James Deron, aka Keybanda, is the head of four forward-thinking imprints pushing the boundaries across a range of electronic genres: Cafe Creme, ROHM, Nervous Monkey and 1886 Lake. We spoke with James about the inspiration behind each of his labels and his plans for 2020.
How long has your label been in operation?
As of today, I am the director of four labels: Cafe Creme Music Records which has existed since September 2019 and which releases only afro House. ROHM Records was founded in December of the same year and focuses on house and soulful House. Nervous Monkey Music Records was created at the same time, and mixes house with Latin sounds. The last one, 1886 Lake Records, is run in collaboration with DJ Danmic’s and focuses on house and tech house.
What inspired you to set up the label in the first place?
In 2019, I started my own imprint with three labels, Cafe Creme Music Records, ROHM Records, and Nervous Monkey Music. The idea was not just to create a company but also a more personal experience. The idea behind the three imprints was to give me a creative outlet for forward thinking music. Electronic music based on sounds inspired by Disco, Funk, Afro, Tribal and Latin origins that is not limited to the tempo. Not only instituted for my own creations, Cafe Creme Music Records, ROHM Records & Nervous Monkey Music are three vehicles for emerging and well-known artists who want to make themselves heard.
With these labels, I wanted to start something new to keep things fresh, interesting and exciting. In addition, I often receive demos from artists in which the work is interesting and worthy of promotion. I want to be able to release some of this material and help to diffuse it, to push new artists with interesting and quality material, whatever the style chosen. In 2020, I collaborated with another DJ, artist and friend, DJ Danmic’s to create my fourth label, 1886 Lake Records. I hope that one day these labels will be recognized in the dance community as a source of reliable grooves.
How would you describe your musical philosophy and creative vision?
I just want to make music that I like and that can make people dance. The most beautiful kind of recognition is to see people dancing to your songs and to see them happy. Regarding my creative vision, I like to touch new aspects of music, to mix genres. I like house and soulful house as much as afro and tech House. I won’t stop at a house style. I am continually on the lookout for new sounds and new techniques to add my own personal touch.
“The idea behind the three imprints was to give me a creative outlet for forward thinking music. Electronic music based on sounds inspired by Disco, Funk, Afro, Tribal and Latin origins that is not limited to the tempo.”
Tell us about your first release – what was special about that one?
It was just the first. The first always has a special flavor. He paved the way I find myself today, 12 years later. I signed it with the Purple Music label. It was a huge joy to see that my work had been recognized by a great DJ named Jamie Lewis.
“The most beautiful kind of recognition is to see people dancing to your songs and to see them happy.”
What’s been the highlight of your journey so far as a label?
I would say today with the fact of having signed with a reputable and renowned record company like MN2S. I hope that our collaboration will make it possible to grow my labels as well as my DJ career.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting up their own imprint?
We must not be discouraged. Work hard and believe in yourself. Give yourself the means to succeed and always keep your goals in view.
“Work hard and believe in yourself. Give yourself the means to succeed and always keep your goals in view.”
What lies ahead for your label in 2020 and beyond?
Keep doing what I love. Grow my labels. Find new talents and support them. Release a multitude of projects and work with the greatest House producers.