Interview with A&R Hugo de Graaf
Dimitri: Can we go back in time and ask how you ended up working at Black Hole recordings? Was this always your ideal work environment and secret aspiration to work for a record company?
Hugo: I have been working for the company for over ten years now; first as artist manager for Cor Fijneman, Ton T.B., Mark Norman, Phynn and others. At the time I was already organising parties and doing some work for the company (helping out with release parties etc). Growing up in Breda, I became friends with Cor Fijneman, Dazzle and the other DJ’s at The Spock. I was also working at the club as bartender, and later on I also DJ'ed there on Friday nights. It was always a dream to work in the music business, and before Black Hole I worked at Zyx Music. But when Tijs Verwest and Arny Bink asked me to work for Black Hole, I didn't hesitate for one second. During these years, I have experienced some great things with the company, from big festivals to cool tours all around the world.
Dimitri: Can you give us a hint about your personal music preferences. For instance; tracks, DJ’s, producers, and events that shaped your music taste that in a way is reflected in the selection of the tracks you release on the labels you handle?
Hugo: I have a wide range of musical styles I love. I started out as an M.C. and break-dancer in the local scene, but I have also organised rock'n'roll parties in Breda with bands as Batmobile and Peter Pan Speedrock. I am a huge Motorhead fan, but I can enjoy a classic house party as well. At the moment I love the return of the good old house grooves with a slight garage touch. When it comes to house music, I am a huge fan of Fat Boy Slim, and I think the Disclosure guys are great. When I DJ’d back in the day, I loved to play breaks and therefore I feel blessed to be working with The Freestylers for my Rub A Duck label.
Dimitri: How did the idea come about to establish the bass music focused Rub a Duck record label? What does the name of the label mean exactly, and was it your idea to use Rub A Duck as a name?
Hugo: I was offered some really good tracks by MRK1 and we didn't have a label at that time at Black Hole Recordings to put these on. Dubstep was getting more popular at the time, so we decided to start a label for this kind of edgy music. Since dubstep has its roots in reggae and dub, I looked for a nice symbol to reflect this. One of my friends came up with Rub A Duck, and I liked it immediately. Instead of the toasters in Jamaica saying Rub A Dub we stuck with Rub A Duck, and took the duck as a symbol for the label.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Next up is an interview with Mark Meeuwissen.