Labelinterview mit Emmanuel von ARTS

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When did the first idea of creating the label come about?

The very first time when I thought about making a label was when I was a little kid, was always a dream of mine, I always watched record with a certain eye, I love the way they feel and I love the memory that a record can give you, there is nothing better than produce something that gives beautiful memories to people, of any sort. If we want to define the very first idea, that was the very first time, My mind told me, „Yes, you got to do this one day“. I think I was 13.

Some statistics, since the label was created, how many releases, how many vinyls and how many packages/parcels have you made/send?

We did over 120 releases I think, in about 5 years. Our system is very well specialized today, we have an entire office that works for our logistic things today, is located in Rotterdam and is an amazing team of experienced people. We managed our records, control the digital platform, and produce all from there today.

From which country do most of your buyers come from?

We sell all over the world, but we are specialized in EU, more specifically we sell records in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and so on, We are now worldwide very well known too, and we are in Japan and in the US as well in some underground record shops. Our aim is to reach the whole world, but more specifically the best shops in each city.
Our week point I think is South America, people there don’t have money to export records, and this slows down our expansion.

What is the release of which you are most proud of?

There will never be a record that I am more proud of the others I think, but surely if there is the one I have to name on torture is ARTS001. That was the record that started it all, and deserves a mention :)

Can you describe to us what a typical day at the office means to you?

Is hard to describe the “ typical day“ but, I mostly work with people and I run all the activities that are important to have the label going steady and reactive. The first thing I do in the morning is all based on the mails, each day I have from 5 to 10 crucial emails to work, and deliver. Some are based on Music Selection, others are based on communication with the distribution, decisions, Artworks, as i do all the artworks of the label, and probably other 1.000 tasks that I can’t list right now, the other important part is to talk to the artists, and see how is going with the music and their life, and our yearly plans. Around the evening, I tend to research and do some homework for the label, new artists, refine what we have, and study artworks and new project. Soon we will have some interns, and this will make my life way easier, and we will be stronger and operative on many levels. The night time is dedicated to making music, that’s the only time i have to create my own music, I am a label owner, but people forget sometimes that I am a musician First.

Who’s in your Team?

The team today is very simple. I am the main operative person, and I decide everything related to the label, I have a first-class business partner for anything based on our economy and operations. And another bigger team for logistics, and operations based in Holland, Rotterdam, it’s a fantastic team, and there is a lot of great coordination going, the team will expand soon with a bunch dedicated for Marketing, Communication, and Management. This is the picture today, but I did all on my own for about 3 Years straight.

Are you a Music Producer or DJ?

Yes, i am, I produce music since 2008 on vinyl.

Which distribution channels do you use?

I release my music everywhere, in every format.

A R T S use YouTube as a channel, how strong/weak is the impact?

We have a strong following, so we have great numbers to be a totally independent label that does not do marketing. You tune channel is going well ;) We have over 2M plays global on Soundcloud, our numbers of followers is expanding in every side, our YouTube channel is the place to find all our records, but Soundcloud for now is the main place, you can find the entire catalog on both channels :) We are a technologically advanced label that aims to be always updated, with Logic.

Have you ever helped yourself with buying clicks & plays on Soundcloud?

I never did, and I will never do it, We never ever wanted to show off, our aim is to make music, and be good at it. Everything you see is the result of our hard work. We have a single track on youtube that reached over 2M plays with no promotion. Which is something that not even fake artists that pay for likes can reach, funny uh? ;)

Where do you find hungry and ambitious artists?

I have a talent for finding artists, I can smell them far away, and I can predict also their evolution if all goes right. There is no way to indicate “ where“, I go around the whole net, and I buy a lot of records, this allows me to have more knowledge and know where to search. I dedicate 2h or more a day to find talents, this slowly become rare, as I started to work with artists on a solid basis, but the label represents innovation, which is also pushing the youth.

When do you look for new music to sign what are some key elements and factors you are looking for, aside from it being a great track obviously?

The aim is to create an emotional impact on the listener, there are no explainable words to translate what we want to archive, There are no particular profiles i watch, All start from the music, and the desire to do more. Talent is key, and attitude is the other Key, both go hand in hand and that’s the way I can explain “ what I am looking for“. You can find good musicians but is rare to find good attitudes connected to talent in this industry.

How would you describe the style and vision of your Label?

The label is an expression of what is techno today, we did a lot of work that is linked to the past, and much more work that is future proof orientated, the aim is to be timeless, but at the same time push the boundaries of what is accepted in electronic music. We represent a big corner of the techno industry, but our aim is not simply to make techno music alone but represent also an institution when comes to music and art. The ride is very long ;)

What are some sites or apps that you use to listen/ find new tracks?

Not really, I buy records and I am constantly on Discogs.

For producers out there sending in their demos via emails, what are some tips you would give them on professionally sending in their track to you?

I don’t accept demo’s right now, but if you want a little tip, the secret is to send a very professional, simple email telling who you are and why you want to give your music to this label, the best way is via a friend that knows the label, otherwise, go and see them at a show. Outside that, the easiest way is before the demo’s, the trick is to make music that gets the attention of the artists, 95% of the time you will have an answer from the label manager, if you did a good job before reaching him, with your records. I work with a lot of people that I support obviously, is automatic.