The story involves friends and their friends and A LOT of genuine desire to create something that allows him and the people around him to ENJOY what they do and charge others with this soul tingling feeling. As I was reading the answers from Ivo in my mail box I was smiling and thinking...
… This person sounds so calm and pleased with what is happening to him, his creation and the people around him...
You will see a what I mean :)
Leena is the guilty one here! And thank God for that. In our pre-conversation about her music and the new album ‘Labyrinth of the Subconscious’ she shared she will be released by a record company in Germany. That surprised and intrigued at the same time. Okay Germany! How? With who... and the rest is self-explanatory I think.
It seems to me that the more I dig the more great creative people I find and that just makes me happy. Very much actually! Also, happy that they are open to share their stories and doings!
Ivo's answers are frankly loading my soul with positivity and it is clear that the company is growing, alongside with that they are growing a positive community around themselves. What a little not so little jam is that, right?!
A music discovery website, label and creative collective. What is the story of Stereofox?
The story of the brand goes all the way back to 2013 when friends I connected friends I met in my university city (Groningen) with childhood friends from my hometown (Plovdiv). We wanted to create a project that allowed us to experiment with our design, marketing and tech skills at the time, and because we all loved music - we decided to build the best looking blog (for that time) on the Internet. A lot has changed since then, the project grew up, started standing on its own feet and is now a full-on company with employees and all that stuff. Something I never expected back in the day. So cool though!
Over the years as our community grew and communication with artists intensified we realized that our curation passion can perfectly be intertwined with what a label does.
That being said, we had no idea what we're doing 4 years ago, but just like with everything in the project - we dove right in. Experiment a lot and do things with passion.
What is the purpose (function) of your music label and how do you find artists?
There's no clear process when it comes to finding artists, or doing the so called A&R (artists and repertoire). Sometimes we get to meet artists who want to send us music for the blog, often it is word of mouth and sometimes we just like what we see/hear in someone and approach them directly. That's the beauty of it.
We do pretty much anything - from helping artists shape the final concept of their art, to assisting/making the creative assets (artworks, animations etc.), and all the way to digital distribution and PR (radio, editorial, and playlisting).
And of course the actual distribution.
Most importantly, we make sure they are happy and they feel heard, because their music is not just a product.
I could also see that you make connections with media platforms/sites and distribute the artists' work. Do you actively seek those connections and what purpose do you follow with this activity?
Oh yeah, our A&R and PR team spend a lot of their time making sure we grow our network of contacts. The more we release, the more contacts we find, and the easier it is to showcase the talents we have on our roster. We release quite a varying set of music, but we make sure the artists and the releases they trusted with us get proper attention - whether that's an interview, mention on social media or a playlist add. We sometimes also do physical products - we're about to start our 5th vinyl campaign next month, which for me (as collector) is super exciting!
Are there Bulgarian artists you want to work with and if so why?
For the past year, year and a half we've put extra effort and care when it comes to the local scene. As half of the team is from Bulgaria, we hope to make a positive impact on the scene if we can. I believe I speak for the whole team when I say we're mind-blown by the amazing artists we connected with in the past months.
It's an honor that some of them trusted us with their music and I couldn't be happier that we start to see success abroad as well.
We already work with a lot of the artists we admire. We had the pleasure of working with Boyan, Trombobby, Low Heat, Peyotoff, Lina Nikol, SMYAH, ymprl and we're now gearing up for the release of Leena's Labyrinth of the Subconscious LP produced by the insanely talented Gena and Kamen.
It's some next level stuff.
What is your team looking like? I’m interested in finding out and sharing this because it seems that we can’t do anything without other people.
Team is everything. Absolutely everything. It's super cliché-y, but honestly - if you do what you love with people you love (or at least very very much like) - you're bound to success.
If 1 of those 2 things isn't in place... it's tough. We often pull off 12-14 hour working days, but ultimately - it just doesn't feel like a job. It's super exciting, rewarding and honorable to be a tiny part of the journey of an artist you appreciate. Or to find that next song and share it with the world.
The team is kinda scattered around the world, Berlin, Sofia, Amsterdam, Aarhus, Cape Town. It's divided in 3 parts - product (developers and designers), label (A&R / PR) and editorial (content / podcast). Often people are in multiple teams, so it's really all over the place. We work online, but if possible, we try to meet in person. We had a team retreat before COVID and lots of people flew to Sofia to meet in person for the first time. We're still to go to South Africa, but that will happen soon, I hope!
What are the upcoming projects/artists you are working on/with?
Already shared some of them before, …
… but a few other things we've got on the plate is a future wave project with UK producer Elijah Nang called Gaijin 3000 (which will also be on vinyl)
… , tons of great singles lined up and 2 compilations we're preparing for this year, but it's a bit early to share about them. Definitely the biggest projects we've done so far!
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