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[Label Profile] Love Not Money. How perfect a name for a record label. It seems more and more record labels are spurting up with the sole purpose of putting out music for the love of it. If you own a label, then you would know it’s a labor of love with its profits and losses, usually yielding just enough to stay afloat.
Love Not Money hails from the vibrant city of Leeds, known to many DJ’s & producers worldwide as the clubbing capital of the UK and a major breeding ground of musical talent. Run by artist and DJ, Luke Pompey, the label delivers a unique underground music experience firmly dedicated to the support and development of the finest cutting edge electronic dance music. According to their bio, they thrive on creative, like-minded people armed with initiative and something new to say. They are not just about music, but also are a collective of artists, musicians, illustrators & designers all with a view to keeping things fresh.
When first coming across the label, my attention was caught by a track called “Wishes” by Scott Harrack on their first EP.
Ever since then, they have proven that they are a label to follow with a unique message to deliver through their music. You will find that they truly represent a diverse music base and strive to promote music of several sounds and styles. Read below to see what label boss Luke Pompey has to say about the label in our exclusive interview with Love Not Money.
Interview with Love Not Money:
Who are we speaking with here?
Hi I’m Luke Pompey, I’m a Leeds based DJ/Producer that has recently set up a homegrown House music label ‘Love Not Money Records’. I’m resident for one of the UK’s most successful club nights Filth at The Warehouse here in Leeds. As a DJ I’ve been lucky enough to play some of the worlds best clubs playing Cream, Amnesia & Privilege in Ibiza at a very early stage in my career. I’ve done so much in my 6 years as a full time DJ and I’m thankful for everything and every bit of help I’ve received along the way. Met some amazing people and had some crazy times!
Who is involved with the label?
On Love Not money we’ve got lots of local Leeds based artists onboard that are coming up through the ranks, producers like Matt Fear, Sam Wallace, Ali Scott & Alcatraz Harry, Scott Harrack, David Garfit, Will Crawshaw, Myself and some artists from London like Archie Hamilton & James Pople who’ve both had great success on labels like Lower East & Alive Recordings. On future releases, we got originals and remixes coming up from more well known UK based producers, guys like Hot Since 82. It’s all very exciting stuff!
Where did the name come from?
The name’s a kind of play on a few things really. My outlook on life is always been about doing something for the love of it. I think too many people are trapped in jobs they don’t enjoy with no direction. I just don’t see the logic there; you should be putting your energy into something you love. The 2nd meaning obviously being about the state of the music industry and how small independent labels are lucky if they make any money from it at all these days. And finally it’s intended to play on political strings a bit. The world’s at war and unrest over money yet all we really need is love and positivity… some of the artwork will hint on this.
When did you decide to start the label? What was the inspiration/inciting moment where you realized that you wanted to start the label?
I’ve been a full time DJ around the UK scene for about 5/6 years now and after learning how to produce a couple of years back, setting up a label was the next natural step. There is so much talent in Leeds, it’s like a breeding ground for quality music and with some big names coming out of the city in the past year or two, the likes of Burnski, Miguel Campbell, Rob James etc it’s all on my doorstep and I’m lucky enough to be good friends with near enough everyone involved in the scene. Thing is, I felt that apart from the bigger labels like 2020 Vision and Gruuv there was a gap in the market for all the up & coming producers, so this was intended as a home for us all that me & my mates can release quality music on.
Is this your first label or have you had a go at this before?
It’s actually my 1st time running a label, the idea and work involved always seemed daunting but living with Jamie Fisher for 2 years helped me massively as he’d run a few labels in the past so I was always looking over his shoulder getting to know what went into running a successful label.
Where is the label based? Do you think this has an effect on the overall sound coming from the label?
We’re based here in Leeds, home to some of the UK’s best clubs and a hot bed of musical talent. As a city it’s like the UK’s clubbing Mecca – DJ’s worldwide know it for it’s hedonistic people and amazing nightlife. There are so many styles floating around and we’re happy to say we’re not going down one particular route. In my sets I play everything, I don’t believe in a one-dimensional set and I’m going to make sure this reflects in the label. As long as it’s quality music with a shelf life there is a chance we’ll release it. I think too many labels jump on a bandwagon, which is all well and good, but you really got to think…. Will the track sound dated in a year’s time? If you look at all the older successful labels that are still going today like Ibadan Records, Nervous, Defected, etc they’re all routed in proper House music and their older releases still sound fresh today. That alone speaks for itself. All the producers we’ve got onboard so far are all residents in the city. As a resident, your sound has got to be wide spread and this is reflected in their music. It’s all varied and therefore refreshing.
