Ahead of their feature on Radar Radio. CassKidd caught up with the founders of the Clouds Collective label, Coastal & Clay to find out the set up behind this international San Diego/LA based record label.
Talk to me about the individual roles. Starting with yourself [Clay]. How does it work, because there’s two people running one thing. How is your role different to Coastal’s role?
CLAY: Things have changed from the beginning. I mean, Charles [Coastal] has always done a lot of the graphics for us and the releases behind that. At the beginning, I was ‘finding’ more-so I would say, more people and looking for the releases, looking for music that we were going to feature on Clouds. I also do some of the social media. I was doing radio at the time last year [last Semester] we had like 13 or so radio things there every week at Loyola Marymount University in California, through their online radio program. So I did radio for that. Charles has been taking the concert, trying to get our live audiences to shows, organising the concerts and events. We’ve been networking a lot. People will be looking for a studio and we will hit them up and be like “Yo come through”. I guess making connections, not to grow off of people but making those connections, learning from them and just spitting the name out.
COASTAL: I think we’re definitely about connecting people, I know growing up in San Diego, there wasn’t much of a scene down here and there still isn’t, but we’re trying to fix that. It’s getting better, you’re just trying to connect people whose music would be just a Soundcloud online kind of thing. They have all these online friends but when you make it real in person, it becomes a bigger part of your life rather than just close your laptop and go away from. Even these live shows, they’ve been pretty small, but the fact that our whole roster has been able to play, meet each other, we’ve been able to meet so many cool people. I played a show last Thursday and playing a show tonight. If I hadn’t done those live shows, had all of the Clouds there, met all these cool people, certain key people… Certain key people were there that actually booked me for these shows! So they were just really cool at bringing people together, certain people to get attention about Clouds and they were really helpful and I think we all got a lot closer through those shows, as far as a roster and a label.
Speaking of your roster, I’m actually looking on your Soundcloud now and there’s quite a few heavyweights. So how many people are actually on your roster? How do you go about selecting, is it just an email saying “you are chosen”? [Clay laughs].
COASTAL: We’re pretty closed right now, we’re not actually looking for anybody new because we just kind of want to keep it – we’re at this place where we’re just comfortable with out crew, our family.
CLAY: People will come up, but we’re not going out of our way necessarily to –
COASTAL: It’s got to be natural and I think lately it’s changed because now it has to be all ‘IRL’. If we can’t meet them in person and figure out the person they are…because now we know pretty much who all these people are. CLQQNG, I met down in San Diego. deDunamis is out in San Diego. JATO was down in San Diego. Lyric Walls is down in San Diego. And then Maggie Niemann is a personal friend of Clay’s. Fango Jett and swtrwthr, who are now Bloom and Staygo, they’re both two friends that hit me up in Long Beach and I met them last year and they’re both really cool, so they worked their way into the family. It’s just really close-nit, people we know in real life and we’re all kind of connected now so, it’s more than just an email. That’s for sure. That’s what makes the difference, this is more than people who are just loosely tied online.
CLAY: Yeah, they’re definitely like real relationships, they’re not just like, short. We really try to make it comfortable on both ends and not trying to get somebody to get releases, we’re trying to become friends with them – I feel you can never use enough friends, in terms of making music with each other and learning from – everybody has got their own little ideas, you’re never going to come across the same person who makes the same style of music so, getting a taste of everybody’s techniques and what they do and you just learn. You’ll watch each other and you’ll be on Ableton and you’ll be like “Oh you do it that way!? I didn’t know that.”, and then that changes and you get faster at making it, instead of taking time to automate this and you know. It’s a good learning community.
COASTAL: It really is! We’re meeting all these people that aren’t even on Clouds, this guy Flip-D, got to come through the past couple of weekends and hang out with Clay. Because Clay has access to these studios at his college, it was just so cool to kick it with him and learn about him and all of this awesome stuff he’s doing. So outside our family we’re meeting all of these really cool people and knowing them on a personal basis, besides just what I feel like so many Soundcloud collectives do, which is follow each other on Twitter and just repost and stuff. It’s so nice, I love that. The personal aspect.