LuckyMe on Baauer, Hudson Mohawke and bringing Scotland to SxSW
We follow Martyn Flyn and Dominic Flannigan, co-founders of forward-thinking electronic label LuckyMe, as they navigate this year’s South by Southwest music strand in Austin, Texas.
The duo explain the history of their involvement in the festival, the growth of electronic music at SxSW, their fortune in finding new talent there, and their creative process as a label.
Flannigan discusses the reason behind LuckyMe’s continued presence at SxSW, where the likes of Hudson Mohawke have been regular features since 2010. “When you’re coming from a remote location like Scotland, it’s a good barometer of what’s happening over in America," he explains. "Given the type of music that we release, it gives us a sense of where we fit in the landscape of what is kind of inherently American music.”
Look out for another mini documentary and further sessions from our time at SxSW in the weeks ahead, and recap the festival in our diary entries from Austin.
Read the transcript of our chat with LuckyMe below:
Well, we’ve been coming to South-by-Southwest for a couple years now; I think the first time was like 2010 with Hudson Mohawke and we did a little thing. It seems at the time that South-by was not really used to any electronic music, it was very much still - well I felt as an outsider that it was still a rock festival exclusively. And then every year it feels like we’re coming back and getting to play in the bigger more established venues.
We’ve always done our own thing and tried to keep them independent of sponsorship which has been something for us, and we’ve managed to do quite well at that and get bigger and bigger parties every year. The reason why South-by-Southwest’s important really for us is ‘cause when you’re coming from a remote location like Scotland, it’s a good barometer of what’s happening over in America and I guess given the type of music that we release it gives us a sense of where we fit in the landscape of what’s kind of inherently American music.
So coming over here you can kind of see the trends come and go where we fit, as kind of outsiders relative to that. So yeah, we’re seeing all of the music industry in one place.
Yeah, so people ask us about like finding talent in South-by but I guess the main one is when Baauer, which was just actually the good fortune ‘cause it came in somewhat coincidentally. Yeah, so basically we launched TNGHT here with their first ever show and announced the TNGHT record from South-by and Lunice and HudMo played a show together. Before it, we were in the hotel room preparing and I was sent the demo from Harry Baauer and I had been speaking to him a while online, but just played the track which then turned out to be Dum Dum, a record that we released. From one room of the hotel - we’re in a suite - and Hudson heard the track playing and asked for it.
Then it found its way into the first ever set played out by TNGHT which was here in Austin. And as I was side-of-stage, beside the lighting desk, a guy who I then didn’t know ran over said ‘I manage this guy Baauer; how do you have this song?’ And right there and then we just made the agreement that we were gonna put out that record and we’ve represented Baauer ever since.
In terms of like the record label structure that we started, we were inspired by like early 2000s independent hip hop record labels like Rawkus... I guess what’s maybe a little bit weird about us at LuckyMe is that we do all the creative ourselves, so we make all the videos and do all the sleeves in house and that extends beyond if if an artist signs on to other labels we stay involved with them. I guess that’s how it continues to be like bigger than the releases, so if our artists go on to release elsewhere, we still stay involved.