Paris based label hedZup Records have been one of the standout labels on the minimal deep tech scene over the last 5 years. Ran by WLAD & Mancini, the label has featured stellar artists such as Rossi, DJOKO, Youandewan, Oden & Fatzo, Sidney Charles, DJ Steaw and many more. With an upcoming London showcase on 27th November, alongside the London based promoters HATCH, we caught up with them to find out more about the upcoming event, and the best and worst bits about running a label in 2021…

Hey WLAD & Mancini, how are you, what’s good and bad in your world right now?

We are both fine and thank you for interviewing us. Things are looking up right now, we can finally travel and play abroad again, get together to celebrate the music we love. We can’t complain!

You make a London debut with the label soon on Nov 27th at 93 Feet East – how excited are you, what is planned?

We are obviously over excited because London is an essential step on the world map for the label. Also, 93 Feet East is one of the most famous London clubs for our music scene right now. We’ve invited one of our favourite artists Per Hammar to share the decks with us and the Hatch crew with whom we collaborate on this party. We hope to meet you there, come to say hello for our first one at ONE50 (room 2 of 93 Feet East).

What does the London scene mean to you, has the UK been an influence on your sound?

This is a special place for us, London is the most representative city for the music we defend. And to tell you the truth, the majority of the label’s sales come from the UK! If you check out our back catalogue you’ll notice that we’ve released a lot of UK artists and especially from London! We love this city also because clubbing is an institution there!

Tell us about the best and worst bits of running a label in 2021?

At the moment the delays on the vinyl pressings are very long, this is a problem for the organization of our release schedule. Otherwise there are a lot of advantages, such as being able to showcase artists whose music you like, being able to travel around the world and spread the label’s music…

How did you survive the pandemic, was music a good escape or did you take time off?

It had its advantages and disadvantages, we had more time to focus on our personal projects like the music, the label but also our private life. On the other hand, being isolated is not necessarily the easiest thing for a music like ours which is basically made to be listened to in a club in front of an audience! It was definitely a challenging period and we hope that we are rid of it now!

Do you both take care of certain aspects of the label or do you share it all evenly?

We’re complementary, we each bring our stone to the building, one deals with back office stuffs, the other with communication etc. But, we’re both working on the A&R together, we choose the music and negotiate together. No decision is made by either one alone. It happens that we do not agree but precisely not agreeing allows us to communicate and move forward. But in the end, it’s “MUSIC FIRST”.

What is right sound wise for the label, and what’s not? How did you know what will work well?

It’s not easy to describe what we like, but it’s often obvious when we listen to it but something we don’t like is vocal parts in a track! A good choice is probably a combination of an efficient groove, advanced sound design, catchy elements in tune with the times.

How do you judge success, is it by sales, high profile support, or do you only care about you liking the music?

First of all it’s always music first, if we don’t like the music we’ll not release it even if it’s coming from a big name. If the release is a success it’s just a bonus.

How important is artwork, format, merch, that sort of thing, or is it just about the music?

Artwork is very important as it’s also the image of the label. We will surely develop more this part as we’ve found the right person for it that has understood us well and what we want to develop. It’s a full package, but the music is the most important at first.

How do you evolve the sound of a label while staying true to the OG sound and not jumping on new hype bandwagon?

I guess it’s by the fact that we’re the two to decide about a release, sometimes one of us would release an artist and the other one compensate. This is just about if we like it or not, our own tastes are evolving and it can be felt in the future releases.

What are you most proud of with the label so far?

Maybe the fact that after more than 5 years we are still here and that the passion is still there.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

Apart from the fact that we continue to release our music on the label, we are focused on bringing you the best artists for our 2022 release schedule. We are also working hard on developing showcases abroad to spread the word!

The hedZup & Hatch showcase event at ONE 50 (93 Feet East) is on November 27th
Grab tickets here