Planning this year’s New Years Eve to say goodnight to 2016 and good morning to a new 2017, I scratched my head trying to remember what I did for last year’s festivities. Then I remembered I did nothing. Well, nothing and everything. I stayed at home, manically timing the launch of tweets, Instagrams and FB posts, while readying the homepage of a brand new project. When midnight struck I launched our band Bad Wave’s single ‘Runaway’ into the stratosphere. It sprinted onto Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud and 10K’s brand new WordPress. It heralded a new era for our label. An era of singles by a roster of artist projects we’d developed, such as the R&B jammers Luu, punk crooner Nicky Blitz, futuristic electroclash hybric Mr Witch, disco troubadour John Hancock III, Trinidadian rapper Nafets, and shadowy electro outfit Viigo, among others. We joined forces with Brett, a band signed to Cascine, who entrusted us with a whole EP project inspired by The Cure and Tom Petty. Our overall intention? To release a song every single Friday. Without fail, we did that. I still can’t believe it. In 2016, 10K Islands put out 52 songs. That’s the poster, designed by Bad Wave’s Patrick Hart himself. If you’d like one, they’re $10. Tweet us @10KIslands.
10K Islands has a long road to travel on still. We’ve only just begun. I don’t write this to gloat, but really the achievements by these songs this year leaves all of us here pretty breathless. Thank you to all of our supporters for giving us a greater platform: to Beats 1 (Zane Lowe, Matt Wilkinson and the whole team), BBC Radio 1 (especially Huw Stevens and Phil Taggart), Amazing Radio (shout out Emma Snook), KCRW, Tobi Lynn at Alt 98.7, Paul Lester at The Guardian, Dan Cairns at The Sunday Times, Kevin Bronson at Buzzbands LA, Indie Shuffle, Hillydilly, The Line Of Best Fit, Noisey, All Things Go, Clash, Pigeons & Planes, DIY, and Spotify. You all helped shine a light on the songs, the videos and the random Snapchats we’ve been creating here. We’re bowled over by your generosity and time. To all the listeners and all the people who came to see Bad Wave, Viigo and Nicky Blitz play this year, we owe you a drink. The shows are developing. Watch this space.
Our little label has made some huge steps this year. In the Spring we built a second studio, opening up a 10K West Coast HQ in Los Feliz. Housing two rooms, it’s seen a huge influx of local talent, with daily sessions bringing our core of in-house songwriters and producers in front of wildly diverse LA upstarts. It’s opened up an entirely new aspect of 10K allowing us to develop brand new artists from scratch – something you’re gonna learn more about in 2017. It’s also resulted in bigger forays into the big industry. Only last week one of our band’s creations – Viigo’s ‘Levitate’ – appeared on Post Malone’s new record as the entire backing track to ‘No Option’. Our happiest West Coast HQ news is that this November we extended an invite to Nick Sylvester, founder of New York’s Godmode label. Nick’s now sharing our space here, and has brought with him a tonne of superb gear and modular synths. I don’t know how to use them but they look hard as nails.
Beyond the 10K x Godmode neighbourhood watch scheme, our most exciting news came with another Nick. Nicky Blitz. The original instigator for my involvement with this whole entire batshit family has been keeping his progress a little hush-hush but it’s time to go public. Earlier this Fall, Nicky Blitz finalised a deal with Atlantic Records in LA. His 2017 will see a debut EP release and who knows what else beyond that. We’re exceedingly proud of our very own Alan Vega/James Murphy and glad to share the responsibility of his manic brain with some more able-minded humans.
We’d like to wish you a great holiday season, gift you with a playlist of everything we did this year, and make you a promise that we’re going to hit you with even more awesomeness in 2017. We won’t be putting out 52 songs next year, mainly because it’s driven us insane. Instead, you’re gonna get longer projects from some 10K artists you know, and introductory tastes to 10K artists you’re yet to meet.
Don’t go changing channels now.
– Eve & 10K