Acid house pioneer turned pop star turned independent record company chief Jon More chatted to Skrufff this week about his upcoming Coldcut album Sound Mirrors and revealed that hard work was the key factor behind his 20 year career in the music business.
Now that Im older Ive come to believe that you make your own luck, I really do believe in that nowadays, said Jon.
There are a lot of useless people in the music industry, in all industries, and if youve got an ounce of nous (brains) and a desire to get up off your arse and do something you can bust some moves and wreck it, if you want. But theres no guarantees. If I knew the secret, Id be talking to you from my idyllic lobster farm on my island, not from not so sunny Kennington.
Despite his grumbles about Englands currently bleak midwinter conditions, Jon was as upbeat about Coldcuts new album as he was about his label Ninja Tunes, the label he launched in the mid 90s with Coldcut partner Matt Black when their career appeared to be on the wane.
We started Ninja Tune off with £500 and a computer and the computer gave us the ability to pretend that we were a major company because we could print loads of headed notepaper and do things with the telephone system that made it sound like people were being put through to other departments, he recalled.
We didnt do adverts and we pursued a brand thing, vaguely based on our love of labels like Stiff, Motown and Def Jam; very distinctive labels that if you mention them, you can immediately picture what their music is like. We tried on our own crude way to do something like that. We also built our own network of people up, he said.
Today, running a label is just different, you could say it gets harder, or perhaps more interesting. Its like a computer game, he continued, sharing a few tips for those wanting to follow in his footsteps.
Actually it should be a lot easier with the Internet; you dont even need an office any more, you can do it from your bedroom with a website. Develop your own niche in whatever it is you love and believe in, he advised.
Sound Mirrors, featuring contributions from Robert Owens, Roots Manuva, The Herbaliser and DJ Food is out later this month on Ninja Tunes.
Jonty Skrufff (JontySkrufff.com)