Label Spotlight: ReelHouse Records | MN2S

MN2S Label Services client ReelHouse Records is an established imprint with deep roots in the house music scene. Launched at the turn of the millennium, Reelhouse has grown to become one of the most respected names in house music, releasing tracks from a varied cast of producers that includes both new talents and icons of the genre. Ahead of the release of their new Poolside Paradise compilation, we spoke to label head CN Williams to find out more.

How long has your label been in operation?

The label was born in the golden era of house music around 2000/2001, originally as a vinyl-only label. I was working at Pinnacle Entertainment at the time, which seemed like the perfect moment to set up my own label. I was receiving an extreme amount of promos and demos on a daily basis, making it the ideal opportunity in its third year.

What inspired you to set up the label in the first place?

Several factors came together at that time. I had the experience and knowledge of running a label, having been a label manager for high-profile labels such as Jive Records, Rawkus, Tommy Boy, and Shaboom. Additionally, back in the day, I had been selling imports and  white labels around London’s West End from the back of a van! The main inspiration, however, came from DJing at Escape Nightclub in Swansea. I believed it would be a great way to connect with like-minded DJs, clubbers, and producers while having an amazing testing ground for unreleased tracks.

How would you describe your musical philosophy and creative vision?

My musical philosophy is primarily about the dance floor. As the label has evolved, it has diversified into the realms of funk, soul, and even hip hop, while still keeping House music at its core. As a producer, I love searching for tracks to sample—it’s one of my favourite  pastimes. Our creative vision is simple: if it’s got the funk, we like it! Whether it’s a deep and  dirty groover with Latin vibes or a peak-time house anthem with a Disco feel.

Tell us about your first release – what was special about that one?

Our first release was The JB Experience’s “I Like It Like That,” featuring vocals from Jocelyn Brown. We licensed the rights from Salsoul Records and credited Ministry of Sound with the  publishing. The track, originally performed by Inner Life in 1982, is a true classic disco  record. This release is special for many reasons, including the fact that I had to borrow  money from my father to pay all the licensing fees and press the first 1,000 copies. It didn’t  disappoint, receiving plays from a wide range of DJs, including Norman Jay and Kenny Dope  to Dave Pearce on BBC Radio 1 to Bobby & Steve at the WMC, and it still gets played today!

Tell us about the forthcoming Poolside Paradise compilation. 

‘Poolside Paradise’ offers a collection of sun-kissed house grooves, perfect for those blissful moments by the pool. This compilation features a stellar lineup of artists, including Timmy  Vegas (SoulCentral), Kid Massive, Demarkus Lewis, Angelo Ferreri, Jo Paciello, HP Vince,  Kort, Darren Giles, Stu Laurie (NS Boulevard), Fabio Bacchini, Andy Buchan, Matt Knight, Ben Harris, and myself. Ibiza Radio One and I curated the perfect poolside playlist from the Reel  House catalogue, and the promotional sampler has already received great feedback from  notable DJs and producers like Claptone, Colin Dale, Freejak, Don Diablo, Marco Carola, Jay  Forster, and many more. We’re also hosting an album launch party at Barasti Beach Club in  Dubai on 15th June!

What’s been the highlight of your journey so far as a label?

There have been many highlights over the years, from doing showcases in Miami, Las Vegas, Ibiza, and the UK to hosting parties in Dubai and beyond. Working with great artists and  seeing them flourish has been incredibly rewarding. However, the real highlight for us is the  support from DJs and listeners who love the music and support our sound. We have a loyal fan base that shares their memories of their favourite ReelHouse tracks, as well as new  listeners who explore our catalogue and send us amazing messages that brighten up our  day.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting up their own imprint?

Be passionate about the music you put out, but don’t get discouraged by other opinions. Stick to the sounds you believe in. You will meet some great people along the way and have  some amazing experiences. Build up a catalogue of releases and don’t be afraid to ask for  help. Also, don’t forget to use a good music distribution service like MN2S!

What lies ahead for your label in 2024 and beyond?

We will continue to build our catalogue with our favourite artists. We also plan to create more compilation albums, with one entitled ‘Desert Disco’ already in the pipeline.  Additionally, I will be working on an artist album myself (CN Williams) and we will return to  do more showcase parties around the globe!

For more information about how our label services and digital distribution team can help manage and grow your label, get in touch.

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