We caught up with Elm Imprint and Digital a label in the Drum and Bass scene that is certainly becoming a known commodity. The label started a few years back in 2015 and is clearly all ready making its own unique signature imprint. We caught up with label owner, Phil Watkins, to pick his brain a bit.
Chelsea: Being a label owner, I bet you get hit up a lot from new Artists who want to release on your label, can you give us a list of your Do’s and Dont’s for new artist to follow.
Phil: Do send your best work. Do refer to our catalog to listen to the quality we are looking for. Do send a good mixdown of the track. Do introduce yourself and provide links to your social media so we can get to know you a bit. Do expect honest feedback from us. We don’t sugar coat anything. It’s not personal, it’s business. Don’t attempt to send a “master” for us to review. Don’t send us just a track or link to your SoundCloud saying “check it” pssst…..we won’t. If you don’t take the time to write a greeting, we won’t take the time to listen..Don’t expect a vinyl release right off the jump. Just make drum and bass, and finally the most important of it all, Do what you love.
Chelsea: Please talk about your next or upcoming release or collabs on the label.
Phil: So much stuff in the works It’s hard to keep up! We launched our harder/darker side of Elm Imprint called “Decay” back in Jan so expect lot’s of deep dark spacey halftime, breakcore, neuro and amen heavy stuff from artists like Estonia’s Thing, San Francisco’s Bonk and newly signed dubstep artist Kletis who is trying his ear at halftime and to me he has nailed it! On the regular Elm Imprint side expect liquid, Rollers, and straight up drum and bass with releases from Pish Posh, Jaybee, Will Miles, Echo Brown, and many more! We are currently doing a presale for the Will Miles/Robert Manos/Sopheye vinyl release of Burner. Details on how to order have been released on our social media sites. The next Spinscott vinyl release is in the works and will feature a long sought after track from his fans on vinyl only! Not spilling the beans but it’s gonna be a good one! His first release has sold out and is only available in Digital format. The big project we are working on is the Ray Keith vinyl release which will feature a tune from R.A.W. on the flip. This one is worth the wait because we are rolling out an entire media and merchandise package with it.
Chelsea: What was your inspiration behind the name?
Phil: ELM Imprint was chosen by our artist bonk out in San Francisco. He runs a label called Flatwoods Creative and I always loved the name. I hit him up for so ideas and we landed on ELM Imprint. ELM as in the ELM Tree, we wanted something that would have longevity and wasn’t cliché like “super dope bass booty records” or something like that, we look at the label as a family with roots and branches in all forms of drum and bass. Something grown up. Imprint comes from the pressing vinyl side of things. You can see elements of the elm leaf in our logos.
Chelsea: Tell us a little bit about why you chose to start a label?
Phil: The idea came up the day after my wedding back in 2015. I was sitting around chatting with Robert Manos and my current partner. I had been running Faction Digital Recordings for a few years by this point which is an all broken beat label. My Partner suggested that we start a drum and bass only focused label and grow it. We formed and I am very proud of the artists we have and the moves we are making. Big things on the horizon for us and we plan on being around for years to come.