by: Melisa Yuriar
Apr 8, 2022
For additional than 6 decades, electronic audio label High-quality Products Records (QGR) has been led by artist UZ and co-founder Mouna Dif, who has molded the imprint’s expansive reach and various roster of expertise. Beneath Mouna’s leadership as head of functions and artist supervisor, QGR has released the careers of some of dance music’s esteemed functions, which includes Rome In Silver, ATLiens, Oski, Nitti Gritti, and Jon Casey. On March 31, QGR declared a merger and distribution deal with Common Songs Group/Virgin New music Artist & Label Services Dif was the primary driver. “Quality Items Records has only been about pushing our generation’s upcoming most forward-thinking artists in electronic tunes no make a difference the worth of their sphere of influence, social media quantities, place of origin, electronic streaming system presence, or regardless of whether they are actively touring or not. It has only been about the new music and having challenges. On this day, I am satisfied that we caught to our guns from the start off and hardly ever drifted away from the vision UZ and myself experienced for QGR,” she reported.
With guidance from Virgin Tunes, the team will continue to widen its get to and roster, focusing on future artists and bringing them further into the highlight. By way of obtain to supplemental UMG-offered means, QGR intends to even further advance artist advancement, streamline releases and more substantial projects, and proceed broadening its sonic get to, with a concentration on singers and songwriters in particular. “I’m scheduling on being deeply concerned on the A&R aspect with UZ. Getting strong vocalists and songwriters to definitely amp up the level of each individual music. I’m excited to be working with my expertise and pastille as a singer-songwriter to curate these releases. And UMG/Virgin Music will unquestionably help facilitate that approach also with their significant and diversified roster in the pop and rap globe,” Dif said.
As the driving pressure of the acquisition, Mouna Dif, an impartial artist turned indie artist-supervisor and label head, warrants a search as an influential female in the electronic industry. The daughter of an Algerian father and British mom, Dif under no circumstances established out to be the frontwoman of the QGR label and brand name, but alas, following two many years of triumphs, trials, and tribulations in tunes, she’s established herself as a revered market veteran and a revolutionary female at the helm of an indie label.
In the early 2000’s, Dif was a singer-songwriter undertaking below the moniker Moona in France. Discovering digital-hip hop with her buddies in the metropolis by evening, and learning architecture and photography by day, it was all through this part of her life that she built character, figured out to create an inventive eyesight, and in the end honed her unwavering resolve to locate achievements in the tunes market. “I’ve never ever been a standard learner. I like to test things as perfectly as knowledge the results on my own, to be analytical of those people outcomes. I was definitely never ever frightened to ask anything at all possibly. My practical experience firsthand as an indie artist this kind of as scheduling displays, releasing my own tunes, as nicely as selling all the things definitely assisted and shaped my abilities to do the finest occupation I can as an artist supervisor and head of a label,” she reported.
From 2002 via the early 2010’s, Moona would go on to execute in an acid-jazz live band (Moon and the Funky Satellites), collaborating with French duo Walter Sobcek, German nu-disco band Les Loups, Anoraak (who she now manages), Overseas Beggars, and long term QGR founder-turned-label-companion, DJ Troubl aka UZ. The pair satisfied on one fateful night in Strasbourg, France in 2009, Mouna dished in a 2020 job interview with noisprn. Her very best pal was an lively electronic music and hip-hop promoter who’d booked the 2X Earth DMC champion, along with French rapper-graffiti artist Grems, for a dwell party. Through the event, the two linked they’d keep in touch and in the upcoming few several years, Dif would develop into significantly associated in and challenged by the organization side of the market.
Like quite a few unbiased artists, Moona’s foray into the industry would be plagued with highs and lows. After looking at accomplishment from several singles, garnering aid from Diplo by way of his “Diplo & Close friends BBC Radio Demonstrate,” and positioning an unique composition in the principal title of a well-known kid’s exhibit (for which she was in no way credited nor compensated), Dif was frustrated by the minimal possibilities for an indie-electronic artist with a tiny group. “Only a couple artists ended up generating it large in all those days by getting several professionals, as well as labels and marketing and advertising groups to back again them up. Opportunities were being pretty confined unless of course you experienced a massive staff all-around you. It is what pushed me at a issue in my artist vocation to rethink my goals and to take a look at other avenues while however remaining immersed in my passion—music. I merely desired to support artists out so they wouldn’t make the exact errors I did,” reported Dif.
In 2014, she was approached with an present to become UZ’s tour manager, managing the day-to-day logistics and “big picture stuff.” Soon thereafter, she would go on to become the artist’s entire-time manager and his QGR label husband or wife. “I’m thankful to UZ for believing in me and supplying me the reward of the question. Trusting me with his projects and overall eyesight for not only his career, but the future for QGR. We’ve recognised just about every other for more than 13 yrs now, and we’ve constantly been driven by the similar passion and vision for songs as a full. He has often allowed me to follow my intestine and have confidence in my perception and conclusions from the starting to now.”
For Dif, obtaining an inclusive roster and numerous workforce doing the job along with her has often been an crucial part of her operate with QGR and its worldwide workforce of artists and associates. “Diversity is prosperity as a result of the valuable awareness it delivers, letting you see the countless prospects the environment has to provide from the loaded and timeless artwork and music in just. It’s pretty significant to me to emphasize artists from all around the earth due to the fact everyone’s vision is various. Their individual creative procedure is really a great deal influenced by common tones and feelings. Their tradition, notion on lifestyle and in general particular experiences are what make the challenge wonderfully unique in a scene where by artists are usually provided by mainstream developments,” mentioned Dif.
Even so, because its basis in 2016, the Top quality Goods Data roster has only signed significantly less than 3 per cent of women of all ages or woman-pinpointing artists to its label. When questioned if she expects this share to alter in the long run, Dif noted that there is “still much perform to be accomplished within just the electronic tunes community” first. “In purchase for there to be adjust, there has to be continued equal illustration of women on the government aspect of the market as properly. We want additional ladies professionals, engineers, scheduling agents, label managers, and much more. And as extended as we continue to keep standing up and continue to thrust for adjust, we’ll all see additional and far more ladies and female-pinpointing artists signing up for this industry,” she stated.
Of training course, the new partnership with Virgin Audio and UMG poses a grand opportunity for development and transform at the label. With Dif spearheading this new acquisition and planned endeavors, rest assured that QGR’s up coming chapter will be an evolutionary one particular. “We’re influenced by the new music that we obtain and explore every day, and want to share it with the world. It is all about the music and if we’re vibing with it, not about what sub-genre it is or how it would be labeled,” mentioned Dif. “We have some good releases planned for the upcoming months: D&B, wave, rap, dwelling, and entice! And with UMG backing us, up we experience more comfortable and excited than at any time in exploring these new streets.”
Featured Image: Diane Sagnier
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