Faze Mag - April Edition (Full Interview)
Earlier in March, we were invited to sit down with Faze Magazine to discuss our label and ultimately visions for the future. As the magazine is in German we wanted to put the full, unshared interview here for everyone to see. Please find the full Q&A below.
- What were your motivations to establish Love Bizarre and how did the name come about?
Our initial motivation stemmed from both Mike and I working in the events industry and always being in an environment that was constructed by others. We wanted to create something that was our own, driven by our ideas, relationships and friendships and tied to nothing but pure creative freedom. The idea was never to only release music, the idea is to create a community based around events, music and visuals.
As we both work in events the initial lockdown period was one of drastic adjustment. But at the same time it gave us all the space and time to put our undivided focus towards building a new concept. In that way, the past year has been a blessing in disguise.
John was on board with an original proposal based on an idea I’d been conceptualising for a while, but more in the format of a boutique events stage rather than a label – producing a festival will always be our long-term goal and motivation.
The name originated really from the Sheila E & Prince track Love Bizarre - That's what we are - we all want a Love Bizarre. I grew up around a musical family, and Prince was a staple. the song and lyrics stuck with me for some reason. This all came together after working at several boutique events and becoming inspired to want my own Love Bizarre. On top of that I believe that the name perfectly depicted the feelings I experienced when in these environments
- What kind of skillset does it require to successfully run a label that releases music digitally as well as physically? Are there any special things to consider especially when you are a label, that releases on vinyl?
Running a label requires so many different skillsets as it comes with so many different aspects. The reason Mike and I work so well together is because we complement each other. Myself, coming from a more business related background and Mike already having tons of experience in A&R. Both parts are equally important to running a label and it’s good to split them up. And even though one focusses more on the other there is not one decision made without discussing and approving it as a team. That way we have a solution based approach and learn from each other at the same time. If you combine these skillsets with the network of artists & agencies both Mike and I have built over the past years, that’s a good basis to propel in the right direction – doesn’t matter what format you release on.
Both our existing network and the ability to build relationships that go both ways has been a key factor whilst paving our way. We have the ability to reach out to both young talent encouraging them to release their first music as well as veterans of the music industry.
Through our partnerships with Dispersion PR and Lobster Distribution we are confident the package we supply to our roster provides solid ground to gain the traction needed to become successful. Above all else, a direct and open line of communication in our opinion is the best policy.
As a label we understand that we can't put everything on vinyl as much as we would love to, therefore our selection process has to be as fair as possible.
- How did it come about that the first EP of the new label comes from a newcomer like DD4. What makes him and his productions so fitting for your very first release?
DD4 more commonly known to his friends as Jordan, is a local Dundee lad, who is actually closer to the label than meets the eye. Mike's little brother has been friends with Jordan since their early school days, and it's amazing that it happened to be him we chose first.
It was a couple of years ago now, I was visiting Dundee to initially embark on establishing a label with another well-known Scottish producer, eventually to become his tour manager. During that time I was fortunate enough to stay with Jordan in his house. We were just getting ready to head out to the club, and he put on Till Dawn. I was blown away, it just hit me right, and that feeling sticks with me every time I hear it. It was then Jordan proceeded to announce that he made it. I was gobsmacked. I knew he'd played around with making music but nothing to the extent of what I heard that night. Skip ahead two years, and he agreed to let us have the music to share as our first release. Making it special, and close to our hearts. A true representation of a passion project.
- Are the various music styles DD4 is presenting on his EP "Till Dawn" indicative of the direction the label will continue to move to in the future?
Yes, 100% - we as a label aim to give our artists as much freedom as possible. After all they are the creatives and we want them to be happy and comfortable. So rather than limiting ourselves to a certain style we will explore different directions through the creative outputs of our roster. And judging by the artists we have signed so far this has proven to be quite exiting and fun. Our main goal is to accelerate artists that we agree with on an emotional level. Therefore we will end up with many different styles of music.
In terms of our general direction in sound, we prefer to share club tools that fit our own experiences dancing. As John mentioned before our roster to this point is varied, and we want to showcase those artists individually. We find value in all of their sounds and can’t wait to share it over the coming months. Music, art, events. These are all forms of expression and we welcome those who value that. Music is subjective, we follow our gut, and we work with those who align with our values. That way its organic, and based on love and passion, rather than money or status. As for the different styles, we will let our scheduled releases do the talking.
- Will you be reaching out to other new faces in the electronic music scene in the future and offering them a platform with Love Bizarre to give them the chance to present their first tracks/EPs on your label?
John + Mike
We will definitely continue to work with newcomers as much as we will with established producers. We don’t judge by status, only by sound and like-mindedness. We want to build a long-term relationship and as Love Bizarre it is our duty to help producers grow and develop. Regardless of what point in their career they are in. Next to our label we are actively working to create productions providing a 3rd dimension to our service. Inviting our roster artists to play at future events, offering additional exposure.
- You will be releasing music digitally as well as physically in the future. Do you have any concerns about vinyl as a medium and whether this format might lose relevance again in the future, despite the current boom?
Mike + John
No, not at all. We made that discussion fully aware of the concerns and risks that come with it. We believe that, within the sector that we are moving in, Vinyl will always have relevance - even if it’s just symbolic. In our opinion, having a vinyl is the ultimate achievement.
It’s a limited collectors item, unique and special from the tracks all the way to the design. Your personal stamp on the industry, and something you can treasure forever. Both as a label and as a producer.
- With an Instagram post you announced that Love Bizarre is open for demos. Are you receiving a lot of stuff because of the current situation? Sending demos as an aspiring artist is often a thing that doesn't bear fruit, because most of the time producers don't even get constructive feedback back from A&Rs due to the amount of demos a label gets, even if the tracks are decent but do not fit into the labels catalogue. How do you handle this?
Mike + John
We are receiving a bunch of demos, but don’t think its over proportioned compared to Pre-Covid times. Even though many producers are using this time to spend in their studios and redefining their sounds, they are a bit more reserved releasing music into a space currently missing club promotion.
Nonetheless, we definitely encourage people to reach out to us and we will always try and give constructive feedback – even if we believe the music isn’t a right fit for our label. That in itself is an integral part of any growth process.
With that, triggers for such a selection vary but our approach is always the same: open, honest & realistic. We do not seek to offer the world - only to facilitate growth and get younger passionate people enthused about becoming involved with our industry. Inclusive of any age, race or gender.