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LABEL SPOTLIGHT

Label Spotlight: Must Make Music

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Label Spotlight: Must Make Music

Who are you?

Jack Workforce; previously one-half of SpectraSoul. Must Make Music was born at the same time as the Workforce moniker. At the time, I just wanted to remain independent and in total control of my material and the schedule – so I could release whenever I wanted, be in total control of the output, the sound, and the ethos. 

What’s your ethos? 

The ethos of the label was born out of the podcast with which it shares its name. Before I launched the Workforce project I had a feeling that I wanted to cast a light on the creative and artistic side of making music, since I feel like there is a bias and prevalence towards technical skills in music making; particularly in drum and bass. With that in mind, the podcast was born. Initially, the label name was secondary information since I just needed a name for it to be able to release my own music. As I started to welcome guests onto the imprint, I began to refine the ideals I wished to pursue and espouse. It’s about honesty, integrity, expression, and unpretentious music. The ideas always come first. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also made a conscious decision to only work with good people. It makes it easier to build a community around something if no one is a twat. 

Tell us your origin story…

It really was as simple as above. I never planned to even release other people’s music until Azifm was introduced to me, and I just couldn’t let the music pass as I felt there was no one repping that sound and I thought I could help him to progress. 

Where are you based? 

I’m based in Worthing nowadays. I was in Brighton before. I grew up there, and have been a part of the fabric of the drum and bass community there since the early 2000’s. We have a great history here. 

Do you have a specific sound or vibe? 

Not really. The people and the ideas come first. If I trust someone, I want to let them try and express themselves. Of course, all of this needs to fit within the remit of my taste and ethos, but so far it’s worked well – keeping a small group of people close. 

Do you have a regular artist roster?

At the moment the only regular, aside from myself, is Azifm. He is just constantly exploring and making new ideas. He embodies the ethos of the label. He works across different tempos and styles and seems to frenetically jump between them. With the launching of the Parchment VA series, we’ve just welcomed a few new faces to the label for guest appearances; Winslow,

Paige Julia, Break, En:vy, and Thread. The plan, moving forward, is to welcome more people into the fold as and when the music, people, and personalities present themselves. 

Tell us about your A&R process… 

Over the years, I’ve seen and learned the ways that I enjoy working with labels, so I try to be that kind of label leader. I want to try and engender confidence in the people that I work with. I want them to feel as though they can express themselves and feel supported in that, both practically and creatively. It’s tough to give as much attention as an artist might want, but I do feel that it’s important that artists build self-confidence in what they’re doing (particularly in 2024) so that it’s not external validation that’s being sought. 

What makes you different from other labels? 

I’m not out here trying to run a business. I believe in artistry and self-development and exploration of ideas. I’m here to be excited by music and to try and push things forward. I don’t want to hear copies. In a sea of homogeneity, I want to be the difference and for the label to be the platform on which new ideas can flourish. On top of that, I want to be able to fund and give a platform to people’s other creative endeavours. For example, Azifm has recently acquired a penchant for using an old-school camera to capture video clips for his artwork and promo. I want to be able to allow and encourage people to explore these other creative avenues, to build a narrative around themselves and their output. Coming from a design background, the visuals that accompany the music on the label, in most cases, are designed and animated by me. I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take it all on, even if it’s a pain in the arse. Only I can meet the aesthetic requirements that my ideas demand! 

What does it take to run a bass music label in 2024? 

Fuck. Well… it’s tough. I’d say the only answer to the question is; Amy Jayne. 

What have you got coming up that we should look out for? The Parchment VA is the first major project from the label this year. I’ll be returning with my first original music since Set & Setting and its subsequent projects throughout 2022 and 2023. We also have a project from Azifm which is beginning to take shape, plus some other acts that I don’t want to shout about just yet. We’re going to push forward this year.

Listen to the Various Artists album here.

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