How do you go about choosing artists to sign? What do you take into consideration when making your decisions?
So far the artists we got onboard were naturally going to be involved anyway, we’re all good friends. But then we’ve just signed 2 young lads Sam Wallace & Liam Geddes from Milton Keynes. They’re both 18 and it’s fucking scary how talented they are. I heard their stuff and instantly wanted to sign them up. Both of their sounds are fresh and one thing I looked for was consistency. I also considered whether they could keep producing quality stuff or not. It was obvious they’re both only going to get better and better. Already I can’t keep up with them – every track is out doing the last one. The same goes with Real Nice & Cubiq, 4 young lads from down south who are behind the 2nd release ‘Had Enough’. The Cubiq guys are classically trained musicians and this reflects in the music, it has so much depth. With raw talent like that, there simply is no consideration needed. It’s a case of putting pen to paper and getting the tracks out there and into the right hands.
What has been the hardest thing about running the label?
The initial 3 months of graft setting it all up. Sorting out a good distributor, getting the branding right, lining up a good schedule of releases before you even think about launching. It’s a slog but well worth it. The hardest thing was getting accepted by some of the major sites like Beatport. They get so much content these days that they look to filter out labels and only put the promising ones on. I was worried they hadn’t accepted us at one point but after a little setback we got there in the end. I suppose it’s a good thing really as it keeps a little bit of quality control there in this digital age where a lot of shit slips through the net.
Would you say that the label is where you thought it would be today or has your vision for the label changed over time?
So far I’m happy to say it’s exceeded my expectations, on our 1st release from Scott Harrack we were the biggest selling Deep House track on the week of release, not sure how many sales that is, probably not a right lot but it’s still a positive thing, and on the support side of things, we’ve been getting good feedback from some of the key players in the scene, the likes of Solomun, Danny Tenaglia, Audiojack, Kruse & Nuernberg, Waifs & Strays, Darrius Syrossian, Inland Knights, Huxley, Julio Bashmore, Ibiza Global Radio, the list goes on. It’s more than we could of asked for being such a new label with very little money behind us. It’s all positive and over time when we start building strong relationships with artists I can only wish for a success for everyone involved with the label. My vision was to make it so there is a real sense of community within the label and this lends itself to the ever growing consistency of the Leeds scene and the amount of talent and amazing personalities we house here. End of the day, if you work with decent people you can’t go far wrong in life.
How important is producing vinyl presses of your releases? Is vinyl still important for your business and the music buying community or is it just novelty/for DJs only? Do you ever put out vinyl only releases?
At the moment, we are a digital label but vinyl is something I feel strongly about! I’ve come from a vinyl background DJing since I was 12 years old and still to this day, although I play off CD’s, I only own vinyl decks. So yeh, in the future when we find a good source for vinyl distribution and the market picks up a bit more, we will move into releasing this way too. I hardly saw one DJ mix off records in the past 3 years then in the space of the past 4 months I’ve seen loads more DJ’s utilizing thee old 1210’s again, the guys at Mono_Cult are bang into it again, keeping the dream alive…. Too right n’all… Respect! My theory is if we all went back to playing vinyl, the amount of money labels and artists would earn from releases again would rocket like the good old days. I could go on forever about vinyl from the warm sound to the artwork on the sleeves to actually remembering what your bloody tracks sounded like by looking at the thing. But yeh, for sure it’s in the pipeline, I’ll hopefully put out a few vinyl releases in 2012…. There’s actually a few lads in Leeds, including my mastering engineer Rob Small, who are on about starting a campaign to give the vinyl scene a kick up the arse again. I’m all for it!
What’s next for the label? Any exciting news to announce?
Ermmm, well we’re gonna keep on working hard at it, goes without saying really, but in general, we’re looking to get some more exciting names onboard and unearth some more bright prospects for the future. I don’t really like to say stuff before it’s set in stone but I think we can expect some remixes from some pretty decent artists over the future months.
Best moment(s) as a label.
Watching the Kreature remix of ‘Had Enough’ and Ali Scott & Alcatraz Harry’s forthcoming bootleg of the Fresh Prince Of Bell Air theme tune totally destroy the dance floor was an amazing feeling but in general I just feel blessed to be waking up everyday and doing something I love and putting my energy into something positive!
Three words to describe the label.
Quality House Music!