This month’s Label Spotlight features Jeffrey Silverstein, co-owner of the Brooklyn-based Singles Club, a 7″ subscription service that is part record club and part digital journal.
We were fortunate enough to have a Q&A with Jeffrey, to learn a little more about Singles Club, explore some of the challenges and successes of starting a new subscription service, and to find out what’s in store for the 2nd year of Singles Club in 2015.
You can learn more about Singles Club here.
Q: So how did the idea of Singles Club come about? What were your inspirations behind the Singles Club?
Singles Club was an idea my partner for this project and old friend, Chris Muccioli came up with. We spent a good part of last year tossing around ideas until eventually we landed on a subscription record club and music journal. We were looking for a way to combine our skillsets/interests into something meaningful that would occupy a unique space in both the physical and digital world of journalism, music, photo, etc. We found inspiration from a lot of our friends art, music, labels, writing, small businesses as well as our day to day lives and being involved in creative communities in and outside of the work place.
Q: Why did you and Chris decide to start the Singles Club project as a Kickstarter Campaign? How was your experience on Kickstarter?
Chris and I had run a successful campaign a few years back for a band we both performed in and had nothing but a positive experience the first time around. Chris actually works at Kickstarter now and has a really fantastic understanding how the platform can be used best. It is an incredible tool if used appropriately and it helped immensely in terms of gaging interest and receiving pre-orders. Believing whole-heartedly in the idea and making sure we had a lot of the leg-work done before we ran the campaign for Singles club were key for us.
Q: Aside from successfully funding the project (congrats!) what were some of the challenges that you encountered while getting the Singles Club off the ground?
A lot of the challeneges had to do with being able to balance work/life/and this project all at once. There was a lot to discuss and figure out simultaneously. We had never really been on label-side of putting out music before so learning that process was tricky but exciting at the same time. Luckily we had a lot of friends who could show us the ropes a bit. Learning to be patient with certain things was difficult for me. We also had to make sure we listened to each other and know when to let something go.
Q: The 7” single includes a VINYL ONLY interview with the artist on the B-Side. How do you feel the interview adds to the experience of the subscription, as opposed to featuring another exclusive track?
We went back and forth on that for a while. However I think we both feel strongly that it’s something that adds a neat addition to the stories we are telling. There’s something special about hearing an artist’s speaking voice, especially on vinyl. It’s super intimate.
Q: Singles Club is part music club and part journal. What was the reason behind using a digital journal as the other medium for the Singles Club?
It was really a way to tie the whole physical meets digital idea together. The journal is super clean and easy to read, a really great way to get to know the featured artist. Anyone can access the content online regardless of if they are a subscriber.
Q: Do you think you’ll release the journal portion as a physical format, as opposed to the current digital version, alongside the record, in the future?
We’ve teased the idea before. In a perfect scenario, yes. For now, I think we have a nice formula happening.
Q: How did you and Chris choose the artists that are part of the first singles club? Do you have any artists in mind for your future releases?
For the first volume, we chose to work with artists that we have built relationships with over years of playing shows and touring. These are people that we’ve watched grow as musicians and people and have incredible stories to tell. It provided us the flexibility to test ideas and make mistakes. We’ve got a wishlist for year two going already, but we won’t be revealing anything till a little later this year.
Q: What do you feel sets Singles Club apart from other 7” subscriptions?
I think we do an excellent job of putting a face and story to the music. We’re creating a diverse experience for the listener and are providing insight to these artists you won’t find elsewhere.
Q: What can we expect from Singles Club in the future? Any colored vinyl offerings or add-ons that will enhance to the experience of the Singles Club?
You can definitely expect some changes in year two. We’re keeping it close for now, but we’re super excited.
BONUS Q: Do you collect vinyl? If so, what’s your “holy grail” vinyl and what can you tell us about it?
My favorite album I own is the self-titled Akron/Family record that came out on Young God. It was produced by Swans frontman Michael Gira and I am convinced I will, never, ever tire of hearing those songs. It’s the one.