What made you start a label?
Well, Asura always had it’s own origin in the vaporwave scene/subculture/etc. So it was very much born out of frustration of seeing a lot of ambient/electronic based music being very pushed aside or seen as a novelty at the time, and wanting a home for those works. And as such, I’ve also admired like a lot of reissue labels and wanted to combine like a label where lesser known (well known as well, don’t wanna say popularity is a bad thing) electronic works from those angles could thrive. Of course over time that morphed to the style that is today but I’ll leave that to the fourth question.
What are some of the challenges you see as a label owner?
I mean to say it frankly, it basicly boils down to a rhetorical question of “There’s a million music labels out there, why should people listen to yours?”. So yeah, so alot of the challenges is to build up an identity and a fanbase for that identity. And trying to like to try to find the answer to “why do you think people like your label” and being able to experiment in that range.
Also, the always looming thing of any passion project of balancing your real life with it and the troubles of running a thing that costs alot. Also the costs is always a big problem, I’m lucky to be in a situation of having government help and a relatively safe money situation. I know it’s generic but honestly alot of labels have the same problems!
What is your take on Spotify and streaming services?
It is what it is, streaming services got born out of relative ease and like you could lump a lot of our modern listening senses into it being relatively easy, as in Bandcamp or Youtube full album uploads. Personally we distribute our works to streaming services because of demand and as I said again and will most likely repeat again relatively ease, being able to recommend our works to people that way.
All I’m saying is that you can’t really comment on streaming services without recognizing that it is just a part of how alot of art has to be streamlined to the digital age for consumption, and how while people like to say it is not connected, services like bandcamp are a fact of that too.
But to comment on the money thing and such, it is just what it is. I understand that streaming services basically exists by severely undercutting people because there’s millions of artists on them, hell even billions. And like you honestly can’t say you aren’t walking into being on streaming services without knowing that fact.
But that being said, customers are willing to support to labels and artists if it’s easy (ala bandcamp, subscription services or t-shirts.) and that’s really what we could ask for at most in these tight times.
Is there a specific focus as far as genres or local/regional aspect of music you’re releasing?
Alright, so I guess the big thing is we have like a very subtle consistent value or sound to our whole discography that I’ve just coined the Asura Sound or Asura Feeling but if you honestly asked me what that is, I couldn’t tell you lol. I guess it is like a very just I can sense it type of deal. But we could really say that we thrive due to electronic music being relatively connected in sound even if the person being made of it isn’t necessarily connected in scene or genre.
Like to compare, expanses by valyri and Mettle. by Autocreation was made in different times, on different equipment and in inspired by different things but you could compare those two and still find a lot of similarities which is I guess is why we have thrived while keeping a relatively tight scale in sound or genres.
Also, we are focused on supporting a lot of side projects or taking chances on artist trying to evolve their style or doing something new, like for example (sorry for doing this again lol), you got our album There Is More Beauty In Corruption by Jamie Awakshidar which was born out of trying to make something akin to a post-rock album while keeping in check with an electronic dreampunk sound to it. So we really pride on allowing artists do something they might have not been able to do or wanna do but haven’t been able to do.
Do you believe that music could bring about social change?
We do support trans artists as well as looked down upon artists in electronic scenes. So yes, music can be (and has) been catalyst of social changes but applying it to AR gets really muddy.[/nextpage]