We recently featured the excellent Troj EP from new London-based label Colour8. We caught up with CJ Mirra & Adam Badi Donoval to find out more about their ethos and where they see the label going in the future.
What’s your job description at C8?
CJ: All jobs are shared – from tea to artwork to chatting with the artists to distro are all done from the same few bedrooms.
AD: It’s not really a job, is it?
Why did you start the label?
CJ: To put some form to some of the ideas we have between us about the music and sounds we make and love.
AD: I joined later on, still not really sure how it happened. A series of unprecedented events.
What’s the musical ethos behind it – how do you decide what fits and what doesn’t?
CJ: We’re new – the ethos is crystallizing so we’re running a bit on instinct. There’s talk of transcendence and spirituality and experimentation and connection. A deeper awareness of our environments, making a difference. Keeping it light.
AD: Things also sometimes just feel right. Even if you don’t know why.
There is a huge proliferation of labels now, many only lasting for a year or two – what will be the secret to your longevity?
CJ: We’re purely at the edges of any material aspiration – we try to keep the ideas high and the costs low. We can roll for decades at our pace, like the slowest ‘hadouken’ you ever saw.
AD: The bigger the gaps between releases, the longer you run.
What’s an average day like for you?
CJ: Rise, prayers, Duolingo Italian lesson, Khan Academy Maths lesson, check my ‘Google Keep’ stickers for what’s up, work, walk, write, talk, watch film, sleep, hopefully dream.
AD: I’m working on it.
Where do you do most of your listening?
CJ: Headphones everywhere.
AD: Probably at home, with good speakers at hand.
How have streaming services like Deezer etc. impacted the business?
AD: When I started doing music business stuff, these things were already in full throttle. Can’t really say how they affected it then. Probably both negatively and positively.
How do you find new talent?
CJ: Word of mouth, online expeditions.
AD: Recommendations, but lots of my friends send me stuff too. I also do some music writing, so I get heaps of new bands’ stuff all the time, so I sift through them once in a while.
Have you done any or are you considering any vinyl releases?
AD: We haven’t done any vinyl releases in the past, but there are things in the pipeline. We can’t really say much more at this stage.
CJ: Yeah we have one in the works, hopefully for this year.
Do you have your own studio?
CJ: We have two or three studios we can use but most are bedroom productions.
AD: There isn’t a specific Colour8 studio though.
We cover indie music from all over the world, we hear bands that are far superior to much of the music produced in the UK/US yet they are largely unknown in the English-speaking world – what are your thoughts on that?
AD: We don’t really think the country of origin of an artist is very important. Music should be able to transcend boundaries and borders, and it very often does exactly that. But yes, it is true that the music business is focused on the Western world. With that in mind, we as a label also try to support acts from other places – our latest EP TROJ is by artists from Czech Republic and Slovakia. Light needs to be shed on these places.
CJ: Grading music is weird.
Can you offer any advice to new artists? How should they go about getting their music heard?
AD: Umm. If only we knew, life would be much easier.
What’s exciting you for the future?
CJ: The next volume of our Space Trix series and a new monthly podcast we’re developing.
AD: Also hopefully a musical project very much based in the community we live in. Maybe. Future itself is exciting too, at least equally as much as it is scary.
What act, not currently on the label, would you love to sign?
CJ: We’d sign Alex Cameron to write our social media posts.
AD: Someone we haven’t heard of yet.
What’s the best new band you’ve heard?
AD: Lung Dart.
CJ: Soft Hair.