Record labels are an important part of the music industry. Without them, we would never find out about some artists or hear their songs. On par with the three international giants, numerous indie labels are on the hunt for Danish talents. We decided to have a closer look at their work and philosophy. Having selected a few most exciting Danish indie labels, we sent them a questionnaire and asked for a playlist of the music they listen to in the office.
The Record Labels’ autumn on Good because Danish continues! Meet Mermaid Records, and one of its co-founders, Mik Christensen…
Name: Mermaid Records
Year of launching: 2008
Danish artists on the roster: Bikstok, Cherryhead, D-A-D, Farveblind, Go Go Berlin, H.E.R.O., IAMJJ, Lydmor, Louis Valuta, Mekdes, Mads Christian, Mason J, Nurse, Piskeringen, Velvet Volume, Østkyst Hustlers
The question hated by most artists and bands: what’s the story behind your label’s NAME?
In 2008 my partner, Nick Foss and I founded Mermaid Records. Earlier in 2003, we co-founded Copenhagen Records. We wanted our new label name to reflect our origin. A mermaid is rare, something different, mysterious – half human, half fish. We want to attract very special artists, so we thought it would be a good place to start. By the way, our publishing arm is called Siren Songs.
What is your philosophy and process of choosing artists to work with?
We sign few artists. It is in our DNA to find new artists and develop and support them from scratch. We plan to spend a lot of time and energy and have a long run with our artists. Being a small team, there is a limit to how much we can do. However, we always look for great artists that are songwriters, with a unique sound and a strong live set-up. Some artists come to us because they like some of our other artists and the way we work. Others come through our managers, live agents, media. The artists have to be willing to risk it all, work hard – not only at the start, but for years to come. We sometimes joke about it and say — we make slow food in a world looking for junk food.
Why did you decide to open a record label?
My partner and I have been in the music business forever, working together for over 35 years. First, at Medley Records (leading indie label in the ’80s-’90s), then EMI (as it bought Medley), Copenhagen Records, and now Mermaid Records. Music runs deep in our DNA and has been a big part of our lives, so I think that is what we do best. I’m sure, if we were to be trusted with other jobs, we would probably fuck that up pretty fast.
Which new releases are you excited about these days?
Right now, we are planning next year’s release schedule. It is going to be a great year release-wise. Many of our artists have been hurt by the Covid situation and didn’t have many live shows. It seems, they have been writing a lot of good songs instead to satisfy their creative flow.
Lydmor is releasing her fourth album in March, Go Go Berlin have a new EP out in November, another one in February, and even their fourth album is scheduled for October 2021. IAMJJ will also drop his exciting third album next autumn. Mekdes, one our newest artists, will release her debut album. Farveblind and Cherryhead are going to be ready with new EPs, and Velvet Volume are writing songs for their next releases.