Lazy Rich is a Canada-based DJ/producer and music-tech entrepreneur. While he’s touring around the globe spreading that electro-love, he props himself up and builds out the Label Engine Platform: A platform for labels that’s revolutionizing artist promotion and royalties—because lets face it, managing finances is probably the last thing that you want to deal with as a label owner. I took 30 minutes to chat it up with the not so lazy Rich...
…looking back on it now it seems ridiculous that some labels are still doing their accounting by hand.
The summer is finally over.... How’d it go?
Already? Man, it went in a flash! I had a really busy summer, I played pretty much every weekend all over the Canada and the states and had a great trip to Asia too. I've got one show left in New Jersey this weekend and then I'm finally taking a two week holiday!
What was your favorite spot to play?
I had a couple of stand-out shows. One was in Detroit playing on the Porter Robinson tour, and the other was my first ever gig in Montreal playing alongside Dirty South.
How'd you come up with the concept of Label Engine?
Well, basically I used to spend hours upon hours pouring over royalty reports from the stores and working out how much I needed to pay each of my artists. It got to a point where it would literally take a couple of days each quarter and I realised there had to be a better way. I've got a background in programming so decided to leap in and code something that would help me and my label Big Fish Recordings, and I showed it to a few other people who loved it. And the rest is history!
What are some of the features that make Label Engine a go to for labels?
The biggest thing is the accounting, looking back on it now it seems ridiculous that some labels are still doing their accounting by hand. We also have an awesome promotion system that you can use to send out promo emails to get feedback on your tracks, a demo management system, illegal file deletion tools and a ton of other cool things. We are focusing on our distribution service right now and offering an unbeatable package which includes free use of all of our services for distributed labels.
The ultimate goal is to provide a start to finish solution for labels.
You’re an on-the-go guy. Is there a mobile component to Label Engine? Is there a client application or are you web-based?
It’s completely web-based, and it’s accessible using any browser, meaning you can use it on your iPhone / Android etc, and your data is available to you wherever you go. We made it that way as we know a lot of labels are run by artists who have a hectic touring schedule.
Who are some of the labels in the EDM space that have adopted Label Engine?
We have Hotbox Digital, Funktion Recordings and Hospital Records using our promo system, Mad Decent, Never Say Die and Play Me are using our accounts system and we distribute for Big Fish, Straight Up! and Potty Mouth Music. All-in-all, we support around 450 labels around the world and our pricing scheme is pretty flexible, so we are able to work with both larger and smaller labels.
What is the ultimate goal of Label Engine and where are you going with the technology?
The ultimate goal is to provide a start to finish solution for labels—we want to help them manage every aspect of releasing tracks. Eventually that might lead us to launching a store or working closer with social media, so I think developing our use of mobile technology is definitely something on the horizon.
I really enjoy both, but I certainly don’t dance around as much when I’m coding.
We’re seeing a big decline in the major label model and a comeback of the indie… Is this a big win for label engine?
Absolutely! We encourage artists to start their own record label—everything in Label Engine is super easy to use and you can get a label running in no time at all. There's no point nowadays in giving away all your royalties when you can keep them yourself!
How do you find time to balance all the remixes and all the work?
Man... It's just ridiculous right now! Basically whenever I'm on the road I'll try to work on Label Engine stuff, whenever I'm stuck in a hotel or airport lounge I'll do some coding for a couple of hours. Luckily we've got an awesome team that does a great job at helping our customers out as my schedule isn't too good for that!
Do you see any parallels between coding and producing?
Hmmm, I've never been asked that before. Both are very mentally challenging, and absorbing. You find that time just flies by when you are "in the zone." I really enjoy both, but I certainly don't dance around as much when I'm coding.
What are some of the projects that you have coming up that you’re excited about?
We've been doing a rework of the accounting section to make it more user friendly recently, so we've got some great changes that are going to launch soon. Other than that, we've got a lot of very secret projects that I can't say anything about!
As far as music goes, I've just finished off a couple of original tracks that I'm figuring out what to do with, I've got a ton of collaborations in the works and tons of gigs!