NexGen Music is a multi-faceted label with many different strings to its bow. Providing artists with many different services, it has been been put together by one man, Daniel Clarke, or D.A. We spoke to D about the label, his journey to this point and what lessons he has learnt from his years in the music business.
Hi Dan, how are you? Tell us a little about the background of the NexGen organisation – how and why did you found it?
Well, back in the late 80’s to mid 90's, and after first getting into dance music through classics like Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up the Jam’ a Guy Called Gerald’s ‘Voodoo Ray’ and Xpansions ‘Move Your Body’, the UK dance music scene I believe was truly in its prime. New genres started to emerge: hardcore/breakbeat and later drum & bass, and as a young, aspiring, DJ/Producer, I was totally captivated by all of these new and unique sounds.
Once I started dabbling with music production at around the age of 14, I already knew that I’d take it all the way. I wanted to run a label from as early as I knew what one was, so I made it happen.
Run down your artist roster for us.
Well, the amount of artists that have recorded for NexGen is quite extensive, with artists spread across nearly all continents at this point in time.
We do make a distinction between our roster and regular artists, the former being soldiers like Kyro, Chris Paul & Mia V, Earth Leakage Trip, CJ Styles, Rob Sparx, and Neveready, some of who have either been involved since our ‘re-inception’ in 2004, or are currently in the process of growing their careers with the label. Other artists that deserve a mention are Cutworks, TKR, Qumulus, Undersound, Alternate Force, Intelligent Manners, Faible, and Toez.
How about upcoming releases – what can people keep their ears open for?
Well we’ve literally just released a bunch of new projects available exclusively in our new online store from Chris Paul & Mia V, TKR, Neveready, Kyro, mSdos & Static.
Coming up within the next few weeks we’ve got a killa vinyl double-pack featuring, Cutworks, CJ Styles, mSdos, Clart, Faible, Iriann Joyce and myself.
We’ve also got a new 3 track EP from Undersound dropping alongside a way overdue multi-genre project dubbed the ‘I-Soulation LP’ featuring names like Earth Leakage Trip, Intelligent Manners, Kubatko, Greysound and much more!
What about you as an individual – what’s your background and role with NexGen?
Well of course I was responsible for the original concept and vision of NexGen, however I have always been keen on expanding our inner dynamics by getting smarter people to come on board and help take this vision much further than my own capabilities.
My background is straight up audio design & engineering, marketing and web, but my involvement in the label is so much more. I’m heavily involved in the labels A&R, promotion, strategy and creative.
Going back to the label - how would you describe the philosophy and ethos of NexGen?
NexGen Music is an artist-centric brand committed to creating a forward-looking, inclusive and multi-faceted musical community. The label fosters a philosophy of artistic growth, collaboration and experimentation, uniting and nurturing promising new talent. NexGen also strongly believes in the values of localism and community and we are very active in the Washington, DC nightlife scene, we also are a Co-Organizer and sponsor of the DC Electronic Music Meetup Group, with a current local following of over 1100 active members.
And how does this spill over to your approach to signing and promoting music?
Good question. Some of our best artists started out by sending us music over a span of of a few years, and through our personal touch, time spent listening and advising them on their music, and encouraging them to keep submitting demos, a few of them finally cracked it and have gone on to grow themselves into established, sought-after acts.
I also think that one of the great things about being involved in a scene like drum & bass in particular, and also as part of the initial wave of adopters is that I’ve heard and produced enough tunes to see right through the production and ‘synthetic’ side of the music. I’m known to be extremely picky about signing music and always tend to gravitate towards the more musical artists, and I don’t necessarily mean the music itself – but artist that actually read and play music!
What other things is the label involved in?
Well as mentioned earlier, we are actively getting involved in our new Washington, DC patch through the Meetup Group, and also through our Live ‘N’ Tronic shows which essentially features top local DJs performing pure original productions with musicians and singers live on stage. We also have a few other tentacles here at NexGen being our TV & film production/soundtrack services, along with our web design, mobile application and interactive media design capabilities.
What do you think makes NexGen stand out?
