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Label Focus – Souped Up


Souped Up, an almost overnight success story for Serum and Benny V that since inception has paved the way for new artists and created an instantly recognisable brand. How did they do it? You are about to find out…

‘8 Bit’ from Serum and Voltage seems like a lifetime ago, as does the interview we did for Drum&BassArena in 2017 but how much has actually changed relating to the label since then?

Serum Yes quite a bit. I thought it would take longer to build than it has done. I know from personal experience how hard it is to look after artists and wanted to get the label to a good place before I started to do that. Things moved fast and I find I now have a lot of artists wanting to get involved in the label and they seem happy with how it all works. The challenge now is not saying yes to everyone because there’s only so much we can release while still doing it justice

2018 was the year Souped up won Best Newcomer Label in the awards, did that spur you on to bigger and better plans or was it more about maintaining consistency? It must have been a nice surprise either way!

Serum It showed we were on the right path and we’ve been in the short listings for best overall label since then too which I would never have predicted

Vinyl is back at Souped Up HQ! Was this something for the fans or has it always been on your wish list? Especially considering you’re both die hard turntables junkies at heart.

Serum Yes there’ll be more if all goes well. I’ve been getting back into vinyl mixing since getting a new set of decks and was posting about it a lot so I thought it was about time. The only issue with it is that pressing times are a nightmare. We’re pretty tight with our scheduling but when you throw vinyl into the mix it’s very hard to get the physical product to land when the digital does

Benny V’s production skills are sometimes forgotten about – any Serum and Benny release collaborations in the pipeline? You guys must be able to cook up a ‘96 jump up banger with a side of 2020 sauce! PULL UP!


Benny We have some good titles. We now need to get the right material

Speedball takes its name from the classic Amiga game right? Talking of computer games and how popular drum and bass in right now, what would your ideal mix of the two be? An 8-Bit style platform romper with a Souped Up soundtrack perhaps or a brand spanking new PlayStation 5 adventure game with a Voltage 80’s DJ mix to boot. Anything goes!

Serum I was actually thinking about this the other day. It could be a platform game where Vinny* runs & spews his way around the warped Souped Up World to a soundtrack from the labels back catalogue. I think the identity would be a winner so any game developers out there get in touch!

Souped Up really has nailed the merchandise. Does it help being mates with T>I and using his wizardry skills with a t-shirt press? Will you be doing any more collectable figures? Any strange requests from fans for obscure things?

Benny Serum gets requests for underwear photos and I get requests to sell facemasks. But not new ones. The girl said she wanted me to wear it & send without washing

Suburban Base have done a cracking job with the limited edition slipmats, do you think this would be a popular line with some of the wicked Souped Up artwork? Anything from the golden era that springs to mind that would work in modern times? Maybe not a branded clipper…!

Benny I am a big fan of the MA2 jackets. If they were to make a comeback I cannot imagine you looking any cooler than having Vinny* shaking his fist on your back

Serum Maybe but the label is a hit with the younger crowd who might not be keen?

Looking to the future, how does things work at HQ regarding the release schedule? Do you sign a bunch of tracks for 6 months in advance? What’s the biggest hill to climb when it comes to booking in future releases?

Benny Trying to fit them in. We are well in advance way further than 6 months in some circumstances. But it’s been a great way to allow a sprinkling of Serum singles as we are keen to avoid clashing with his releases on other labels

Anything forthcoming that you would like to shout about? Any remixes or unreleased specials coming out of the woodwork soon?

Benny Tonnes of things bubbling but have to see what comes to fruition. Will be investing in some of our newer artists like Mozey and carry on working with artists we have a great relationship with. Some debuts en route too

When running a label like Souped Up, you work with many other unsung heroes in the scene. From distribution agencies, to PR teams, radio DJs etc. Who’s the one person who deserves a bit more of a big up? Is it the relentless tweeter who supports each and every release or the Facebook live stream DJ who loves the brand to the core?

Benny For me there are many people who support us & show so much love. The Skankandbass boys have heavily supported from the start, a guy called Alex has been doing some sterling work with some of the videos, but for me I would also like to give a massive shout to Stuart aka DJ Nitr8 who does tonnes behind the scenes

*Vinny is the name of the labels angry soup can mascot

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