AudioBite Records out of Detroit has made large strides in the music industry over the years. AudioBite founded and started by Nicole Simpkins, has taken many turns for the greater in the underground music scene. We have the honor of sharing with you, Nicole's perspective on the industry, the music, the talent, and where she thinks it is all headed in the future. Take a moment to hear and read what she has to say. AudioBite Records is an independent underground house label. Founded in 2009 by Nicole Simpkins. Their music ranges from deep house, progressive, tribal house, and tech house. Their mission is to bring out only high-quality, unique, and cutting edge music from the up and coming producers from all over the world
First, tell the world who you are. How did you get inspired to start a record label?
Nicole Simpkins and I own AudioBite Records, which is a house label group that consists of the main label that releases deep/tech/progressive house, and AudioBite Soulful that releases soulful/funky/jazzy/disco house. I grew up in the Detroit area and was surrounded by music from a young age. I started going to live concerts and underground rave parties as a young teenager in the 1990s. I learned how to play drums at the age of 19 and played hand-drums alongside bands and DJs as a hobby. I enjoyed the Detroit techno and house scenes as a high school student, and then decided to study culinary arts and start a career with food and wine. I later traveled around Europe and learned how to produce music in The Netherlands while working there as a chef. I met my husband, Ramiro Bernabela, who is a DJ and producer, and learned how to make music with him. I then spent a few years honing my production skills and learning how to use a drum computer. I decided to start a record label after meeting so many talented and undiscovered producers; to give them all a voice and to have the freedom to release truly unique productions that I believe in.
What do you think has been your most successful part of your business so far?
-So far, I am overwhelmed with the amount of positive responses we have received from DJs about our music and the great quality of demos that we continue to receive from artists.
When listening to promos, what catches your ear?
-I listen to a lot of promos everyday and the more innovative stuff gets my attention. I like it when the music has unique qualities and takes risks.
Currently how many artists do you represent on your label?
-There are currently 58 artists on the labels and we are regularly signing new artists. We are proud to have artists from all over the world on our roster.
Where do you see your label 5 years from now?
–I see us having more artists and organizing more events featuring our artists. I also have future plans to start more sub labels for different genres.
Do you have any plans for album only releases in the future?
-There are no specific plans for album only releases but it is definitely something that I would consider doing in the future.
What trends have you noticed in personal taste for DJs and your consumers?
-I have noticed that it is becoming more acceptable to have longer tracks, slower BPMs, and the music always seems to sound louder and fuller with time.
Do you have any suggestions for any new comers to the industry?
-The music industry can be very challenging to come into, it takes an extreme amount of passion and dedication to push forward. If an artist has the drive and the passion and the talent and is willing to work hard enough, then they have a very good chance at success in the industry.
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment yet?
-I am most proud of our vinyl release on AudioBite Soulful. We released “Don't Delay” from Manyus & Misteralf feat. Steeveeb about a year ago and it was very rewarding to watch the vinyls sell out of the shops.
What has been you greatest breakdown?
-We have had our fair share of struggles while getting the label going, and I think that the greatest barrier we have had to deal with is the struggling digital music sales and ever-growing problem of illegal file sharing.
-The electronic dance industry has been huge in Europe for a long time now and it is starting to gain mainstream popularity in the USA. I think that within the next few years EDM will be one of the most popular genres worldwide. A lot of critics frown upon the commercialism of it, but I think that this is opening new doors for all types of electronic artists, both mainstream and underground.
-I think that performing live and music publishing have the largest growth potential at the moment. Music sales are not growing much, but more and more people are seeing DJs and concerts live. The film and television industry is growing immensely and will always need music to feature and publish.
What region of the world do you think the best music is being produced right now?
-That's a pretty tough question, there is so much great music coming from so many parts in the world right now. As far as house music goes, there lately have been a lot of great tracks coming out of Italy and South Africa.
As a label owner, do you notice any trends in where music is made or do you think there are just a lot of copy cats?
-It is always a challenge for me to find music that defys trends and copying. There are definitely a lot of copy cars out there, but there are also plenty of producers making their own unique and original stuff and my goal is to give them a chance to be heard.
What would you like to see more available in the industry in the upcoming year?
-I would love to see more female producers and DJs in the next upcoming years.
How do you think social media has helped the industry? Do you think it has hindered the industry in any way?
-I think social media has helped the industry in so many ways because it allows for a broader worldwide audience of people to connect with new music and new artists that they would not have necessarily connected with before. Social media plays a crucial role in our promotions and has allowed me to connect with so many people and build a worldwide network of artists and colleagues and friends. The only hinderance I see is that sometimes there can be some over-saturation, especially when people constantly post the same things over and over on their social medai pages. I try to effectively promote our music and our artists without overdoing it.
What suggestions do you have for the up and coming DJs, Artists and producers?
-I always tell them to not give up, be persistant, and to always continue to further develop their skills. The road to success can be a long one, and the key is to maintain the passion and not be afraid to go against the mainstream.
Do you notice any trends in music from Europe and the US?
-Though the roots of house and techno started in the U.S., I think that Europe has been openly embracing the music for a longer time. EDM is starting to gain a lot more acceptance here in the U.S. in the past few years, and I think that eventually the European and American music trends will morph together into a more worldwide trend of overall popularity.
What advancements do you see for women in music? (particularly electronic dance music)
-In the past, there were hardly any female EDM producers and DJs, and today that is definitely changing. A once male-dominated industry is starting to have some strong females climb their way to the top and I think that with time, this will only happen more and more.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
-My favorite artist is Dennis Ferrer. He has always been a favorite producer of mine, and I have in the past few years seen some amazing DJ sets from him in Miami, Amsterdam, and Chicago. Each time he blew me away with his energy and ability to rock the crowd into a frenzy while playing amazing and unpredictable sets.
Where can people submit demos for your label?
-People can send us a link to their tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do listen to everything that is sent to us.