Spencer Kildare opens up about Magnum Records, its foundation and more: Interview
Returning in the most immersive of fashions, Magnum Records is more than set on further impacting the dance scene and not only. In turn, we could not be any more thrilled to have caught up with Spencer Kildare, as he opens up about his record label in this latest interview.
Playing a pivotal role within the promotion of electronic music and not only, Magnum Records was founded in 2012 by Spencer Kildare, with the record label acting on an independent basis, with an array of artists being discovered by the platform and everything that it had to offer at that moment in time. Looking out for both electronic music artists, as well as singer/songwriters, Magnum Records became a synonym with success for each individual looking to further enhance their presence within our scene, and in doing so, the likes of GEOTHEORY, Kazuikii, Eufoeni, and Anth M all kick-started their careers through the constant support of their selected label. Providing their artists with a platform that was recognizable on a global scale, a wide range of well-renowned imprints would also showcase their support, where in turn, artists would have the opportunity of further advocating their talents on the largest of scales. Having run into some distribution issues, and eventually going into a 6 year hiatus, we have now caught up with the founder himself, as he opens up about the resurrection of his label, the impact that it had and will continue to have, the various artists that have featured along the years, his own role on its creation, future plans that are now in store, and so much more.
Hello and thank you for joining us! Could you give us an insight on the foundation of Magnum Records, and how this project came to life over a decade ago?
Hey, thank you for inviting me and for the opportunity. Magnum Records was founded in April of 2012. Not only was I 20 years-old but I was, and still am, a small time hobbyist producer. My “introduction” to EDM came a couple years prior by some acquaintances in high school with Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’. However, I always had an affinity towards electronic music with the likes of Daft Punk, Alice Deejay, and Aqua whose music I heard in passing. I’m a creative with an entrepreneurial spirit and this made Magnum’s founding easy. I was already in a producer group on Facebook and had some connections with artists. Magnum started on Soundcloud since it provided simple way to publish and provide music for free as an individual, label, and collective. I was able to set up a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel to help professionally solidify the brand. That’s how Magnum started and the rest is history.
Supporting the likes of GEOTHEORY, Kazuikii, Eufoeni and Anth M during their breakout years, we would like to know the impact that your record label had on upcoming artists at that moment in time, as well as the groundwork behind their rise within our scene?
To be more accurate, Magnum was more-so supportive in the fundamental years of artists like GEOTHEORY, Kazukii, Eufoeni, and Anth M and was supportive during their breakout years. Magnum’s impact on upcoming artists was the ability to provide professionalism, provide visibility, and build their resume. Artists have an easier time receiving opportunities when a label or collective is promoting their work and backing them. Magnum artists were, and still are, on the major music platforms and stores. Their music was promoted via blogs, Reddit posts, YouTube channels, Spotify Playlists, Social Media Ads, and music websites. Magnum provided artists with music videos, lyric videos, and audio videos for their music. Album covers and graphics are also provided to and for our artists. Many artists even received remix competitions. All of this and more was provided at no cost to artists. Many labels, groups, and collectives of our size and larger aren’t doing such things. Artists were able to capitalize from the groundwork provided by Magnum. We catered to every artist’s individual needs, and ensured that their brand was properly represented. It’s one thing for an artist to release a song. It’s another thing when an artist to release a song that has press kit, official album art, music video, lyric video, paid ads, and promotion through a label with connections. Of course, these artists have broke out with their own deals and efforts, but it would be disingenuous to say that Magnum didn’t play a role in their success.
Charting on old genres charts, as well as gaining support from various well-renowned labels of that era in electronic music, could you give us an insight on the significance of each of your endeavours, as well as the impact that external outlets had on the success of your label and featured artists?
External outlets definitely played a role in the success of the label and featured artists. Other labels and collectives heard the music that we released and how we promoted them. They also admired our work with our brand along with the brands of our artists. Some even had our artists on their own labels since Magnum didn’t lock artists in exclusivity deals. This benefited both Magnum and the artists by opening up access to a different fan base. Fans of an artist from one outlet listen to that artist’s music from another. It creates a beneficial ecosystem that benefits all parties. Promotion networks and outlets were our primary way of being heard. Whether it was on YouTube or Soundcloud, these sources helped solidify our brand to the public. What’s more is that these promoters don’t accept every song that’s submitted. There’s a certain level of quality that they’re looking for. Magnum’s artists were able to make music that promoters liked, topped their charts, and were featured by promoters on their own accord. There’s no downside to having an outlet love your artists and brand.
Providing your artists with a platform to further enhance their image and of course promote their music, we would like to know the scale of which Magnum Records influenced the scene and it’s advocates, as well as an insight on the opportunities presented when signing up for Magnum Records?
