1. How did you come to do what you do? When did the first idea of creating the label came out?
David Naville (Thisbe Recordings founder & manager): I decided to launch my own record label in 2020 in order to release my EP “The Pace of Everything that Lives” under my alias Pyrame. For info, Pyrame is my middle name that I inherited from my grand-father. Thisbe and Pyrame being two lovers appearing in the Greek Mythology, I thought Thisbe would be an appropriate name for the label. Thisbe Recordings represents then the playground we are looking to build in order to release music from electronic music artists we really love the music. My friend Andrew Claristidge joined Thisbe Recordings as an Artistic Director in June 2021 in order to help further develop the label.
Andrew Claristidge: nothing to add my dear Lord ;)
2. Give some statistics, when the label was created, how many releases, how many vinyls and how many packages / packages have been sent?
David Naville: The label was created in June 2020. There has been three releases so far (Pyrame – The Pace of Everything that Lives, Radial Gaze – Refined, Semodi – Next Summer). We sold about more than 100 vinyls out of the first two releases while also providing vinyls to our close network of influential DJs. The third release was only digital and is fairing/“streaming“ well.
Andrew Claristidge: we keep those informations very secret, haha. But we will definitely announce some numbers when we will be « Sold Out »…
3. From which country do most of your buyers come from?
David Naville: England, France and Germany are good spots for our sales.
Andrew Claristidge: David, you forgot to mention that we sold and sent two copies to Mars and one to the Moon.
4. Which release are you most proud of?
David Naville: All of them. The label takes every release very seriously and we are looking to make the most out of it every time.
Andrew Claristidge: As I just started to work at Thisbe Recordings it is a bit difficult to be proud of a release. I can tell you that I am already proud of the next releases as we have 4 really strong EPs in the pipeline .
5. Can you describe what typical everyday office life means to you?
Andrew Claristidge: When I work at the label I spend most of my time listening to demos (we receive quite a lot and it takes quite some time) and answer to the musicians. We always listen to the demos we receive as I am really obsessive to find hidden & rare gems. We also use a lot of time to communicate with our artists, PR agencies, musician friends as we always need some new material. Another big part of our work is to conceptualise our releases, visuals, clips… etc… But we never have a routine as we try to keep it fun as much as possible.
David Naville: A lot of thinking first, about the overall direction of the label. Listening to demos, developing the social media flow and the website, promoting, developing the publishing arm of the label. All this keeps us pretty busy on a daily basis. While we do pay attention to what other labels are going, we are an independent label. As such, we are looking to do things our way and not be too distracted about what is going on out there. Finally, this is about fun and we are very focused on doing things in a balanced way and at the right pace.
6. Who’s in your team? Are you a Music Producer or DJ?
David Naville: At the moment, we are two people. Although I have been listening to music for 40 years and played in a few rock bands in the 90s, I started to seriously produce music myself 3 years ago, and really immerse myself in the world of music for a couple of years now. Besides, I do have a strong interest in marrying music with pictures, and work as a music video producer along with film directors.
Andrew Claristidge: I started in the 90s as a DJ. Since then I have composed, produced & played Live for a few projects… I was also building a few studios… So I guess I can say that I am a music composer and producer who can also DJ.
7. Which distribution channels do you use?
David Naville: We use a physical distributor, bandcamp, as well as an aggregator to distribute digitally.
Andrew Claristidge: In other words, we are on the classic side of it. Nowadays as an indie label we need to use all the different ways to sell our music….
8. How much do you use youtube and what was the benefit?
David Naville : (the supply side answer) We do have a youtube channel as music and films providers, and use it to upload the music videos of our artists, video trailers of each single released on the label, and the tracks themselves. After google, Youtube is the second most used search engine on the internet. This is vital to have a presence there.
Andrew Claristidge: (..and the demand side answer) we use Youtube as an infinite source of inspiration.
9. Have you ever helped with the number of clicks on soundcloud?
DN / AC: No. We are trying to grow organically.
10. Where do you find young, hungry and ambitious artists?
Andrew Claristidge: we used to find them in clubs, bars, record stores…etc… :) But now they send us demos via Soundcloud, our website, emails… etc. And usually when artists are hungry & ambitious, they are finding us…
David Naville: To add to Andrew´s answer, we also talk with artists we love the music and from whom we would like to release tracks from.
11. What effects does streaming with Spotify have on the economic situation of an indie label?
Andrew Claristidge: I do not think indie labels have a place on Spotify. They should all leave Spotify and use Bandcamp which offers a fair share. But for now we play with the environment and we try to make the best out of it.
David Naville: From a non-economic standpoint, Spotify is vital as it provides access and visibility & playlisting opportunities to the tracks released on the label. Economically, electronic music tends to be more difficult than “blockbuster” genres, but it is fine this way. We are however open for good surprises when it comes to the economic aspect of streaming.
12. When looking for new music, what are key elements and factors that you are looking for besides being obviously a great track?
Andrew Claristidge: It is many times like love at the first sight. You hear it and right away you know that it is a good fit for the label. I am always looking for music which breaks a bit the code. I like it surprising, on the edge, unconventional, honest, generous…
David Naville: To add to Andrew´s answer, we are looking for a special, modern and engaging sound, between house and techno. This is obviously highly dependent on Andrew´s taste and mine.
13. How would you describe the style and vision of the label?
David Naville: More than a specific style, we are looking for consistency in quality. We don´t release music for the sake of it. We are looking at having a fairly narrow artists´pool for the first years, and build a long-term relationship with them. In other words, not only looking at one release and move on. We usually know the artists well and keep in touch with them over time. As time goes on, we are confident that they will be delivering great music in the future and we would like to be part of what is coming up. This is an important part of the vision of the label. Growing organically and developing a convenient and scalable platform is also part of our mission statement. Besides, we are looking at delivering music in DJ sets/mixtapes and live. Finally, the visual aspect and overall perception of the music and pictures is of foremost importance for us.
Andrew Claristidge: The style? Hmmm? Do we have a style? We are super open as long as quality is in the music (not only music as we also produce films & soon much more)! Our vision: staying independent, honest, open to the unexpected… I guess we like it transparent. I see Thisbe recordings a bit like a family. We all know each other or we are related but open and happy to welcome new members or friends of friends.
14. What are some sites or apps that you use to listen / find new tracks?
Andrew Claristidge: we are lucky enough to receive music everyday … and I have my ears everywhere anyway!
David Naville: Furthermore, we are also very keen to listen to music within our network and potentially work on future releases with those artists.
15. For the producers out there who email their demos, what advice would you give them when they send out their tracks?
David Naville: Listen to what has been released on Thisbe Recordings first. Have a story around the set of tracks you are sending over. Believe and be confident in your work.
Andrew Claristidge: And to conclude, do make your own interpretation of our sound. Stay true to yourself. Do not try to do some music which does not reflect your personality but do not hesitate to push your limits. If you think it pushes you out of your comfort zone, it might be a good sign and it might be for Thisbe Recordings.