Legendary Strictly Rhythm A&R Gladys Pizarro Relaunches Her 'Launch' Label
Legendary Strictly Rhythm A&R Gladys Pizarro has some of the finest ears in the biz and has been responsible for finding and nurturing some of the greatest talent in the game including Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope, Erick Morillo and Armand Van Helden amongst others.. Last month saw Gladys relaunch her ‘Launch’ entertainment imprint with a heater from Saliva Commados ‘What You Have Done To Me’. We were stoked to chat to Pizarro and find out how she goes about scouting out top talent and what’s coming up next for her label.
Hi Gladys, thanks so much for chatting to us today. Congratulations on the label relaunch! Why have you chosen now to kick things into gear again?
Im inspired again!! a lot of new producers are out making cool tracks..
Tell us a bit about the record you’ve relaunched ‘Launch’ with – ‘You Have Done To me’ and the artist behind it Saliva Commandos.
I worked with GEORGE APONTE aka SALIVA COMMANDOS back in my days at Strictly Rhythm. I hired him to do a remix for me so we already had a connection, when I launched the first time he did an E.P. for me introducing himself as SALIVA COMMANDOS. George and I kept in touch and he put a snippet of the track “You Have Done TO ME” on Facebook. When I heard it, I reached out to him immediately to find out if the track was available. Fortunately it was and I signed it to LAUNCH.
What’s coming up next for the label, who else have you got lined up for release?
Well I’ve been talking to D’jamin from Switzerland, Junior Sanchez, Eddie Amador, and also William Rodriguez from Reel-Soul
You’re a living legend in the scene, co-founder of New York’s favorite ‘Strictly Rhythm’ label and known as having some of the best ears in the biz. What do you look for when signing a record?
I look for PEAK HOUR TRACKS that gets the DANCERS IGNITED…. Tracks that DJs must play to get there DANCER EXCITED.
Are you looking for the same thing now as you were back in the strictly days?
Well in terms of looking for new producers YES!!!…I just want to put out Great MUSIC.. I’m trying to stay away from the GENERIC house tracks, that’s boring.
Are there any records that you wish you’d signed that got away?
Well I have to be honest…. No, I haven’t regretted anything that came through my door…. but I wish records like LOLAS THEME FROM THE SHAPESHIFTERS would’ve came to my office back then… every time I hear it I say DAMN I wish that one was mine…
The music industry today is a whole different beast in terms of running a label; the formats have changed and streaming reigns supreme it seems. Do you think they way we A&R is any different?
No, A&R to me is the same…..you hear a track and if you like it you sign it…..but there’s a little more that goes with that …..I try to figure out the demographics like what DJ would play this track, and who is it going to cater too , and will they buy it and stream it?
Is it still just about finding a great track?
Absolutely, that the best part of A&R finding that new TALENTED producer that you can build a relationship with. I call it finding the needle in a haystack…there out there you just have to be patient.
You’ve worked with the likes of Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Josh Wink, Barbara Tucker, Ultra Nate, Masters At Work, Armand Van Helden.. the list goes on.. Did you know these guys were going to blow up and become some of the brightest stars in dance music when you first signed them?
No, lol….I knew at the moment….that the track or song was good and with time we all developed an unusual working relationship that worked well in making some of house best tracks, some are now even considered CLASSICS ….. music that will last a lifetime.
And finally, what new artists are on your radar?
Actually there’s a young singer I found at WMC 2017 that I’m looking at right now. He’s an amazing vocalist. I’m making plans to release his single this fall. I can’t give out his name yet cause were negotiating his deal at the moment.