Around the world in 80 labels: Never Say Die – Tommy Dash and Nick Sadler

Landing back in Britain with something of a bounce, or at least plenty of bass, our next imprint investigation looks at a particularly successful organisation that have mastered the art of crossover productions from their London base. Boasting some of the biggest household names in big room dubstep and electro, let’s proceed with the details.

After releasing work from faces such as Freestylers, Foreign Beggars, Noisia, Skrillex, Pirate Soundsystem, Zomboy, Flux Pavilian, and SkisM, it’s safe to say the folk behind Never Say Die Records know a thing or two about bringing niche sounds to wider audiences, which is why more than 26million people have streamed cuts from the label via YouTube, Beatport’s charts have been regularly topped with the crew’s output, and everyone from BBC Radio1 and 1extra to 6Music has been touting their wares. With this in mind we thought Tommy Dash and Nick Sadler, the men at the top, would be well worth questioning to find out how they achieved such success.

Never Say Die Records / Tommy Dash and Nick Sadler / UK

Describe your imprint’s output.

We put out bass, dubstep and electro.

What would you say makes it different?

My dad once walked in on me playing a Never Say Die tune and I switched to porno because it was easier to explain.

What is it that makes you keep looking for new talent to expose?

We look for people who are fresh and forward thinking with their productions. Attitude and drive are really important too, as we want to help develop new talent. Dubstep is still such a fresh genre, there is still space for innovation and with all of that in mind why wouldn’t we want to keep our ears peeled for the next twist in sounds and the next big thing in bass?

What’s the label’s pinnacle achievement so far?

Probably being name checked at the Grammy’s by Skrillex. That was a big moment for us! He walked away with three awards and mentioned two UK labels one of them being Never Say Die, after having only been around for two years it makes you realise nothing is impossible.

If people were going to hear one release from your camp, what would you prefer it to be?

All of them! We’re proud of everything we release or we wouldn’t release it. But if we were to choose one it would have to be Flux Pavilion’s Remix of Cracks by Freestylers. It marked a pivotal moment in both Flux’s career and dubstep in general.

All being well, skip forward five years, where would you like things to be?

We wanted the opportunity to help shape and move forward all the music we are passionate about and that will never change, so in five years hopefully we’ll have a catalogue of quality releases still being enjoyed. We have also started up a management side to the label which is mainly down to the relationships we have with our roster, it was a natural progression.
It works because it gives us and them control over how the music is branded and marketed which is ever more important when adapting to the changing face of the music industry. On the management side we have SKisM, Zomboy, Eptic, 501, Dodge & Fuski, Mobscene… and so I guess in five years (actually, way before that) we’d like to see that thriving…fuck it, we’d like to be getting shout-outs from each of them at the Grammy’s in five years time!
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