When I think of record labels, and collectives, I also think of image and focus. Indie or otherwise, having a particular identity is so powerful. This is why we arrived at Club Coral today. A collection of artists specializing on fresh new takes on french house, vaporwave, electronic, and music that would fit an episode of Miami Vice?
Their productions, ads, cover art, and marketing is heavily inspired from the 1980s aesthetics. To date, the label has developed a fan following and amassed a respectable number of plays for their releases. What makes this all work is that Club Coral is an active platform showcasing music from it’s very active roster and collaborations.
So I then got the opportunity to ask how does the label work and keep the funk alive? So I sat down with co-owner/ co-founder Xavier Richaud (My NamE). So sit back and enjoy some insight into beach jam music and what it’s like running an indie label.
1. How did Club Coral start? Is the origin story a funny series of events? Did someone randomly message you with the idea?
Club Coral is a rebirth, a fresh new start with combined forces. James Natale (Skibblez) from Canada whom started Disco Motion Records back in 2011, and me Xavier Richaud (My NamE) from France whom started Disco Future Records along with other accomplices such as DJ Zimmo (also back in 2011), and of course Andrea Cipria (Stereocool) from Italy who is a straight up funk master as we all know. Moving forward…we are all friends and talk about everything almost every day.
The idea to start Club Coral was simply to have a fresh start, James was clearly itching to get a new label/collective going and it took some convincing to get the others on-board. What had started in 2011 felt to be somewhat lost over time, it was truly time to begin something new. Picking the name Club Coral was tough, as it always is, creating a new name/brand…we wanted something simple yet fresh, with a pure 80’s vibe.
To be honest, it was quite surprising to have Andrea get on-board with us, he’s always been a close friend and stand-up guy, he’s on another level musically and is always insanely busy, so to have him helping with quality control is very important to our success.
Running a label/collective together is not always easy, making decisions, picking tracks, artworks, etc. There are definitely ups and downs as we all come from different cultures with different points of view. It’s a great experience nevertheless. I think we’ve learned a lot from each other and have gained a positive experience so far.
2. The team features A LOT of artists. You all have your own respective careers. So how difficult is it to collaborate for a new album?
We’ve worked with a lot of artist over the years, both long-term and short-term, when we decide to release a compilation it’s always a big challenge. We want the best from each artist that participates. We are very close with our artists, it’s a very friendly label. Some might say we are too picky at times, but it’s because we know how talented our roster is, not to sound arrogant, we simply just want to see the best from everyone involved. It takes time, and we give a huge thanks to all the artists involved.
It’s tough to balance being an artist and running a label/collective, there are times we just want to just focus on one or the other, but in the end, both are a part of who we are. There is a lot of dedication and effort put into each release, and although we are not always 100% pleased with the results, this is how it is, you can’t escape it.
3. Being the owner of a label/collective. What would people be surprised to know helps you the most with your job?
I don’t think there is anything surprising about what we do here, we are generally grateful to have lots of experience with other labels and artists prior to starting Club Coral. It’s common that it takes several tries to get something right, even if it takes many years. Patience is a virtue.
(To Put this into perspective. Imagine piecing together an album with members across countries. Then deciding on marketing, track composition, and so forth. Patience is necessary)
4. Did you sort bump into each member of the collective over time? Or did they find you? How did that happen?
It’s a mix of both, there are just so many years of getting to know many artists, strong friendships built throughout the years, mostly online since we all come from completely different places around the world. We already knew most of the producers that are present on Club Coral.
We really enjoy pursuing to work with artists we truly respect. We’ve also worked with new producers from other labels such as Future Society Collective and Stardust Records for example, as well, we receive demos from producers we’ve never heard of, just like every other label, but this is more so a rare occasion. Truly things have just tended to fall into place for us, we also enjoy reaching out to new artists by choice, we prefer to get to know them well, we only want to work with artists who bring a positive energy to the table.
5. So how/when did you and everyone decide on the Club Coral aesthetic? The art, genres, the sounds? To people unfamiliar with you, I would say you guys sound like what a modern day 1980s club would play. It’s more than that of course, but was that more of an organic process? Did you all just notice it.
We tend to visualize Club Coral as an all-inclusive resort from the 80’s. Beach jams with women dancing, super soaker fights, beach balls, etc. hahaha. It’s funny how most of the tracks we release tend to all portray this visual idea, whether it’s disco house, funk, nu disco, synthwave or whichever genre, it all seems to come together full circle.
We all try our best to collaborate on final decisions. I oversee the visual aspect, James and Andrea spend more time on the demos we receive. Also, James works a lot on the social media, bandcamp, and physical cassette releases. In the end, we try our best to agree on a track or artwork idea.
Club Coral reflects what we are, what we make as producers. We are strongly influenced by the 80’s, when the disco/funk groups were using big synths. Also, the fashion, the paintings, and the colors from this period are truly a big inspiration for us.
6. If you had the means and funds, and you have all of Club Coral in one city. What city, what time of the year and where would you like to throw this concert? And why this city/venue?
If we had to choose one city to have a concert, I think we would give you 3 different answers. But I’m pretty sure it would be close to the beach during the summer nowadays. For James, I know it would be Santorini Greece, there are aspects of this place that just ooze Club Coral aesthetics.
7. You’re a very active DJ/producer/artist, I think this gives you a lot of insight for Club Coral. If you didn’t have that first-hand experience do you think you’d be as successful?
Our experiences help a lot, but if you love what you do and are curious enough you can make great things. We don’t plan to be successful in terms of profit, just looking to have fun in the present.
8. What do you think sets Club Coral apart from other labels/collectives? The people behind it? Your comradery among each other?
The friendships and commitment…although there can be discrepancies, what we have is special there is no doubt, we all have something different to bring to the table.
9. How and when does the label decide to release an album. What is the general planning phase like?
We don’t really plan ahead much, other than for compilations. We tend to reach out to artists individually, everyone is keeping busy these days, with so many labels out there, as well as many artists starting their own labels, there seems to be a lot of separation. We would love to see more commitment from certain artists. We don’t aim for all the attention to be Club Coral, our intention is simply to showcase the artists we work with, some are just way to underrated, we want to shed the light on them.
10. What would you say is Club Coral’s raison d’etre?
The general enjoyment of uplifting music, people must know the joy that funk and disco can bring…a positive environment for all to love.
So there you have it. Club Coral is a collective that spawned out from the idea to start anew. From them artist come together to keep the good times going. Hey, it’s always said fun music is always in style. It is there’s no denying that fact. As a fan of the label I look forward to whatever their next release maybe. Like Xavier pointed out, their a showcase of talent so you can also follow their respective members and collaborators.
If you enjoyed today’s interview and their music that was featured, you can checkout their latest releaseCoral City Vol. 2. You can also follow Club Coral on: