Label Profile: Sleazy Deep
In this Social Media, internet-empowered age it’s never been easier to run your own label. But the flip side of that truth is it’s never been harder to make yourself stand out, to make your label rise above the competition, to make your passion a career.
Which is why the inexorable rise and rise of Sleazy Deep, Sleazy G and offshoots Ghetto and Sleazy Tech and the latest White Series – is all the more impressive.
A one-man labour of love, London DJ and producer Rob Made has turned Sleazy Deep from an ultra-cool indie label to a fast-rising dance music juggernaut, firing out Ibiza anthems (2016’s ‘A Peaceful Crowd,’) Hype Edit destroying reworks (K&K’s Double 99 take on ‘Rip Groove’) and more recently with the huge success of Ryan Blyth’s ‘You Can’t Hide’, picking up support from A-list DJs like Sonny Fodera, Sam Divine and Danny Tenaglia to Mat.Joe, MK, Josh Butler and Idris Elba on a regular basis showing the labels diversity across genres.
Launched in 2011, Sleazy Deep quickly built up a powerful roster of talents, including Finnebassen, Vanilla Ace, Pete Oak while their Sleazy G imprint, and sub-label Ghetto, signed up big-hitting names like Amine Edge & DANCE, Sirus Hood, Shiba San and Tapesh. To date, the Sleazy empire has released 1108 tracks over the past 6 years, a whopping 184 tracks a year, equivalent to a single every 2 days.
Throughout the musical journey, the standards have remained remarkably high, as Rob’s A&R skills have pinpointed up-coming talent with laser-like precision: a case in point is K&K, signed to Sleazy Deep sub-label Sleazy Tech. Their 2016 release ‘Peaceful Crowd’ dominated charts and clubs alike, finding its way into virtually every DJ’s USB including Radio 1 plays from Annie Mac & Jax Jones.
While Rob’s focus is inevitably on his homegrown labels, he’s had his own fair share of success on his Sleazy mission, with Solomun loudly championing his tracks ‘The Way I See’ and ‘Made You Love Me’.
Rob’s now super busy working on his own new music – we sat down with him to talk about the labels in depth, he’s also created a special mix of 100% Sleazy music for you to enjoy below.
When and what inspired you to start your own label?
I was already a part of DJ Duo 2’s Company DJing the London circuit with residencies from The Cross to Egg, Key Club, 54 & many more for 10+ years… we had a track on Global Underground’s Nu-Breed with Jim Rivers plus running our label F*** House Music. I was also a solo artist under the name L.E.O, signed early on to Saved and thanks to Jimpsters remix my track got Pete Tong’s Essential New tune back in 2007. This was all based around that dirty, electro house & tech era but “something special” was happening in the underground and the launch of Jamie Jones & Lee Foss’s Hot Creations spawned pivotal tracks like Danny Daze’s Your Everything & Miguel Campbell’s Something Special all a huge part of this new deep, nu disco & house sound around 2011. This was something I really fell in love with it so that’s when I decided to start my own label of this style and my new moniker, Rob Made was born.
Why did you choose the name Sleazy Deep? plus the newer sub-labels & series within?
I was working at Universal music around that time, sat at my desk with close friend Ross beside me when I’d made the decision for a new label and needed a name. I asked what’s cool about house music right now & we both thought it was, well, sleazy. The term deep was also propping up and being used a lot so both seemed to be cool words within the scene, I put the two together and got Sleazy Deep!
This became the first and main label of the Sleazy brand for all things nu-disco moving towards the more modern sound I’d say is House music, deep and vocal with our own vibe come, I’d like to think due to myself being the only ears behind all signings it’s given the label it’s own niche.
The first sub-label, Sleazy G launched in late 2013 with Amine Edge & DANCE, the name & label came about due to a new wave & popular sound of G-House, I’d already signed a few bits to Sleazy Deep even Solomun’s 2DiY label had a few tracks out with Kolombo. AE&D’s Lost was due to come out on Sleazy Deep yet after long talks with Amine Edge, knowing he & DANCE had their all new label for G-House coming, Cuff, I decided to create the sub-label Sleazy G (for G-House) knowing this sound was about to go Global, which it did and we had HUGE success’s over the coming years and helped launched many artists globally. That heavier hitting house sound grew so popular with it’s tough beats & bass driven vibe that actually over-shadowed Sleazy Deep for a few years but I turned that all around in the last few years which is what gave me the idea of bringing Sleazy Deep into a more rounded now house label outside the nu-disco world we’d become known for. I’m glad I did as now it’s by far the strongest and where it should be of the labels.
The latest sub-labels or series on both labels are Sleazy Deep’s / Sleazy Tech for obvious reasons haha, Sleazy G / Ghetto series catering for that more underground, bass, tech & techno vibes and my latest White series on Sleazy Deep which is keeping its finger on the pulse for current trends in House, Disco and sample-based club-ready music which I like to think finalises the full spectrum of Sleazy, it’s brand, something for everyone across most genres, quality dance music in all it’s forms, any time of day or night!
