- Q & A with Antonio Montecucco of Record Kicks
Please give us a brief bio of the label. How did it start, til today….
Record Kicks was created by Nicolò Pozzoli (aka Nick RecordKicks) back in 2003. Nick’s always been a music enthusiast with a deep passion for subcultures. Before opening Record Kicks his first job in the music industry was at Vitaminic, an Italian music distribution company. The mission has always been to find and release contemporary bands, and since then we released worldwide numerous incredible artists such as Dojo Cuts, Baby Charles, Calibro 35, Hannah Williams, Marta Ren, Tanika Charles… All rigorously on vinyl from the very beginning. If we stack all the 45’s pressed, we can create a pile taller than the Milan Dome.
Which labels inspired you most to make your own?
More than being inspired by other labels, what really pushed was Nick’s passion for these genres (soul, funk, jazz, groove) and the desire to share them with other music lovers. At the time (2003) there were not so many record labels around focused on these genres, so opening an indie label looked like the best solution to this lack of suppliers. However, we do have labels that are references to us, such as Daptone Records (USA), Jazzman (UK) or Timmion Records (FIN).
Which is the motto for Record Kicks?
“The explosive sound of Today’s scene”. That’s because, despite the fact that the music genres that we do are more associated with the 60’s and 70’s. We are focusing our work on finding and launching new artists, rather than re-releasing back catalogue or music from the past. We’re happy to think that we are giving our little contribution in the so called retro soul/new funk movement renaissance.
Which are the advantages and disadvantages of running a music label today?
There are many difficulties, especially nowadays. The physical space for independent music shrinks year by year, and while the collective music taste appears to be more and more standardized and dictated by talent shows and media, the opportunities for those seeking to propose something different are being reduced. That is why the only thing you have to do is to stay focused and follow your passion. We believe that if you do it in this way, it’ll be hard to see disadvantages in running a record label – you are just doing something you really love.
Which are your future plans for the label?
As usual, we are always looking for new artists to launch and to work with in order to grow the great roster of artists that we have on the label. Moreover, we strive very hard every day to make sure that the work of our artists is increasingly recognized; we just want to keep releasing what we believe to be great music, spreading good vibes and trying to do something special.
- Three distinctive Record Kicks releases
That’s quite a difficult question. Given the passion we have towards what we do, it’s nearly impossible to find a distinctive one: every release is extremely special to us, but if we had to pick up three records we’d say:
Baby Charles – ‘Baby Charles’
That was the first album that put Record Kicks on the spot. Until then we were more focused on releasing our compilations ‘SoulShaker‘ and ‘Let’s BOOGALOO‘, and a lot of singles on 45’s.
When we released the first single of Baby Charles ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor‘ (afrobeat version of the Artic Monkeys’ tune), we sold more than 1000 45’s in few days!
The album itself went really good, unfortunately the band split up before releasing the second LP.
Calibro 35 – ‘Traditori Di Tutti‘
We are so proud to have released one of the main records by Calibro 35. The album that is considered to be the turning point in the band’s career and that contains all original material. Moreover, it was released in the same year as our 10th anniversary, and it was great to celebrate our birthday with a band from in Milan so much appreciated all over the world!
Tanika Charles – ‘Soul Run‘
Because it is the most recent one and because it’s a very special album to which we all fell in love immediately. A very “retro/Motown” LP in the atmosphere (as we like) but at the same time extremely modern. It’s like an album between tradition and innovation, which opens up new doors for Record Kicks and that allows us to look forward with confidence.
Curated by: Dimitris Koutoukakis