Hey Matt! Great to meet you again! Second Step Records is nearing its first release and we can’t wait to find out more about the label from you!
1. Our favourite question – why Second Step Records, how did you come up with the name and what happened to the first step?
Hellooo HDNSM, Second step records is actually the sister label of Deep Water Recordings which is run by Bernie and John who side more with the thumping sounding techno so Deep Water and Second Step are at totally different ends of the house music spectrum. I’d say it’s more of a leap rather than a step but second step defiantly has more of a ring to it!
2. Why did you decide to start your own record label? How did it all start? How is your different from all the many others?
Myself Bernie and John met around 18 months ago and I was playing a totally different sound to what them guys were used to and I swayed them into loving the sounds that I was playing. With them already having a label and developing a newfound love for the music I was playing it was only right for them to have a dabble with the lower slung sounds. So with their experience in already running a record label plus my knowledge of the kind of music we want to present on Second Step it made for a perfect partnership. What makes us different from other labels is not only the varied sounds that we have coming out on the label but also strong relationship I have with the artists that are releasing with us, which is extremely important in building a family type of feel, this is an open family and everyone is welcome with open arms regardless if there tracks are right or wrong for the label I still try to make everyone welcome as one day the guys who aren’t right for the label at this time could become right in the future and I wouldn’t want to miss out on a killer track because I couldn’t be bothered to give someone feedback on their work in the past. Having this quality is really important and it also gets people talking about you and the label if you have time for everyone, no time for arrogance here.
3. Digital vs. Vinyl? Personal preference as well as label policy?
The digital Vs. Vinyl debate, I love it! I am a massive fan of both to be honest, obviously love vinyl, the feel, the look and the sound of it. With digital the accessibility of purchasing it and storage gives both formats the thumbs up in their own ways. Regarding the label at the moment it is just a digital label but in the future would like to get some vinyl release out.
4. How do you approach selecting your artists? You have quite a varied roster, I must admit!
This is what I am good at if you don’t mind me saying!! I spend nearly every hour of the day going through sound cloud listening to new tracks, new artists, dj sets, whatever sound cloud is always on its even on right now as I am doing this interview as it happens. Like I said earlier, I like to think I have good relationships with the artists that I have approached. I don’t use the usual techniques, I love to throw in a lot of humour and make the guys notice me and stand out from others especially with it being a new label it’s even harder to get people on board with the ideas and direction you have. However; as you can see with our first VA it’s such a solid release and I am very proud of what we have put together.
5. Does Second Step Records stick to a particular genre of music and what is the music policy?
This is the hardest question so far because there isn’t a music policy as such it is just the sounds that my ears seem to like. I don’t even know what genre it is in all honestly if there is a genre for low slung, deep, dubby, grooving, driving, underground tech beats then stick that down as your genre)))
6. How often would you release and if you could lift the lid on future artists, we promise to keep a secret;)))
We have no set times for how often we will release we would rather have quality tracks being released than rushing things and just signing anything so we can get an EP out each month. I suppose I can reveal who the next EP will be from though because I am good like that!! It is from the one and only Mr Neil Catlin with a superb three track EP which already is making a lot of noise. I am a massive fan of this guy everything I’ve heard from him is solid. We have some other top draw guys in the pipeline too but I will keep you hanging on until I reveal them.
7. Quite an unforgettable first release cover – who is the lucky lady to be featuring on the artwork? And the author? How important is artwork to the label?
Yes the artwork has been very popular, I have no idea why!! It’s all Bernie’s creations, he is a bit of a whizz when it comes to artwork, I believe it’s a friend of his called Rachael that is on the cover I am yet to meet her though which is a great shame; haha.
8. Would we be seeing any showcases or events soon in London or abroad?
We are currently piecing together a night which will see a few of the guys coming to play in London on Friday 23rd Aug venue TBA as it stands Myself, Crowe-ther, Carlos Ryan, UnderDubs, Mattia D’amato and Neil Catlin will hopefully be on the bill fingers crossed, nothing set in stone yet so will have to keep posted on that one. As for abroad haven’t anything as yet but myself and Underdubs are out in Ibiza 14th July so if anyone out there fancies a cheeky Second Step Showcase then I’m sure a few of the other artists would gladly come over and throw one hell of a party, hint hint!! Plus the Under:Dubs guys are blooming nutters they certainly know how to party as well as make top draw tracks.
9. What are the future plans for the label and your own artistic plans?
Plans for the label are really just to keep taking things one step at a time (see what I did there ;) Obviously we want to grow and get noticed but want to do this by doing things the right way and how we go about our business now. As I said earlier; the key to what this label is based on is being friendly and churning out quality tracks and for people to want to come and be a part of our family.
I would love a release on the label at some point but in no rush to bang something out for the sake of it, it will come in good time that’s a fact. Not made a track in so long my head is full of ideas need to knuckle down soon though.
10. What is your favourite part about running a record label?
So many favourite parts about being involved with Second Step Records, listening to new music, making new friends, being able to push out killer tracks that no one has unearthed, getting people to hear things that they might not of ever heard before and having a bloody good time.