VIRPP is not only focused on the Dutch market, but has clear international ambitions. To realize those the platform is collaborating with the leading label Axtone Records from Swedish House Mafia-dj Axwell.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Axtone Records. This is something Artist & Label Manager Edd Thomas is very proud of. “We’ve been thriving for the past 15 years in the ever-changing landscape of dance and electronic music. The owner of the label is Axwell, who has been spinning and producing for 20 years, including with Swedish House Mafia & Axwell /\ Ingrosso. It takes a lot to stay at that level for so long, and to keep evolving too.
You guys had big worldwide hits with artist like Don Diablo, Adrian Lux, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and of course Axwell, how important is new talent for you?
“Very important, Ax is super passionate about everything on the music side, it doesn’t matter whether new music comes from an established source or someone completely new, if the music’s great, that’s what gets us going.
VIRPP has come in and completely changed the way you can find new music. This will be a great combination with our own Axtone Academy too. The academy is an online school for aspiring and budding producers to hone their skill and take the next step to become a professional. We’ve found some promising students and are confident we’ll sign some new music from them as they develop.”
What were your thoughts when VIRPP pitched their platform to Axtone Records?
“We were introduced to VIRPP through the manager of SWACQ, Eric, and some other big artists, so we knew this was a legit platform. After the presentation and demonstration from Yassine Seghrouchni we were enthusiastic about this new creative way to contact the label, fans, and producers. And also, the possibility to create a new system to bring unknown music to our attention. It’s a bit like crowd sourced A&R, the fans have a voice and that’s important to us.”
How will Axtone Records integrate with VIRRP?
“We’ll be starting with a remix competition. We’ll be putting the stems of Kryder & Tom Staar’s ‘Waiting On My Love’ on the platform so aspiring producers can remix the song and deliver the remixes to us via VIRRP. The idea is to find creative people around the globe and at the same time interact with fans. Understand what they want to hear and are into right now. Obviously, we’re going to be very hands on and I’m looking forward to hearing new music, meet new people and also get feedback on what we’re doing at the label. This is one of those things where the more you put in the more you get out.”
What should artists and or producers do to get on the radar of Axtone?
Engage with the platform and don’t be shy, share what you’ve created and be open to other producers and fans feedback. Producing can be a lonely process and you can often progress a lot faster when you open your work up to feedback. I would hope people will try to be positive too, encouraging each other to get better and improve their skills can be so important when an artist is feeling uninspired.
You talked about interaction with fans. Could you give a possible example of that?
“Our fans passion and knowledge is something I’m looking forward to tap in to. You can get feedback on so many parts of what we do. If there is an opening slot on a festival stage, maybe the fans can tell us who they want to see there? Maybe there’s a new visual artist they’d like to do an artwork for a song? I hope they will challenge us and our expectations.