This week we are joined by CEO, founder and owner of Soave, a thriving music label with an impressive catalog of tracks that have amassed millions of streams across multiple music streaming platforms! Read the full exclusive below!
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m Jan-Hendrik Vervelde, I’ve studied Marketing and Banking & Finance and had some marketing jobs before I was able to turn my hobby into my job, which is Soave, a music blog and channel with labels Soave Records and Soave Radio.
TELL US ABOUT HOW SOAVE STARTED?
It was a blog at first, with a SoundCloud channel connected to share the playlists I created, while I was also making some mixtapes myself. At that time, tropical house was just getting started and together with melodic deep house they were my favourite genres. The SoundCloud channel grew into a label and now it’s all in one.
WHAT DOES YOUR JOB CONSIST OF ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS?
A lot of time is spent on small label stuff: listening demo’s, giving feedback, arranging artists, arranging or creating artworks, and then the promotion side of things. Plus I spend some hours each day on curating our Spotify playlists. And just being in touch with industry folks and friends takes up time too, though it’s the most fun.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT IT?
The fact that when I hear something beautiful, I’m able to share it with a bigger audience that it deserves. What I also enjoy is finding songs or artists when they’re unknown and seeing them become bigger afterwards, like Dennis Lloyd’s Nevermind which has been on our Sunny Chills playlist ever since it came out 1.5 years ago and only now turns into a hit.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
Last week we reached 2 million Spotify plays on Feel It Still by Henri Purnell & Revelries and it isn’t slowing down yet.
ANY TIPS AND TRICKS THAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW WHEN YOU STARTED?
I once trusted someone too much but in general I don’t have bad experiences and I’ve only made small mistakes (as far as I’m aware), which teach you things. I wish I hadn’t been so stubborn in clinging on to SoundCloud instead of moving into Spotify & YouTube earlier though. Also, don’t trust in your own preferences too much!
FOR THE READERS LOOKING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN YOUR FIELD, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THEM?
I’ve never had a big plan, some mentor or goal in mind. I did have the luxury of a steady income stream from my main job while shifting to working on my own, so that helps. Don’t just dive in, I guess. But if you like what you’re doing and stick to your to do-list on a daily or weekly basis, also with things that are less fun, you should see steady growth.
WHAT DOES SOAVE LOOK FOR WHEN SIGNING A SONG?
Catchiness. Does it stick to my mind? Is it fun to sing along or move to? If it does, we can always work on the quality side of the production. I’m also a fan of a bit more rough voices and lyrics that aren’t just ‘I love you forever’, so we’re always on the lookout for that.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME DAYS WHERE YOU HAVE NO MOTIVATION?
My motivation levels don’t shift too much but it helps to look back on your recent successes or just realise how lucky you are having all this freedom. I sometimes check Dutch rappers’ videos which are so stupid – yet so popular – that I feel like if they can become so successful, surely Soave can become more successful too.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING (FOR DOWNTIME)?
I like to play football, cycle and run, but I’m currently recovering from a torn ligament. With friends I drink beers and/or play games. Scrolling through 9gag or reading a book while listening music is another nice pastime. And I’ve spent a lot of hours watching the Tour de France and the World Cup recently.
YOUR OWN PERSONAL TIPS FOR SUCCESS (EITHER IN MUSIC OR LIFE IN GENERAL)?
Be critical of everything and everyone, but mostly yourself.
ANY RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND/OR UPCOMING STUFF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE TO THE READERS?
Soave will have weekly new releases until ADE!