Q. Hi Tim, before we dive into the record label would you mind telling the readers who you are and what you've been up to lately?
Hi guys! My name is Tim and I’ve been working for DGTL for almost 5 years now. I came in to run artist liaison for all the festivals we do, but in 2017 I started working on our label, DGTL Records. These days I’m still a part of our music and bookings team, where I work on the label, our publishing, and some exciting new projects for next year.
Q. Can you give us a little introduction to DGTL Records?
DGTL Records is basically exactly what it says; the record label run by the same people that bring you DGTL shows all over the world. It builds on the same musical theme as the festivals, which is a pretty broad scope of all things house and techno. It’s an extra platform for us to showcase artists and work with great talent!
Q. As DGTL is primarily a festival, where did the inspiration to launch a label come from?
In 2016 we had an art installation at the Amsterdam festival, called the Transmission Tower. It was an audiovisual work, so we were looking for an artist to soundtrack it. KiNK was playing at the festival that year and also seemed like a perfect match sound-wise. He was up for it and made ‘Neutrino’ for us. The track was really good, so we felt we had to do more with it than just use it in the installation. This is where the first idea for a label came to mind. When we were setting it all up, it also really felt like a logical next step for us.
Q. Did you come across any challenges in the early stages of the label? How did you overcome these?
I think the main challenge I ran into in the early stages was getting releases out at a steady pace. As I was focused very much on releasing the first one, by KiNK, I didn’t really have anything lined up for after that. So, when it was finally released, I only then started working on the next ones. Working on multiple releases simultaneously, so there would always be good music to put out, was a big learning curve in the beginning. Delays happen all the time so you should take into account that the schedule will change a lot. I still make this mistake every once in a while, haha.
Q. What is the goal of DGTL Records? How has the label managed to maintain it’s philosophy?
The label's main goal has always been to be an extra music outlet, to be able to give our artists an extra platform, besides just lineups or festivals. I would like it to add value to our relationship with artists, but also to the relationship with our audience. I think moving forward I would also like it to be even more of a platform for (local) talent, showcasing exciting new artists we that come across during our endeavors around the world.
Q. What do you take into consideration when signing an artist?
Most important of course is the music itself, deciding if I would like to release it. I always find myself picturing the tracks I listen to being played at one of our stages, sometimes even by a particular DJ. Usually, I listen to it a few times over a few weeks to make a decision. But it does also depend on the artist, yes. Is it someone I can easily imagine being on the label, because he or she has been playing at our shows? That definitely helps, as the connection is already there. If not, we need to properly introduce the artist to our fanbase, or think of a nice way to present the music. A good example is like the Various Artists Volume Two compilation, which was filled with music from artists originating from the cities and countries we do DGTL shows in.
Q. Can you tell us about a release that’s closest to your heart and why?
Tough question. They all have their own story and are close to me in some way. But if I have to choose, I would say the first one, by KiNK. It took us quite a while to get there, but in the end, we got to release it just before the 2017 edition of our Amsterdam festival. Both tracks of the release were played by different artists at the festival, so getting to hear them at our own show, on full stages, that was a very accomplishing feeling.
Q. Are there any up and coming producers you are excited about?
On the 'Various Artists' release we did in April we had a lot of very exciting young(er) talent, like Colyn, Perdu, Magit Cacoon, and Lovshai. One of the things I’m currently working on is an EP by Elias Mazian, who just released an amazing synth-pop album on Job Jobse’s ‘De Vlieger’. For our release together we selected two blissful house tracks that I’m really excited about. In the coming months, I’m going to focus on bringing a lot more exciting up and coming producers on the label next year, so you’ll find out soon enough!
Q. What advice can you give to emerging artists who are trying to break into the business?
That’s a big question, haha! I think there are always multiple ways to ‘make it’, right? But speaking from a label point of view, I would say that I always appreciate artists that really make an effort to try out different styles, moods, and genres. Even if you are mainly focused on a certain style of music that you make, trying out something different every once in a while, but making it your own, can definitely improve your sound for the better. I think it can help achieve a great depth in your music!
You can buy/stream our DGTL Records releases here: