Nurvous A&R In The Hot Seat.
Nurvous is a sub-label to Nervous Records. It started in May of 2011, and it was borne out of a necessity for a dedicated home to the ever-emerging fresh sounds, new artists and a place where one can take chances and do something different.
The latest Nurvous release is currently riding high on the Traxsource downloads Top10 charts, so we sat down with Andrew Salsano (Nervous & Nurvous A&R) to get some background on the Nurvous imprint & much more with this Exclusive Interview.
1) Hey Andrew, thanks for chatting with us, tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Hey, Thanks for having me! I come from a tech background and always had a passion for music, when the opportunity presented itself to make the switch, I took it and haven’t looked back.
2) So A&R for those who just think it is just a catchy name, it sounds very “hands on”, take us through a typical day at Nervous Records
I get in pretty early around 8-830am and catch up on some radio shows from the weekend / previous days such as Radio1, Triple J, or any DJ sets from a club / festival. I then go through some demo submissions which can be both dreadful and rewarding. Afterwards I check up on the artists we manage (Climbers, MURK, Mark Lower, Damon C Scott) and organize their tour routing and gigs with their respective booking agencies, dig for some new material in my own way and I actually spend a good majority of the day talking to a lot of industry people, relationships are a vital part of the business (any business really). Rest of the week sees a plan of our releases up to 4-5 weeks ahead and create the metadata for them, organize marketing with online publications and portals, etc.
3) Tell us the difference between Nervous and Nurvous, do inquiring minds ever get confused?
I think we tried to be cool by keeping the same pronunciation whilst changing only one letter but in the end all it did was kind of confuse people laughs – so in a sense I guess we kind of out-smarted ourselves; but I would say by now everyone who follows the music knows the difference
4) Nervous has A LOT of history, tell us about this New York institution.
Nervous has been around since 1991 in NYC, so way before I got into the industry and started working here. Nervous has always held its own while keeping its credibility high. What I love about Nervous is the ability to be an indie label while connected to a major distributor, it really gives us the flexibility to be current with our finger on the musical pulse while simultaneously having the infrastructure to cast a wide net.
Industry pioneers and legends have had some of their first releases on Nervous such as Masters At Work, Armand Van Helden, Josh Wink, Roger Sanchez (he was actually the first ever Nervous release as Niceguy Soulman) Throughout the years Nervous has been able to identify the coming and going of a current scene and being able to adapt and also adopt that musical style, it’s helped us always stay ahead of the curve for 23 years!
5) What’s your most prized signing to the label (Nervous and Nurvous)?
Hmm, that’s honestly really a tough one as there are so many truly great ones.
Personally I might have to go with:
Nervous – DJ Mog – Somewhere feat. Sarah Lynn – Mog is a really talented producer from Ireland and while unknown at the time here in North America we were able to sign it and champion it at radio and it ended up being a #1 Billboard Air record.
Nurvous – Scandal – Just Let Me Dance (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix) – more on this below but it was a big project for us and this ended up winning an IDMA for best Indie Dance – Nu-Disco track for 2013
6) Tell us the history behind Rhyze “Free” and how you came about to getting Louie Vega and Nick Monaco remixes?
Mike’s dad (Sam) founded SAM Records which was responsible for disco hits during the 1970s and 80s. Fast-forward to 2011-ish and while cleaning out an old storage locker Mike found old reel-to-reel tapes of those SAM Records gems. We ended up finding someone who could transfer the master-stems (remix parts) from those tapes into digital formats. The time then came for us to do a second compilation with these amazing Disco tracks and I’ve always loved with Nick Monaco has done over the years and one of ours (and his) first releases was on Nurvous so we re-visited and he turned out an amazing remix.
Louie also recently signed a track from Nick for his Vega Records label so we sent him Nick’s remix and he loved it so we gave him the parts and he put his magic touch on it, the rest is history.
7) Who are some up and coming producers we should look out for?
I personally really love what Point Point, Mazde, Doc Daneeka, Lido and Blonde are doing at the moment, and I think they’re all going to blow sky high
8) What’s in the pipeline, what should we look-out for?
We recently decided to get back into dance radio so we have a great track from Kim Sozzi called Never Say Goodnight which is already on high rotation on a dozen or so terrestrial stations here and we have a hot remix coming from Baggi Begovic so I think that will take the project even further.
We also have a bunch of great singles and EPs coming from the likes of Cassian, Beauriche, Helsloot and a newcomer Austin Welsh. Also an Album from Mark Lower and mixed-comp from Jamie Antonelli
9) Where does a store like Traxsource fit into your musical agenda?
I think Traxsource is a great outlet for people that want to find high quality house music and other genres without digging through a lot of fodder. It gives users a choice aside from previously entrenched portals like iTunes driving the industry to compete for the benefit of the end music listener
10) With the current boom in popularity of “electronic dance music” here in the USA – what are your thoughts of the current state of house music?
I think it’s good, a rising tide lifts all boats. Festivals come and go and although the direction of festivals is towards more rather than less, the promoters of these festivals will have to decide for themselves on whether the risk reward of launching more incremental festivals makes financial sense. We have seen several concert style venues canceled recently due to lack of ticket sales so it’s possible the festival industry is already in contraction. But a tremendous statistic that shocked me was that in 2013 electronic music was the only sub-genre that grew in digital sales year-on-year. Really important global statistics like this signify long term trends not short term ones.
11) Are you concerned about the mainstream infatuation and corporatism of dance culture or is it good? (please explain)
I am and I’m not, this might be a bit of a long-winded one. I can’t say there’s any single person to blame as it is a group of people responsible for corporatism. Is that good or bad? I guess that depends how you look at it, I see it as both. On the good side I think the real passionate DJs / producers / consumers retreat far back into the underground and continue to innovate and this is how new genres come to be.
On the bad side when DJs are at such a high level in a public view, I think there at least should be a moral obligation to keep what has been so good to you alive and healthy by constantly pushing the boundary and education of dance music’s allure. I’ll agree I’m definitely a very small percentage, but I’d go out on a limb to say most late teens / people in their early 20s don’t even know things like techno, house, deep house and nu-disco exist because it has never been presented to them on a large scale.
It’s a double edged sword as there has never before been so many ways to consume media, but when most of the mass media channels spoon-feed EDM and other pop-culture, it becomes difficult to cut through the noise. Underground music, similar to high-fashion and any other niche market, typically already has the interest of the end user to seek out on their own.
I say this as history typically repeats itself and not too long ago I was that same 17/18 year old kid listening to 140 BPM Trance, never knowing house existed until I was dragged along to an after hours and I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
The main fear I have is that people will eventually become self-aware to other genres and new music as there is only so many times you can hear the same old song and dance and as fast as there was a mass movement to “EDM” there will be a mass exodus away and all the multi-million dollar festivals and events in production would be no more, as well as the high paying DJ fees; it’s really no different than any other bubble in any other economy through out time.
Will this happen? I hope it doesn’t but I guess let’s revisit in a few years and see where we are
12) Guilty musically pleasure?
I really have no idea why I’m even admitting this, but when I hear it on the radio I have to listen to Rachele Royale – Unscrew U, mainly because it’s like listening to a car accident. It’s so bad but you can’t help but not listen. It’s also like watching a Steven Seagal movie; terrible yet awesome at the same time.
13) Finish these sentences for us:
- EDM is… music for the masses
- NY is… the greatest city in the world!
- The next genre wave is… not sure there is even a name for it, but that Kaytranada / Cashmere Cat / Pomo. sound -
- House music is… life-changing!
14) Mets or Yankees?