This week Lenzman dropped some big news: He’s not only launched his very own label called The North Quarter, along with a seriously soulful 10-track EP, but he’s also giving you the chance to win flights, accommodation, entry + drinks for the label’s launch in Manchester. We caught up with the man himself to chat about the label, comp and more…
Yes Teije! Thanks for joining us! Where have we caught you today?
Thanks for having me… I’m currently sat in Submorphics’ studio in San Francisco. I’m on tour out here, but on a day off and using the time to get back in the studio with this legend. We haven’t made any music for way too long.
Looking forward to hearing that! Straight to business – Congrats on the new label! What inspired you to launch The North Quarter and what’s the ethos behind it?
Thanks, it’s an exciting time for me. I’ve wanted to have my own label for as long as I can remember, but the time never felt right. But having a daughter last year really gave me a boost to make the move and make it a reality. I also felt like it was a way for me to grow as an artist. I see a lot of producers I rate highly not always getting the love they deserve, so I’d like to try and offer them a possible platform too. Musically it’s really about tracks that have some soul, some emotion to them. Tracks that are born in heartache and struggle.
The most powerful kind 🙂 Origins of the name?
The North Quarter is the name of the neighbourhood I grew up in, in Leiden, The Netherlands.
Will you still be releasing on Metalheadz as well or will your primary focus be The North Quarter for now?
I’m still working with Metalheadz, they’re my family, but at the same time I’m building my own thing.
A lot of artists seem to be branching out on their own of late in favour of starting their own labels. Do you think it’s a case of seasoned artists understanding how the industry works and therefore having the confidence to do it on their own, or more of an indication that the current approach within the industry/ established labels is becoming a little outdated?
I can only speak for myself on this, but I just think if you’re a DJ it’s natural to want to have your own label. I want to share music that I love with other people, and having a label is the ultimate platform to do that. About 10 years ago most artists had their own label and then a lot of the established labels began to build camps and worked much closer with artists than they did before, so a lot of artists never bothered to set up their own outlet, but I think that whole generation is now so established that it feels like a natural progression.
Talk us through the music video for the ‘Still Standing Remix’… Who was behind the concept?
The director of the video is Karl John from Manchester. Just watch it and see what it’s all about…
Loving the flow of NQ001. Seriously sublime. Classic Lenzman vibes… Were all the tracks made specifically for the label?
Yeah, with the first release I really wanted to try and establish a sound for the label. That’s why it’s quite an extensive release – every track included was made with the label in mind.
Did it feel different/ did you have a different approach working on material you knew you’d be releasing yourself? Less pressure/ more artistic freedom perhaps?
There’s still pressure, but it’s 100% self imposed. You have complete freedom to do what you want to do, but there is no one to tell you which tracks they like the best, it’s all on you.
You’re running a mega comp to celebrate the launch of the label, giving peeps the chance to score travel, accommodation, entry and free drinks to the label launch in Manchester, PLUS a signed test press and vinyl copy of the EP, with runners up winning a copy of the EP – Phew… Talk about a prize! What do people need to do to enter?
Just go and share the video post via one of the label’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (thenorthquarter).
What’s the best thing you’ve ever won in a competition?
I think I was runner up in a colouring in competition when I was 8 or something. The local North Quarter supermarket ran it. I won a colour pencil set… it was vibes.
Back to the release itself – I love the way you’ve sprinkled the hip-hop vibes throughout the intro and interlude of the release. It’s no secret you’re a massive hip-hop head – Do you make a lot of your own beats like this in your own time?
I try, I’m not often happy with the results though…
Any plans to include this type of material on the label in future or is it strictly D&B?
Would love to, if the material is good enough, why not!
What’s coming up next for the label release-wise?
More EPs by me, and after that EPs by artists I love.
Looking forward to hearing it all! And what about you, what’s on the cards for the rest of the year?
Writing those EPs!
Final words of wisdom?
Buy the release! 🙂
The All For You EP is available to pre-order here.