Record labels take commitment, hard work and an insanely silly love and passion for music that trumps everything else. Also kinda like running a blog. So here at Too Many Blogs, we thought we’d pay homage to our favourite record labels in this new interview feature. Yes, we know we missed March, our sincerest apologies. Luckily we’ve got an extremely special edition for April as we speak to Father/Daughter Records.
Who is Father/Daughter Records and where are you based?
Father/Daughter is me (Jessi) and my Dad (Ken). I live in San Francisco, CA and Ken is in Miami, FL, where I was born and raised.
How and when did you come to the decision to start a label together?
Music was always around when I was a kid and I tried (and failed) to learn a few instruments. It wasn’t until my best friend started a label in high school that I knew the music business was where I was meant to be. My dad and I always bonded over music so it was a pretty natural thing, I can’t remember how it came up but I don’t think it took much time to decide to do it.
Is the team just you two?
Essentially but we have someone working part time in San Francisco with me, my husband helps package things and he’s my emotional support. My mom helps with our bookkeeping. It’s a real family affair.
Do you both have different jobs within the label?
Yes and no. I handle all of the A&R, marketing, day-to-day things but he does sometimes too. It’s nice being able to collaborate with someone else.
What was the first record you ever released and do you still work with them?
We did a 7” with a now defunct band from Brooklyn, NY called Family Trees. They broke up a few years back.
What is your favourite thing about running a record label?
Getting to know so many fantastic people that I now call friends. Also getting to see so many live bands, listen to music all day, I could go on forever!
What is the most difficult thing about running a record label?
Definitely never having enough time or money. There are so many things we would love to do but reality stops it from happening.
How do you manage to keep the quality of the music you release so high? And how do you decide who to work with?
We sign things that we like and luckily we don’t have bad taste. First and foremost, we have to connect with the music and the people making it. Father/Daughter exists to help developing/new artists heard so we don’t rely on stats or data when looking at what artists to work with. The music, drive, and passion has to be there, and a mutual respect.
We’re big fans of Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, how did you end up working on that release?
Bean from PWR BTTM played Nnamdi’s new record for me while driving around San Francisco and after the first song, I was hooked. Bless them for bringing us together because Nnamdi is such an incredibly positive light and shreds everything he does.
You also worked with bands like PWR BTTM and Diet Cig in the past. How does it feel to see them doing so well now?
IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY I COULD BARF. Seriously, they deserve everything and more. They’ve worked so damn hard, touring their butts off, writing and recording amazing music, making memorable videos, being themselves throughout the entire process and honestly, it couldn’t come to better people.
Why do record labels like Father/Daughter need to exist, rather than bands just releasing music DIY?
Independent labels create communities for these artists to exist in. Musicians don’t need labels for distribution or marketing or money, but some artists choose to be part of something bigger than just them. The internet is a pretty lonely place sometimes and I imagine knowing there are people one degree away that are experiencing the same things can be a relief for new artists.
You do collaborate with multiple other independent labels when releasing music, do you enjoy that aspect of your work?
I love it. For a second, competition goes out the window and everyone is working together towards one goal, which is getting the artists’ music heard. I hope to collaborate with other labels in the future! We’re doing collaboration with The Le Sigh later this year too.
Is there any kind/genre of music you enjoy that you wouldn’t release as Father/Daughter?
Not at all, the label is somewhat representative of my musical tastes so nothing is off limits.
What music other than Father/Daughter releases are you enjoying at the moment?
LOVE JAY SOM. Give Melina all of the praise in the world because she is a damn genius. I’m obsessed with Pinegrove but who isn’t. Lomelda is freaking incredible. I can’t wait for the new Girlpool. I listen to a lot of big band & jazz when I’m not keeping up with the blogs.
If the world could know only one thing about Father/Daughter, what would you want it to be?
We are accepting of everyone and every genre and we’re always full of surprises. Father/Daughter is truly a safe haven for musical misfits.