PRODUCTION EXPO 2013: Producer and engineer James Hockley has worked with everyone from Chicane and Armin Van Burren to McFly and The Sugababes. Now he's launching a new label venture, dubbed Collabor8 Music, that aims to support and develop a new community of producers across all genres. And he wants your help doing it. Let's find out how...
What is Collabor-8 Music?
"Collabor-8 Music is a website based record label. It's designed to build a community of producers in a way that used to happen via record labels back in the 90s. With each release, we'll also release all of the stems as a remix pack. Then you can take the stems, remix it in whatever style you want - whether it's a dance record, or a folk record, or a drum 'n' bass version - and then you submit the remix back up to the website.
"We'll then choose five remixes for the final release. Each one of those remixers becomes an artist on the label and does an original track, which we put out the stems for, and people remix it and then THEY become original artists. You basically build a community."
"Now there are thousands of people wanting jobs and less and less studios, so how are you going to build your name? This way, you can work towards a goal"
How did the idea come to you?
"When I was doing Producer Sessions Live two years ago. When I started out, you attached yourself to a studio and work your way up to make your name. Now there are thousands and thousands of people wanting jobs and less and less studios, so how are you going to build your name?
"This way, you can work towards a goal and you feel like you have a platform. We've got a fantastic distribution deal through Absolute Music And Marketing, which basically goes through Universal.
"It's not just putting it through an online distribution company, it's a label. That means you're actually getting released and everything will go through PPL and get registered properly. There's a structure to it, so you feel like you're actually going somewhere."
When is the label launching?
"The website is up in beta mode and we're requesting beta testers. It's free to sign up and, when you do, you'll get an email with a link to the stems sent to you.
"We've got about three months' [worth] of tracks ready to go, but by the end of November we'll know who the new artists are going to be and we'll be saying, 'Right, it's time to submit your tracks.' We're looking to launch it [fully] in January. The first release is going to be out around then with the five mixes on it."
How can people best support the idea?
"Sign up. It's always going to be free to sign up. There might be a small charge for the remix packs, but it will always be a small amount - we're talking about a few pounds - that will go towards the artist to help with studio fees and so on.
"I don't want the artists thinking that we want everything for nothing. You've got to get some kind of recognition. We're not talking about loads, but something."
Where do you want to be in a year's time with Collabor-8 Music?
"Hopefully, in a year's time, we'll be coming up towards our 10th release, and hopefully we'll have a community of a good amount of producers, in all different types of music... And have the support that will allow us to continue!"
Head to Collabor8-Music.com to try out the site for yourself and to sign-up.