The London-based Italian talks to iDJ about the history of his label and where it's going next
Set up by Riva Starr – real name Stefano Miele – in 2010, Snatch! Records have carved out a nice little niche for themselves in the dance music landscape over the past nearly-decade, serving up tough but funky, floor-friendly house and techno grooves on a seemingly endless stream of 12"s on both the mothership label and on its three sub-labels: Snatch! OFF, Snatch! RAW and Brock Wild.
Asked about the label's music policy, Stef tells us "we're pretty open to any style in between house/deep/tech and techno. We like grooves and make grooves, we love vocals and melodies, and we're pretty open to both more underground and crossover tracks." That's the mothership he's talking about: meanwhile Snatch OFF! is for more underground tracks, Snatch RAW! (just three releases deep to date) is for one-off specials and Brock Wild is for "the more eclectic and bouncy side".
Some of the label's biggest sellers to date have come from the likes of Groove Armada (Riva's own remix of Superstylin'), Nina Kraviz vs Parris Mitchell (Feel My Butterfly) and Dennis Cruz (New Life), not to mention recent Starr, CamelPhat and Ursula Rucker three-way Crystal Clear. Carl Cox, Green Velvet, Fatboy Slim, Jamie Jones, Radio Slave, Skream, Davide Squillace, &ME, Horace Andy, Roland Clark and David Morales are among the other big-name artists who've featured on the label.
Now with a team of "about eight" keeping the machine in motion and their 10th birthday celebrations coming up next year, the future's looking bright for Snatch!. So here's what Stef had to tell us about the label…
You've got your 10th birthday coming up next year - any special plans?
"Yes! We've got some great plans ahead, but I can’t disclose them just yet… stay tuned for Snatch!10."
Over the course of those 10 years, what's the most important thing you've learned - what would you tell you younger self if you could go back now?
"I wouldn’t tell my younger self anything, to be honest – I learn more from making mistakes and a bit less from whatever people tell me!"
And also… what in that 10 years was your biggest mistake, and what was your most genius move?
"The biggest mistake was probably to lose the plot a bit for a year or two when I was heavily touring and not putting enough love into the A&R. My most genius move was to hire a great design company and rebrand the image of the label – that, together with some great signings on the label, really paid off."
Snatch! has released music by some of the biggest names in the industry – Cox, Fatboy, Sneak, Green Velvet – but it's also put out music by plenty of underground/up-and-coming names. Is it important for you to have that balance, or is that not even a consideration?
"Of course, but we don’t honestly think about balancing it out. I’d rather say that we let the music do the talking. There have been times when we have turned down tracks from very big names because it felt the music was not right for us – the music comes first."
Snatch! is a management company as well as a label these days, so tell us a bit about that side of the business, and how the two intertwine…
"We try and keep them separate, as the management was born to help some of the young artist do their thing. We also do label services for other labels. Of course the management company was born thanks to the experience we gained in handling the label at first!"
You also do events/club nights/label showcases. Is "the events space" an important place for labels to be in 2019, do you think? And are there any upcoming events to tell us about?
"It is definitely important, we've put on some great events in the past such as hosting stages at Creamfields, Tomorrowland, WMC, Sonar, ADE etc… but it takes time and it’s a totally different field. We are aiming to ramp up on this side for the 10th anniversary though."
The name Snatch! could be read as having sexual connotations… has that ever caused you any grief in these sensitive times?
"LOL! I actually didn’t know that meaning of the word when I chose it… I was just mad for the movie with the same title and really liked the sound of it. I’m sorry if someone felt offended, but no, we've never had any problems. I called the label that in good faith!"
Finally… what else is going on in Snatch!/Riva Starr's world right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"We have so many wicked releases on the horizon such as a Parris Mitchell and Nina Kraviz remix EP, my new music and plenty of other releases. I might also have to start a new label just to release my edits, as they have been gaining a lot of supporters lately, plus I have a few remixes on the pipeline too!"
Words: Russell Deeks Pic: Neil Favila
Tags: Snatch! Records, Snatch! OFF, Snatch! Raw, Riva Starr, Stefano Miele, Nina Kraviz, Groove Armada, Parris Mitchell, Dennis Cruz, Ursula Rucker, Carl Cox, Green Velvet, Fatboy Slim, Jamie Jones, Radio Slave, Skream, Davide Squillace, &ME, Horace Andy, Roland Clark, David Morales, house, techno, tech-house, tech house, deep tech, G-house