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Pedro Mercado talking about Chrom Recordings and Electronic Music Anthem

In depth with Pedro Mercado about Chrom Recordings and celebrations

Chrom Recordings is an Ibiza-based electronic music label with roots in Austria & Belgium, founded in 2017 by Mike Chrom (creator & owner of Planet Ibiza) and DJ/Producer Pedro Mercado (known from his releases/remixes on Parquet, Kling Klong, Dear Deer, Proton, Natura Viva, Deeperfect, Smiley Fingers, Beatfreak,…).

Both label founders have together more than 40 years of experience in the global electronic music scene and during the Ibiza summer of 2016 they came up with the idea to finally also start their own label according to their common musical philosophy which is ranging from deep-house over deep-tech to melodic techno.

So, Chrom Recordings was born to build a quality platform & home base for new or like-minded passionate production talents from all over the world who fit the Ibiza Spirit of the label, focused on the melodic sound which can be heard in party cities such as Amsterdam & Berlin. Of course established producers and/or close friends with the same music taste are more than welcome to the label.

We had a chat with co-label owner Pedro Mercado about his Chrom Recordings and much more. Check it out below.

Connect with Pedro Mercado on socials | website
Connect with Chrom Recordings on Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Hey Pedro, Hope all is well?

All good, and thank you for this interview!

Glad the world is open and the music can be played again for a crowd?

Of course, happy and relieved. Although I remain a bit careful. I really hope this pandemic is over for good now, but let’s see what will happen after the summer… . During the pandemic, I had planned a few nice DJ tours but they all got cancelled over and over again because the situation went up and down all the time, so I’ve become a bit cautious in planning too far ahead these days.

And I also have some mixed feelings about the situation of our electronic music scene after the pandemic. I think we really missed the opportunity to go back to the essence of our scene which is music and break this “EDM / Business Techno / A-Headliner”–bubble. But unfortunately, this “reset” didn’t happen, on the contrary… . There has been released so much great music during the pandemic, but still, there are so many DJs that still play the same old music as before the pandemic. I really wonder what they have done during those past 2 years.

The only good thing about this pandemic for me personally was the fact that I used this time to set up a new Organic House project, together with my wife Na Te, called “AkpaLa”. This music helped us to stay mentally healthy during the several lockdowns. So, you can expect some nice stuff from us in this style later this year. And the rest of the time that came free during the pandemic I used it for my label.

Yes, let’s talk about that because besides DJing & producing you are also co-managing a record label. Tell us in short where Chrom Recordings stands for.

Yes, Chrom Recordings is my label, which I run together with Mike Chrom, the creator & owner of Planet Ibiza. Chrom stands for Quality Electronic Music according to our common musical philosophy which is ranging from Organic & Progressive House to Melodic House & Techno. We want to form a platform & home base for like-minded passionate artists from all over the world who fit the Ibiza Spirit of our label focused on the melodic sound which can be heard in party cities such as Amsterdam & Berlin. Both new promising talents and established known artists with the same musical taste are more than welcome to the label.

We used our time during the pandemic to make Chrom even bigger and stronger than before. The last year almost all our releases got featured and charted on Beatport. So I think that I can say now that Chrom has grown into a very credible and established label & brand with great artists, many followers & important support. A recent highlight was our great ADE2021 Label Showcase.


Label Showcase:

This year you will be celebrating 5 years of existence. Congrats!! Tell us about the upcoming Various Artist celebration release. And how did you come to the selection of artists for the compilation releases?

For this special occasion, we selected 10 tracks from our back catalogue that all defined our label each in their own way. First, there are some tracks from our core team members, the artists who are with Chrom from the very beginning up until now: Aves Volare, Fernando Lagreca, Qarrassa, The Note V, Karada, Na Te and myself. Next up we have Christian Bonori and Alex Sharp, who became part of the team over the years. And last but not least we have Modeplex (we were one of the first labels to release his stuff) and Wally Lopez (I started to release on his Factomania label and now he is also on my label).

5 Years Chrom”-compilation release is available on Beatport

But there is more we believe? You’ll be closely working with people on the EMA roster. Tell us what is up to your sleeve.

Yes, at the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2019 I got to know Francis Martinez, the A&R manager of Krafted Underground. We immediately connected because we have the same musical background & view of our scene.

