Catch up with Denver-based indie record label Made In The Shade, listen to two of their artists below, and look for much more to come in 2017.
What made you decide to start Made In The Shade?
Justin: It all started as a pipe dream. We're all a group of friends that all came together in Denver and it was one night at a party and we were just think and joking around about it, like, we have the ability to do this, why don't we just try and make it happen? And the next thing we knew, we were getting the papers ready to start an LLC, we were looking for artists, we were talking to everyone we knew who had a connection, and it just slowly started building into what it's become. We've only been around for a year now so we're still figuring everything out, but definitely coming together.
What would you say sets you apart from other labels?
Zoe: One thing that's really important to me is making sure that the artists don't have to make a major sacrifice to be signed to a label, which does happen sometimes with majors. I want them to retain their creative control and still be able to make decisions that they think they need to make for themselves without us interfering too much. Obviously, we're there to help if they need help and will step in if we need to, but we like to let the artist have control and let their vision play out, which I think is the biggest thing that we do. And we work very hands on with all of them, like, they can contact any of us at any time for whatever they need and we'll work it out.
Miles: Yeah, we're very personal and we feel that record labels have kind of got a bad rep and we attempt to fix that.
Patrick: Also we don't do these 360 deals so our contracts are pretty different from the standard.
Miles: Yeah, our main thing is that we want the artist to do the art and when we sign an artist, we sign them because of their art and our main goal isn't the profit - which a lot of record labels look at an artist and they're like, oh, they're super profitable - we look at an artist and we're like, wow they love their art and they're so passionate and we feed that. We want to feed their fire and turn their passion into something that's a reality for them that they can live out with their music.
What type of artists are you looking to sign and promote or is there a type?
Justin: We're not genre specific, we're a diverse label. If you look at our roster right now, we're kind of all over the board; we have a rock artist, rock folk, a pop artist, a rapper. We're just all over the board so, what it comes down to is, it's not the genre, it's not the profitability, it's the art itself, it's the passion. It's what we think is good music.
Could you tell us more about what we can expect to hear from some of your artists next year?
Justin: Yeah, we can touch base on it a little bit.
Zoe: We just signed a hard rock band and they will be putting out an album next year, in 2017. We've got Kyle who's got a lot in store for next year and he's always just go, go, go. We've got our pop artist.
Justin: So our pop artist, we're just finishing up that one. He's been writing and recording a lot of different things and in the beginning of 2017 we'll be releasing music through him - I don't want to say his name, we're keeping it low-key and it's going to be a surprise. We're super excited about that and we're looking to sign with a few more artists in 2017 and grow our roster.
And can you tell our readers more about what they can expect from your music festival, Bonanza Campout, and how it compares to others?
Zoe: I would say that we're kind of going for a cross between the Coachella vibe and the Lightning In A Bottle vibe. It's got more of a boutique festival vibe, it's not big, and it's very personal. There's a lot of stuff that's offered, a lot of different activities and stuff other than just the shows. I will say that this years' line-up is definitely going to blow last year's out of the water. So, tickets now everyone.
Miles: Yeah, it's a tight-knit festival and it's in a beautiful area out in Utah and it's really going to grow I believe. And like Zoe said, this years' line-up - when you guys see it - is going to be really pretty awesome. We're pretty stoked on it. Made In The Shade has their own stage there and we put our artists on there, and we're very excited to see some other big artists play that stage, and we look forward to seeing where Bonanaza grows and becomes.
Do you have plans to start any other festivals?
Zoe: Not as of now, but we do have plans to expand Bonanza into other areas in the future.
Do you have a favorite music video of 2016?
Zoe: Favorite music video... Okay! I will say my favorite music video of this year is the video for Sturgill Simpson's cover of "In Bloom" because it's so weird. I'm not kidding I watched that video, like, 50 times this year.
Justin: I really like - it just recently came out - The Weeknd's - it was like that trilogy thing - "Mania" but there's been so much good music out this year it's hard to pinpoint one.
Zoe: Also, any of The 1975's music videos; they really killed it this year.
What do you hope that artists and other labels are able to take away from your label's ethic?
Justin: Well first thing for me, what I want to see, I feel like in this day and age people are so the next thing, the next thing and next thing and what's the top song or something. For me, I want to see people getting more into listening to a full album and really getting into an artist and I think there's those top pop artists that people are like that for but, other than that, it's just you've got one hit and then people are onto the next thing. So I want to see people really investing in music and seeing that from us. If we're going to be putting out music that you want to listen to all of it, that you wanna research about that artist and look into their lifestyle. It's a whole thing instead of just what's up next.
Is there anything you want to add?
Justin: Just that we're super excited about 2017. We have a lot in store for everybody and I think there's going to be a lot of growth in Made In The Shade in this next year as we take on our second year in business and just look forward for everything and stay shady.