We spoke with Willie Rodriguez of MN2S Label Services client Hook and Bass Records to hear about their unique brand of afro-Latin music and where their label is headed in 2021.
How long has your label been in operation?
Hook And Bass Records started in 2015. It’s a label based out of New York City. All production has been by Willie Rodriguez, and the label is bringing out a variety of afro house and afro Latin music to various international platforms of dance and club music. Our first release was October of 2016, “This Generation” an afro-tech/afro-Latin Track with a blend of synths, melodic rhythms and tribal Latin beats.
What inspired you to set up the label in the first place?
I knew the way to go was to start your own label. Especially when streaming music took over iTunes, I also got tired of shopping my own tracks and labels telling me how to produce my own music and not getting anything in return. The music industry has changed so much from the vinyl days.
How would you describe your musical philosophy and creative vision?
Musical philosophy comes from my upbringing as a DJ and growing up in NYC. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I was well-rounded with music, from hip hop to 80s electro, to funk and soul, to listening my grandfather play mambo and salsa. My creative vision stems from all the genres I can relate to growing up and just being a club kid and record collector in NYC.
“The music industry has changed so much from the vinyl days”
Tell us about your first release – what was special about that one?
“This Generation”, to start off the sample I used is from a reggae group called Musical Youth, “Pass the Dutchie” is song I grew up with in the 80s. “This Generation” is an afro-tech, afro-Latin track with a blend of synths, melodic rhythms and tribal Latin beats. What’s special about it is that it blended all my music styles into one. I was doing more sample-based tracks back then.
“Work on your sound and production, your craft is everything that represents your brand and label”
What’s been the highlight of your journey so far as a label?
Getting the label recognized and featured on digital stores. You can check us out on Traxsource and Beatport. Also getting charted by various DJs from around the world. Especially in the Afro/Latin/Brazilian market, we do very well with Traxsource because they have a genre that’s made for the kind of tracks Hook And Bass Records is putting out.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of setting up their own imprint?
Definitely figure out what kind of musical genre you’re looking to do. Work on your sound and production, your craft is everything that represents your brand and label. It’s a little harder now to start your own label because distributors are more picky with new independent labels. I would start on other peoples labels, getting your sound released through them and build your fanbase from there.
What lies ahead for your label in 2021 and beyond?
Continue to put out quality electronic music that allows my production to give you various styles of afro-house, afro-Latin, deep house and tech house with those tropical sounds. Hook And Bass Records will continue to blossom in this industry.