Riot Expert Records Interview
May 27, 2016
We sat down with our good friend and Riot Expert Records founder, Gemma Bastiani, to talk about what the label is all about, the acts on the roster and the upcoming launch at Shebeen.
You are launching your label Riot Expert on Saturday 28th of May at Shebeen. Where did the name for the label come from?
Riot Expert is the name I've been operating under since about 2013 for all of my management and booking activities and seemed only natural to expand to the label underneath the same brand. The name itself was born from me just trawling through my music library and grabbing out words that were appealing and then deciding what worked together. I believe Riot came from Ra Ra Riot & Expert came from Something For Kate's 'Survival Expert'.
What is the ethos of your record label?
Largely just helping really great, smaller acts get their music out in an organised and well-represented fashion. A lot of bands are stretched for funds & knowledge when putting out their initial records, and sharing some of that burden can really help make more from their limited resources.
Riot Expert is a home to new and exciting artists like RKDA (pronounced arcadia) and Aeora. What attracted you to these artists?
RKDA were kind of born from a last ditch fill in at a gig and it rolled on from there. They're kind of like my babies that I've been with from the very start and everyone in the group is heavily involved in music/the arts outside of the band so everyone brings something really crucial to the team and watching them grow from that initial DJ slot to now with a really impressive debut EP has been brilliant.
Aeora is a funny one, I actually work with her and about 18 months ago she casually mentioned that she "sometimes makes music" and would link it to me, and when I was able to listen I was completely blown away by her voice and songwriting talents. Six months of me harassing her to let me book a show or prepare a release etc. finally worked and now we're focused on her debut EP. It's been truly brilliant to pair her up with great producers in Owen Rabbit & Guy Faletolou and see just how far her songs can go. Not only that, but seeing her reaction to each track's progress is pretty great.
What inspired you to expand upon your music management and start your own independent record label?
It honestly seemed like the logical next step. I was already doing a lot of this stuff for my artists, and was something I'd always wanted to explore eventually so it was kind of like a 'now or never' type situation. It also opens up an avenue for me to work with artists outside of the management capacity, which is really exciting for me.
What does 2016 hold for Riot Expert and its artists?
We've got our label launch (which is also RKDA's EP launch) on Saturday, then we turn our focus to Aeora's next single/EP (which is sounding incredible and I'm so excited for people to hear it), and we've got a bit in the works for management artists blyolk, Louis Spoils and Santanna for the second half of the year, too.
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