The Director’s Chair Label Manager Interview 105 Durtysoxxx
If you listen to techno you will have heard of “Funk’n Deep”, they are one of the biggest techno label’s at the moment with a high turnaround of big tracks from great artists. The man behind them is Durtysoxxx, that you may know as the artist Durtysoxxx. We took a timeout with him, to have a little chat about both Funk’n Deep and Durtysoxxx to see how he manages his time and what their plans are moving forward.
Q1 Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Mike. Can you give us a little background on Funk’n Deep and how you have gone from being a brand-new label to one of the bigger respected labels with over 200 releases?
Funk’n Deep Records has always based our releases on quality. When we first launched, we were releasing various genres from Deep House and NuDisco to Tech House and Techno. At the time, it was great to see so many great demos being submitted, but it also felt a bit broad. After about 6 months, I realized the majority of our audience were Techno fans. So I decided to move in that direction and focus on strictly Techno & Tech House. I am also a huge fan of Techno, so it just made sense. The past 3 years have gone by extremely quick and I have been really fortunate to be able to release music for so many incredible artists.
Q2 Must have a sense of achievement through all this to now having support from some major artists. How do you keep on top of the workload is it just you, or do you have a team around you, and how does that work?
In the beginning, this was all handled my myself and it took so much time out of my schedule working endless hours. As time progressed and the label became bigger and being more notarized, I felt that it was necessary to put a team in place, that handled certain roles within the label, so it can free up some of my time, and I can put more focus on the important aspects in making sure that the label was growing. Developing and nurturing relationships with my artists has been one of the most important roles for me and Funk’n Deep, by always striving to keep showcasing our talented artists on the label.
Q3 What is the main complications you find in a saturated digital market, and how does Funk’n Deep keep fresh to maintain its prestige place in the market?
Main complications include making sure that your sound and image don’t get lost in the shuffle, because of this over saturated market, and finding ways to make sure that your sound and image stand apart from the rest. One of the things that has made Funk’n Deep so successful is making sure our releases stay consistent, so our audience knows what to expect. I’d like to say Funk’n Deep specializes in Techno of the dark, deep, driving, and groovy varieties.
Q4 I noticed big connection with Europe, specifically your attendance at ADE last year. How do you rate these events such as ADE, IMS, WMC for labels and artists, and what if any benefits do you think they bring?
I truly believe these events are extremely beneficial. It mostly has to do with putting the face to the name, and networking, and the sound that we hear regularly. We’re connected and work with artists all over the world, but what makes the most lasting impression and impact is to actually meet in person. It gives us a chance to build on our relationships and get to know each other on a more personal level, which is why ADE has been a huge part of us growing together as artists. I view my label as one big family and treat every artist the same. We all respect each other and do our best to help one another strive to achieve our goals.
Q5 A little about yourself Mike as Durtysoxxx, with great releases on of course Funk’n Deep, Phobiq, IAMT, Transmit, and Toolroom. You are no stranger to great output, but how would you describe your own sound and what motivates you as a producing artist?
Describing my sound, its like describing my label. Techno of the dark, deep, driving, and groovy varieties. My motivation has been the artists I work and communicate with on a regular basis. I see them achieving their goals signing on top labels, which pushes me to try to keep up with them. I understand the level of commitment it requires, so I always strive to push my sound forward and constantly learn to develop my productions.
Q6 You also have a busy calendar over the next couple of months, what are you most looking forward to this year on an event and perspective, and why?
I’m really focused on branding this year and have put together Funk’n Deep Showcases across the globe featuring our amazing artists. In the next few months, we’ll have showcase events in Costa Rica, Guatemala, United States, Canada, Holland , Greece, and more to be announced. Words can’t describe how excited I am to do what I love all over the world.
Q7 Back onto the label and Funk’n Deep was already closed for submissions in the first month of this year, so what exciting things can you tell us to expect in 2017 on both the label releases and event schedule?
I’m proud to say that Funk’n Deep has created a new sub label called Funk’n Deep Black. So keep an eye out as we have some very special releases forthcoming this year that will include some of the most exciting names in Techno such as Skober, Spektre, Frankyeffe, Tomy DeClerque, Ron Costa, Mars Bill, Steve Mulder, Kostas Maskalides, and more. On an event basis, we have many label showcases planned in different parts of the world, as well as regular events based in the United States. There’s a couple other projects I am working on, but not able to discuss at this time…so you’re just going to have to wait. 🙂