Stand out is an awkward word to use being a producer and running a label in 2012. This won’t be the last time you hear me say this but it’s very noisy out there! NexGen is distinct because we have a way about how we approach and embrace the people who are deeply people involved with us. This is mostly our fans.
Our attention to detail and unwavering dedication to composing musical pieces that appeal to everyday people – not just scene heads, is what makes us stand out. We care about the quality of EVERYTHING we do, where others simply don’t.
How do you see things playing out for the label in the future?
This is the interesting part…. With all of this current ‘change’ in the music scene, new opportunities are born every day… We have huge aspirations, especially for our online store, and we’ve already got plans in the works which will open up the doors to up-and-coming artists to start their own ‘sub-labels’ and grow as part of the NexGen family. Artists and labels that show that there are really invested will be rewarded with additional attention and financial backing from the label. What artist wouldn’t what that type of deal?
How can people get in touch with you?
http://nexgenmusicgroup.com is the best way! Drop me a message in any of the contact forms and I’ll send you some coupon codes and freebies from the store. Oh, and please feel free to hit the FB ‘Like’ button when you’re passing through!
Who are some of the folks you would like to big up?
I’d like to say my first BIG UP to all the NexGen Family, especially those that have stuck close by us during our recent transitions. NexGen would not be truly ‘NexGen’ without ya! Also sending a big shout out to, Louis @ Bassdrive, Jon @ OTC Films (UK), Barrie & the BrokenDrum crew, Carl Collins (where you at mate??), Chris, Will & Morgan @ U Street Music Hall, 930 Club Backbar, Capitol Hemp, D.C, and Sasha (DOA).
CM Sounds Competition
CM Sounds have some amazing music technology courses on offer. They are now teaming up with Kmag for a competition. We give you all you need to know right here.
Aural Imbalance Comes Out Of Plato's Cave
Aural Imbalance is one half of Out Of Plato's Cave, who have recently dropped an album on the Greta Cottage Workshop label. We speak to him about it here.
Snoop releases new photo app Snoopify
West coast rapper cum reggae star Snoop Lion, has launched his own photo editing app for iOS and Android.
London-based collective Innersoul are absolutely taking over London town. With a number of events taking place soon, their star is in the ascendancy. Grab the info right here.
Black Sun Empire Announce Blackout Music
Something very special is happening over in the Black Sun Empire camp right now. A new label, a new release, sample packs and more. Check it all out here.
Hospital Readies Hospitality Summer 2013
The all-conquering Hospital Records are ready to launch with the latest in their compilation series, Hospitality Summer 2013. Read on for more.
Good News Poppers Expand To Liquid Boppers
The Good News Poppers label is expanding into new territory, with the announcement of new sister label, Liquid Boppers. Kmag brings you all that you need to know right here.
Dispatch Recordings Reaches Round The World
Undoubtedly one of the hottest labels around at the moment, Dispatch are recruiting all comers. Their latest release is out now, and we get the skinny from DBRUK.
Beastie Respond Interview
With his debut album 'Fictitious Nostalgia' imminent, Danish DJ, producer and all round music man Beastie Respond chats to Kmag ahead of the forthcoming release.
Emissions Festival 2013 Preview
Emissions Festival has been a staple of the Bay Area's festival scene for the past five years, we have a look at what's in store for the 2013 edition.
In The Studio: Villem
Drum & bass producer Villem is about to release a sample pack so we spoke to him to discover how we works in the studio...
Paper Tiger featuring Homeboy Sandman video
Paper Tiger have teamed up with Stonesthrow's Homeboy Sandman for a transatlantic collaboration.
Perpetual Recordings Go Onwards
Perpetual Recordings have been going in the right direction for a year now and are ready to warm up your summer with some hot new releases. We get the full rundown on the label right here.
Arc Festival Review
Arc is a new festival from the Applepips and Hypercolour labels, in partnership with Luma and the RRFID crew, we went along to check out the inaugural event...
Top 10 Videos April 2013
This month's round-up of our favourite videos is a really varied selection – from skin clawing creatures to a fierce battle against music listeners, here's a look at what April had to offer.