This is a story about how I came to start my own record label and where it is now.
I pride myself on being a self-sufficient (female) Label Boss, DJ, producer, radio host, wife, stepmom, future mother, and yoga teacher... but today we can just focus on the label part!
As most striving producers and DJs know, the importance of having a steady amount of releases is priceless. But sometimes, finding a proper home for the music you are making can be an uphill battle. I found myself in this position in the beginning of 2012. Though at this point, I had released collaborations of my own for a couple years under the artist name Nouveau Yorican, (my side project with Laidback Luke) and released remixes and edits, bootlegs of my own and had even lent my vocals to artists like Zoo Brazil. I had yet to make a real solid introduction to what the "Gina Turner" sound was sonically, and I had yet to release a debut original EP.
I was working hard and had tons of demos (and still have these demos, in fact) that I was shopping to labels. With one constant dilemma, finding the right one. My sound is somewhere in between techno and house, and I hate to be limited by genres, so my music does reflect that!
I had made this one single, "Giovanna," in early 2011/late 2010, sampling my cousin Giovanna playing Spanish guitar while I stayed with my family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As soon as it was finished, I knew it was the track that really embodied my musical style and my management and I started shopping it around to labels, tons of labels, labels that I had released on previously, new labels, established labels, and all with one common answer: "I don't know if its really 'our sound'... it's a cool track though."
I felt defeated, I kept up and released some features here and there, as well as some more collaborations with other artists.
Then it dawned on me: "Why can't I start my own label?" I certainly have the vision, and if my music is "not exactly fitting" other labels, then this is the time for me to take matters into my own hands.
I met with my manager Julie at her office and she quickly introduced me to Anthony who also works in her office and handles digital distribution and other releases for some of the other artists in my management company. I explained to them my vision, the name that I wanted -- "Turn it Records" -- and the rest is history!
I quickly contacted my favorite graphic designer Jamie McNeil and we discussed label artwork and ideas and my vision, I knew he could execute it, and he did.
Next up I reached out to my brother Ed to be in this journey with me, as I know he has experience with contracts and is able to reach out to people in a professional manner.
Now, I had the team behind me, the management, the designer, and the label liaison... and of course that brings me to my role. I am the one to choose the music that Turn It releases, the one who listens to demos that Ed filters for me and also, the remix curator and more.
The first release was "Giovanna," that track that I had made in 2011 -- finally seeing the light of day in June of 2012. I had an amazing remix on board, Van Toth from GTA made that track so visible with his remix, gaining support from many DJs in the community. It was an amazing first release. Since then we have released a few other solid EPs, keeping my vision in mind and certainly quality over quantity.
Turn it Records throws parties worldwide, from Miami to Paris, hopefully in more cities to come, I love to bring out artists that inspire me as well as bring new talent.
While I am looking to sign artists to the label, I always keep that feeling I had in mind when I was shopping my track around without finding a home for it... I want to do something different that won't exactly fit in anywhere else, because what fun would that be if I did something that everyone else was doing, label-wise!?!
Now were on of fourth release and I couldn't be more excited about it. The Bliss Speaker EP, put out by me and Mitch de Klein, in my eyes and ears is a gem. For now, I'm working on another EP for a different label, as well as a full length album of my own. I am for sure keeping busy. And I hope to inspire others never to give up or try and mold themselves to be something that they aren't. Do you, and keeping doing you, and I promise you will be able to "Turn it" around.