Exclusive Interview with Jaymo & Andy George
“Well obviously I get them all but as I’ve got a girlfriend I have to pass them to Andy, cos I’m nice like that. Actually it’s his birthday weekend, so we should probably arrange some strippers, right?”
When Jaymo & Andy George met back in 2008, a musical companionship started out that would change the musical landscape. The guys behind the infamous Moda Black imprint have been making waves since the very first release, setting the futuristic and creative vibe that we now know the label for. As well as releasing music from established acts, Jaymo & Andy George have gained respect for finding the best emerging talent, introducing the world to artists such as Hot Since 82, Disclosure and Plezier, who have all released on their succesfull project. Moda Black also provides a platform for J&AG’s original productions, with recent releases such as Tales From The Basement and Remember getting huge love from the likes of Claude VonStroke, Catz n Dogz, Eats Everything and Dusky. This Saturday, the boys will be giving a label showcase during Cookie Club at Air Amsterdam, putting PBR Streetgang, Citizen, as well as themselves behind the decks. High time to catch up with the duo to see what they’ve been up to.
Hi guys! First off we’d like to hear you describe Moda Black’s mission?
To push new, creative and soulful music that is made by passionate artists who want to do things differently.
You release multiple compilation albums every year, the latest one being the “Futurists” album. What’s the idea behind this?
We are lucky enough to have grabbed the spotlight with Moda Black, thanks to some big releases. So we wanted to use that spotlight and shine it on some underground dudes who we think are cool. We’ll do EP’s with some of the artists featured on Futurists, but this just felt like a great first step. It’s a double 12″ pack, but there’s a digital release coming too.
What’s the story behind Jaymo & Andy George working closely with BBC Radio 1?
We were taken on by Radio 1 for their residency show a few years ago – it was only meant to be a 6 month slot but we did it for a a couple of years, sometimes hosting Pete Tong’s show. It was good fun but also very time consuming, so it was nice to step away and start focusing on the studio, the label and our own Moda Black parties.
How do you find the balance between working as label heads while simultaneously being a popular DJ/producer duo? Do you run a tight schedule or does it come naturally?
It’s taken a few years but we have a pretty slick operation in place now. We tend to work long days, often 12 hours. But then it’s not really work – it’s what we used to do as our hobby, so you don’t watch the clock cos it doesn’t really matter. Each week we are DJing, making music, running the label, A&R-ing, creating parties, meetings, etc etc…. If you get stuck on one thing, there’s always 100 other things that need doing. It never really stops. Flying is actually one of the most peaceful times we get – that’s also when we get a lot of our best ideas, as there’s no distractions – just thinking time.
You have been keeping very busy in Ibiza in the last couple of summers. What parties, residencies and new adventures have you got in store for this year?
We’ve always had a close relationship with the guys at We Love Space in Ibiza. It’s like a little family there, they’re such a cool crew of people. We’ll be back there again this Summer.
Your track ‘Remember’, is still a big favourite of ours. When can we expect some new releases from you?
We’ve got several remixes due very soon, one of a Portuguese girl called Solange, one for Kling Klong and one of Groove Armada. Then in May there will be a new original on Moda Black as part of Moda Black Volume III – this one definitely feels like a follow-up to Remember. A few weeks after that there will be another new original too. So yeah, about 30 releases in one month!
What new artists have you discovered in 2014 that you have signed or will be signing to the label?
We have upcoming releases from Groove Armada, Ejeca, Sidney Charles, Alexis Raphael, Hauswerks – of course there’s a couple of new names too, but we’re still developing things and getting them ready!
You have said in previous interviews that the promo-pool can get a bit tiring because of the vast amount you receive every day. Do you have some advice for aspiring producers on how they should set up the promotional emails/messages in order to heighten the chance of you taking the time to listen to it?
Yeah it’s crazy and you hear more and more DJs say how hard it is – you want to try to listen to everything because that next demo could be the next Hot Since 82, you just never know! We certainly try to listen to what we get sent – sending a stream link is obviously much better than a download link. Aside from that we are of course influence by good artwork and brand – it doesn’t have to be over the top, but it should give people an incite into you and your music, before even pressing play. But the main thing is to make music that doesn’t sound like everything else. That is by far the best way to stand out – people often fall into the trap of making music that sounds like other big music, because it feels like a safe bet…. but we don’t want to sign someone who sounds like someone else on the label – we want something fresh.
This Saturday you’re playing at CookieClub in Air together with other fellow Moda Black boys. What musical surprises have you got in store for us? Perhaps a couple of newly signed tracks on Moda Black.
We obviously play a lot of stuff from the label in our DJ sets – if we were signing music and not playing it out then that would be very weird. But we mix it up with loads of other stuff, tools, edits, new stuff, old stuff. We really like DJ sets that are dynamic, rather than just playing loads of our own music.
You guys bring over Citizen and PBR Streetgang to AIR Amsterdam, what do these artists mean to you and what do they have that others don’t?
PBR are, first and foremost, great DJ’s. They ran legendary parties in Leeds for ten years and have a massive record collection and a really interesting dynamic – not to mention all the great music they’ve made. Citizen is just one of those guys who’s got that special something – heaps of excitement about him and his various upcoming collaborations. Big things ahead for him!
If you could chose one personal hero of yours who you’d like to sign for an EP on your label, who would it be?
I’d say George Clinton, but I just heard Soul Clap have been working with him. So let’s go with Prince.
In a video interview you got the question: ‘Who is using the most hairproducts?’ But what I wanna know is: ‘Who is getting the most chicks?’
Hahaha! Well obviously I get them all but as I’ve got a girlfriend I have to pass them to Andy, cos I’m nice like that. Actually it’s his birthday weekend, so we should probably arrange some strippers, right?
Sure, we’ll have them waiting backstage for Andy on Saturday. See you then!
PBR Streetgang | Homework | Jaymo & Andy George | Citizen | WNDWLCKRS | Sergio Obergh |