Label Services Focus: Quantize Recordings | Features | MN2S

DJ Spen’s Quantize Recordings imprint has done a roaring trade since setting up shop in 2012. One of Traxsource’s biggest selling Soulful House imprints of 2014, it landed several tracks in the genre’s end-of-year Top 200 on the site, while Spen himself was named the genre’s biggest selling artist. Spawning the sub-label Unquantize helped the Baltimore legend’s empire to grow even bigger, and for him to maintain his position at the top of the game. Our label services team found out more about his main label.

What’s the story behind your label? How did it come into existence?

Quantize came about after my departure from Code Red in 2011. The industry was changing rapidly and I knew it was time that I changed with it. I got together with my partners Thommy Davis (producer and remixer) and Gary Hudgins (musician) and we worked out a way to keep doing what we do in this ever changing world of music.

How was the name chosen?

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist in the studio, so I use the quantize feature in our programs a lot. The musicians I work with say that I take the feel out of the tracks when I do it and like to joke me about it. Needless to say when we were throwing names around Thommy suggested we use it and it stuck.

What is the label’s ethos, and has it been that way from the start?

We stand for good music. Music that inspires people to do, feel, and even act better. This has been our God-given mission from day one and we strive to keep delivering great music.

How did you go about sourcing and choosing your first few releases?

Our first few releases were challenging. QTZ001 was done before we officially knew we were gonna do a new label. We worked with N’Dinga Gaba and Marc Evans on that one and it did well. QTZ002 did OK, but 003 came with some serious complications and got pulled offline. I’m saying these things to say that we carefully chose our first five tracks, but things happen that you don’t expect. Sometimes we put whole releases together in a matter of days before a deadline and many of these tracks have done the best for us.  

What have been your most successful releases?

Marc Evans’ ‘Until You’, Erin Leah ‘Rocker’, Ziggy Funk ‘What You Afraid Of’, Sheila Ford ‘Why Can’t You See’, Tracy Hanlin ‘Home’, Dawn Tallman ‘Believe In Love’.

What do you think the most important elements of running a label successfully are? What advice would you give someone setting up a label of their own?

I would say making sure that you are with the right distributor. Setting up a label is tough work, so making sure you have the right pipeline is essential to getting records placed in priority positions on sites that sell music.

Which other labels do you really admire and why?

Defected, Nervous, and King Street Sounds. All three have been around for a long time and are very influential in what they do. They have amazing catalogs which is a testament to their creativity in an industry that not many can survive in the long term.

Which artists would you love to have on the label?

Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight just to name a few!

What’s the benefit for you of working with MN2S’ label services team?

I love the fact that I can pick up the phone and speak to anybody I need to at any time, about anything. These guys are a team of problem solvers and it’s rare that I get ‘no’ for an answer to anything I need done. They are all professional and do their jobs well.

What’s coming up on the label?

I’ve got comps coming from the legendary Kenny Carpenter and John Morales. Newcomers Soulfuledge and Sahib Muhammad are gonna be doing artist album projects. Classic vocalist Pauline Henry is gonna do an updated version of ‘Heaven’ with us and Alicia Meyers is gonna do a single called ‘Right Here, Right Now’. Lastly, ‘America’s Got Talent’ singer Samantha Johnson is doing a song called ‘Tenderness’ for us. So we’ve got a pretty busy schedule ahead of us.

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