In our latest industry interview we catch up with Golden Wings Music owner and founder WCross.
1. Hi Walter, thanks very much for joining us here, so as most people know you are the Owner and founder of Golden Wings Music, and electronic music imprint based in Argentina. How old are you and how long have you been DJing? Do you produce as well?
Hi Mitch, thank you for invite me to Change-Underground. It’s really important for Golden Wings Music and for me to be able to express ourselves, comunicate our thoughts, show our work and talk about music. As you say, I am the founder of GWM Radio, but I’m not the only one. GWM has a great team who daily puts a lot of effort.
I am 41 years old. I started playing as a professional DJ in 2010 and in these five years have happened to me wonderful things, like showing up at Pacha Buenos Aires, Coco Maya during the BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen – Mexico, Toluca, Mexico City, Miami and many places in my country.
I took classes to learn to make music with one of the best producers in Argentina, my friend Mike Griego, but I don’t consider myself a producer 100%. I do not like to make music. When I make a track I ask for help to many friends to guide me because of my lack of experience. When I was a child I studied drum at a conservatory and I study piano now. I really like doing musical arrangements.
2. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music? And where do your roots in electronic music lie?
I’ve always been a fan of jazz and blues. Later I discovered new sounds and artists such as Paco de Lucia, Jaco Pastorius, Lionel Richie, BB King, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Inxs, Madonna, Jamiroquai, Sade, Massive Attack. I’m fan of an Argentinian band that no longer exists, called Soda Stereo. Nowadays, I really enjoy classic music. At GWM Radio we have a show on Sunday midnight where we play 1 hour of classic music.
About my roots, I could say I like House. I also remember I enjoyed listening at Junkie XL, Carl Cox, John Digweed & Sasha and Hernan Cattaneo. They blew my mind. As I grew older, I wanted to be a DJ and played to mix with cassettes. Since I was 12 years I escaped from home to go dancing electronic music. I loved New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Depeche Mode.
3. What were you doing previous to setting up the label? Were you involved in electronic music in some way? And what was it that made you want to set up Golden Wings Music?
Before launching GWM Label, we were dedicated to give artistic and musical quality to GWM Radio, which won an important place in the Progressive House world since the best artists in the world play in the radio. We also organized parties to promote the brand. We have made several parties to promote Golden Wings Music with artists like Derek Howell, Scotty.A, Cid Inc, DAVI, Nikko.Z, Rich Curtis, Ioan Gamboa and Marc Poppcke.
4. Who else is involved with the label? And what are their roles? Who is responsible for the A&R decisions?
As I always say to those who write to me asking about promos or released: talk to Mariano Favre. I’m GWM owner, but he is the guy you should talk for label business.
Mariano is the label’s manager and he is responsible for preparing the releases. However we make the decisions together and always work as a team, always thinking about how to make the label grow every day.
Without the work, dedication and love Mariano makes for GWM, it wouldn’t be one of the labels of the moment, as Change-Underground published several times [and we really appreciate it!].
5. Golden Wings Music is celebrating it’s one year anniversary this week, you’ve got a very special release to coincide with that, tell us a bit about it and how did you go about selecting the special tracks for the occasion?
We’ve been working on this release for months, we wanted to be massive. So we thought of inviting a legendary producer for the occasion, as is Barry Jamieson, who always supported the label since the beginning. But as we said, we wanted to do something really massive, so we decided to add two GWM good friends: Derek Howell and Scotty.A. At the moment we invite Derek just finished excellent tracks with Peter Martin, so we decided to add it on board as well.
The result was epic: 5 outstanding tracks with quite different styles, achieving a perfect contrast to suit all tastes. We are definitely really happy with this release.
6. Now that the label is a year old how does it compare to what your vision for it was at the beginning and where do you see it going from here?
Well, we always dream big. But the truth is that we are more than satisfied with what has been achieved this year, definitely it exceeded our expectations. We are happy to have gained the respect and support of the leading DJs in the world, and excited for what’s to come. This is just the beginning, stay tuned for an even better year ahead. Our challenge is to continue working as a team, with humility, feeling happy to provide music to the world and maintaining excellent quality. We want GWM set new trends, thats why we work for.
7. What advice would you give to producers hoping to get their tracks signed to Golden Wings Music? How would you suggest they approach it?
Since the first day we have the same motto: any producer can sign with us, we don’t filter by name or by years of experience, the only thing that matters is good music. You’re a young producer? Never mind. If you really have talent and you can create a very elaborate track, you can join our label. Our mail is always available for promos and everything we receive is heard with attention.
The best advice to new producers who feel excited to be part of GWM is don’t rush to send us your music if you feel your track is not ready yet. Take your time and work on it.
8. When you receive a demo that’s good but still may need a few tweaks or work done to fit the Golden Wings sound do you give the producer advice on this?
Yes, of course, but only if they are a FEW tweaks. In fact, we have made (or requested) some adjustments in some of the tracks we launched. If we basically like the track, and the producer is willing, we always give our opinion on what they could change to improve the track even more. What we never do is to change the track too much, because it would lose its essence. It would not make sense.
Those little details we propose are because we know the preferences of DJs and producers who support us on every release. We have also studied what the followers of GWM Label prefer in stores when buying the tracks.
We want the best for our artists so they have greater impact and also an excellent product from our label when their stuff is played in clubs, radio shows, at home or just someone’s car.
9. When you sign a new original track what criteria do you think about when choosing a remixer for it? And is there a point where a release can have too many mixes?
Good question. What we always look for in our releases is to have variety. A remix too close to the original track would make the DJ or the listener has to choose between one or the other. So we choose remixers they can give the track a new version, a twist that allows use both tracks in one set, at different times.
About the number of mixes, we always prefer just 1 or 2, for the same reason we said before. It makes no sense to have too many versions, people will always choose the best one, or the most supported, and the others remain forgotten.
10. What do you like to do for fun outside of the music? and do you have a regular job? What is a typical day like for you?
Besides music I like to play tennis, running and workout at the gym, have dinner with friends, studying and reading. I am a political adviser, I dedicate to strategic marketing campaigns. I am a politician since my childhood. It’s a passion, like music. I thank the universe does not have a typical day, my days are always different because of my study, my work and because every day I have new music to listen to on the radio or the Label. I am passionate to discover every day something new, and give my fans as a DJ always something new from me.
11. What can we expect to see for the rest of 2015 from Golden Wings Music?
Tons of great music: more parties, more exclusive mixes on the radio, and some nice surprises on the label: our ‘Unique Series II’ release is almost completed and will include 7 tracks from different artists, which we hope will be as successful as the first one. We’re also in touch with some BIG names, who we hope to be part of the label in a short time.
It was an intense first year, we were confident that we could have a good start because people knew the quality and seriousness with which the team works in GWM Radio. We earned our place and the respect of the audience, DJs and producers all over the world. Undoubtedly, this reputation was very helpful and made things easier to call artists to our label. We are grateful to all those who decided to show their work with us. It was a big gamble that we built together. Thanks to that effort today we are proud of many excellent artists releasing their music in GWM.
12. Finally, what advice would you have for anyone that’s planning on starting a label out there?
Please don’t. We are too many already; go find something else to do. *laughs* Seriously now, I recommend patience, conviction and hard work. Always with humility, seriousness and great responsibility because we have to understand that the artist who send a track, does it from the more subtle expression of his soul and feelings. This is the era of digital music and there are very good material out there, it’s a matter of knowing how to work in a professional and respectful manner.
‘Deluxe 1st Anniversary EP’ is out now on Golden Wings Music, you can purchase the release: here