Established by good friends Piok and Isaac Fabregat in 2009, the Barcelona based label Kiara Records has emerged as one of Spain's most treasured imprints since its inception back in 2009. With the likes of Sante, Macronism, NTFO, Okain, Ray Okpara, Markus Homm and more all contributing, that should come as no surprise. In many ways, however, it seems like their story is only just beginning, as I Voice found out recently when we hooked up with label boss Piok to uncover the story so far...
I know that you're based in Barcelona. Are you from there? What made you move there?
I was born and raised in Barcelona, but currently I'm living in the province of Girona, away from the cities and in the middle of nature where I found a better working environment. Also, there's a better lifestyle here, too. The reason I moved to Barcelona was for studying and working.
Was the likes of Sonar a big inspiration on you, then?
I guess in some way it was, mainly the early editions, but to be honest I've not been for many years. Now, for me, it's the parties that are around the festival that are more interesting. It's crazy the amount of quality at those.
Who or what was your inspiration behind the label?
No one in particular—I would have to name too many names. Basically, it was all born out of my passion for music.
How did you meet your partner Isaac?
In 2005 when I moved to Barcelona to study sound engineering, I met Isaac at the university. It wasn't until the second year that we started to spend some afternoons together in the studio and that's how our friendship started.
And at what stage did you decide to start a label?
One afternoon in early 2007 I was in the studio with Isaac and the idea came while discussing our musical tastes, which are quite similar by the way. So we both just thought: Why not to carry it out? The idea of having our own label and to publish music had always been such a big dream for us since we started in the electronic scene.
You've had some really cool producers crop up on the label since it started back in 2009. How do you source these guys?
The truth is that through time and dedication we are now very proud to have fantastic artists at Kiara like Julien Chaptal, Leon, Macromism, Mihai Popoviciu, NTFO, Okain, Ray Okpara, Sante, Markus Homm, Re-UP and many more. The process has been and still is slow, but in this way, gradually the artists have appreciated the work and passion we pour into this project. We really look after the promotion, the mastering, the treatment with the artist, we care about every single detail.
The fact that we still release on vinyl is something that shows we're to be taken seriously as a label, too. Obviously, editing in this format has its disadvantages, too. On the one hand, it takes more time, it's more expensive and sometimes you get "unexpected" issues, but on the other hand, we're all romantic vinyl lovers. When we dreamed about the label, we never dreamed about it without a physical format that we can grab with our hands.
What's been your proudest achievement with the label so far?
Receiving emails from people, either DJs, producers or music lovers, who send messages of congratulations and support. It's something that is vital and actually gives lots of energy to keep doing what we do. Of course, we are very proud and grateful for having all these huge artists who help to make Kiara something great and real.
Where is the label right now in terms of where you'd like it to be?
I think we're at a very important point after four years of work, effort and dedication. It seems that we're just beginning to show our weight within the electronic music industry. We now have to do things very well to maintain the quality, get this family growing and of course, to try to get more people interested in the label!
You recently started a new label, Knock Knock, a sister label to Kiara. What was the thinking behind that one?
We're very proud and happy with the Knock Knock Series, it's working really well; especially on vinyl. The first release sold quite well on vinyl, and it seems that the second one is on the right way as well. The truth is that it surprised us a bit, as it's a pretty risky and personal bet, although it seems that people love it!
The idea of creating Knock Knock actually came about a few years ago. We're big fans of Basic Channel and Maurizio etc...they have influenced us so much and we really wanted to do something different, but we didn't have the necessary to make it happen. Last year we were given the moment and the opportunity to do so, and it was thanks to young talents such as Medeew, Chicks Luv Us, Samu.l, Vid, Loopdeville, Fernando Costantini or Alexandar Kyosev, and many more fantastic artists that will edit soon on Knock Knock. So thank you guys!
On a personal level, are you still producing? Do you produce regularly or is DJing a bigger hobby of yours?
Yes, I'm a producer too. When I'm not doing office work! I spend so many hours in the studio, first because it's my job and what I do for work, but also because it's my big passion-and perhaps my downfall too! With regard to my DJ sets, since I finished my residency in La Sala del Cel I haven't been that active, except for a few sets in some clubs or festivals. The fact is that I have dedicated and spent much time in my studio-cave.
What's next for Piok and the label?
Over the next months there'll be some releases from Kiara, as Leix, Jairo Catelo and Edgar de Ramon - who were responsible for the first vinyl on the label - are releasing music, this time accompanied with a Barem remix. That will be the reference number 018 to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Kiara Records. They have done an excellent job, and they know what they're doing in the studio. Personally, I'm preparing several collaborations and of course some solo work. What I can tell you right now is that a new label with my friend Jairo Catelo is coming. So...there's lots to look forward to!
Kiara#016 - Various Artists Series 3 EP
Kiara#015 - Rhadow meets NTFO - Magic EP
Kiara#014 - Markus Homm, Patrick Jahn - A120 EP
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRACKS
Edgar de Ramon - Gate 242 (Julien Chaptal Remix)
Jairo Catelo - Suspicious Minds (Liapin & Afrilounge Remix)
Leix - Butter Face
Leix - Chants (Okain Remix)
Macromism - Roll Tabor (Sante Remix)
Markus Homm & Philipp Gonzales - Cubic Sounds (Mihai Popoviciu remix)
Markus Homm - Royal Park
Medeew & Chicks Luv Us - Akimba (Leon Remix)
NTFO Meets Rhadow - Hype!
Nick Daring - Wyeth (Leix Remix)
Kiara#017 - Loquace - Cause Away EP
Kiara#018 - Edgar De Ramon, Barem - Secret Point EP
|Labels Artists & Remixers:
Afrilounge, Andrew Soul, Arash, Barem
Benja (CH), Chicks Luv Us, Chris Lattner
Darlyn Vlys, David Labeij
Edgar de Ramon, Feygin
Giuseppe Cennamo, Isaac Fabregat Jairo Catelo, Jandroide
Julien Chaptal, Leix, Leon (Italy), Liapin, Loquace, M.in, Macromism
Marco Effe, Markus Homm
Medeew, Mihai Popoviciu, NTFO, Nekes
Nick Daring, Nico Lahs, Nima Gorji Okain, Oscar Sala, Paolo Martini
Patrick Jahn, Paul C, Philipp Gonzales
Piok, Ray Okpara, Re-UP
Reto Ardour, Rhadow, Sante, Tjoma
William Kouam Djoko