MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, a Los Angeles based label spearheaded by Tom “Astley” Williams of L’Affaire Musicale and Nathan Hayes aka Jamie Prado, just dropped their latest EP release from LoFrames & Anoraak today. We were fortunate to have the chance to get to know the men behind the record label in an exclusive interview with Tom Williams himself.
Katie Lee: Tell me about how you and Nathan Hayes got into the music industry.
Tom Williams: For myself, I have always been in the music industry in some sense. I came over to the States when I was 24 to work as an assistant to a Grammy-nominated music engineer. I learned the production trade from him. How to produce records, I was working in a Latin-fusion kind of industry and it wasn’t really my passion. Being an electronic music kind of guy, the London rave culture of the 90s inspired me. So, I started off as an assistant and worked my way into my own recording studio and started a production outfit called Hellfire Machina with my production partner Jody. We were making electronic music for 5 to 6 years and put out 70 different releases.
Me and Nathan come from the same kind of background. He was a drum & bass producer and DJ for the last 10 or 15 years. Nathan signed with Perfect Driver, SMOG, and label managed for SMOG as well. So, when we met, it was kind of like, “oh we have a similar story being in the electronic music realm for a while as DJs and producers.” We were both going into this transition into the music that we are doing today, which is more house music, rather than the darker, underground bass music.
KL: I see that you already have extensive experience in the music industry. Nathan has experience in label management as well. Did you always know that you would run a record label? If not, when did you decide to start a label together?
TW: For me, starting a record label was the “missing piece” when it came to the music industry. I had done pretty much everything else: production, engineering, DJing, being involved in the event business, and everything else. The label part was the one thing that I always knew at some point in my life, I would want to have my own record label as an expression of the music that I want to put out for my friends. I had been in the music industry for so long that I knew a lot of great artists that did not always have a voice or a place to showcase their music. So, it was one of those things that I knew, in the back of mind, that there would come a day that it would happen, I just didn’t know when. I met Nathan a year and a half ago, and when we met, he talked in the same kind of vein that I was talking about. We talked about bringing a collective of people together, and we came up with a concept label, a collective label that showcases people’s work.
KL: Do you have any advice for someone who is considering starting a record label or maybe advice for anyone wants to enter the music industry in general?
TW: I think you need to be very disciplined and very focused. I think that a lot of people get into the music industry for the wrong reasons, thinking it is going to be glamorous and a place to go party. This is a business, like anything else, you need discipline and focus to stay grounded and to not let all of the distractions of the music industry take over. The industry can swallow you up and spit you out, so you need to take control of it, before it takes control of you.
KL: Since launching in April, how has your label grown?
TW: It has grown in an organic way, and grown in the sense that a lot of artists that I have been working with over the past 10 years as well as the artists that Nathan has worked with saw that we finally had a label. It has grown by word-of-mouth because suddenly we had an outlet. We didn’t come with a massive PR campaign or push it down people’s throats, we opened the label with Nathan’s two tracks that he created. I think it has grown into a record label and an LA events brand.
KL: Are there any up-and-coming artists that should be on people’s radar?
TW: Apart from LoFrames and Anoraak, I would say Mahalo, Mahalo’s music is really great music and he is also LA-based. He is going to be our next release in the next couple of months. Music from Jamie Prado and music from myself. J. Worra, she’s a female producer here, she’s got some really fire music.
KL: Any final comments about the new EP from LoFrames and Anoraak?
TW: They are great musicians and great friends. I am really stoked to have them on the label and on the release. It is kind of a different release, it is disco chill kind of record that has this undertone of heartbreak. It is a record about love and the torment that comes with it. It resonates with Nathan and me a lot.
What’s next for the Midnight in Paris team? They will continue showcasing many of Los Angeles’ house artists including Birdee, Dino Soccio J. Worra, Sunset Groove and many more. “Whether it’s soulful, deep, future, disco, or tropical, Midnight in Paris let’s vocals have their voice.” Williams and Hayes plan on taking their brand on the road to reach new audiences around the world. The label will use its platform to promote an ever-growing list of exceptional talent as well as launch a merch line in the near future.
“Cooling you off from the summer sun, Midnight In Paris returns with a disco-chill release by LoFrames and Anoraak. Since You’ve Gone EP guides listeners through a lush bed of psychedelic guitars, emotive chords and ethereal vocals that will resonate with anyone who’s ever been in love. Sweeping bass and spaced out synths add to the mixture drifting one further away and into new dimensions. LEFTI boosts the tempo and exchanges deep disco for synth-pop paying homage to an era of neon skylines and Roland Jupiter 8’s. Worship closes out the release with his upfront remix sealing the deal on your midnight plans and keeping you on the dance floor until sunrise.”
Currently, a music video for LoFrames and Anoraak’s Since You’ve Gone original track is in production. Midnight in Paris will partner with a top Youtube channel for the premiere showing of the video. Which channel will they collaborate with? Follow them on social media to find out!