Saturday 3 August 2013

MTV IGGY: Black Butter Records: The Takeover Is Imminent

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

"We recently celebrated our third birthday, with a thousand friendly party people going nuts! It was immense," enthuses Black Butter Records' MD, Olly Wood. If you’re a fan of British dance music, then chances are you’ve come across at least one BBR signing in the last twelve months. Rudimental, for example: the quartet’s soulful D&B cut, Feel The Love, has clocked up an impressive 24,000,000-plus hits on YouTube and sold 1.5 million copies around the globe since its release last year May – followed by two top ten singles (Not Giving In / Waiting All Night), and a number one album (Home) – making them the label’s first chart-topping act.

The Black Butter Records story began on one gloomy, English afternoon in June, 2010, when Olly Wood and his two compadres, Joe Gossa and Henry Village, decided to have a brainstorming session in his east London humble abode. With a mere £5,000 on the table, and an abundance of passion, their lightbulb moment came within a matter of hours. "The label was born out of the fact that we were managing a couple of acts together, and wanted a platform to release and promote their music on," explains Wood. "It quite quickly took on a life of its own."

And the name? "Well, black butter is a condiment made in Jersey, and it tastes a bit like the filling in mince pies. We were looking for a name for a couple of months and, one day, we opened the fridge and it was just staring us in the face [laughs]." Three years on, and the dance music-loving musketeers are the proud owners of an innovative independent label, one that continues to notch up kudos from tastemakers the world over.

Black Butter Records' refreshing, grassroots level approach to talent scouting has been lauded by critics, inspiring start-ups in the process. They picked up a gong for Best Small Label at the AIM Awards (Association Of Independent Music) last year, too. For Wood and co., the rules are simple: “We just look for people who understand that music is about making people feel something, rather than just regurgitating the stuff already out there.”

In 2011, the label also had a helping hand in bringing the soulful Jessie Ware to the attention of the UK music industry, when they got her to vocal an EP track for their first signing; bass producer, RackNRuin. And what’s the south London-reppin' singer doing with herself these days? Breaking records/barriers with her critically acclaimed debut LP, Devotion, that’s what.

From soul-tinged pop to badass bass, the Black Butter Records artist roster has all bases covered. The takeover is well and truly imminent. "Our main aim is to just continue widening out the sound, bringing dance with other forms of music," says Wood. "We’ve got lots more music to come from the likes of Drums Of Death, Yasmin, Sinead Harnett, Joel Compass, Gorgon City, MNEK, Scrufizzer, Kidnap Kid, Solomon Grey, My Nu Leng, Sailor & I, and Woz. We update our website regularly with everything that's going on, so be sure to check it out."

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E