• Steph Landreville

The Subtle Truth. 005 - Obskure

Obskure is a record label, talent agency and collective based in New York. Only being in business for a few years, they are slowly taking over the experimental bass scene by releasing incredible music, putting out well-written articles on their blog and featuring artists on their ‘Obskure Radio’ guest mix series. They’re always searching for the most creative and passionate artists, with raw talent, to showcase to the World and have given many up and coming artist a platform to demonstrate their works. They are always connecting and interacting with their audience, supporting others and always willing to give a helping hand to those around them.

Behind all of this incredible work are the owners of Obskure Marc Gregory and Michéle Failla. Some of you may know them by their stage names MANAMIZ and Mikayli (formerly known as Krxnik) as they are also both incredibly talented music producers and DJ’s. I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity of working with Marc and Michéle quite a few times in the past year and it is always such a pleasant experience.

I wanted to take this opportunity to showcase this talented team and to help our readers get an idea of what it’s like to run your own record label.

Marc and Michéle, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Let’s get to it.

Q. Question for Marc - How did Obskure come to life? Where did it all start?

A. ‘Obskure’ actually originated as “Obskure Collective” in 2018-2019 & was founded by myself & my buddy Mike who was one of the first people I met & became friends with in the music industry. The concept Mike and I had of the label was always to give creatives, outside the norm of standard production, a platform to publish their music while building a community around said music. We wanted each release to feel extremely refreshing and pleasant on the ears.

Being artists ourselves, we had the opportunity & advantage to not just listen, but truly dig deep to ensure that the tunes not only fit through production, but the quality of the mixdowns were up to our standards as well. If we really enjoyed a tune & the mix-down was not up to par: we had the ability to either mixdown the tune ourselves for the artist, or give precise & detailed feedback on how to get it to the standard we were looking for.

After Obskure was founded & established we set up our first compilation with a group of artists we truly believed in / still very much believe in. They are all currently thriving, which we love to see! In turn we found out that many others believed in the movement we created as well. We ended up hitting a #1 Charting Release on Beatport & seeing an insane amount of traction on our first release which was a phenomenal feeling & the start of an era.

Down the line, some time later, Mike & I mutually decided to take separate career paths; so, in turn, Mike introduced me to Michéle. We brought him on as an owner and we instantly clicked; having very similar ideals & concepts for the label has made working together an absolute pleasure. Currently Michèle & I are running the recently rebranded ‘Obskure Collective’ which is now just ‘Obskure’ with an incredible group of people at our side.

I could not be more excited for the future we have in store.

Q. Question for Michéle – Had you and Marc met before Mike introduced the two of you and before you started working together?

A. Marc and I had met through mutual friends at shows a couple times, but our friend Mike was really the one who brought us all together. As mentioned above, Marc and Mike were running Obskure Collective at the time. We all eventually were hanging out a lot and started working on music together, this led to us realizing we have the same values and ideas for growth. One day they asked if I wanted to be a part of the team and it’s been history since.

Q. Question for both of you: Who’s an artist you would love to have release on Obskure?

A (Marc). With the direction we’re going I personally would love to have either Culprate or Frequent on Obskure. Both top tier producers in my eyes. A (Michele). Man I would love to have a release from Of The Trees or SHADES. These artists have set a new standard for the production of music and have been major inspirations for me.

Q. In your opinions, what are some key components to take into consideration when deciding to start your own record label? A (Marc).

  1. Consistent, creative & unique branding.

  2. A motivated + hard-working team behind us, with the same ideals and goals as us.

  3. Extremely high quality taste in music selection for the label.

A (Michele). I think some key things to keep in mind is that you are doing this for the artists that you are signing. At the end of the day, you want to treat the artist how you would want to be treated when you sign your track to a big label. It’s important to put in the same effort, if not more, as you would for your own music release. This is why we put so much time in finding the right visual artists and promoters for our brand.

Q. Do you guys find it hard to balance your time between being an artist and running a label? A (Marc). Truthfully this has been one of my biggest struggles since starting Obskure; as I equally love being an artist & running this label. However, over time the workflow has fallen into place and began to run like clockwork; making the balance actually extremely manageable.

A (Michele). At points it can be difficult but the more that I have built a routine the easier it has gotten. Obskure is young and we are nurturing the brand to be the best it can be. This takes a lot of time, sometimes you have to take time away from music to focus on the label.

Q. Ok let me ask one less serious question here. What are your favorite colors and is there a particular reason why it’s your favorite? A (Marc). Green & nope, always has been since I was a kid.

A (Michele). My favorite color is purple, it used to be blue but all my lights are always set to purple and I’ve come to realize... it’s a vibe.

Q. Lastly, what can we expect from Obskure in the coming months? A. More compilations, top tier music from artists you love & some you don’t know yet… but you will ;), new merch designs, exclusive community drops for our fans, giveaways & with many new facets opening up, many fresh opportunities to work with us.​

Make sure you follow Obskure to stay up-to-date with everything and check out their website!

Obskure website: www.obskuresound.com