EQ talks to DJ and producer Paolo Mojo about his revamped and revitalised label Oosh, a home for his music away from interference from the outside world…
When and why did you set up Oosh?
I set up Oosh at the end of 2006 to act as a channel to release my own productions. Very simple really. I’d come off the back of having a few remixes rejected and was getting tired of not being able to express myself on my own terms, under my own timeframe. I released one record in 2006, but things really started moving with Oosh 002 last summer.
How would you describe Oosh’s output?
It’s just a way for me to release my own sounds and ideas. Every release features me as a producer. I think the stuff since the fifth release (Nightlaw, Home, Sirena, Release, Exhale, Outerspace) represents more of what I’m about as a producer right now. The earlier records, although still good, represent an earlier sound. Your ideas change as time goes on and I think it’s natural that your label’s output reflect that.
What's been your biggest seller?
To date, Nightlaw/Home (Oosh 005). It had a lot of radio support from Pete Tong on Radio 1, but I think people just picked up on it through word of mouth. It’s very hard to analyse your own stuff in those terms I think.
What's the hardest thing about running a label?
It can be difficult to co-ordinate the various agendas of the people involved in getting records to people, particularly in the digital age where fast turnaround is essential. But I must give credit to Rob Howarth at Club Class who manages the label superbly for me and allows me to bum around the studio and tour the world playing records to people.
What's been the worst moment in the label’s history?
Well, we haven’t had any fires or staff mutinies yet, but I think the delay between the first record at the end of 2006 and the second one wasn’t that helpful. I had a few issues that slowed my output down for a while, plus the original look of the label changed to the current design. So Oosh 001 has a completely different look and feel to the rest of the catalogue. Maybe in years to come it will be a collecters piece – ha!
What are Oosh’s plans for the next 12 months?
Oosh 006 (Sirena/Release) is out right now and shows a darker sound than previous Oosh releases. It’s continued where Home left off in terms of tapping into techno and tech house guys who perhaps wouldn’t have played the earlier stuff on the label. The next release will be different again – it’s a track called Outerspace which is really sending people nuts when I play it out. I think it’s going to be a big summer record. As long as the quality is high and there’s a recognisable vibe running through your stuff, I think it’s fine to change things around from release to release. I like to keep people interested.
How do you go about tracking down new artists to sign?
I don’t. Oosh is a way for me to release my tracks and that’s it really. I started off using remixers on the first few records as well, but recently that’s taken a back seat too. I just want Oosh to be something for me and about me. In the future, when Oosh is more established I may look at setting up a secondary label to deal exclusively with other producers, a sister label if you like. It’s something I’d like to do, but for the moment Im focused on Oosh and my own productions.