We had a chat with Ballroom Records boss and producer Kaiser Souzai about their latest release, starting his own label & much more. Check out what he had to say below.
Hi Kaiser, what can you tell us about the upcoming release on Ballroom Records, ‘Ballroom Secret Gems’?
Nine great artists giving us a track for this release to make it a round entity. Sound-wise it is somewhere between Techno and Progressive and Melodic Techno. You could play the whole VA in one go and it would make a great functional set.
What’s your favourite track off the record?
As the label honcho I should not compare, they are all my little children, but at the moment I play “Rauchschwalbe” quite a lot.
What makes your own Ballroom Records unique?
Ballroom has evolved to a label where artists feel at home, we work hard and do proper promo for each release. Producers see and acknowledge that and feel their tracks get the treatment they deserve. We follow a distinctive sound between Melodic, Progressive and Techno, with twisted edges but functional for the main room and smaller rooms as well. We also offer slots and take overs at our Ballroom Records radio show to further widen the releasing artists profiles.
What made you want to start you own label?
Simple. To release my own music, the way I like it and not to have wait for an A&Rs personal opinion.
What musicians/producers/DJs would you say are your biggest influences?
As a producer I like Maceo Plex (although I sound different), as a DJ my hero is Carl Cox, as a band it is “Yes”, and as a drummer it is Phil Collins.
What can you tell us about your approach to making music?
I simply get started, sometimes I have an idea, or bass sound, rhythm idea melody and I keep progressing and sometimes it ends up somewhere completely different. I try to get in the flow and stay there. Making the track is what counts for me. The whole selling and back office part, which is of course is as important is just a side product.
Use new instruments. You use Ableton? Try Bitwig to get new ideas and results. Keep away from too much repetition.
Are you more in the analogue or digital corner?
I come from the total analogue age and I had it all, so for me thats old, I’m happy now to produce a track on my laptop under the coconut tree in Thailand. That’s where the digital age really comes into play. Downsize wherever possible.
What piece of kit would you say is most important to your sound?
That varies and I always come back to older plugs and synth, if I haven’t used them for a while. Right now it is MASSIVE and SYLENTH, really old stuff. U-He and Arturia are household and can’t be missed. BITWIG is my DAW and beats all others in my humble opinion.
What differences do you find from releasing on your own label as opposed to other labels? Which do you prefer?
I’m in control with the latter one, so that’s better and I promote my own brand. But releasing on other labels gives you a new perspective and another audience and possible new fans that haven’t followed you yet.
Who would you really love to put on on Ballroom Records next?
As mentioned Maceo Plex, Carl Cox, Hidden Empire. I think the last one should be easiest to get.
‘Ballroom Secret Gems IV’ is out now on Ballroom Records. Buy here.