Interview by: Mica D'Alesandro
Never Say Die Records is celebrating its 4th anniversary. They mark their 50th stellar release with an exclusive compilation of tracks from an array of associated talent. Out last week, the comp includes eight incredible tracks including brand new remixes from Zomboy, MUST DIE!, SKisM, Dodge & Fuski, The Prototypes, LAXX, and Eptic & Habstrakt.
NSD is currently one of the dominant forces in the bass music scene. Their roster boasts a total of 25 artists alongside some label classics that continue to capture the attention of fans globally including Engine Ears 'Rogue Status' (Xkrore Remix) and Zomboy's 'Nuclear.' These artists have made their mark especially in 2013, with a majority of them on tour, fans have got to experience their jam packed sets which continues their love for more bass.
Today, we bring you an interview with label co-founder SKisM, a.k.a. Tommy Dash, who has tons of advice for producers on the come-up.
Zomboy, MUST DIE! and SKisM were incredible live this year, what makes your artists stand out from the rest?
We definitely all have our own sound, but they all sit so nicely under the wider umbrella of the Never Say Die sound which translates so well to dance-floors. In terms of live performance I think we have one of the strongest rosters in the scene. Zomboy's sets are like a work-out for both him and the crowd, Mine are based more on technical mixing and mashing, Eptic has this effortless ability to roll out to any crowd and Must Die! has such a wealth of material under his belt that he can take a crowd on a journey almost soley with his tunes.
What are your standards when picking new artists for your label?
Obviously first and foremost the production quality and songwriting has to be top notch, but I always look at the bigger picture. Someone can send an absolute beast of a tune, but I have to hear absolutely everything they are working on, talk to them about their vision and meet them in person before signing them to the label.
How did Zomboy, Eptic and others producers capture your attention?
It's my job to keep my ear to the ground, so people who start making a lot of noise like Eptic & Must Die! were always on my radar. Zomboy was quite a unique case because I literally just stumbled across him on Soundcloud a matter of weeks after he made his first few tunes, and the strange thing is I very rarely browse through Soundcloud aimlessly, but the force was with him that day.
Which new upcoming artists would you like to see added to the roster (if you can give up any secrets)?
No secrets here, we've just signed LAXX who's from Oxford in the UK and we're ridiculously excited about what he's got in store for 2014 It's really hard to be original these days, but everything he pumps out is truly unique but always sounds like him.
What will we be expecting for the new year?
To sum it up in one word I'll say "variation." We're kicking off the year with a massive electro releases from Far Too Loud and newcomers Resistance, LAXX's debut EP and a couple of other Various Artist projects. 2013 saw us diversify our sound a lot and that's what we're going to continue to do in 2014.
There are some great tracks in this release, my personal favorite is Zomboy's 'Here to stay' MUST DIE! Remix. What makes the 50th stand out and unique?
I think it's a really good representation of what we've achieved and what to expect. Alot of the exclusives take fan favorites and flip them on their heads and we've given our new guys a great opportunity to shine.
What festivals did your artists play and impact this year?
It was a great year for festivals, between us all we hit - Exit Festival in Serbia, Laundry Day and Dour in Belgium, Secret Garden Party in the UK, Shambhala in Canada, Tomorrow World, EDC, Global Dub and loads more...
In the past 4 years, what has been some of your breakthrough tracks you have released?
Freestylers - Cracks (Flux Pavilion Rmx), Foreign Beggars ft Skrillex (Still Getting It), Zomboy - Game Time, SKisM - Experts
What advice can you give to new talented producers out there trying to get their work and name out there?
Master your craft and don't run before you can walk. Wait until your music is ready and you've really found your sound before you send it out to labels / A&Rs.