Photo: Presse/Screenshots (Blind Observatory/Ghost In The Shell)
Started in February, our new feature series Off The Tracks intends to change roles by offering a weekly contribution written by various artists in- and outside the electronic music scene. Invited by Groove editor Sebastian Weiß, Off The Tracks provides an open-minded platform for sharing opinions about music, film, literature, art, as well as more personal insights on the DJ lifestyle or much-debated issues.
The newest contribution to the series has been written by not one, but two very special music selectors, DJs, and producers that are deeply rooted in the underground house music scene for more than two decades: We are, of course, talking about DJ Jus-Ed and Jenifa Mayanja.
Two exceptional personalities who have been pretty busy recently: DJ Jus-Ed has just released his new LP Transition on his very own label Underground Quality – a platform that, since 2005, has showcased music from many artists such as Move D, Steffi, Dana Ruh, and Nina Kraviz. Over almost the similar timescale, the Ugandan-born Jenifa Mayanja earned a highly respected reputation for being an ambassador for women in House music, among other ways, through her own label Bu-Mako Recordings. After two dozen of releases navigating through many genres, her third album What A Strange Dream will be out in a few months.
So what is the reality? The reality is you must be able to turn over the records fast enough to recoup your initial investment and possibly turn a profit. Being able to convince the buyers to give your music a chance. And balance with mixing money with your art because you have to sell a certain percentage before you can press the next record. Being able to finance your records independently can make a big impact on your longevity as a label. But if not managed properly and with outstanding factors, for example record plants being jammed up, it can spell the end for your label.
Stream: ED & Jen – Love It Or Leave It
For us, another reality is we must also be creative in figuring out how to handle everyday responsibilities as parents, self-employed musicians, promoting our work and doing the things that help to run a business while maintaining a creative spark. The physical and emotional maintenance of how this business works takes a toll on you. If you are disturbed in any way mentally, emotionally it affects how you make music.