Now celebrating 5 years in the business, Zulu Records have firmly cemented their place as a respected label within the underground house scene. MDE’s imprint has featured DJs such as Doorly, House of Virus, Marc Vedo, Jonathan Ulysses, Son of 8, Luca Debonaire and many more over the years. Now, with well over 100 releases under their belts, Zulu have so far had 104 tracks in the Beatport Top 100, 11 of which reached the Top 10, and 2 of which went all the way to the top spot. Representing styles across the house music spectrum, from new up-and-coming artists, to industry giants and beyond, there’s no wonder why they’re currently sitting at #34 on Beatport’s best-selling House label charts.
To celebrate their 5 years in business we asked MDE to gives their 5 things that have changed whilst running a record label in the last 5 years and for more information on Zulu Records head to their website here.
1. For us at Zulu Records, streaming is the biggest change over the last five years. Before it became commonplace, music lovers and club goers would have to visit sites such as Beatport or Traxsource to get the new tracks they were hearing in clubs. Now they can stream the tracks from Spotify or Amazon so these stores can be visited rarely. This is not so good from a label perspective as a sale is worth a lot more than a realistic amount of streams. On the plus side, some listeners could potentially stream the tracks for many years, meaning the income is there but it will be spread out over a longer period.
The EDM Bubble
2. The EDM bubble bursting has had a big effect on the scene. Many artists have turned their backs on the main room EDM sound, and the result is an underground resurgence of Tech House and Techno. This is evident when you look at the Beatport top ten nowadays. This coupled with the streaming services now on offer, means the underground genres have a serious sales boost at the download stores which is great. It’s nice to see the hardworking tech artists get the recognition they deserve.
3. Beatport’s recently split house into three genres (House, Future House, Jackin’ / Funky house). This has meant changes for our label as now you really need to think about what genre a track is to give it the best chance of doing well and being featured by them. Managing the genres has proved hard for Beatport as the music is constantly evolving. The extra genres make sense and provide more opportunity for artist to get into the charts as there are now three top 100’s instead of one. This has to be a good thing in the long run!
4. We love the music industry as its constantly evolving at a fast pace. Technology also plays a massive part in this and the new voice activated units from Amazon & Google are paving the way for listeners to easily play and listen to music at home. These are game changing devices and the fact that our playlists and music can be so easily listened to means we are likely to see a bigger increase in streaming revenue from these services. Certainly exciting times. Anything that makes listening easier has our support!
5. The quality of demos we receive are always getting more and more professional. It’s never been easier to get started on producing as the software is so good now and it can be done with a basic laptop. There are more sample sites than ever with Loopmasters and Beatport Sounds releasing really great quality packs. We even have our own Zulu Records series on Beatport sounds. We have picked up more tracks from new artists this year than ever before, proving it’s never been a better time to start producing.