We caught up with Krafted, the UK based label group who put in more hours than your average label owner. They run events, own a radio station and run six labels of their own, as well as giving a helping hand to a bunch of affiliated labels within the group. Headed up by Paul Sawyer, a DJ, Producer who cut his teeth back in the 90’s running events under the Menage a Trois brand and continues to play globally at various events. Plus Darren Braddick who also organised events in London during the 90’s and ran a dj agency with Netherlands based MC, MC Stretch until 2013. Krafted are approaching two years in the making, so we delve into their recent changes, including their additional partner Jason Miller, LA based DJ/Producer and see what they have in store.


There’s been a far bit of activity this year on your socials including events across the pond. What was behind taking Krafted to the States?

This all came about after Paul flew over to San Francisco in 2015 to play for Airpusher who have an art car at Burning Man and run events throughout the year to help fund their project. Whilst he was there, he met our US partner Jason Miller who was interested in becoming involved in Krafted. Roll on 6 months and Jason became a partner and before we knew it, we were organising our first event in Los Angeles. We had Doorly as a surprise guest and Mr C who’s been a friend of Darren’s for some time. He’s such a legend.

So moving your distribution to a US based company was part of the plan?

This came about before taking Jason on as a partner funny enough. We’ve always had a huge base of people from the US who buy our music and one of the guys who runs Airpusher, Jason Wohlstadter also runs Proton Radio, and distribution. Paul met up with Jason on his first day and was invited to have a show on Proton whilst in San Francisco. This started the whole process of Krafted having a weekly show. So the distribution of our music was also discussed and we decided to move it all to the US and haven’t looked back since.


The Krafted Radio Show was created after this visit, so how long has this been running now and tell us a bit about the format?

The show has been running over 75 weeks now. We spent some time finding the perfect person to present the show and Chloe Fontaine has presented all apart from two shows since it started, which takes some doing! It’s amazing how much time is put into a weekly show and Chloe never lets us down. It’s syndicated to eight stations worldwide now, including Proton Radio, Midnight Express FM, locoLDN, Break London, Séance Radio, Sine FM, Inside My House and our own online station Krafted Radio. We have a 60minute guest mix each week which has included some amazing artists such as ANNA, The Martinez Brothers, D Ramirez, Sam Divine, Saytek, the list is endless. Anyone that organises guests, searching for tracks and uploading everything to the relevant stations will know what it’s like to run a show, hats off to anyone that takes it on! But it’s been an essential part of pushing our brand and it’s brilliant dealing with everyone who’s involved. We couldn’t do it without out team, Simon Sinfield, Dean Craggs and of course Chloe.

Your US partner had his debut release under his Redux Saints guise on Krafted earlier this year with Doorly providing a fantastic remix. It formed part of Toolroom’s Ibiza Compilation in the summer, how did that come about?

This industry is all about connecting with the right people if you want to move forward. Seeking out the right contacts to get to the right people is paramount. For us on this, we owe it all to Stimpy at Concrete Promo, he introduced us to the team at Toolroom and we made sure that we met with them at last year’s ADE. It was also down to Stimpy that we managed to secure the Doorly remix. Doorly is one of the nicest guys to work with by the way, a true gent.


We saw the feedback that you posted online from the release, how did it feel to gain so much support from one release like that?

We couldn’t believe it to be honest. We’ve had some amazing feedback over the years and lots of support from some of the big guns, as well as some key radio play from various stations including Kiss FM, and Capital thanksto Andrew Wilson. But this one release had everyone from Green Velvet, Joris Voorn, Carl Craig, Sister Bliss, Nicole Moudaber, John Digweed and many many more, it was unreal!

Your website had a complete overhaul, why the change?

We planned to rename our key labels using the Krafted brand with in the name. It made sense to do that as we were constantly pushing Krafted which resulted in all the artists who sent demos in to us asking to be signed to Krafted. So we were constantly explaining that, for example, Endemic Digital was part of the Krafted group of labels. We’ve been consolidating everything for over a year, ever since we met with the Proton guys. We closed down all the label pages on all the social media sites and concentrated on just one. So now we have Krafted Underground that was once EJ Underground, Krafted Digital that used to be Endemic Digital and Sounds of Krafted. This used to be known as Sounds of Juan. We already had Krafted Records running, so obviously needed no change.

Your events at The Ministry of Sound and more recently at Egg in London have created a buzz around Krafted, are you planning more events at these clubs?

Definitely!!! We love hosting a room at those clubs. It’s been a year now since we started hosting parties at the Ministry and are always great fun. Egg is amazing, we’re back there for Halloween on the 29th October. We’re hosting the room with our friends at Evermix with Seb Fontaine gracing the decks alongside Paul and the Krafted DJs. We plan to be back there soon after Halloween, so watch this space!

So what’s in store for next year; after such a busy year so far, how do you plan to take the brand to another level?

To be honest, we’re still at our early stages of development. Krafted has so much more to achieve, but we do have some plans in place for next year already. One thing we want to do, is more events in the US. It’s so hard to lock down a venue in LA, but we’re currently on the hunt for something quirky. We will of course be running more parties at the Ministry and Egg, it’s a good opportunity to give our artists the chance to play for us and represent us. We are also hosting an area at next year’s Pulse festival. They didn’t run a festival this year, so it will be good to be back with them after the success of their event in 2015. It’s a massive battle to get your labels noticed these days, so we just plan to expose the labels as much as we can and hope to become a brand that is at the forefront of people’s minds. We always look up to brands such as Toolroom, Hot Creations and Defected. If you think of a UK label with worldwide recognition, these are the ones that everyone thinks of. So to get to that point would be amazing.

You seem to have links with Rotterdam; we’ve noticed multiple visits announced on your socials over the year. Why Rotterdam?

We love Rotterdam, Paul regularly plays there. He’s played at Toffler and Trash which came about from a chance meeting at ADE last year. Dirk and Wiebe who run Trash are great guys with so much passion for the scene. It’s not about having the biggest dj’s play, its more about the vibe and it’s so evident when you go there. Every time the atmosphere blows you away. We’re back there on the 19th November, we can’t wait!

It’s no secret that you guys have been around the scene for two decades, is it difficult to stay on top of what’s current?

To be honest no; this is really down to attending as many festivals and events that we can. Our socials are testament to that statement. It’s surprising how many events we’ve attended this year, either for when Paul has been dj’ing or simply attending for fun! You can’t run a label without knowing what’s working on the dancefloor. We might be the oldest swingers at some of the events, but hey, we bloody love what we do, so who cares ha ha

Finally, what’s in the pipeline musically from you guys?

Our ADE compilation is out soon which features tracks from our back catalogue going back as far as 2008. There’s tracks from Colin Dale, Sam Skillz, Terry Farley, D-Formation, Dale Middleton, Ronnie Spiteri, Doorly and a collabtrack with Paul and Alex Preda. We’ve got EP’s coming out on all the labels through to the end of 2016 including a release from The Cloudshapers that features a grime artist from Southampton called LST. He’s such a great artist, very talented and on the cusp of making it big. The release also features remixes from Soultrak who’s releases on Krafted have peaked in the club charts at #4 during the summer and also from Fallow. We’re concentrating on getting more compilations out now, aiming at people who listen to music rather than just dj’s buying the odd track here and there. It’s important that we generate a fanbase who want to attend our events, so reaching out to people with compilations is so important.



Recent Krafted party at Egg London…

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