ShoMag: ‘Music is a very challenging and highly competitive industry’ in general. What would you say is your biggest challenge when it comes to the music industry?
Ralf GUM: It’s as challenging as any other modern industry on the ‘label and business side’. What makes it differ from most industries are the steadily changing trends. An artist has to decide if he wants to follow these trends to ensure staying hip or rather ‘stay true to him/herself’, which can make it more difficult at times, but usually pays of in the long run. At least once you managed to establish yourself and your sound.
ShoMag: We are living in an era where music labels and go. Not so long ago your label ‘Gogo Music’ celebrated ’15 successful years’ of giving us hits. What has been your ‘secret formula’ at ‘Gogo Music’ and how has the journey been since 2001?
Ralf GUM: I always ran the label as a ‘small boutique label’, which eventually became known in the scene for the quality of the rather sparingly releases. I actually never wanted to build a huge team which you would need to compete with major labels. ‘This enabled me to keep investments low, the team small and the risk calculable’. And the intention never changed, the journey is still the best imaginable and we still intend to enrich the musical landscape with some great dance music on the soulful side.
ShoMag: Every artist would like to have his/her particular. How would you describe ‘Ralf Gum’ sound and what influences that sound?
Ralf GUM: In the end it is always your ears and mind that influences the sound and make it yours. Every change of a parameter in a mix influences another one, so it is your mixing, via the aforementioned. ‘I love warmth in a mix’ and know that I have certain routines, which change over time, to create the sound I am longing for. ‘But I’d actually leave the description of that sound to others’.
ShoMag: Your last album #InMyCity did major damage on just about every dancefloor, what was your inspiration behind that offering as you once said it was ‘a very personal project’ and can the ‘HouseHeads’ expect a follow up this year?
Ralf GUM: It is very personal as it was my first album fully produced in SA. This of course influenced the approach and possibilities, such as working with ‘Hugh Masekela or KB’. It was a conscious decision to move here and I am forever grateful that ‘I was welcomed and accepted here’. Therefore it can be seen as my testament to this country.