AtcG’s Don’t Stop The Music, released through MN2S Label Services Client Black Lizard Records, was recently highlighted in Beatport’s round-up of most-streamed house tracks. We caught up with label head Leandro Da Silva to hear more about the label’s journey so far.
How long has your label been in operation?
Black Lizard Records was established in 2016, born from my own vision. I wanted to give the label an animal-themed name, but all the good options were already taken, so Black Lizard came into being. Over the years, we’ve seen significant growth and evolution, refining our initial concept. Regarding distribution, we initially partnered with MN2S. While there were some back-and-forths over the years, we ultimately found our way back to MN2S, and now, since more than one year, we have a strong and balanced collaboration.
What inspired you to set up the label in the first place?
It all started with this urge to get some music out there and a little dream of running my own label. I mean, the label I was working for at the time wanted me to invest in it for growth, and I thought, “Why not take the leap and do it on my own?” So, I basically took a leap of faith into the unknown!
How would you describe your musical philosophy and creative vision?
Black Lizard Records has primarily focused on Tech House but has explored other genres as well. Currently, we release Tech House and Latin House… At the core of our approach is the quest for tracks that leave us awestruck. Of course, music needs to work on the dancefloor and on Spotify, appealing to both DJs and the social media audience. However, we also trust our gut instincts when making decisions.
Tell us about your first release – what was special about that one?
Our first release was an experiment! We were just starting, trying to find our footing in the market. Perhaps the second and third releases followed a similar path. Then, we began featuring tracks from our DJ friends within our circle, and interest gradually grew. Certainly, our authorized cover of “Bella Ciao” after the success of “La Casa de Papel” gave the label a significant boost, and demos started pouring in.
Tell us about your latest release.
Our latest release is “Canción del Mariachi,” a collaboration between me and Valmar, an authorized cover of the iconic track from the 1995 film “Desperado.” Another track that has performed exceptionally well recently is the original “La Cintura” by Mimmo Errico, featuring the original vocals of Portuguese rapper Samba KF.
What’s been the highlight of your journey so far as a label head?
Lately, certainly, our full cover of AtcG’s “Don’t Stop The Music” has performed exceptionally well on Beatport, reaching the overall top 10 and staying on the top for months. We also have tracks with millions of streams on Spotify. However, I think a significant milestone was the realization of THE LIZARD party.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting up their own imprint?
I’ve noticed that many Djs are starting labels lately, sometimes in a somewhat superficial manner… well done anyway! In the beginning, you’ll make a lot of mistakes, but in a few years, you’ll be glad you started today. My advice is to lean on professionals to learn first: a distributor, graphic designers, legal experts, and promotional teams. It’s unrealistic to do EVERYTHING well on your own!
What lies ahead for your label in 2023 and beyond?
The road ahead for Black Lizard Records is looking pretty thrilling! We’ve got a bunch of exciting releases in the pipeline. Established artists who’ve previously dropped tracks on labels I’ve long admired are now bringing their unique vibes to BlackLizard. We’re also dedicated to nurturing new talent, so keep an ear out for fresh faces in the game. We’re all about building a strong community here. And speaking of tunes, I’ve got a new remix in the works, and CASSIMM has one remix for December to wrap up the year with a bang!