John Digweed’s career is built on substance. One of the planet’s most popular DJs, his sets never fall out of favour with clubbers the world over, as his relentless global gig schedule testifies. But he is much more than a DJ. Bedrock – his record label, promotions company and production partnership with Nick Muir – is a mothership of creative ingenuity and integrity that other labels orbit around. His vision for the Bedrock record label has been realized over 22 years, as he continuously seeks out mixes and remixes from the world’s best producers.
In the end, the real beauty in John Digweed’s story lies in his unflinching belief in the music he plays. And with new music comes new chapters in an already astonishing career.
John Digweed just released his latest compilation ‘Quatro’ via Bedrock. For the special occasion, the DJ and producer has shared some tips to successfully run a label.
1. Start small
My first piece of advice for starting up a label is to try and start small by building a collective with the sole purpose of doing it for fun. Don’t expect too much from your first releases, and if you’re lucky enough for them to be successful then you’re already off to a great start. Manage expectations and make sure your goals are attainable, to begin with.
2. Build your brand
It’s really important for your label to have a great identity. Whether it be a logo or an image or something that stands out so that people associate you with an online or vinyl release. Try and find a long-term graphic designer to maintain continuity and to make sure that each release flows in design. This is an investment and will pay off in the long run.
3. It’s all about the music
Release music that you love and you’re passionate about instead of something that you think is going to sell well. You’ll enjoy what you do so much more when you love the releases you’re putting out. Also try and work with artists that you have a great rapport with, as this will result in long-term relationships and further projects including album mixes/remixes.
4. Events and Club nights
Once your label starts to do well and you’ve built a small collective, it might be time to start running small-scale club nights. This will allow you to showcase the label’s releases and start building relationships with club-goers and a bigger following. You can use this as an opportunity to show people who you are and gain new fans.
5. Invest in merch
Once you’ve built your brand, identity, and following, launching a small range of t-shirts/merch is always a great way to engage with your fanbase. This helps increase revenue stream that you can then re-invest into label promo, advertising, and packaging of your music products. If your fans love what you do they’ll be happy to support you by buying your merch, and not to mention, it’s a great feeling when you see people wearing your label’s t-shirts when you play at a club.
John Digweed’s ‘Quatro’ is now available on Bedrock. Grab your copy here.