At a time when mediocrity and artifice dilute and diminish dance music, two tastemakers have formulated the antidote. Enter ‘Stay True Sounds’, a new independent record label that places good taste over hits and longevity over trends.
A partnership between Kid Fonque and Jullian Gomes, the label’s creative agenda is simple: to unearth, nurture and present real, evocative music.
Inspired by their shared experience and passion as DJs and the music knowledge, ceaseless research and collecting which supports it, Stay True Sounds aspires to deliver what they demand as music lovers, collectors, DJs and artists.
First off, I just want to congratulate the both of you on this new and exciting venture you have chosen to undertake. Many people in this industry are often too afraid to act on their artistic desires, so you seeing you guys make these steps is very inspirational.
You guys have had the idea to establish your own label for a while now. Can you pinpoint the exact moment or catalyst that inspired the actual implementation of this idea?
Jullian: I had the idea in mind for a while but did not approach Kid because of his role at Soul Candi. I knew it would take to much out of him to run 2 labels, but one day out of the blue he called me and put forward that he was interested in starting a label and the rest was just a natural progression.
It’s well documented that there is a long standing relationship between the two of you, both in and out of the musical sphere. Why do you think you have such productive chemistry together?
Jullian: I think we just 2 people that love music & we always willing to meet each other halfway for the sake of the greater vision that we trying to accomplish.
What strengths do you think Stay True Sounds will gain from you guys having experienced the inner workings of other major house labels?
Kid: The music industry is one very tricky; compilcated business and I feel I still have lots to learn. I think the biggest thing I have gained is to keep it simple. It’s tricky and your artists rely on you so much as a label and representative of their art, but keep everything honest and work together for the comon goal.
On the other side of the spectrum, what pitfalls that you possibly observed while being on other labels are you going to try and avoid as you run Stay True Sounds
Kid: I think viewing a label as a business it is so difficult not to chase profits as all business’s do You are dealing with peoples hearts and time so it needs to come from more of a place of respect for the music and if the music is that good the money will flow. I think Jullian and I both agree that we are not chasing hits, we are chasing quality and hopefully that will be enough to sustain us all.
What current record label model, if any, was Stay True Sounds crafted around.
I have been following independent labels for as long as I can remember and there are so many that I truly respect and have stood the test of time, Warp, Ninja Tune, Stones Throw are all like majors now with big catalogues and big release schedules supplying independent music across genres. I like that idea that you can become well respected for following the music you love and grow a culture of like minded people.
If I had to try and explain our release schedule, it’s somewhere between a BBE, ARCO & Stones Throw.
Like any other new venture, starting one’s own record label can be scary. Despite the excitement something new brings, were there any significant fears that initially caused some apprehension.
Jullian: I guess the biggest fear is throwing your own money into something not knowing what the outcome could be. It’s a gamble considering where the music industry is at the moment but we love music and we don’t know anything else but music. We want to build a musical legacy and that’s the purpose of STS.
On your podcast, you guys played some sounds from Melo B. Jones, which just further illustrates that the only genre you’re limited to is plain old good music. Are there any other genres that you find intriguing that might surprise people?
Jullian: When it comes to STS, we’re not specific on any genre but rather just anything that makes us excited and make us fall in love with music over and over again.
Is there a specific region or scene in SA where you feel you’ll be sourcing the most talent from?
Jullian: Everywhere & Anywhere. If we feel it, we’ll represent it.
Moving forward when it comes to sourcing new artists for Stay True Sounds, what non-negotiable traits do you think a potential signee needs to possess?
Kid: I am always looking for music, as a DJ and just a fan, I get a buzz out of something new. Jullian and I both get excited when we hear something fresh, a new idea, something unique. That’s what will always make someone stand out from everyone else is their uniquness and that’s what we are looking for.
I think we are both so excited to share our artists through Stay True with everyone so you can hear what we are on about.
And on the last note I have been in this industry for 10 years and there is nothing worse than working with artists who are so talented but so full of themselves. It’s not difficult to be nice and humble, be fresh musically and nice and we will get along just fineJ
This coming Friday the launch of your label will be taking place at one of Johannesburg most prominent musical hubs, Kitcheners. What kind of spectacle can the audience expect on that night?
Kid: We are finally going to share our artists with you! We have SA’s Soul sister Melo B Jones doing her thing live on stage which is a site to see, We have DJ sets from Myself, Jullian, rising star Bruce Loko and my favorite Cuebur + Sio Black Widow and myself have rehearsed a little something which will showcase some of the material from my album collaboration with D-Malice coming out in 2016.
Well the Kool Out family will definitely be out there to show support. We wish you nothing but good luck on all future endeavours, and hope you become beacons of light in the local music scene.
Many thanks for the Wishes!