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Label Focus: Circus Recordings

We sat down with Circus Recordings label boss Yousef, a label that has had international success with hits like Green Velvet’s ‘Bigger than Prince’

Label Focus: Circus Recordings

Circus Recordings has been releasing music since 2009. The label runs alongside the renowned event brand – both based in Liverpool and run by head honcho and resident DJ Yousef. During this time, the label has carved out a reputation as one of the industry’s leading underground house and techno labels. Arguably one of the label’s most seminal moments to date was the 2013 anthem by Green Velvet ‘Bigger Than Prince’ – which propelled the label to dizzy new heights and firmly cemented their reputation in the underground dance music scene.

The imprint reflects Yousef’s colourful take on house & techno. This has seen the label release records from global icons like Carl Cox, Sven Vath, Marco Carola, Scuba, Green Velvet, Steve Lawler, and of course Yousef himself, as well as Krankbrother, Reboot, Acid Mondays, Davide Squillace, Nick Curly, and support emerging talents like Kydus and David Glass.

We sat down with the label boss to talk about the label and find out more about what has cemented the label as one of the leading imprints in the underground dance music scene.

Hey Yousef, thanks for taking time out to speak to us about your label Circus Recordings. It has been running for around 12 years now, no easy feat. How did it all come about in the first place?

It was set up out of not wanting to wait for other labels to release my music. Waiting and waiting and being defined by other people’s schedules was frustrating, so I thought let’s see what can be done. It took a few years to break beyond my own music then I slowly began to turn Circus Recordings into a proper label. 

What have been your most memorable moments since the label began?

The Circus 10 and Circus 15 compilations, celebrating the milestone for the Circus club night, were both unbelievable really. I got Carl Cox, Joris Voorn, Jamie Jones, Paco Osuna, Kerri Chandler, Hot Since 82, Guti, Sasha, Laurent Garnier, Nic Fanciulli, Patrick Topping, and loads more to make a brand new track for the label. Of course, Green Velvet ‘Bigger Than Prince’ was a global phenomenon too, also Nasser Baker ‘Say Something and Jansons ‘Switch’ which both went on to commercial success. Also my own four albums, most recently “9 Moor Drive” which was a genuine piece of art from me, we proved we could deliver artistic-led campaigns effectively too. 

How would you describe the Circus Recordings sound to those who may not have heard your releases yet?

It’s colourful house and techno and electronica for the underground with personality. 

What advice would you give to upcoming producers when sending music to your label, or general advice when sending music to labels?

Make sure you’ve tested and mastered your tunes. No this is half done shit, only send 2-3 tracks, be prepared to get a no, and don’t assume that no is about your work only, there are many other factors, like timing that leads to my decision. And be patient. Or do it yourself, see above! 

You have had some great records out recently from the likes of Lucas Frota & Blakkat, Hot Since 82 and Prok & Fitch, but is there anyone out there who you would love to get on the label that hasn’t yet released on Circus?

I’m always looking for records that will never be forgotten, that’s the key. I love what Jayda G does, it’s got so much life. 

Are there any emerging artists you’re rating at the moment for our readers to check out?

See Circus Movements 1 & 2 for the next generation! 

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Yousef, and we hope to see you in a club or festival very soon 🙂

Yes, see you soon 🙂

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