You probably know Double denim record As an independent upstart that introduces you to things like Empress Off, Outfit and Kero Kero Bonito. However, if you dive deeper into the label Back Catalog There are 10 years of weird pop music sounds to immerse yourself in. There are surprises that you don’t necessarily associate with London institutions, such as electro-pop star Charlie XXX and a few features of the Fabiana Paladino record created by electronic soul singer-music writer, Sampa.
The passionate and sincere desire of the label’s founders Jack Thomas and Harry Ashurst-Wayne that they were always at the center of the label to share and spread the music they discovered in the corners of the internet. In fact, when asked about the inspirational idea for launching Double Denim Records, Thomas abruptly admits, “We just thought, we’ll try and do one.”
Here, Thomas shares how, 10 years after its inception, the label is passionate about revealing what they once referred to as “important pop music during Clickbite.”
Building Good Credit
Unlike most record label original stories, it started with a joke in the middle of an exhibition at an art gallery, a weird Tumblr post, and a frequently used credit card.
Thomas and Asherst-Wayne were working together at the Orange Dot Gallery in London, spending their time together with a playlist from music found on the obscure Tumblr blog. Unable to find those blogs inspired by a wide range of unpublished music, they decided to create their own. But unlike their contemporaries, the playlist requirements for double denim blogs were stringent. They make it their mission to highlight songs that listeners can’t hear anywhere else.
“The short was to find something online that was almost no drama. It’s like 10 or 20 plays, whether it’s MySpace, SoundCloud or anywhere.” “It was obviously pre-streaming as we know it now. Then we would post about it and we could add a paragraph unrelated to the music, really. Not a blog in the normal sense, but some random paragraph. About what we found on Wikipedia.”
Off-kilter posts and elusive music have struck a chord among listeners and readers. Over time, they have noticed re-posts from the same blogs that initially inspired them to start their own. Popular publications then began sharing their searches regularly, with their tracks consistently landing on the Pitchfork homepage.
“We thought, ‘Maybe we’ve got a good ear for doing things like this.’ This was the first campaign to do any kind of A&R [work]. “
Using their joint musical instrument (Asherst-Ven was then composing and playing the song, and Thomas was Jing), they decided to take the Double Denim blog to the Double Denim, record label.
“At the time, a lot of labels, especially UK labels, we were working a lot of 7 inches. That was the beginning. Fortunately, we were sold within that inch, which means we can do another one. So, it went back to the credit card. “
That wide-eyed optimism paid off, and they realized that people are willing to pay for the real expression of what they started with the blog.
“The -inch was very important because it was a physical product. I remember when we made the first one, and we were able to sell a few at the Rough Trade in London. The fun of the first 7 inches was great. “
Another confidence in their outlook came through a feature of the NME.
“A friend of ours at the art gallery took a picture of us in the laundromat across the street from the gallery, trying to feel the cold. I think it was probably the moment when it seemed real.”
Looking back, Thomas agrees that he and Ashurst-Wayne were not only in the right place at the right time, but their mindset on taking creative risks starts a record label with a card swipe that is not only realistic but also practical.
“We were doing art shows and events [Hari] I was making music at the time, and I was still doing a little DJ. [In your] In the early twenties, don’t you think about the things you do when you’re there? That’s good. I hope I can make that spirit a kind of bottle because I think the bigger you get, the more you will throw yourself into these things. “
Hari Ashurst-Wayne and Jack Thomas, founders of Sony Malhotra’s Double Denim Records
Although their artists are always on the lookout for pop, the label does not include the requirements of the pigeon-hold or its roster strict genre. That being said, there is still a thread that binds it together.
“If you nailed it a thing, I think there’s a word to look back on,” Thomas agreed to release their music. “I think when you listen to everything together, which I’ve been doing for 10 years, and to look back a little bit, it all kind of hangs together. Which really shouldn’t be. Because you’ve got a band like Outfit that’s making indie music, Really amazing music, but then you’ve got KKB that’s creating bilingual pop-rap, and so there shouldn’t be a bridge between the two, but here. “
Thomas realizes that the aforementioned general thread is a special discretion in taste and the spread of a word that only he and Ashurst-Veni are conscientious arbitrators.
“I think because the label is a very personal thing for me and Harry, and our tastes meet somewhere in the middle, [the sound] Just that meeting point. It becomes quite a personal thing because it combines somewhere with a very unique taste of the two, which is quite difficult to find. “
To describe how elusive and confusing that word can be, they know when they got it. Their A&R method may have evolved from the days when they hated the Internet, competing for who could find the best, most obscure track, but the principle of following their ears and instincts still happens naturally.
“We’ve got a lot of inbound demos now, which is really good, and the quality is also quite high, so we find a lot of things that way. [Before] It was the friends of many of the friends we worked with, especially in the New York set that we worked with. Sam [Owens] Celestial Shore was a friend of Laurel [Rodriguez] In the Empress. Spencer Jahan – whom we later released and who has a new record in casinos – was in Laurel’s band. We found this wonderful place in Brooklyn, and they were friends of Body Language, whom we also left behind. We probably had a few years where we had this network, which provided plenty of releases. “
Although they did not neglect what they first got here. They still find time to hunt for finely preserved treasures that lead to the next gem discovery.
“Sometimes, we both go to bandcamps and the internet more extensively and find things. It’s always a kind of surreal experience because you just stuck to yourself, almost all the tabs are open, hit the internet, and try to find things, which That’s how we started the label, so it always feels pretty good. ”
Their recent attacks on “Inside the Internet” have given Double Denim a few releases that were slated for release next year, and they have still successfully found artists who match their individual bills.
“We’re working with a new artist named Stella Emmett. She’s probably the closest thing to me for a long time, the kind of left-center pop thing we try to do.” Charting the future
Predicting the future of the music industry may seem like a daunting task in this day and age, especially the effects of Kovid-1 of the recent protests and civic unrest. Issues of equality and diversity have come to the forefront of the discussion, while artists fight for the best way to fund their careers when using their platforms. For their part, Double Denim Records expects a light to shine and a step in the right direction to accommodate the artists presented.
“From an industry standpoint, we’ve probably supported an imperfectly high number of women and bilingual artists for the amount we’ve probably released. That wasn’t really a question for us as a label. , You have to try and help change it. Somehow, that’s what we try and do. Not being able to run shows, not being able to travel, the things that hurt artists.
Although it is now difficult to find zero drama tracks on the web, Thomas is optimistic about how the Internet has made music democratization possible for independent artists and what it means to have the ability to gain autonomy over their careers while reaching a wider audience.
“Having a platform, even if it takes a small indie label out of music, is actually a very important thing. We started when we didn’t have so many platforms around. I think everyone has it now. A voice and a platform. , Which may be wrong at times, but I think it’s good, more generally a force. Encouraged as much as possible. “