Interview with Fuueihou

Interview with Fuueihou

Interview with Fuueihou

Nikolay Sabev aka Fuueihou sharing some thoughts with us

Editor USM
Sun 3 Dec 2017

Hi, Nikolay and welcome to USM platform!
Hi, guys. It’s a pleasure to be making an appearance on your lovely platform – thanks for inviting me.

Tell us something about you and your label Druzhba?
I started Druzhba with a very close friend of mine while we were both based in Berlin last year. We had already been good friends for a long time and our taste for quality music was similar, thus, it all happened very naturally. It’s been a great journey so far – our first release sold out in less than a week while the other two are nearly sold out as well. Druzhba is a vinyl-only label with very limited pressing quantities of 300 copies – it’s all about contributing to the scene that we feel very much connected to.

Do you believe that vinyl gold days are back?
Answer: I would like to think so. I remember reading somewhere that last year’s vinyl sales figures were the highest since the 1970s which (if true) is a strong statement. Initially, we all thought that such renaissance was mainly connected to independent labels such as ours, however, you now see many commercial acts and bands releasing their albums on wax as well.

How can a small label survive on the electronic music industry? What are the main obstacles that should be jumped over?
Answer: It really depends on what your long-term goal is. Druzhba is a family project, a venture between two friends who feel passionate about releasing quality electronic music. The primary goal of the label is to release records that we both believe in without emphasizing so much on the commercial side of things. Of course, we do the math carefully and avoid operating at loss but everyone who’s been there would tell you that it’s tricky sometimes. The quantities we press (300) are quite limited but that again was a deliberate decision as Druzhba primarily relies on an organic growth within the dedicated communities. So far, it has been quite successful and people seem to appreciate our efforts which makes me optimistic that if you stay true to your initial beliefs, you’ll eventually succeed long-term.

Do you believe that digital releases reduce the value of the electronic music production?
Answer: It’s a delicate and potentially long topic. Many labels don’t see the financial benefit of pressing only vinyl, thus, choose to go for digital. Nowadays, you can set up such venture from your bedroom even without spending a penny. Does this affect the final output? I think so. When you press vinyl and especially vinyl-only, you feel some sort of responsibility – there isn’t much room for mistake, you know. At the same time, there are still really cool tracks that get released only on digital so it’s difficult to provide a Yes/No answer to such question.

Share with us some highlights of your career or what you feel most proud Druzhba-wise?
I started DJing back in 2007 when I warmed up for Depeche Mode keyboard player Andy Fletcher during one of his rare DJ appearances. Initially, I was organizing alternative events where I’d spin tracks by some favourite acts such as Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, New Order etc. – the discussed events had a significant effect on my further development as an artist.

Later on, I formed a music duo called Fuzoku with close friend of mine and we started producing tracks together – a project that still functions while our tracks have been remixed by artists such as Hideo Kobayashi, Marko Nastic, Nicolas Duvoisin, Satoshi Fumi & more. Last but not least, I currently push my solo alias Fuueihou while recording some aesthetic mixtapes for various online platforms such as USM.

Druzhba-wise, it’s difficult to single out one thing I feel most proud of but thinking about it now, I feel quite happy we managed to bring someone like Rick Wade on board. He provided two original tracks for druzhba002 which also included a killer remix by Melodie.

How you see the future of electronic music industry?
The electronic music industry is as a big as ever. Popular DJs who have been around for many years fly private jets and get treated like kings all across the Globe – lucky them! At the same time, there are many smaller and independent labels that target niche following while bringing something new on the table on a daily basis. I think it’s all about getting the balance right.

What would you advice the new artists who count on making living through electronic music?
It may sound like a cliché but it’s all about being honest with yourself and staying true to what you really believe in. Trying to produce good records that stand out is important as well – it can really help a young artist to be spotted and given a chance to play out there in club environment.

What's your opinion about the circulation of the same "popular" artists on every big festival? How can an upcoming artist/DJ survive on the scene if the possibility to perform at such events is minimum?
That’s an issue not only with electronic music artists. You see all those big festivals who book established bands such as The Cure, Pet Shop Boys or Nine Inch Nails that basically consume 80% of the overall event budget. Then, the rest of the line up is just splitting some small sums of money or even playing for free just for promotional purposes.

I think getting booked to perform at such festival is not the main issue but whether you can afford to play there for free or for some minimum fee, and for how long you can keep doing that as an upcoming artist. That’s why many young producers have other day jobs to support themselves while trying to break through.

Are you satisfied business-wise in regards to fan support towards Druzhba?
Answer: Yes, totally. I think it’s been amazing so far. As previously said, all our releases are getting nearly sold out without any promotion which is a sign that we have developed some sort of following already. It’s great, however, it also means we must keep up the quality work and improve with each release.

What's your short future plans?
Druzhba-wise, we are currently preparing our fourth release which will be another VA and should come out in early 2018. I’m quite excited about it because we got to sign some solid tracks that have the potential to make a difference.

Share with us something positive and motivating?
Keep up the great work – the music industry needs media platforms such as yours. To all electronic music fans out there – keep up the spirit and stay true to yourselves!

Artist links

Fuueihou Fuueihou