United We Stream Brighton – Skint Records interview
Raising money for Brighton & Hove’s night-time economy, cultural organisations and charities, United We Stream’ will be bringing the very best of the city’s music talent in to your living room this weekend. It all starts tonight (Thurs 18 June) with a selection of incredible artists from Brighton’s legendary music label – Skint Records.
It will bring people together from around the world, so they can enjoy and experience Brighton’s rich music, art and culture. United We Stream Brighton is free, but donations are welcome, with all proceeds going to support bars, clubs, pubs, venues, restaurants, performers, freelancers and cultural organisations across the city – as well as contributing to the fight against homelessness and the vital work undertaken by the Grassroots charity.
Launching at 6pm this evening, homegrown label Skint will bring the party to you. And it’s going to be huge. Starting off will be rising star Kideko, who kicks things off at Skint alumnus Norman Cook’s Big Beach Café. Then label boss and founder, Midfield General will be broadcasting from the Revenge rooftop. Taking you even higher, Dense & Pika (top) will be performing in the British Airways i360 pod. To round off the evening, chart-topping duo Waze & Odyssey will be DJing at the Brighton Centre terrace. It doesn’t get more iconic than this.
BN1 spoke to Matt King, Skint’s Label Manager about this momentous occasion.
Your evening on United We Stream involves some iconic Brighton & Hove landmarks. Was it difficult sporting these venues out?
We were lucky enough to have the fantastic United We Stream strike force around us to help bring these together. So a big thanks to Nikki, Billy and Markus for helping there.
Do you think the shows give a real insight into where the label stands now, or were there other vital artists you couldn’t squeeze in?
We’re incredibly happy with the line-up we’ve pulled together and very grateful to each of the artists for participating. That’s not to say that given the landscape we’re in right now it wasn’t difficult to pull together a showcase of the full breadth of the roster. Lockdown and social distancing knocked out a percentage of the roster from participating who maybe aren’t as close to Brighton as the rest and not comfortable with public transport just yet. For the launch we wanted to make sure Brighton was showcased in all its glory and so the line-up is a composition of our finest talent able to offer their performance at the iconic Brighton venues.
Do you think the dance scene could be changed forever now? There’s a lot of free parties happening while the clubs are still shut.
Rumour has it the next Summer of Love is upon us. Viva acid house. One thing I think is for certain; the pandemic is going to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Without naming names some notable artists have fallen foul in the face of lockdown and I think there will certainly be some levelling out across the live business specifically.
Could dance music prosper in an online-only environment?
If it was forced to do so, yes. But that would be subject to economics. Thankfully there are lots of fast, forward thinking ideas people in this business who have spearheaded some great initiatives so labels and artists can survive having taken huge loses to their live business. However, we’re about to go into the biggest recession of our generation and whilst dance music is an incredibly lucrative industry, it survives because of a fanbase. Because of ticket buyers and streamers. If those cease to exist due to economic strain then so will we.
Could there be a big burst of creative energy, now that everyone has found a lot more time for music making?
From personal experience; initially there was a great wave of creativity amidst writers/producers/musicians but that burst seems to have tailed off. Historically oozes of amazing music has been born from struggle, frustration and oppression but Covid-19 is an invisible enemy. It feels like creative energy goes up and down as per everyone’s daily battle with isolation, loneliness and lockdown.
Skint has been a staple of Brighton’s and British dance culture. What’s been the secret to the label’s longevity?
Working with the people you love, trust, respect and would consider your friend.
What does the future hold for Skint?
We partnered with global music firm BMG in 2014 and have been back in action as a frontline recording label since 2016/17. We’ve been busy building a roster we’re very proud of, from the phenomenal and more familiar talents of Roisin Murphy and Hercules & Love Affair, to development artists such as Serge Santiago (Waze & Odyssey), Theo Kottis and Chaney.
United We Stream Brighton – Thurs 18 June 2020 schedule 6pm: SKINT presents Kideko – Big Beach Cafe 7pm: SKINT presents Damian Midfield General – Revenge Rooftop 8pm: SKINT presents Dense & Pika – i360 9pm: SKINT presents Waze & Odyssey – The Brighton Centre