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"What we're aiming to do with Monumental is support dope artists and give them a platform to create and release music consistently."
Monumental Records was initially launched in the early 2010's to house Krafty's own solo music. Since then, it has gone on to scout and support underground U.K. artists with various releases. As of 2019, Monumental will now promote and release any dope U.K. Hip Hop - regardless of whether the artist is signed directly to the label or not.
"What we're aiming to do with Monumental is support dope artists and give them a platform to create and release music consistently." says Krafty.
Rapper, producer and founder of the label, Krafty is hoping to usher in a new wave of previously unheard talent in the underground scene. So, where does Monumental Records hope to be within 5 years? What type of rappers can we expect to see? We've got all the juice below!
DF: So, describe Monumental Records in three words.
Krafty: Dope fucking music.
DF: Straight forward!
Krafty: Well, our slogan is Music Over Numbers. So, I should've really said that.
DF: Okay, describe "music over numbers" for us then?
Krafty: Music over numbers is the idea that no matter what the financial gain looks like, no matter how many or how little views a video is getting, the quality will still be top notch. The music matters first, everything else is secondary.
DF: Nice. So, can you explain your goals with the label and perhaps who's currently signed to it?
Krafty: Sure. At the moment, I'm the only artist and producer signed directly to the label. But my plans are to offer artists a deal should they feel comfortable with the sort of rights stated within the contract. However, if artists don't wish to be signed directly, we offer an album/single deal which only counts for that particular release. These days, anyone can upload music to Spotify or iTunes. But with Monumental, we're looking at different strategies and promotional campaigns for artists. As they say, "team work makes the dream work" and we're all about giving as many likeminded artists a shot as possible.
DF: What's the criteria for signing with Monumental?
Krafty: Be dope. Work hard. And aim towards making your music your full time income. That's it in a nutshell, but for the artists and producers who just want to do this as a hobby, we're cool with that too. Obviously we'd prefer to work with as much talent as possible. But we're aware that this isn't for everyone. We want to have a core team of artists, producers, A&R's etc that all work together to succeed.
DF: Why should an independent artist sign to Monumental?
Krafty: Well, they shouldn't have to feel obligated to sign with us. But if they're looking for a team to support their dream, then perhaps Monumental Records is right for them. As I said, we want the artists to work hard too. We're a very new company and we're building this thing from the ground up. So, we're expecting our artists to be there for video shoots, gigs, etc. We're expecting our artists to promote like hell on social media and engage with fans. This isn't the label for you if you're not willing to do some of the hard work yourself.
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED
DF: The music industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Why is it worth someone signing to a label when they could just upload their music themselves?
Krafty: Frankly? Because that's all anyone is doing. There's great fulfilment in being an independent artist. However, as an independent LABEL, you're a part of something bigger. Monumental is going to be a movement and representation of not only good quality hip hop music, but also something much bigger than just the music. I have a lot of plans myself for where I want the label to go. Not to mention, artists signing with Monumental will be able to focus more on the proactive side of things than all the backend admin stuff such as metatags, distribution, licensing, etc. No artist really wants to have to do that shit. It's just we've had to adapt to do it since the music industry changed. Every artist wants to be free to create and perform. They don't want to do all the boring stuff.
DF: You tried a venture like this before in the late 2000's, Spit Pit Music? Briefly speak about why that didn't last and what you've learned since.
Krafty: Sure. First off, it wasn't a record label. Spit Pit started as the name for my recording studio in 2007. I was recording with a lot of artists back then and would invite them over to The Spit Pit. After a while, the name Spit Pit Music came about and I started distributing songs and projects under that name. But it wasn't a focused effort or attempt at starting a record label. More of a movement of underground artists with similar goals at that time.
DF: And what you've learned since?
Krafty: I've learned a lot since. Not only has my music production improved, sound engineering, graphic design and video production. But also vision for promoting music content. It's difficult to promote yourself because you have a biased perception of yourself. When you're promoting other artists however, you're looking through a new lens with new content. Content you haven't promoted before. I've learned all sorts of things over the years in terms of building websites, visual effects for video production, marketing and SEO, you name it. If it's out there, I've probably studied it.
DF: Since there is a difference between the two, what will you do differently with Monumental compared to what you did with Spit Pit Music?
Krafty: Well, like I say, Monumental Records is an independent record label. A small team with big dreams. I'll be focusing my efforts more on the consistency of content with very few gaps throughout the year. We'll probably start the top of the year off with promotional freestyle videos, a release from a different artist every 3 months or so. We're also looking at how we can set up live events to promote and launch those releases. The reason Spit Pit Music fell apart was because the artists involved didn't want to be involved any more. The difference here being that Monumental will still be around in 10 years even if everyone else has already moved on to other things. I declared Spit Pit dead because 1) I wanted to focus on solo efforts and 2) because it just seemed like the right thing to do.
PART THREE OF THE INTERVIEW COMING SOON
Stay tuned via the Monumental Newsletter
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY DISKFUNCTION ON BEHALF OF MONUMENTAL RECORDS