At the start of the pandemic, he started up Electronic Music Anthem (EMA), an agency specialising in the distribution and promotion of finely selected electronic music. His agency slowly developed also into a booking, artist & event management agency. I just joined his booking agency together with some other Chrom artists and now we hope to arrange some nice gigs for all of us in the future.

To draw some attention to the launch of the agency we decided to release this compilation, consisting of 10 brand-new & exclusive tracks from EMA-artists only: Paul Sawyer, Fabrizio Marra, Pedro Mercado & Karada, Eleven Of July, Tamer Fouda, SNYL, KAMADEV, Shemsu & Gilbert Lezana, William Medagli & Thallullah feat. Minimarket, and JG Outsider. All EMA-artists are established experienced international producers in the electronic music industry, recognised as must-hear artists with a wide range of genres and strong identities.

The aim of our compilation is to capture the essence of the musical talents of the EMA-roster, taking the listener on a journey of total captivation, with tracks that encompass deep and luscious soundscapes, through to expansive dancefloor derivatives. The release will also be accompanied by a special Spotify Mix from Paul Sawyer, the label boss of Krafted Underground.

In all of this, there is much work to do. How important to the release are airplay, DJ support, and artist self-promotion?

Very important. We live in a world where (social) media can make or break artists, labels, DJs, parties,… You can complain about it or try to fight it, but as a label, you just have to accept it and do what needs to be done, otherwise, you will be left behind. That’s also what your artists expect you to do. Of course, it has to be a team effort, we expect the same from our artists too. Only together you can make it work. And honestly, I find it much more difficult to promote myself as an artist than to promote our Chrom artists.

Have you got events planned for these releases?

Yes, we will celebrate our 5th anniversary on Friday 22th April with a label showcase at John Doe in Amsterdam, the same club where we did our ADE2021 Showcase, in cooperation with UNDRGRND! And of course, we hope to host more Chrom label showcases soon again all over Europe as we did before the pandemic.

And we also have something else up our sleeves. Mike & I will start to release more and more stuff on our new sister label called Planet Ibiza Music which we founded last summer. We have added a new A&R person to our team for this: Anne-Aude from Paris, better known as DJ Shankari. On Planet Ibiza Music you can expect deeper stuff than on Chrom Recordings, going from downtempo to organic house.

Back to the artists? What do look for in an artist before you sign them on your label?

Well first of all, talent. It all starts with the music of course. Next to that, we look for the same key qualities in our artists as the ones we value highly ourselves: dedication, passion, respect, consistency, communication and professionalism.

I invest much time in our A&R by spending really a lot of time searching for the right artists for Chrom. Each week I check around 500 promos and I personally listen to all demos we receive. Checking also the background of the artists I like.

What makes your label unique?

I don’t think that there is 1 specific thing that makes a label unique, but rather a combination of several things. It starts with the thorough A&R as I just mentioned in your previous question. And then there is the fact that we don’t limit ourselves to 1 Beatport genre only, we focus on a few genres like Organic House, Indie Dance, Progressive House, Melodic House & Techno and lately also some Indie Dance, so we are not so sensitive to hypes and stand on ourselves. And last but not least we strongly believe in a personal approach with our Chrom artists, including direct communication and regular follow-ups. Next to that, we try to combine known bigger names with unknown new talents from different parts of the world.

Together Mike & I have 40 years of experience in our scene. I started to release my own music in 2007 on almost 100 labels until now, and I had the luck to release it on some really great labels. But on the other hand, there were also a lot of labels that really screwed it up. So, I have experienced both sides and learned a lot during all those years. Until the moment, 5 years ago, that I decided to put all my experience into practice together with Mike.

What more can we expect from Chrom recordings this year?

Well, next to our 5th-anniversary party in Amsterdam and the 2 above mentioned special compilations, we have another big compilation planned later this year: our annual ADE-Sampler which is always a highlight. We also have an EP scheduled from Daniel Pinho, who I discovered last year when I was participating as a jury member in an online demo session. We released his first official track and it became our best selling track ever on Beatport, a true fairytale! And personally, I look forward to my own Chrom EP together with my childhood idol Phi Phi (a living legend here in Belgium, known from Bonzai, Quadran. Honey C, Innertales, Mouvement Perpetuel,…).

08/04/2022: “5 Years Chrom”-compilation release on Beatport

22/04/2022: “UNDRGRND presents Chrom 5th Anniversary Party” @ John Doe Amsterdam

29/04/2022: “Electronic Music Anthem 2022”-compilation release on Beatport

Thank you.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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