Meet Alex Esser: Entrepreneur, DJ, HMWL Label Boss

House Music With Love - Alex Esser on Fluence

Alex is the co-founder of the electronic label and music blog HMWL, which is part of the VICE music blog network. His entrepreneurial background has intertwined closely with music and technology throughout. He’s now the Marketing Director in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark for the streaming music service Deezer.

Read our interview with Alex below to learn more about his passion for DJing and emerging artists, his advice for musicians, and his favorite artists right now.

You founded HMWL in 2008 – how did it all start?

Honestly, we were two students just goofing around. We run a club night during that time and started a simple music blog where we posted some of our favorite tracks, DJ-sets and would promote our events.

Latest HMWL Set

Over the years it turned into a much more serious music blog. Our main priority today is to write about up-and-coming electronic producers who deserve more attention. We also try to focus more on Nordic Electronic music, featuring nordic producers at least 30% of the times. The blog is quite niche for semi-underground electronica and deep house, on a busy week we get around 5,000 unique visitors on the site. We also get 30+ promo emails every day; we try to read them all.

In 2014 we started HMWL recordings. It came quite naturally as we kept receiving some fantastic demos once in a while among those 30 promos per day. So creating a label empowers us to release the music we believe in 110%. The first EP is approaching 600,000 streams on the streaming platforms and HMWL002 and HMWL003 are to be released in early 2015.

Daytime I’m the Deezer MD for Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Working with music both day and night is really like a dream come true. I think I’m the most happy guy in Sweden right now 🙂

Favorite artists right now?

I want to promote my fellow Swedes: Axel Boman, HNNY, Dorisburg and 1987 are the four main Swedish electronic music geniuses at the moment. Also make sure to keep an eye on these Swedes: Ascorbite aka Edgar Ariza, Gin & Gin, Manifest, MAAL, Rimbaudian, Somoah, Martin Emmes, Slätten, Gidge, Swim, Josefine Hellström HanssonWe Are Legends and last but not least Just.Pau aka Pauline Högberg. These are the next generation ready to blow up.

Advice for musicians and artists in the digital age?

Make quality music without compromise. Spend those 10,000 hours in the studio doing that. Then, make sure to invest either time or money (preferably both) in promoting your tracks. Either by yourself or find a good label / PR agency that can help you find your fans. Bad production won’t fly no matter how much you invest into promotion.

Great music still needs a bit of good PR to reach the right audience in the age of abundance.

Getting your music out on the blogs is a great, free and easy way to make it heard. Make sure to keep your emails short, clean and always include 1 press photo, Soundcloud previews and a short press-text about yourself.

What’s new and upcoming for yourself and HMWL?Alex Esser on Fluence

Currently I’m taking life very slow being on paternity leave with my 1-year old daughter until the end of february. It’s really nice to be focused on just one person. A bit like a detox from my otherwise multitasking lifestyle.

The HMWL002 by South Korean Rust & Dust and and HMWL003 by Swedish MAAL are hitting the stores in Q1 2015. We are preparing a few more releases and also starting a sub-label called Recordings With Love which will release a bit more “daytime electronica” rather than club tracks.

We have the pleasure of presenting you the newest pre-release Rust & Dust track soon to be available in January on HMWL. Listen to the contagious sneak preview of ‘Gaje‘ below to get a feel for what’s soon to come on HMWL.

You can find Alex’s Fluence profile here, and see more people we love on Fluence here.

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