Hey guys, thanks for joining us at Mr. Afterparty. Let’s start with you giving our readers a bite-sized introduction to the Selador brand.
Steve: Selador is the independent label that Dave and I launched ten years ago as a vehicle not only to release our own productions but also the best club music we could find from our friends and new artists around the world. It was always our intention to release a variety of styles and to not get stuck in one genre. Our mantra has always been… “from House to Techno and all flavours in between”.
This year marks an important milestone for you guys. Did you ever envision what it would look like ten years down the line when you first started Selador, and does it look any different to what you imagined?
Dave: No, I don’t think we really thought that far ahead when we first launched but I think our younger selves from back in 2013 would be happy with what we’ve achieved in our first decade. Electronic music has always been a constantly evolving scene so the goalposts regularly shift but overall, we like to think we’ve now established ourselves as a label of consistent quality that both artists and music lovers can trust.
Are there any specific factors or characteristics that have been instrumental in the brand’s journey and success?
Steve: The name Selador was inspired by the film Donnie Darko. There’s a passage where Drew Barrymore’s character talks about the most phonetically beautiful sounding combination of syllables in the English language being Cellar Door which struck a chord and being huge fans of the film in general, provided us with some visual inspiration too.
Dave: Yeah, our logo is a rabbit we call Harvey. He is allegedly the lovechild of Frank from Donnie Darko and Jessica Rabbit conceived during a wild weekend at Twilo in the late ‘90s. However, a DNA test has never been conducted, so this cannot be confirmed and is mere conjecture at this point in time! 😉
How important is it for label/event brands to have a clear identity and definitive messaging?
Dave: It’s really important to have your own identity. In a saturated marketplace where so many artists and labels are fighting for your attention, you need that certain something that makes you distinctive and stand out from the crowd. Plus, as Oscar Wilde once famously said, “be yourself, because everybody else is taken”.
It’s a fascinating time in electronic music at the moment, especially with the advances in technology. Do you have any big plans for the future of Selador that tie into this?
Steve: We’re always open to embracing new technology. Acid House culture was really built on technology and it’s what keeps the whole scene so exciting and vibrant and moving forward. AI is obviously really exciting and quite daunting in equal measures, but we’ll be investigating what positive advances we can make be engaging with it. Like you say, exciting times.
Looking back over the last decade, are there any particular releases or events that felt significant? If so, what and why?
Dave: Probably the Show-B remix of Jaap Ligthart & Alice Rose’s ‘I Know Change’ was the release that really put us on the map as a label. Everyone from Dixon to Sven Väth and Solomun to Tenaglia was playing it. One of those rare tunes that seemed to appeal to DJs across the board. It really opened a lot doors for us.
Steve: We also took over the roof terrace at Space in Ibiza a few times before it closed and have thrown several parties at Watergate in Berlin which hold some particularly lovely memories.
What can we expect from you both and Selador as a whole to mark the occasion?
Dave: We’re going to be releasing a series of 4 track EPs that feature collaborations between artists on the label. The first one, Selador Decade EP 1, has 3D (Danny Howells, Darren Emerson and myself) with Robert Owens, Quivver with Olivier Giacomotto, Jepe with Argia and Anthony Pappa, Jamie Stevens and Alice Rose also teaming up. It’s been a great way to get everyone involved and added an extra layer of excitement seeing what all these combinations produce.
Steve: We’re also going to be throwing some parties to celebrate starting at Studio 338 in London on Easter Sunday, April 9th with myself and Dave, alongside our long time friend Hernan Cattaneo, plus cornerstone of the label for much of our history, Just Her and the residents from Warm Up who we are teaming up with for the event. So very much looking forward to that. Harvey is going to be leading the celebrations in his own enigmatic way. Come join us if you’re in London at Easter.
What best advice can you offer anyone looking to get into the industry, be it as an artist or a general professional?
Dave: Don’t do it! Hahaha. No, but seriously, I’d say if something is worth doing then its worth doing properly. Don’t cut corners. There’s no substitute for hard work. You should apply the maximum amount of effort into everything you do regardless of the size of audience or pay packet. Whether you’re playing to an audience of 10 or 10,000, doing something for free or getting paid handsomely, it should all be treated equally. You never know who’s watching or listening and therefore what new opportunities might arise from the job in hand. And never lose sight of your original goal until you achieve it, and then focus steadfastly on your new one. Set yourself manageable targets. One step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Steve: I’d say surround yourself with good honest people. If you choose the team around you correctly, then you’re halfway there already. Listen to their criticisms and suggestions. Of course, it’s your prerogative to dismiss them but don’t do so out of hand. Sometimes the truth is hard to take but honesty is the best policy. And most of importantly, enjoy the ride. Don’t let it pass you by.
If you could change one thing about the industry currently, what would it be and why?
Steve: I think streaming revenues being so low is a big problem. When you factor in that digital downloads are in decline, and vinyl is more of a niche market, it just seems wrong that, unless you’re in the top 3% of big names, artists generally can’t make a living anymore just from making music. The revenue earned against time and effort spent is out of proportion. And this, will negatively impact the amount of time somebody will spend making a track, which will inevitably affects the quality of music being released, which will again affect an artists income. Which in turn will make people leave the industry. It’s a slippery slope. And it needs rectifying.
Lastly, do you have anything exclusive you’d like to share with us and our audience?
Dave: We could tell you that both Steve & I have collaborations to look out for on Selador Decade EP 2. Mine is a track with Argentinian maestro, Hernan Cattaneo called ‘Napkin Knowledge’ and Steve’s is with Brazilian legend Renato Cohen entitled ‘Marmalade Skies’. They will be two of the four productions that will make up the second EP which is scheduled for release on April 14th. Literally 10 years to the day since our very first release. How time flies!