Ambious Records flying SA’s underground house flag high
Ambious Records is a local music label that specialises in uplifting and melodic electronic music predominantly but not exclusively of the house flavour.
The label was started by three friends and artists in their own right; Sides, MKLY and Nick Supply, who have a massive passion for getting their style of music out in the ether.
They aren’t sitting still either- Ambious recently celebrated its 17th release, a Cadenza Remix EP featuring 3 impeccable remixes from the likes of David April, Dast & Dylan and Kostakis, which is available now.
I had the delight of scratching beneath the surface to find out what makes the trio tick, what their aspirations are and what they’re looking for in a signing as the ambitious Ambious Records; taking the world on one release at a time.
Hey Ambious Records, congratulations on your 17th release- the Cadenza Flow Remix EP. It features 3 impeccable remixes from David April, Dast & Dylan and Kostakis.
Each of the tracks bring out a different flavour of melodic house & techno. Is this a clear representation of Ambious as a label?
Ambious Records: Hey IDM Mag, thanks for taking the time to get to know us a little better! We’re really proud of this EP and as you say, we feel it truly represents the collective sound of Ambious Records as a whole.
Of course, our sound goes a little deeper at times too, but we try to ensure that all of our releases stay true to our ideals of melodic and uplifting electronic music.
Ambious is run by 3 friends. Having met in Gauteng those years back, did you ever think that this shared love of music would bring you where you are today?
Ambious Records: In some ways, we’ve always known that we’d be joining forces somehow.
Be it through our own personal events, collaborations or as friends, so it was inevitable in the long run.
Coming together as a label wasn’t our first intention but we’re extremely happy to have taken this journey together and are really excited for the many years of ground-breaking melodic music that we are yet to release together.
What are the benefits and challenges (if any) of having a three-man business partnership in terms of ideas, making decisions, etc. Do you have a rule of thumb to help the business flow?
Ambious Records: The greatest benefits are that hardly any decisions are based on an irrational point of view. Everything we agree upon is discussed and must be unanimous in order for us to move forward with it.
This comes with its own challenges as some decisions have a serious impact on our brand, so they require a little more time.
Fortunately, we haven’t run into problems so far and after two years of successful collaboration between us all, we don’t feel that there will be any setbacks ahead.
The long-term plan is to branch out to other cities globally as some of our members are currently beginning the phase of moving to both Amsterdam and Berlin.”
Being full-time producers, how do you juggle making music, gigging and running a music label?
Ambious Records: Fortunately, we all have very specific roles when it comes to running the label, so as long as we all fulfil our allocated tasks in time, the whole system is quite easy to keep up to date.
Cadenza’s Flow Remix EP is receiving support from the likes of Jaques Le Noir, Nick Varon, Mike Griego, Alex Preda, ANIMAL PICNIC, Unders, Tom Zeta, D-Composed and more, who are playing the tracks to dance floors the world over.
Does this solidify that Ambious can be a major player internationally? Is that the ultimate goal?
Ambious Records: Having a brand that has influence outside of South Africa was always the goal, although we are happy that we got to start the foundations of our brand in our home country.
The long-term plan is to branch out to other cities globally as some of our members are currently beginning the phase of moving to both Amsterdam and Berlin.
This will help expand our reach and setup channels to ease the gap between the South African electronic music community and the rest of the world.
I’ve read that Ambious was started to “push this specific sound” that’s “doing well in Europe but not getting much airtime locally.” Why do you think this sound isn’t getting the local love it deserves?
Ambious Records: We do see the sound gaining local attention more than before, but the reality is that there are so many subgenres expanding globally and a very limited amount of people in South Africa that are exposed to it on a daily basis.
National radio, blogs and promotors would be the first people who would need to push the sound to really see a large scale local growth but unfortunately, we’ve found that a large portion of them are unwilling to test out new grounds and push a sound that is very young internationally.
That being said, there are a few local radio presenters, blogs and promotors that have been willing and determined to push a more ‘underground’ sound and we’re hoping that many more will join the cause in time to come as it continues to grow and garner more international attention.
We’re really happy with the releases that we have in store for the rest of the year…”
What would you say to producers looking to join the Ambious family? What are you looking for in an artist?
Ambious Records: First and foremost, we’re looking for artists who are in it for the long run. We prefer to sign artists that we can grow with together, just like a family as opposed to one-off signings.
Secondly, they’d need to be aware of the sound that we are pushing and to take a listen to our past releases to try and get an idea of the quality we’re after.
Always submit mixed and ideally mastered music to increase the chance of getting signed and always be open to sending us more music down the line to expand our relationship as things progress.
Describe Ambious Records in one sentence?
Ambious Records: A home for the curious explorer of melodic and uplifting electronic music
What is on the roster for Ambious Records as we glide through the second half of 2019?
Ambious Records: We’re really happy with the releases that we have in store for the rest of the year and have releases planned all the way to December as it stands. We also have two huge events coming up with some internationals that we’re extremely excited to be working with.
The first one is with Jeremy Olander coming up on the 30th of August, alongside an epic local line-up and tickets are selling fast, so be sure to check that out before it’ too late.
Secondly, we’ll be hosting Cioz in December, which we’ve been planning for a while, so we’re really happy that we finally get to see him perform live on one of our stages.
Some of the releases to keep an eye out for are releases by Dast & Dylan, Messive Muzik, Pierre Johnson, KVRVBO & Secret Souls.
Newcomers to the label Pulsar, beatsbyhand, Weston & Engine and Fluida and many more that are still in the works, so you’ll have to wait and see who and what they are when they come out.