I met Melvin Dillon at one of the record shows that take place once a month at MadTree Brewing. It quickly became clearly that his recently-launched label, Soul Step Records, was a direct outgrowth of his love for vinyl. He loves listening to records, but it’s also clear that, as the owner/founder of Soul Step Records, he has fun with them, as you can see by the pictures in this blog entry of some of the creative ideas he has for decorating platters. The web address for the young label is www.soulsteprecords.com, and the Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/soulsteprecords. Recently, in a cyberspace Q&A, he told me a little more about Soul Step Records:
What’s unique about your label?
We are first and foremost, vinyl only. We sign independent artists to contracts that allow us to release music strictly vinyl format. After recouping our initial investment – we split any all profits evenly with the artists. It’s a win-win and much better than any other offer you’ll find in the record industry. We look to help support these artists so they can continue to chase their musical passions and dreams.
Are the records recorded analog or digitally? Where are they recorded, and where are the artists from?
Most have been recorded digitally. We’ve however had some recorded analog – and we love the sound. However not everyone can afford that! They are recorded all over the USA. Places have included Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte, and Lexington, KY.
How many releases thus far…
4 – with hopefully more to come!
What made you decide to start the label, and to focus on vinyl?
It all came from wanting to find something I would have liked as a former artist. But mostly it came from when I was getting frustrated because my vinyl collection was growing so large – that finding something that I didn’t already have was becoming harder and harder to find! So instead of going even harder with the hunt – I decided it was time to create!
Is there a type of music that the label focuses on primarily?
We don’t limit ourselves to a specific genre – we just look for genuine artists who need our service who also has incredible music.
How do you pick the artists on your label? Do you find them, or do they find you?
It’s a bit of both actually. Sometimes we are initiating the contact – and other times they come find us. We always love to discover but when an artist makes it easier and finds us that’s pretty great too.
Is there a way for people to hear any Soul Step music online?
Our website is the best place – www.soulsteprecords.com – you can listen to a track or two before you make the plunge and pick up the vinyl. But trust us that you wouldn’t be disappointed in any of our releases. Not only will you get solid tunes, but you’ll also be supporting a great artist. You really can’t beat that.
How can someone buy a Soul Step release – is it purely online, or do they show up in stores….
Mostly you can purchase online from Soul Step or directly thru the artists. However in the hometowns of each release you can find them in the independent record stores. Even if we become a big deal down the road – we’ll never put our releases in a Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Always and forever in the independent record store.
Are you a record collector – and if so, what do you look for primarily? (I’m also curious if you’ve been to Another Part of the Forest at 1313 Main Street in OTR – I’m a big fan of them.)
Soul. Soul. Soul. and SOUL! My passion for soul knows no bounds! I love hitting all the different stores in the area. I once found an original Etta James ARGO At Last in APOTF for 1 dollar! It’s amazing what you’ll find in that store!