House Music With Love is an electronic label and channel based in Malmö, Sweden who are also co-hosting the annual electronic Backyard Sessions festival.
We caught up with Alex & Oli to ask them how the coronavirus is affecting the Swedish electronic scene and also get some growth hacking tips for boosting your sales and streams during these lockout days.
Electronic Groove: Hello both, how are you doing today? In these COVID-19 times we see so many people in the music business struggling, how are you handling the current days and what’s the situation in Sweden?
Oli: Thanks for the invite. Sweden is affected but our regulations are not as strict as in many other countries. There are no lockdowns, we are still allowed to go to work and schools. But there is a prohibition to host events for more than 50 people. So 99% of all events are canceled in the country.
EG: Alright. so your Backyard Sessions festival is not happening this year? And how is Backyard Sessions connected to HMWL?
Alex: This year we already canceled three events with bookings like Faithless, Bebetta, Axel Boman, Kornel Kovacs, and many more. Our annual Backyard Sessions festival in August will probably get postponed to autumn or to next year depending on the situation. We value our guests health before everything else and will proceed very cautiously even if the regulations get lifted during the summer.
Backyard has been our favorite event project for many years. Since 2015 we grew from a Sunday daytime event for 100 friends playing music in Malmö’s main park to a 3000 people festival every August featuring Booka Shade, Claptone, Dubfire, Joris Voorn, Recondite Sonja Moonear, Tensnake, to name a few.
The festival is connected to HMWL label since the Backyard Sessions event series was originally started by Alex Esser (HMWL) and Jerome Lanthaume (Deep House Sweden). Some artists playing at Backyard release music on HMWL and vice versa.
EG: How are things going for HMWL Label?
Oli: We decided early on to not feel too sad or victimized. The pandemic is global and we are all in the same boat. It’s even worse for venues with weekly shows and for touring artists. So instead we focused all our attention on our HMWL label and started to chat to some 20+ artists about signing some demos.
All the job losses and tragic situations aside there is something beautiful and needed about this. We realized that very many artists got forced to take a break from constant touring and are chilling with their families, taking walks in nature (where allowed), and getting back into studios with much more creative energy and time when in many years.
Alex: So far we have new music signed and ready to be released by Marco Tegui, Dole & Kom, Death on Balcony, Bodaishin & Izhy, Amir Telem, Noramirma, Urmet K, Jim Rider, and many more.
Since corona lockdowns hit Europe and the US we see a clear 15-20% increase in views on our Youtube channel. No major increase on Spotify but our playlists are streaming as good as before Corona. Our guess is that people all over the world stream more music when they stay inside and work from their homes. Also, the major labels are postponing many of their releases so there is a lot of space for indie / long tale players like us to get heard by the editors around the world.
EG. Can you name two interesting releases HMWL has in the pipeline?
Oli: There is an Orgánica Compilation which we are very happy about and that is releasing today. There are 9 tracks produced by deep house and downtempo veterans like Marco Tegui, Urmet K, MIICHII, Amentia, and Slow Nomaden and some fresh cuts by newcomers including Bodaishin, Izhy, Noramirma, Jim Rider and Regndans.
Alex: Also we have a massive afro house bomb called ‘El Acordeon Triste’ dropping in June. The track is by The Angels, a Tel Aviv production duo who are also a married couple making music and DJing together. The remixes by Dole & Kom, ABKIN, and Rafael are massive!
“We decided early on to not feel too sad or victimized. The pandemic is global and we are all in the same boat”
EG: Can you name a few artists to watch in 2020?
Wanduta – a Paris based live artist.
Bodaishin – from Argentina, makes timeless downtempo electronica.
NoraMirma – two guys from the commercial music scene in Tel Aviv moving into underground and deep house field.
The Angels – Moran and Steven Angel from Tel Aviv a married couple that produce very amazing tech and afro house together.
Madura – a local Swedish talent, she will be dropping a debut EP very soon.
Regndans – meaning “Rain Dance” in Swedish is the moniker of Felix, the sound engineer at Inkonst, Malmös foremost techno club.
EG: Any growth hacks or general tips for electronic musicians today?
Alex: Work a lot with Spotify and Apple pre-saves. We’ve been playing around with services like Feature.fm, Hypeddit.com and Presave.io. Targeting your fans and similar audiences helps you to get your track into the listener’s libraries before it gets released. This helps a lot with Release Radar and Discover Weekly.
Build networks and boost each other. Join a group of similar artists and help each other by crossposting your live streams, pushing each other’s releases, and swapping tracks on each other’s playlists.
Dare to push more digital content. Since all your fans are spending their times in front of their computer and phone screens right now, dare to be out there. You don’t have to make any fancy videos and hire a production team. Just a quick blurb from your studio recording a new track or having breakfast on your balcony works perfectly. Lo-fi is also more genuine.
EG: 3 worst and 3 best things about the current worldwide lockdown?
HMWL: First the worst:
1. No summer festivals happening this year (finger crossed though).
2. So many great venues and artists going through heavy economical struggle.
3. Lack of social interaction. Zoom and Skype can only get you that far. We miss meeting our friends for a drink in the spring sun.
Then the best:
1. Livestreams by Klunkenkranich Rooftop. The guys are doing such an amazing job streaming tirelessly for so many days now.
2. The pandemic is actually very good for the environment and the climate crisis. Have you seen any airplanes in the skies lately?
3. Everyone winding down and living in a more sustainable way. It’s hard but also very good for many people to live on less and understand that we can’t take our consumer lifestyles for granted.
HMWL Organica Deep House Vol 1 is now available. Stream and buy here.