It’s not every day we get to welcome folk from an imprint that has simultaneously kept packed dancefloors packed and risen to the top of Britain’s commercial charts with anthemic pop. As such consider this a rather special occasion.
Founded in 1994 by Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim, two decades later and Southern Fried Records has been responsible for over 300 releases, with output coming from artists such as Armand Van Helden, The 2 Bears, DJ Touche, The Whip and Elton John. So then, allow us to take this moment to express how honoured we are to welcome label managers Nathan Thursting and Craig Duranti to the podium- here’s what they have to say about running the institution.
Nathan Thursting and Craig Duranti – Southern Fried Records – UK
Describe your imprint’s output.
Southern Fried has covered almost the whole dance music spectrum over the years. We’ve put out a lot of house, techno, disco, electronica, even the odd pop record. Currently, we’d describe our output as quality electronic music, this year we’re releasing albums from The 2 Bears, Maribou State, and The Emperor Machine, all acts we’re very excited about and feel lucky to work with.
What would you say makes it different?
I’d like to think we’ve retained our sense of fun whilst releasing what is commonly called ‘cool music’. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and know we’re all lucky to do this for a living. I also think not being tied down to one scene or genre has given us longevity, we’ll be 21 this year and that’s a milestone very few labels reach.
What is it that makes you keep looking for new talent to expose?
First and foremost, it’s the buzz of hearing new music that excites you. Beyond that, it’s always rewarding to see an act develop and grow, and hopefully fulfil their potential. It’s important to have the drive and desire to find new music, otherwise the job of wading through submissions on Soundcloud can become quite laborious…
What’s the label’s pinnacle achievement so far?
As we mentioned we’re 21 this year so there are a few to choose from. Getting a UK Number One single with Elton John’s Are You Ready For Love was pretty special, massive credit for that must go to our A&R Nathan Detroit for making it happen. We also enjoyed our foray into the pop charts with Armand Van Helden and Space Cowboy. We were really pleased with how The 2 Bears album, Be Strong, was received too, both from critics and fans alike. Plus that record gave us an excuse to make table tennis bats and tea towels.
If people were going to hear one release from your camp, what would you prefer it to be?
When you’ve had over 300 releases that’s an impossible question to answer. In the current camp we’ve got three amazing artists with some more coming aboard very soon. The 2 Bears have nearly finished their second album and it’ll be great to have another ‘year of the bear’. Andy Meecham, AKA The Emperor Machine, has made a brilliant record, and it’s so good that he’s going to be out touring again. There’s also a lot of love and excitement for Maribou State, and their track, Moon Circles, was one of my favourite releases of last year.
All being well, skip forward five years, where would you like things to be?
We’d be nearly 30 years old which is a scary thought. We don’t like to plan that far ahead, it looks like we’re going to have an exciting 2014 and we’ll see what happens after that.