Simply Deep is an independant record label, promotional channel and online music platform. Founded in 2013, they've since progressed from what was originally only a YouTube channel for music promotion to what is now a functioning label with a regular slot on London's Radar Radio. We caught up with label manager Sam Sharp, aka Aerotonin, to find out more.
So Simply Deep began as YouTube channel to promote artist's music. Is it that urge to support and share the music you enjoy that now drives the label?
Definitely, one of the main motivations behind it is being able to give more unheard-of artists the limelight they deserve to showcase their music, whilst trying to limit as many barriers as possible when it comes to things like genres etc. I want every artist we work with to not feel restricted by what they can put out. Even though it's still early days I'm already starting to feel like Simply Deep is becoming a welcoming little collective where we can all bounce and vibe off each others output and can strive us all individually to do even better
"To go from a Youtube Channel with no label presence at all, to having our material played out by some pretty big heads who I've also been a fan of prior to the label is madness."
How did you make the leap from YouTube channel to record label, talk us through the process.
The label was something I've been wanting to do for long time actually, It first started properly through a night in Skegness called 'Vexd Bass Culture' which was run by some of my friends where I got my first sets and started djing . A few of the residents had already started making thier own tunes, Jamie (Minglou) and Hyden (Imanzi) got my interest and they had really started stepping their game up production wise, I was really keen on putting some of it out and give it it's own platform to shine on (this was before I even started making my own tracks properly). It just kind of went from there really, that's when I knew I had to push Simply Deep further. I got a track each from those guys and then gathered up eight other tracks from like-minded producers, some which I had spoke with before, some were completely fresh contacts, and from there our first compilation was born and released December 2014. It's been a mad journey from there really.
When did the radio show come into play?
I gave Ben from Radar Radio an email about getting a show on Radar late last year, after about a week or so he got back to me saying he really liked the content we were putting out and gave me a one off show but he said it could lead to more in the future, I was very pleased that he actually wanted Simply Deep on Radar Radio considering we are still a pretty small label. Then one or two shows afterwards he offered me a monthly residency and everything's been going uphill from there! More interaction on the social networking pages, artists reaching out wanting to send music across to be played out/or released, it's really been a great Milestone for us. Like I said before about Simply Deep being able to give artists a place to showcase the music, now Radar has allowed us to push that even further and really help get a lot of people's music out there into the world.
"I'm already starting to feel like Simply Deep is becoming a welcoming little collective where we can all bounce and vibe off each others output"
Tell us about some of the artists you represent
We've only had three releases out so far it might be hard to see who we represent, but we've got a lot in the works to come. You can expect returning artists such as Finland based 'Dokunen' who was featured on our second release, such a unique production style, I'm really glad I stumbled on his Soundcloud, he has less than 100 followers too which is unbelievable, he deserves so much more attention. Boxwork has worked with us on the first two releases, being a long time fan of his as well it was a real pleasure having him on-board. Like Dokunen he is such a hybrid producer and I really love the content he puts out. Would love to work with him more in the future. We have recently released an EP with an artist from the Ukraine called Monotronique, also a Classical Trax affiliate. I'm very excited about getting his EP out there, like the artists before he is very unique and takes certain elements from different styles and molds them into something his own. I think the EP will show how verstile of a producer he can be. After Monotronique's EP I can confirm there will be a release from myself (Aerotonin) and Preston based 'Sensei'. I don't wanna give too much else away at this point, but you can expect some returning artists from our first compilation, as well as some new faces to the label.
Aside from our releases if you want to hear more of the artists we represent you can check out our show on Radar Radio 2-4am every second Saturday/Sunday or check the podcasts the day after. A short list of the artists I support through that would be people like Nuvaman, Sensei, Maribor, Monotronique, Joedan, Black Mags, I'm Obstacle, Chemist RNS, KXVU, Jubley/Tea Fiend, Invader Spade, Dokunen, the Nervous Horizon gang, Prjkts crew, Sepia, Imanzi, Minglou, Opus, Nights, Fish, Sherry S, Yak, Filter Dread, Farsight, Muttley, Neffa-T, Arctic, Charlux, Polonis, Limbic, Corpsicle, Tsundr, Sheik, Skubb & LTHL (sorry for anyone that I've missed out).
"through labels/collectives like Classical Trax, Prjkts and Nervous Horizon (to name a few) I've been more influenced into making this drum heavy, bass driven hybrid club kind of sound."
Have there been any standout moments in which you knew the Simply Deep had real potential? I always thought I could turn it into something worthwhile from the beginning if I worked at it. It's been hard though because even though I've had help from some of my friends, other artists along the way it has mostly been just me running it so that gives a lot of opportunities for me to second guess myself with the decisions I make if you know what I mean? But with everyone's support it's definitely given me a lot more confidence in that area. I think minus the opportunity with Radar Radio the main standout moments would have to be the support we've had down the line from the bigger artists playing out our releases, shout out to people like Dusk & Blackdown, My Nu Leng, Plastician, KXVU, Double Clapperz, Denham Audio, Bloom, Maribor and anyone else that's been supporting. To go from a Youtube Channel with no label presence at all, to having our material played out by some pretty big heads who I've also been fans of prior to the label is madness.
Do you guys have an overarching ethos and how do you think this sets you apart from other music labels? I guess the main thing that I think sets us apart from other labels is we try not to cater to one specific kind of sound or associate with one genre. I'm trying to keep the Simply Deep 'sound' as loose as possible but still having some elements consistent, generally a defining bass-line or some prominent low-end movement going on. Some people probably see this as a bad thing not sticking to one sound, but for me personally I want to try not limit the content we put out by trying to stick within certain guidelines with what we 'should' or 'shouldn't' release based upon aesthetics of our previous content, I want the label to be forever evolving.
"it has mostly been just me running it so that gives a lot of opportunities for me to second guess myself with the decisions I make if you know what I mean"
Tell us about yourself as Aerotonin.
I don't know where to start really, I've been producing for roughly about two years so I've still a lot to learn. The sound im pushing is loosely based around Grime, but recently through labels/collectives like Classical Trax, Prjkts and Nervous Horizon (to name a few) I've been more influenced into making this drum heavy, bass driven hybrid club kind of sound. Artists like Farsight, Ballast, TSVI, Paperchase, Vern & Milla, Lokane, Rushmore and Wallwork are pushing this style. This kind of sound has been really fun to make and will definitely working towards more in the future. My recent track 'Rare Candy' on Soundcloud is an example of this new direction. Release wise I have an EP with Simply Deep soon, something coming out with MisDigest and a collaboration with 'Nights' coming out on Vinyl with US based label Banana Stand Sound later this year/early next year. I've got a few other things lined up but nothing I can give away yet.
What can we expect from Simply Deep over the coming year?
Maybe 3-4 more releases this year, I'm not in any rush to get things out there, I'm a big believer of quality over quantity. There will be a limited run of t-shirts at some point this year, aside from that I'm just going to keep promoting everyone where I can on Radar Radio, get some talented artists down for the guest mixes, and keep pushing/promoting the label where I can."
Can we hope to see you guys around Bristol soon?
Hopefully I will be down for a few more sets this year, but nothing confirmed at this point. I'm relocating to Bristol in the future so at that point we can get more involved and hopefully put some nights on, which I am very excited about!
You can listen to Sam's guest mix as Aerotonin for Co:Radio below and catch them on Radar Radio 2-4am every second Saturday/Sunday. Interview by Beth Sheldrick. If you'd like to write or be written about contact us.