A Sit Down With… EB Records

DATE: 23.3.17
EB Records may not be familiar to some of you yet but they have teamed up with Deezer and Relentless for their official media label launch and I came out to meet the lads at Relentless Number 5 to find out the importance of the label and what it means for Grime music. After introducing myself to label founder D Power and getting to know the names of the label signings, Stogey, Audio Slugz, Jookie and DJ Selecta Impact it was time to get to business.
PMB: Congratulations on your label launch.
D Power: Thank you.
PMB: So how did EB Records come about?
DP: We’ve all been doing music from a young age. You could say my team and mates are founders of Grime. I run Deja Vu and that’s where Roll Deep, Narstie Crew, Meridian Crew, and Ruff Sqwad, all started. We all worked under the same umbrella and that’s how the scene got built from us. So we’ve been in this for a long time. I’ve always helped people come through but never officially, so this is the first official set up that I’m doing to bring people to the limelight with the best deal they can possibly get. No matter how big the artists get they should never feel that “I’m not getting what I should get here, so I should be somewhere else.” I’m building something for life.
PMB: You’ve been in music for a long time, why wait until now to put out EB Records? 
DP: I’ve been taking my time to understand how you need to treat people to have longevity in this business. Because if you just look to eat off someone they’re only going to allow it for a certain amount of time, so I’m just trying to provide without taking liberties. There are a lot of people in a situation that they can do music but the way you have to do music properly now, is that you might have to have a bit of money to do it, so the only reason people really sign deals is because they don’t have the money to do it independently. So if I can get them to do it properly by providing the money and getting my money back and a small cut then it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.
PMB: You’ve recently dropped a few releases is the reception what you expected?
DP: Yeah all the top DJ’s have played them so it’s definitely a step in the right direction. 1XTRA has been supportive and Danny and Stogey have been listed as 2017 New Comers, so right now it’s kind of the best position to be in two months into the year because we only started releasing beginning of January and we’ve had four releases and have another two over the next couple of weeks.
PMB: What types of music did you grow up listening to? 
DP: Reggae was played a lot and Bashment, so they’re some influences in my music.
Audio Slugz: My old man listened to bare Ska music when I was younger. For Grime I used to listen to Dot Rotten. Obviously Wiley and everyone like that.
Selecta Impact: I’m the DJ so I’m listening to everything.
PMB: Have you had any influences from family or friends?
DP: Yeah my dad, he hasn’t done music on the creative aspects like myself but he put money in and put things out for instance he had artists like SizzlaLuciano, and Gregory Isaacs and between him and my uncle they moved them about to record labels which was Xterminator –a big reggae label, which was the first label for Sizzla to come out of and other artists like that. So it was my dad that really got them into the studio and also bought my studios for me.
Stogey: Music doesn’t run in my family like that still, just normal playing music around the house.
SI: I listened to reggae all the time, my dad had a record player, then he got his decks, so by the time I was six I started DJ’ing and by the time I was ten I was thinking about doing what he was doing. I was looking to be like him. I really got into it when I was about twelve, I explored the world a bit explored the other sounds and that all comes with new faces, new people, different artists.
PMB: I can imagine you get a lot of people reaching out to you wanting you to put them on, how do you choose who’s right for the team?
DP: You get it a lot. I just think I’ve got an ear for it because I’ve gone through it for so long and I know what people draw to because I’ve seen it over three generations now. I’ve seen which MC’s make it, which MC’s don’t, why an MC can’t make and why an MC does make it. So I really think I have a good ear and it all started from people like Dizzee and Tinchy and other people even in our own crews like Jookiehe had deals with So Solid Crew. I’ve always had an ear for music and the right music. So I feel like the people that I’m working with will appeal to everybody, just the way Skepta and Wiley do. It’s a certain thing that someone has to have and I think it stems a lot from listening to reggae music, that’s how I feel personally.
Jookie: It’s a sound boy thing!
SI: Yeah it is.
DP: Yeah it is a sound boy thing and sound boys make it in this game.
PMB: It’s true music is evolving now and you find your own style and musical balances
 DP: You can just mix it up, but I think most things with a reggae influence will always be in the clubs and people will always listen to it because reggae is always music you can dance to it’s never too much or not got a rhythm, so if you’ve got good rhythm in something and someone can always dance to it, it’s always ‘gonna’ be a good record.
PMB: So you have EB Records now with music under your belt, what’s the next goal for you guys?
 DP: In five years we should be one of the biggest independent labels in this country. I have the right people hollering at me and these two (Stogey and Audio Slugz) it’s been two months since I started releasing them and its all been organic, from DJ Target1XTRA other radio stations. The sessions they are doing with top 10 producers in this country numbers wise and beats wise and everybody has hollered at me for them, from Skepta to everybody has phoned me for these two. Audio Slugz beats are everywhere, they’re the least of my worries because MC’s cant do nothing without beats and that’s why I got producers before I got MC’s, so I don’t have them sitting there and were emailing people for tunes all the time, everything can be in the house because Audio Slugz makes all different types of beats and they’re good at that aspect so I thought once I have them I can start to look at MC’s so then we can work all the time instead of waiting on beats to get sent over. That’s why I thought the foundation would be beats because an MC can’t do anything without beats but beats can play without MC’s.
PMB: I like to ask that question because it’s nice to get an idea of what you want from this and to also speak it to existence.
DP: Yeah I mean I’ve done it before, I’ve just done it for free and didn’t really fulfil it as me and going my way. So it’s something that I know I can do and will do as long as everyone does the work it’ll get done and everyone will be nice.
PMB: So what are the next tunes to listen out for?
DP: Peng, Sell Off and Free. But Peng is the next one that is going to take off, DJ Target premiered it last night so he’ll be playing it for the whole week he hit me up this morning.
PMB: I’ll have my ear out for that one.
DP: Yeah everyone is shouting about it already and I know when a tune is gonna do its job.
J: Yeah that’s going up right now
DP: Yeah and we have the video shot already so, were all right.
PMB: That’s great, you’re passion is quite inspiring. Thank you all for talking with me today and I’ll be on the look out for the new tracks.
EB Records will hold their showcase on the 4th May with performances from the team and special MC guests; get your tickets and more info here.
Photo credit: David Townhill