website statistics

Obskeen Records Interview


Obskeen Records Interview

Obskeen Records are a relatively new record label in the city, who are very slowly establishing themselves as being part of the new generation of record industry people in Leicester. Their forward thinking, as well as making some very shrewd signings in 2013, has certainly helped to make their mark across the local music scene.

LM: Firstly can you tell me who Obskeen Records are?
JD: I’m Jamie Darbyshir
AL: And I’m Ashleigh Laywood.

LM: So guys what made you want to set up a record label?
JD: Well we are both studying towards a degree and got asked to do an assignment which involved setting up a fictitious record label.

LM: So how did that lead onto an actual record label?
JD: Well when the assignment was finished it all looked so good on paper and our tutors where so impressed, that we thought why not carry on and just put things into practice.
AL: Yes our grades where that good, that it seemed stupid not to put our business model into action.

LM: So we now know how Obskeen was conceived, but where did the name ‘Obskeen Records’ come from?
JD: We always get asked this – Well we both went back to basics and sat in a classroom…….
AL: And did a brainstorm.
JD: The brainstorm left us with a huge list of names and we just messed about with different words and finally came up with ‘Obskeen’.
AL: Yes the Obs stands for observational and Keen…..well keen is precisely that, we are keen to get things done.

LM: As a business how long has Obskeen been operational for?
JD: We have been operational for about 10 months now, that is as a fully limited company.

LM: To date who is actually signed to your label?
JD: At first we signed Mocassin Mile which was a really good decision because they are such a talented group of musicians.
AL: Then we signed Dan Wright who is a singer from Leicester.
JD: And we are currently in discussions with another performer.

LM: So what are you planning to do with Dan Wright as far as his music goes?
AL: Dan has just signed a six month contract with us and we are scheduled to put his first single out shortly, which has been written by Dan.
JD: Once the single has been released we will then consider the long-term and decide where we want to take Dan.

LM: Do you find it difficult to run a record label along with your studies and other commitments?
JD: Well it is kind of crazy at the minute and we do everything from our own press releases, to maintaining the website, to working with the artists, but you just take things in your stride and everything slots into place.
AL: Yes and I have recently taken a year out to focus on the label and take some of the load from Jamie.
JD: Everyone had to start somewhere and people just need to remember that.

LM: So how does it work when you sign an artist?
JD: Well no different to any other record company I suppose, the only difference is that we are smaller than some record companies, which means we do a bit more work.

LM: The Leicester music scene can be very clicky at times, with some long established businesses almost having a cartel over the local music scene, have you found it difficult to become accepted as a serious record label?
JD: To date we haven’t encountered any issues or problems and hopefully this continues.
AL: As Jamie says whenever we approach anyone they are always happy to talk to us.

LM: What music do you guys like to listen to?
JD: Well I am a Hip-Hop kind of guy, but my parents used to listen to an eclectic mix of stuff which really influenced me.
AL: Myself…… I suppose I prefer electronic type music, but listen to lots of genre’s.

LM: Which artists are you listening to at the moment?
AL: For me Ellie Goulding
JD: I like Rudimental at the moment, I also like Luke Bingham who is a perfect example of how the Leicester music scene is going at the minute.

LM: What about local artists?
JD: Well By The Rivers are good.
AL: Becky Edwards is also very good live.

LM: Do you have your eye on any acts at the moment?
AL: That would be telling.
JD: But there are a few acts out there that we have seen and really impressed with; Satellite Empire being one, they are a class act.
AL: Yes, they are very polished.

LM: So what message would you have for any new bands working their way through the ranks at the moment?
JD: To be honest; more work less booze. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but bands start out as just jamming, rehearsing and having a beer. But if you want to cross over into the industry, you have to be disciplined.
AL: Alcohol can also fuel a lot of disagreements when mixed with late nights and lots of gigs.
JD: Yer, so as I said, more work less booze.

LM: One final random question for you both – what is your favourite fizzy drink.
JD: Tesco sparkling flavoured water for me.
AL: Dr Pepper’s for me.

LM: Guys, can i just thank you both for taking the time out to meet me today.
JD: No problem
AL: Anytime.

You can visit the Obskeen records website HERE or follow them on Facebook HERE