Drum & bass label Peer Pressure started out as an American operation before moving across the Atlantic to the UK, which is where Facing Jinx's involvement began. To detail further the creation and evolution of this labour of musical love, here's us chatting the man himself.
What was the defining moment when you guys thought right, we're going to set up a label?
The label has existed for sometime, a lovely chap of many talents called Matt Beebe from LA – USA, started the label and signed me as an artist in 2008. Initially I released a solo single and a collaboration with Philth. We must have been doing something right because we then put out an EP in 2010 and were asked soon after to manage the International imprint. Since then I've been in the hot seat and signed some incredible artists to the label.
Do you think Matt's and your own involvement has anything reactionary to do with what's going on in the scene at the moment? Did you think, when you started, right, we can do this better?
I think our ethos has always been that we have something different to say, our artists are 100% in control of what they release; that way of thinking breeds creativity. We are like one big family, all sharing ideas, collaborating and picking apart each others mixes. It's a very exciting and inspirational time for all involved in the label.
What labels do you draw inspiration from/ admire?
As with most fledgling labels, we look up to the big boys - Shogun, Hospital, Ram, Critical, Commercial Suicide, Metalheadz etc. But we are in no way trying to replicate their sound or ethos, no one likes a copycat. We have really created something unique with Peer Pressure, it's hard to say exactly what it is but I think the music will do the talking.
What kind of music does Peer Pressure release and would there be scope for incorporating different genres in the future?
Well, as over confident as this sounds, we release good music! Our main focus is drum & bass and we will always put out fresh and innovative music in that field. The label will be branching out and releasing some other sub genres in the near future – I wish ‘good music' was a sub genre!
Is it becoming harder to make money as a label in the age of digital piracy or has it never been about the money?
I think if you make music for the money then you should not make music! We fucking love music for music, it is very difficult to make money from just selling music digitally. But like with any business, you need a few different revenue streams to support the business and future investment. That is why at the weekends, our artists can be found on most street corners.
How do you see the future of the music industry in terms of adapting to the problems highlighted above?
I can't see piracy being solved overnight, but there's maybe a few innovative ways of protecting digital works in the future. But, as with most industries you will never wipe out the problem completely, it will persist as long as the tools exist. I'm in no way political but I think the government can do more to help.
Tell us about some of the artists signed to the label? What personally have you been most proud to have released?
Well, I could write a whole page on our artists, maybe next time. I have to say that they are all absolutely incredible; passionate and driven - pushing the boundaries constantly whilst juggling day jobs and family life. I take my hat off to them all; our roster is strong like King Kong. Producers include Philth, Wreckless, Hyroglifics, Styla, Arcaudio, Necrobia and Facing Jinx (Me). Vocalists are Peta Oneir, Helena, Emily White, Formik and Just Some Guy (new signing).
As mentioned you have artists such as Philth, Wreckless Octane and DLR signed to the label who are all accomplished producers in their own rights. Is this reflective of how you go about choosing your artists?
Mm I didn't actually sign Octane & DLR, that was Beebe's shout. He released something from them when they hadn't broken out. I told you he's got many talents.
Philth & Wreckless wasn't really your traditional signing. They are both good friends who happen to make music and where enthusiastic when we spoke about Peer Pressure. Philth has been with me from the start, contributing with his honed A&R skills when we signed Hyroglifics.
How do you go about sourcing new music for release? Is it a case of trawling through SoundCloud or do beats get sent to you?
Ah no, it's very rare that I will look through Soundcloud for hours in search of good music. Our Peer Pressure Dropbox is the place where all future releases and the works in progress can be found. Incredible pieces of music appear on a weekly basis, it's a very exciting folder to have on your computer!
How do you maintain the same standards of quality control?
Luckily this is entirely in the artists control, I do not need to enforce a ‘QC' check on any music. They will only release something they are 100% happy with, a perfect scenario.
What's forthcoming release wise?
Lots of good music, we tend to release one EP a month but now starting to put out a single mid-month also - next we have these beauties:
Facing Jinx – Emotions EP, Collaborations EP feat Wreckless & Hyroglifics, Arcaudio & Necrobia, Facing Jinx & Philth, Breaking Ground – Volume 2 feat Wreckless, Hyroglifics & Styla, Breaking Ground Volume 3, Philth EP, Facing Jinx – Sleep in Heaven (Remixes), Hyroglifics – Single (Magnet/TBC), Wreckless EP, Arcaudio EP, Necrobia EP, Helena - Debut Release, Peta Oneir - Debut Release, Formik - Learn the Hardway LP and debut EPs from Just Some Guy and Emily White.
How do we get hold of Peer Pressure releases, information? Is there a club night/ event coming up?
Yes soon, I think we have discussed holding a joint night with our friends over at Flexout Audio (big up guys). I'm sure you will hear about that in the very near future! You can download them from all good digital record stores, iTunes, Juno, Beatport etc.
Words: Sam Oliveira
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