Magnum set a standard that other outlets have replicated and maximized in their own way. There were labels that started after Magnum, gained larger fanbases than Magnum, and still wanted to do business with Magnum. However, much of our influences can be attributed to the influence of our artists. GEOTHEORY was wreaking havoc on the industry with his ‘Future Japan’ stylings. Future Japan’s professional origins start with ‘Midnight Racer’ and ‘Wanna B With You’. Both of which were was released by Magnum. Toro was turning the scene on its head with his percussive and unique Dubstep and Electro House. His Spotify has over 1000 monthly listeners even as he stepped away from music 7 years ago. There are more ways that Magnum and its artists have influenced the scene and even some I’m not privy to. As I mentioned before, Magnum’s artists weren’t under exclusive deals, only their music is exclusive. They are free to come and go as they please. In fact, our artists presently receive royalty payments from their music. Artists are offered a platform by which they can use to help jumpstart their career. Other opportunities such as interest from other labels, outlets, venues, and companies come but aren’t directly offered by us. In many cases, Magnum acted as a “middle-man” for these opportunities. Magnum has and will be transparent and open with our artists.
With the music of Magnum Records heard frequently on promotion channels, could you give us a further insight on the reach of your record label, and it’s ability of providing artists with a platform that could expand their careers to the highest of heights, in terms of global exposure?
The reach of Magnum Records is ironically larger than I know and could imagine. I knew Magnum had an impact but I never knew how deep. I’ve had encounters with people who knew about the label and its artists around my city. As the Japanese say, Magnum is a ‘net label’ meaning it operates over the internet (and that is changing soon). It surprised me that people in my area knew about Magnum’s artists. Magnum’s old catalog of music received thousands of plays when re-uploaded to music stores. In fact, they still receive thousands of plays every month on Spotify and Apple Music. Moreover, those songs aren’t even promoted or in a press run. It’s just old fans and the algorithm at work. I don’t believe any Magnum artist has 0 monthly listeners on Spotify. That is a testament to Magnum’s accessibility and influence to and on the global market. Magnum has the ability to grant artists access to global reach and visibility. Artists do have to make an effort to grow on their own because the label is not an instant fame machine. However, if an artist is a runner then we are the shoes on his or her feet, the tailwind to the body, and the wings on his or her back. The Magnum platform has a variety of resources and contacts which allows each release individualized and personalized attention. We have access to outlets of all kinds that feature different music genres and this helps the performance of our artists and their music.
Having faced a variety of issues that led to a 6-year hiatus, we would like to know how this amount of time will have impacted the foundation of Magnum Records, and how your return can be perceived when taking into account the constant changes within the dance scene?
A 6 year hiatus is essentially a death sentence for a label or any company and project for that matter. Artists have moved on in their lives and started families while others have become bigger with their own projects. The algorithms and rules for social media has changed drastically which inadvertently made promoting music more tedious. There are difficulties in growth and retention of fans on platforms with such a grand loss of a constant stream of content. As you mentioned, there are not only changes in social media but in the dance scene as well. Many artists are capable of releasing music on their own so they don’t consider creating music for a label. People used to be into Dubstep and Complextro but now Phonk, Future Music, and Lo-fi reign supreme. Fortunately, Magnum has previously released music with genres from ambient and experimental IDM, to groovy bedroom pop, to hard-hitting and heavy Dubstep and Electro. Magnum is no stranger to new genres and has established itself as a multi-dimensional brand. We also have the ability to help independent artists on their path to success. The issues we faced that lead to our hiatus have been resolved. We’ve even made additions to the label to make us better than before. Our challenge is now breaking back into the music scene while navigating through the constant changes. I take pride in Magnum’s strength and adaptability. I’m more than certain that Magnum will succeed and thrive in the industry despite any changes or setbacks.
Acting as the label founder, and of course now bringing your project back to life, could you give us a further insight on what we can expect from your label’s return, and how all future artists will be benefiting from joining the Magnum Records team?
Magnum Records underwent a huge rebranding with its revival that had a more professional look that better reflected our brand. Our new slogan is “Bigger than Music” which exemplifies what Magnum is. It embellishes the concept that we’re artist focused, creatively driven, and providing more to artists and fans alike. Onlookers and fans can expect not only more of what we previously provided, but also expect more ingenuity, events, and products from within and via partnerships. We made a shift to involve more genres of music, however we’re not removing ourselves from dance music. Moreover, Magnum is gearing up to become the head of a music group within the next few years. I’m dealing with some label heads to get the ball rolling on that and plan to close some of the deals within the next year or so. This will allow us to onboard a variety of artists and provide them with Magnum’s superb standard of support through various channels. Future artists can expect to have a stronger backbone and support. They will be provided with solid groundwork and foundation for their growth and development. Magnum now has new outlets and better connections that artists can utilize. Everyone can expect “big things” from Magnum as true to its namesake. We Rave You, thank you once again for the opportunity, for having me, and for the interview. Thank you for your interest in and the sharing of Magnum Record’s story.
Returning in the most immersive of fashions, be sure to visit the official Magnum Records website here, as we would like to wish Kildare and his whole team all the very best for the future, with success a key element as time progresses.