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Interview w/ OneThirtyBPM.com about SFR
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21546
Interview w/ OneThirtyBPM.com about SFR  Reply with quote  

Read the full interview at:
http://onethirtybpm.com/features/label-spotlight-strange-famous-records/

Q: First and foremost, could you briefly describe Strange Famous as a
label? How many artists and releases are credited to the label, and
how would you define its 'sounds'?

A: When I began pressing my own music I decided to use the name
"Strange Famous Records." Because, you know, having a label name makes
a photocopied, hand-cut cassette tape cover look all that more
official. I had to learn the business side of things through trial and
error, but common sense and intuition go a long way. Eventually I had
all sides of the business situated and I decided to start using my
knowledge & resources to help out other artists I was working with. At
that point, the SFR staff grew and the roster grew. I have no desire
to expand into a monster company though. I want to keep things small
enough where I can overlook each item and maintain as much quality
control as possible while still having fun and doing
interesting/unexpected stuff when I feel like it. I also don't know if
we'll even be operating as a "label" down the line as no one knows how
the industry will end up. To date, we've signed about 15 artists and
we've taken on about 25 projects. As for our sound, I suppose we're
mainly a collective of lyricists with an introspective lean. It's
underground emcee shit. We also have instrumental albums though, and
some projects are just for fun. If you inspire and entertain me, and
if I think you're a trustworthy person who could benefit from having
me obsess over every aspect of your art, you're a good SFR candidate.
Of course, you'll eventually want to ring my throat or vice versa.

Q: What was the drive behind heading up your own label?

A: It was basically out of necessity as there weren't any labels
checking for artists like me. Not until I proved I could build a
strong fan base and, eventually, outsell most of the conventional
artists they were previously jocking. Of course, at that point, after
I had already done all of the dirty work, I didn't really need a
label's help. What I mainly needed was distribution. I made some
concessions along the way, working with various labels on various
projects, but if I had enough capital early on I would have saved
myself a lot of trouble. A lot has changed since back then, and I
often feel overwhelmed with label duties, but it's nice being able to
make decisions to play the game or hate the game whenever I want.

Q: What has surprised you most about running your own label that maybe
you weren't aware of as a signed artist?

A: I think I'm most surprised at how unreliable, lazy, and shady
people are on all sides of the business. People are so desperate to
get what they don't deserve while doing as little work as possible.
From "publicists" to "promoters" to "distributors" to "managers" and
on and on and on. I know this shouldn't come as a surprise, but it
still blows my mind. Honestly, it doesn't take much to move up in the
system if you're a competent and trustworthy person with a good work
ethic.

Q: Are there any unique release methods that Strange Famous either has
pursued or is currently pursuing, be it digital or physical?

A: Everyone is obviously moving toward digital now, which means a lot
of the old school methods of releasing albums are going the way of the
dodo bird. Honestly, it bums me out. I like physical packaging. I
enjoy the process of creating it, putting it together, handling it,
and everything else. I don't want to come up with digital package
deals or thinking up innovative ways of pushing digital media. That's
not how I grew up experiencing and appreciating music. Alas, that's
what we have to do. In the meantime, I'm still going to come up with
ways to make physical product enticing and available, even if it means
going back to jailbreaking Kinkos machines. Currently I'm on a
"personalize as much product as possible" kick.

Q: What can we expect from you in the next few months? Long-term?

A: With the holidays coming up we're going to be putting together
specialized package deals which is usually what we do at our online
store. I haven't talked about the SFRstore yet, but I've found that
dealing directly with our fans has been essential in keeping afloat as
an indie label. This has been increasingly important as all the indie
stores close down. Other than that, I'm working on a mixtape as well
as an official album for 2012. Same with B. Dolan. We expect a
collaborative album from Prolyphic and Buddy Peace. Cecil Otter is
still working on his follow up album to Rebel Yellow which he says
should be ready by next year. There are a couple other tricks up our
sleeves as well, some crazy videos in the works, but nothing I can
divulge at the moment. I expect next year to be very busy for us as
far as music and shows are concerned.
Post Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
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Flawed Logic



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 349
Location: Austin, TX - Albuquerque, NM - Kalamazoo, MI - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Re: Interview w/ OneThirtyBPM.com about SFR  Reply with quote  

Sage Francis wrote:
I'm working on a mixtape as well
as an official album for 2012. Same with B. Dolan. We expect a
collaborative album from Prolyphic and Buddy Peace. Cecil Otter is
still working on his follow up album to Rebel Yellow which he says
should be ready by next year. There are a couple other tricks up our
sleeves as well, some crazy videos in the works, but nothing I can
divulge at the moment. I expect next year to be very busy for us as
far as music and shows are concerned.


Hell yeah I can't wait!
Post Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:03 pm
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Prontoid



Joined: 07 Aug 2002
Posts: 1605
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Interview w/ OneThirtyBPM.com about SFR  Reply with quote  

Sage Francis wrote:

Q: What has surprised you most about running your own label that maybe
you weren't aware of as a signed artist?

A: I think I'm most surprised at how unreliable, lazy, and shady
people are on all sides of the business. People are so desperate to
get what they don't deserve while doing as little work as possible.
From "publicists" to "promoters" to "distributors" to "managers" and
on and on and on. I know this shouldn't come as a surprise, but it
still blows my mind. Honestly, it doesn't take much to move up in the
system if you're a competent and trustworthy person with a good work
ethic.




It's funny, coz in my experience you can pretty much extrapolate that sentiment into any industry...
Post Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:51 pm
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Asterax



Joined: 21 Nov 2002
Posts: 1883
Location: Maine
 Reply with quote  

If I remember correctly, this was Sage's last non-music job:



Unfortunately, Sage and his competent & trustworthy work ethic did not stick around long enough in the ice cream industry for it become Ben, Jerry & Sage.
Post Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:17 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6309
Location: airstrip one
 Reply with quote  

I think his beard would make a fine addition to the B&J empire, though.
Post Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:37 am
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