Born out of a desire to
shake things up the local
music and club scene, the London-based
collective Bone Soda has
evolved into a multifaceted
creative agency and
independent record label.
CMWho is Bone Soda?
BSThe circus which is Bone Soda is an independent record label and a low key creative studio. The teams consists of the motley assembled jackson five: Skinny, Truce, Robyn, Diogo & Tommy
CMI know the project was originally born out of a frustration with London’s nightlife and club scene. Can you tell me a bit more about that? What are your backgrounds? Was it natural for you all to end up embarking on this journey together?
BSWe all have different journeys. Most of us worked at Boiler Room, so naturally we consumed a lot of music. As twenty-year-olds collectively running the company, having the opportunity to wing it, you become a sponge, learning from everything and everyone around you. Working across so many different types of music shows around the world— from lo-fi to highbrow, DIY to corporate sponsored—ultimately enabled us to expand our tastes and sonic palettes. Not to mention being surrounded by talented colleagues like Sofie (Stones Throw), Bradley Zero (Rhythm Section), and Nic Tasker (Whities / AD 93), to name a few, you learn and pick up everyone’s different practices.
But despite all these great things around us, there was a dip in regards to nightlife. We didn’t feel there was a place we could hear what we wanted, something that reflected how we listen to and enjoy music. So we decided to do something about it. A “no frills” now-and-again weekday night at Jaguar Shoes, with special guests DJs, gave us the freedom to play whatever we wanted. It was our home until we outgrew that space, and then every other after that, so we had to pause. From there, Sofie (OG crew) bounced to go to school in Austria, and after a trip to South Africa, we [Skinny & Truce] decided to extend the branch into a record label, with Slowthai being our first rodeo.
CMI assume the process of selecting new artists is a very organic one, but what are some of the key things you look for?
BSWe move on gut feeling. The music is a feeling—we just know if it's right for us at the time.
CMHow did the Nike “TRACK & FIELD” C/O VIRGIL ABLOH collab come about?
BSNike hit us up to contribute some ideas for an activation they wanted to do for Virgil. We came up with ideas on how to make sports fun without it feeling like a chore, especially for people who don’t care about engaging in sport activities at all. A plethora of concepts were thrown out, but we landed on an elaborate “sports day”—something that kids (in England, at least) have to participate in at primary school, typically towards the end of the school year. We then further developed the ideas from TV game shows we loved: Gladiators, Takeshi’s Castle, Jeux Sans Frontières. Of course, most of these had to align with the health and safety regulations, and with what Nike could afford and turn around in a short space of time, so we couldn’t go as crazy as we wanted. :(
CMDoes this cross-pollination of practices and worlds help to build and nurture a community around what you do?
BSWe like to do anything our hearts desire. Many people limit themselves, and that’s alright, but if we want to release music, do a track & field event, or direct music videos—why not! We live outside the confines of a record label, connected by a global community of shapeshifters who naturally cross-pollinate in different practices, all driven by pushing the envelope.
CMWhat are some of the upcoming projects you have in store?
BSThere’s Bekah CC’s EP on the way! We’ve got another exciting new artist, so you’ll hear something from them before the end of 2020. In October, we’ll start our mixtape series—first up: Toro Y Moi—followed by a beat tape from Sofie for old times’ sake. Both projects are on actual cassette tapes. And yes, we’re still buying tapes. (The Bandcamp community knows the drill.) Then there’s a couple more exciting projects that we can’t say. *licks lips*
CMWhat do you envision for the future of Bone Soda?
BSYou’ll just have to see innit :)
Photo credit: Kenyatta Meadows Photo credit: Armand Da Silva