THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE HOUSE OF MUSIC?
Ahead of the first of four Defected take overs at Pacha Ibiza Dubai on April 24, we take a behind the scenes look at their main man, and Defected’s musical dynamo Simon Dunmore…
Noir, MK, Sandy Rivera, Guti, Flashmob, Osunlade, Oliver Dollar, Yousef, Dennis Ferrer, Bob Sinclar all have one thing in common. Apart from the fact they’re all at the top of their respective games, they’re all current Defected signings, ably demonstrating the depth and range of the legendary record label. And the label’s success is largely powered by Defected’s MD, Simon Dunmore. Amazingly considering the epochal change the music industry has undergone, the label has been running for 15 years, as he’s brought the label through economic recession, the unfettered rise of piracy and a redundant business model thanks to the rise of the internet. The list of hits is staggering – recently, they hit the top pop spot with MK’s remix of Storm Queen’s ‘ Look Right Through,’ while they can also boast Number 1s from Bob Sinclar (‘ Love Generation’), Roger Sanchez (‘ Another Chance’) and Tensnake (‘ Coma Cat’). Then there’s Noir & Haze ‘ Around’, Flashmob’s ‘ Need In Me’ and Pirupa’s ‘ Party Non Stop.’ Name another record label with that sort of hit rate? But they’ve not just put good music back into the charts, they’ve done it consistently, and they’ve done it without ‘ selling out’ or putting out lowest common demoninator dancefloor music. As Simon says, they like to think of themselves as the ‘ cool underground guys, but Bob Sinclar’s our guilty pleasure.’ It hasn’t always been easy. In the early days, he twice used his house as collateral against bank loans, while adapting to the changing music industry was a struggle for everyone involved. They lost 75% of their income over a 5 year period, but Defected were one of the best prepared: they pulled out of traditional sales and marketing platforms before anyone else, and went fully online. “Initially the transition into the digital age was a journey into the unknown and as a result was hugely intimidating” he admits. “Now that the digital record business is a reality it is much more manageable. If you are savvy, you communicate directly with your fans and as a result your marketing is more targeted. If you know your audience and the potential of a release, the business side of things is easier to manage than it was before.” They also bought into the 360 degree platform, where they became a platform for artists, managing their tour dates, merchandise and music. And on top of that, they branched into parties, notably holding down an 8 year residency at
Pacha. It’s this leadership, and continual love for music and clubbing – he regularly DJs himself, and spends 3 weeks in Ibiza every season out every night ( no mean feat when you’re in your late 40s) – that has pushed Defected onto bigger and better things. And it’s that love and dedication – and their staggering back catalogue – that will be in evidence at Pacha Ibiza Dubai on Friday April 24, as one of the most important men in house music takes you on a musical journey alongside Sonny Fodera, live percussionist Shovell and the Pacha Dubai residents.