In the Spring of 2002, LuckyMe / Music.Art.Parties. was created ‘as a pipe dream to make hip-hop in a place that was not on the map for hip-hop’. In 2007, the guys really began pushing the idea of the label, art collective and their website, whilst all still remaining the industry of their friends. A combination of this tight-knit family vibe and the ‘still nameless bass / beat / electronic music’ that people associate with LuckyMe globally, has since allowed them to release their favourite music, travel the world and meet good people. We gratefully caught an interview with Dominic Flannigan, creative director of LuckyMe, in which he told us about everything from their future to how they stay down with music getting made thousands of miles away. Read the full interview after the jump:
AO-AO: Yoyo! Firstly, for those who aren’t really familiar with LuckyMe, can you just give us a background of what you guys do?
We’re a group of friends who lived and loved in Glasgow, meeting there to study at the art school – making hip hop & all sorts of electronic music on the side. When I graduated in 2006 I moved to London and took a year working as a designer to figure out that I could marry the design my friends were making with the music my friends were making – to sorta sum up that undeniably cool environment of Glasgow. In 2010 we really stepped up our label – focusing on putting out really beautiful and varied catalogue by our guys while they all hopefully jump-off to bigger and better careers and labels.
AO-AO: You seem to have such a tight-knit family vibe, could you pin-point the main influences behind starting the powerful collection of parties / art / label that you guys are now?
Just honesty you know. We’re friends and we’re working with our friends. It’s not a mission statement of how to run a label or how to save the music industry – but the longer we do this the longer I feel it is crucial to who LuckyMe is – because we trust each other. I am proud of everything the musicians we work with release and the way in which they play shows or publicise themselves. So we don’t have to be hands-on oppressive a&rs, media training our acts – because it’s not like that. We’re working it out as we go and we have a staple of great creative people in our circle. Anyone can do what we do I think.
AO-AO: How big is the work team at LuckyMe and how does a normal day look?
2 committed full time staff is it. It’s all we need. We work from a studio we built in the suburbs of Edinburgh about half an hours drive away from Glasgow. We drink a lot of coffee and our average day begins with a couple hours of emails, too much twitter and normally ends with making a video, sleeve or a song. Today for instance we’re working on a viral for Falty DL’s new album on Planet Mu. For design work that requires more of us – we have a private forum where we can post and swap files internationally – and we also talk a lot of shit and swap music on there too. It’s cool, it just means we have a place to all meet and feel close when actually a lot of us are on other sides of the world from each other.
AO-AO: The clothing you guys are selling look dope, how did that project come about?
I studied Graphic Design, worked in London and then Scotland for various streetwear labels and stores. In fact for about 10 years, since I was really young I worked in different Scottish clothing stores that dealt with good labels – everything from your Tsumori Chisato, Supreme, Alife, A.P.C, PAM & Surface 2 Air. Fashion, hip hop and skate culture has always been a part of us since early teens. So it’s natural – we know factories and the right people to make our own clothes and so it’s something we do on the side of the music.
AO-AO: What would you say was the main ethos behind LuckyMe?
There’s the Walt Whitman quote that I often think of – “I am large, I contain multitudes” – which in the context of LuckyMe I adapt to mean we have varied ideas and styles that seem at first contrary, but brought together makes sense. So in simpler terms – just do you. Bring it all together.
AO-AO: Some labels will tend to push a certain sound/genre, yet with LuckyMe you have artists like Jacques Greene pushing that new breed of house music, alongside American Men who make dope synth-driven math rock. Is it as simple as ‘if we like it, we’ll put it out’ ?
Yeah. it totally is. There’s a quality to it all that’s simpatico though. Like a feeling in it all that’s very us. We’re not a label that’s trying to be a current dance label. It’s not about the NEXT THING here. We’re really shooting for something more lasting.
AO-AO: What intrigues me the most about LuckyMe is its ability to really push homegrown talent, but at the same time, release and promote artists from places such as Montreal, yet still keep that family vibe. How would you say that worked?
Again man, I’m a broken record with this answer, but its all natural. We’ve got to know of guys in Montreal making dope music through the internet early into this whole experimental beat thing happening in 2008 and we toured in the States – Rustie, Hud Mo, Mike Slott & Myself, and everyone we met on that tour or spoke to for that tour are international artists we are now working with and releasing records with. They are friends. Guys who we could trust to share and belly into LM. And that’s cool again cause there’s a greater integrity in that – signing 3 friends who all play together in their town echoes how we started and what we’re about.
AO-AO: Tell us about what’s coming up for LuckyMe in 2011, we hear of a Cubic Zirconia EP coming very soon?
So we were gonna put out the Cubic album in February before their tour here in November got them noticed by the right people and hopefully they are gonna get that same record out soon with a bigger and better label (dare I say upstreamed?). So to honour the buzz we made for Follow Your Heart LP we’re just now gearing up our favourite songs from the record as an 12″ / digital EP on LuckyMe with remixes from… well I can’t say yet but it’ll be a very strong record.
Besides that this year is the year of white labels for us. We got some great singles coming out from Machinedrum & this dude John Computer which will just slide out into record shops whenever they are ready – likely in limited batches like our Oops! record of a few years ago.
We’re putting out the TStewart album – a lo fi rock record of songs by Machinedrum, and we’re also getting demos sent all the time by Ango, S-Type & The Blessings have more releases, remixes and in the making. Oh and there’s Mike Slott, Hudson Mohawke & Rustie all with new albums this year. They will and always will be our family and from an insiders perspective I want everyone to know that their new music in incredible.
AO-AO: Thanks so much for your time guys, we wish you the best of luck for the future! Any final words?!
Final words: sorry for the long ass answers. We gotta go work.