look for support from top DJs to support our tracks in their radio shows and gigs so they can expose our music to a wider audience. I believe if we spend the time and effort to hand pick quality productions to our label, eventually the music will reach all corners of the world by word of mouth and support from DJs.
Label Mix By Nathalie Henriette