Running an independent record label in 2023 is no easy feat. Déepalma label boss Yves Murasca shares how he’s staying ahead of the game!

Can you tell us about your journey in the music industry and how you became the Label Manager of Déepalma Records?

My journey in the music industry started when I began DJing hip-hop at 17. However, everything changed when I visited Ibiza for the first time in 1999 and discovered House and other electronic music genres. I was immediately captivated by its infectious energy and began collecting house records. Afterwards, I worked as a resident DJ in various venues in my homeland in the South of Germany for a few years. During this time, I also organized some own events. To expand my knowledge and skills, I interned at a house music radio station – Nova Radio – and another in a famous recording studio in Munich – Plan 1. Then in 2005, I did a 2.5-year traineeship at the German house label Milk & Sugar Recordings. This experience allowed me to learn how to run a record label. Motivated by my newfound profession, I established my labels with my former partner. However, in 2012, we decided to go separate due to differing visions for the label’s future direction. This brought me to found Déepalma Records in 2013. Then in 2016, I continued my education by completing a master’s degree in music management at Danube University in Krems, Austria. This gave me a further understanding of the business side of the music industry, enabling me to navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise as Label Owner and Manager.

Déepalma Records has established itself as a prominent player in the electronic music scene. What sets Déepalma apart from other record labels, and what has been your key to success?

I wouldn’t say we set ourselves so much apart from other record labels – there are so many great imprints out there – but I can say that our passion and dedication play a significant role in our success. We love what we do, and that enthusiasm translates into our work. We pay great attention to artist development and nurturing talent. We focus on seeking artists who deliver quality music rather than solely basing our decisions on their social media reach. We believe in the power of artistic expression and value the music itself above all else. We deliver the best possible experience with every release, ensuring that each track meets a high standard. We believe in the power of music to connect people, and we look for constant exchange and collaboration with artists from around the world.

The music industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, with streaming platforms and digital distribution reshaping the landscape. How has Déepalma Records adapted to these changes, and what opportunities or challenges have they presented for the label?

Over the past decade, we have faced many challenges from the changing landscape of the music industry. The rise of streaming, the decline in download sales, and the diminishing compilation business with our partners have brought challenges in generating income. In the past, releasing a track meant it would be featured on various partner compilations and sell a certain number of downloads. However, this has changed. Many companies have stopped producing physical releases due to their lack of profitability, and the sales of individual downloads have also declined. As a result, the primary revenue stream now comes from streaming platforms, which can feel like a mysterious and crowded space. The industry is saturated with good music, making it difficult to get the attention of playlist curators and get their support. Only a tiny part of the music released ends up on curated playlists, and often these playlists generate a good number of plays within a short time. To face this challenge, we are creating playlists like ‘Déepalma Ibiza,’ ‘Berlin Afterhours,’ and ‘Ibiza Sunset Moods.’ However, building a solid subscriber base and keeping them remains an ongoing challenge.

Déepalma Records has been known for its diverse roster of artists and a wide range of musical styles. How do you maintain such diversity while staying true to the label’s brand and vision?

It is a delicate balance. However, the diversity comes from my background as a resident DJ, where I had to play various parts of the night and cover different vibes within the house music genre. I love so many facets of house music. Déepalma has become my playground to showcase my passion for these different styles while remaining authentic to my taste. One could even describe Déepalma as a label for resident DJs, as our music catalogue encompasses all facets of a club night or a beach set. However, we never compromise on quality throughout this exploration of diverse styles. Maintaining a high standard is our highest priority.

Collaboration and networking are crucial in the music industry. How does Déepalma Records foster relationships with artists, producers, and other industry professionals, and what value do these collaborations bring to the label?

Building and strengthening relationships with artists, producers, and industry professionals is an important aspect of Déepalma’s approach. We understand the importance of collaboration and networking in the music industry and actively seek opportunities to connect with like-minded people. One significant platform for fostering these relationships is the Amsterdam Dance Event, where we can engage with industry partners and strengthen artist relations. ADE has proven to be an ideal setting for discovering new partners and talented artists. We have had the pleasure of witnessing remarkable projects come to fruition due to these meetings. For instance, we had the opportunity to feature several Déepalma tracks on SD cards for prestigious car brands, including Audi and Renault, resulting from a 30-minute meeting at ADE. Maintaining a constant connection with industry partners is essential for growth and development. Staying proactive is crucial to avoid stagnation.

Déepalma Records has had numerous successful releases over the years. Can you share three notable singles for the label, and what do you attribute to their success?

Choosing only three is difficult because so many of our releases are significant. However, if I had to decide, I would say that “Es Vedra” by Gabriel & Castellon and “Kalura” by Rosario Galati and myself, including Gorge Remix, on Déepalma Records, are among the most important. Additionally, “Throw the Dice” by Sebb Junior and Sammy Deuce on Déepalma Soul deserves recognition. These tracks received a tremendous response and further strengthened the profile of our labels. “Es Vedra” was featured on Robin Schulz’s Tomorrowland mix, garnering incredible attention. “Kalura” spent nearly a year in the Beatport charts, elevating Déepalma’s reputation among club DJs. “Throw the Dice” was a door opener for signing more talented artists to Déepalma Soul, as Sebb Junior is a highly respected producer in the classic house genre. Although these three may not have been the most commercially successful, they significantly strengthened the Déepalma brand.

Apart from running the label, it is important to mention that you regularly release your own tracks and also mix the Déepalma compilations together with Rosario Galati – that sounds like not only a very creative endeavour but also a lot of work. How do you manage to do it all, and who supports you in this?

Indeed, it takes work to manage everything. I would love to spend more time in the studio, but my main job is running the label. I am fortunate to have Rosario by my side in the production aspect. With him, we can complete productions much faster. The compilations require a tremendous amount of effort. Just the process of collecting and selecting the tracks takes two to three months alone.

What are your goals for the future? Where do you see the development potential of “Déepalma”?

I see the development potential primarily in the live sector. We haven’t tapped into that yet because we haven’t had the capacity in recent years. We’ve only made a few attempts in this area, including a mini-tour in Mexico. It was great, but if you want to do something like that every weekend, you need a workforce. And currently, we don’t have that. If I decide to do it in the future, there’s a lot of potential there. A live event series is the perfect platform to strengthen the brand. And, of course, it’s also beneficial for the artists associated with Déepalma.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring artists and individuals interested in signing to the label?

I would say that it’s important to stay true to your unique sound and vision. Don’t try to imitate what’s already there; instead, focus on creating something authentic and original. Also, take the time to develop your skills and craft as a producer or artist. The music industry can be challenging and highly competitive, so continuously improving and refining your talents is essential. And finally, don’t underestimate the power of networking and building relationships. Connect with other artists, industry professionals, and DJs, both online and offline, as these connections can open doors and create opportunities. Be patient, persistent, and passionate about your craft, and remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. Success in the music industry is not just about talent but also about hard work, dedication, and a genuine love for what you do.

Déepalma Ibiza is out now