It’s not a surprise to see Warpaint Records and Impossible Records come together on this compilation series. Both labels have always strived to support brand new talent in the bass and electronic music scene and today they showcase the best of what they have to offer with “Blood Lines Vol. I,” a massive multi-genre compilation.
Showcasing everything from dubstep, house, trap, and downtempo, this compilation is a must for every DJ and bass music lover.
Blood Lines Vol. I | Stream – Spotify
Four Over Four had the chance to talk to each of the label heads leading up to the release.
How did the label come to be?
KJ Sawka (Impossible Records): My wife, Cori and I started up the label in 2015 as means to get my KJ Sawka music out to the world with no headaches or strings attached. I love making all types of music, and a lot of it does not seem to fit a particular mold as many labels release just one particular genre with a distinct style.
It was challenging at times trying to get my music signed and heard by the world; my wife had this crazy dream about running a label, so we researched starting one. From there we just went for it and haven’t looked back since.
My producer friends have always sent me loads of music to check out, and while going through this process I realized I could also release their music and help move their careers forward. Teaching, guiding, and inspiring others is something that just comes naturally to me, and I love helping other people reach their full potential. So it all started to flow together in this natural progression that led to where we are now.
Kris Ware (Warpaint Records): In 2015, my brother Jeffrey and I launched Warpaint to form a collective of artists that worked in cooperation with one another, like a tribe. We wanted a place to develop their music, support one another, give it a home, and define the sound of what a multi-genre label should be; one not bound by a particular style of music.
Between us, we’ve had a passion for music, writing, and the arts for years and we wanted a chance to really build a family within a community of like minded artists that together would be stronger then apart. Shortly after launch we brought on our good friend, John Mullinix who had been on our first release as the Baltimore-based duo, The Socialytes. He had had the same dream we had from the beginning and was instrumental in helping us get it off the ground.
What is the story behind the name?
KJ: There’s a phrase that goes, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” We believe that nothing is impossible when it comes to achieving your dreams. Those that work hard at what they are passionate about are deserving of a chance to turn their goals into reality. “Impossible” for us translates to nothing is impossible: “I’m possible.”
We love a wide variety of music. Even though a lot of our releases up until now have been mostly bass music we love so many genres and are working to expand our catalog. We especially dig melodic vibes with heavy grooves and quality production and we push our producers to be the best they can be. There are no rules when it comes to making music, and we want to do everything we can to help them grow.
Kris: Warpaint Records partially pays tribute to our families’ Native American ancestry, but it applies to the tribal concept where everyone in a family works cohesively as a unit. It’s like a military unit, but with the goal of accomplishing everyone’s hopes and dreams.
We wanted to incite a conscious shift in music that was not bound by genres or styles. It is necessary to be forward thinking about our approach in order to adapt to the ever evolving scene we are involved. It’s like having the same mindset as waging war against your enemy. Our enemy is the box many labels, artists, writers, and other creatives contain themselves in. We strive to think outside of it and wage war against the status quo. Originality is our revolution, music is our movement.
Tell us a bit about the A&R process?
KJ: At first, I listened to every demo that came in and helped producers sculpt their records to what ultimately became the final version for their release. Recently I had to step away from that role as I found myself not creating enough music on my own and like every artist I’m incomplete without it.
Now we are fortunate to have several people sorting through demos as it is just too much for one person to manage. We collectively help guide our producers to create the best music they possibly can thus helping them to reach their full potential.
Some demos are submitted nearly perfect, others need loads of work, but there’s nothing like finding the diamonds in the rough. I haven’t found the perfect A&R process yet and I’m not sure if there is one, but we work hard to give attention to all our artists whether they are emerging or seasoned
Kris: In the beginning, I reached out to a lot of artists including some local friends I had made in NYC and NJ. Others I had researched or they were artists whose music we used to spin on the online and college radio stations my brother and I used to play weekly.
I listened to everything myself when we first started getting a lot of demos, running it by my partners, but I don’t believe we’ve signed many artists’ music from a demo submission. Most of the artists I was able to seek out through SoundCloud. They were artists who’s music was unique to that style or genre and needed a voice.
We have built a foundation on combining these elements and passing our philosophy on about helping the development of an artist. Thus, we’ve created an overall aesthetic that promotes growth and cooperation and a platform to help all aspects of an artists career through a family atmosphere.
When did Warpaint and Impossible first meet? What inspired the two labels to collaborate on a unique compilation, and by working together, what is the message the brands would like to deliver to the music industry and the fans?
Kris: Last year I started talking to Jake Barnet, the Impossible Records label manager, when HU$KY, one of the earlier Warpaint artists and owner of the Riddim Network, introduced us. Jake then introduced me to Matthew Medney of After Dark Artist Management and KJ’s manager. Once we got to chatting, it led to the linking of like minds and a proposal for the project. We also did a show during SXSW at the Beautiful Buzzz showcase with Fomo, which is John Mullinix’s music alias.
I’ve always looked up to KJ and I respect what he and his wife were doing with Impossible Records. Our labels really seemed to be twin flames. Not only did we happen to launch our labels at the same time, but we were also pushing the same message. That ultimately inspired the concept that collaborations aren’t just for producers.
KJ: Kris is the kind of person that makes you feel like you’ve been friends for ages and when he presented the concept of a label collaboration I couldn’t pass it up. So we immediately dove right in developed it into a cohesive idea thus launching our new project and first product together “Blood Lines Vol.I” which includes artists on both labels.
Together we know that we can have a positive impact on the community as a whole and hopefully inspire artists and labels alike to come together instead of competing. We believe in rising together as one family with a common goal: heal the world through music.
Currently, we’re discussing plans for further releases and the possibility of a Warpaint x Impossible artist showcase tour. So stay tuned for that, hopefully it emerges this summer!
Lastly, what does family mean to you?
KJ: Family means working together in support of a common goal that creates a foundation for success and happiness through love, trust, and loyalty. In our family, we achieve this through clear communication, positivity, and lifting one another. It means always celebrating successes and dusting ourselves off when things don’t quite work out. You only lose when you give up and giving up is never an option.
Kris: I have to say I couldn’t agree with KJ more, failure is not an option. Behind every let down or pitfall is another chance at success and triumph.
Within a family unit, the collective on the label, my parents and siblings, or the soldiers I served in the United States Army with for over a decade, you bond over a common goal. It’s a support system that is there no matter what. A family is an environment where people are pulling each other up, cooperating, and creating a vision together, it’s unity.
Today is our two year anniversary date as a label and a time to celebrate the extension of our music family with Impossible Records. That includes the birthday of one of our first artists to release with us, Rumble Filthskin. Happy birthday!