Firepower Records: The Story So Far….


100 releases: it’s a hallmark moment for any label and blatantly a cause for major celebrations.

When it lands on the brand’s third anniversary? That cause is surely tenfold.

Cue Firepower Records’ Shell Shock Legends: A 13 track party in your playlist where everyone is invited and will stay long after they’re welcome. Featuring the biggest, best, boldest, baddest and bassiest plays from their 44-strong artist army, Datsik’s label has been leaking out teasers left right and centre over the last week or two.

From Datsik and Bear Grillz’ beautifully titled, sickeningly sounding tongue-in-cheeky speaker-ripper Fuck Off…

…. to the deeper, funkier synth breezes of Sub Antix’s cathedral trap jam Mr Miyagi…

…. The album reflects the culmination and consistency of their success so far. From its early inception as a way of Datsik supporting the new generation of producers who were sending him beats, to a label that’s respected globally and pushing bass music (and its talented exponents) into exciting new territories on an almost weekly basis, Firepower’s story is a bona fide middle finger at any one who reckons dubstep is on the fade.

It’s also a story that’s best told by the label’s business brains Sharra Duggan. Fresh from her studies and searching for something more life affirming than a job in a personal injury law firm, she came on board after three months when Datsik realised he had something a little too big on his hands to handle himself. This is her take on the label, its attitude and how it defines itself against the competition. Get to know:


sharra duggan

In the beginning there were demos…

“When Troy (Datsik) first started Firepower, it started because he was getting a whole load of music from really talented kids and he had no place to put it out. So he set up Firepower to support these guys. It was one release every month or two. Basically whenever his schedule would allow time-wise. Within five months it got beyond him pushing it. So I came on board. Firstly to deal with the administrative side of things but as it developed I stepped up with a more executive role and helped it develop. I’d say in the last year it’s became really clear that Firepower is an entity in itself and not just ‘Datisk’s label’. It’s been so cool to watch it grow like this. He (Datsik) never started it to be a business, it was inspired by talent.”

It was never set up as a business…

“The fact the label didn’t start as a business is kind of our edge. When we started the whole point was to be able to put music out that he was really feeling and inspired by. It’s a passion project for Troy; its whole basis is founded on artist inspiration. Datsik is an artist himself and still remembers what it’s like when you’re starting and how labels treat new artists.”

The artist-focus and support is real…

“We are totally artist-focused. Royalty-wise our split leans towards the artist and we try and cover as many costs as we can from other avenues besides the actual record sales. This way the artists can make living off what they’re doing and aren’t working a day job and making music on the side. We don’t just sign stuff that’s good and stop there. We try and have a hands-on approach with every release and make sure they’re happy with us and want to come back and do more releases. We take the time to work with them on every single aspect; the artwork, the promotion and the content. It means a lot to new artists to get responses whenever they reach out and to be walked through every step.”

… And echoed back through the artist activity

“I think it’s really important that our artists are all helping each other out and everyone is working to a bigger picture. You often see a lot of artists getting very competitive and sometimes it seems likes they’re happy to step over each other to get where they want to be but the more you help each other and the more your support each other, the bigger everyone will get.

A lot of the artists on Firepower see us as family and are excited to push it. We’re not forcing people to rep the label – they feel part of something and feel proud of that. When we noticed our artists were doing this we knew we were doing something right!”

They listen to every demo and feedback when they can…

“I’d say we get at least 100 tracks a week. Not just demos, but recommendations too. No matter how many we get, they all get listened to and the final cut always goes through Troy. This way the integrity will never change. It’s really important to the label and to Troy.

I try to give feedback when I can too – a few words of encouragement or pointers on their approach can really change the whole process for them. It’s really important to make a point to listen and respond. People have taken the time to get in touch with us so we should take the time to get back to them too. There have been a few tracks that Troy has loved but they’re not quite there, so he’s taken time to break down the track and send them feedback himself.”

Expect breadth and evolution as they fire forward…

“This year we’ve delved beyond the sounds people expect from us and our goal is to continue that. For example, it was really exciting to put Truth’s album out. We’ve been fans of theirs forever so for them to trust our platform for their album was a real honour.

For the future, my goal is to release any kind of quality music that’s relevant to Firepower. The goal is to have people look to us for quality music rather than one quality genre. Whether it’s a brand new artist or an established one taking a great creative risk, the goal has been the same since the start: quality music. It’s not about the money or the business. If you shift away from the music then that’s when you lose your focus and your message.”

Nothing shouts that message louder than Shell Shock Legends…

“We’ve been doing the annual Shell Shock releases every anniversary. But for this we wanted to do something special. The last albums have been pre-released content but with this one we hit up our biggest artists and asked them to write something really special and we’ve made sure the album is dealt at an affordable price. We just want to give something back to the fans and celebrate 100 releases. We couldn’t have got here without the fans or artists who’ve been part of the journey.”

The journey continues… Shell Shock Legends is out May 5. Pre-order