Which artists are on the labels?
From the early days we had acts across both labels that have all gone on to do amazing things from: No Artificial Colours, Finnebassen, The Mekanism, JOBE, Pete Oak, Framewerk, Teenage Mutants & more on Sleazy Deep to Amine Edge & Dance, Shiba San, Sirus Hood on Sleazy G to the more current artists like Ryan Blyth, Sammy Deuce, Babert, CZR, J Paul Getto, K & K, Skeleton Keys, Bajau, Sonickraft, Roger That on Deep/Tech/White and on Sleazy G/Ghetto with Ryuken, Bad Boy Bill, Gettoblaster, MDE, Zurra, Brothers In Arts & FeelGood and our newcomer ladies Leigh Taurean & GVRL !
Which DJs play your music?
We’ve been lucky to have huge support across all the labels from Solomun, Karmon, Sharam Jey, Kolombo, MANIK, Groove Armada, Seth Troxler, Miguel Campbell, Maceo Plex, Lee Foss in the earlier days and now with support from Annie Mac, David Guetta, Idris Elba, Josh Butler, Sam Divine, MK, Mat.Joe, Mark Knight, Ardalan, David Penn, Judge Jules, Mark Lower, Kryder, Golf Clap, Anna Lunoe, Vanilla Ace, K-Klass and what seems to be constant support on Kiss FM from Charlie Tee, Joel Corry and many many more… There’s quite a huge diversity of DJ’s following the labels, which is exactly what I want. I don’t think we can be pigeon holed, at all…
Proudest Sleazy Deep moment?
That’s a tough call but quite possibly seeing Sleazy being dropped on TV (BBC red button), Jax Jones started his Radio 1 Ibiza Weekender Set live from Café Mambo on Annie Mac’s show playing K & K’s Peaceful Crowd!!!
He’d already contacted us to see if he could create a special edit for his current tour, but we never expected to see or hear it on live TV – A close second would be my Miami Sleaze album on Sleazy Deep topping the Beatport release charts in 2013 – both stand out moments for me alongside many others.
What’s coming up on the Sleazy labels?
Wow so much to mention, loads & loads of killer music across all the labels, we’re concentrating more on singles and EP’s and trying to push as much ‘Original’ material as possible, yet it’s hard to turn down killer edits, or use of samples that really do lift the bar. I’ve done away with Various Artist albums for now and trying to cut out the amount of remixes too.
We do however have two amazing artist albums coming out this year, one from Harry Judda on Sleazy G/Ghetto label which is 11 tracks covering a wide spectrum of sounds from Deep House, Garage, Bass & Techno – it’s really, really good! I also signed a special album from an artist called Forma. He kept sending me tracks and even though they weren’t necessarily club tracks they were all really, really good amazing music. So I decided to do an album with him which will be mainly aimed at Spotify and a possible 12” run. It’s a great listening experience which I think is quite rare these days.
Artist wise I’m really excited for some cross-over / house underground stuff from new signing SKG, raw and powerful house stuff from Sleazy G’s GVRL and Skinnybit both helping me change the sound of Sleazy G to a more current ravey, bass & warehouse, almost old school house vibes. More stuff to mention is from Skeleton Keys, Ryuken, hot new signings from King & Early, Abeyance, Markosa, Sound Out, DJ Kez & Karol N, Kornum & Karma, Sammy Deuce & so many many more watch this space.
Advice for wanna be label heads?
I think you’ve really got to think outside the box in this current market and take more risks, do it because it’s something you are committed to, passionately. I think with everything being so saturated from DJs to labels with no real quality control like in the old vinyl days, middle tier DJs/Producers & Labels struggling to push through to that next level and things are becoming to safe across most lineups.
Current trends seem to be sticking because everyone is looking at the top tier because they guarantee bums on seats, In turn all the new artists/bedroom DJs/Producers and new label owners are copying those top 10 Beatport hits which seems to not spark any new creativity, stagnating the scene with so much copycat stuff. I’m hoping more & more young innovative producers set all that aside and make music from the heart, with no rush for fame. Then we may see another spark in genre defying WTF is this? and who’s label it is paving the way forwards… you never know, maybe it’ll be yours? But for now, I’d like to think it’s mine !!! 😉
5 Essential Sleazy releases:
1) Jax Jones Plays ‘K & K – Peaceful Crowd’ Radio 1 Ibiza Weekender 2017 from 1min
2) Amine Edge & DANCE playing ‘LOST’ Sleazy G on Mixmag’s in the LAB from 50mins
3) Our chart topping Ryan Blyth ‘You Can’t Hide’ on Sleazy Deep
4) Rob Made’s ‘You & Me’ Sleazy Deep, where it all began!
5) Current Favourite & Annie Mac Radio One played CZR & J Paul Getto ‘House Sensation’ Sleazy Deep / White