S3 E7: SCOTT SUGIUCHI – RECORD LABEL FOUNDER
Says a lot that Scott’s dream job as a kid was to be a cartoonist. In his words, he was “the kid who was always drawing in class.” He created his own comic book brand and a universe of sorts. He studied the aesthetic of comics from decades earlier, he “uber-nerded out” on things that other kids didn’t even think about, and then he found graphic design in college. At the same time, he was getting into the music scene, playing in bands and constantly going to shows.
The art forms ultimately blended with Scott beginning to design and print concert posters for bands and promoters.
Fast forward to today, and Scott’s an accomplished creative director who started his own record label, Hidden Volume Records. It’s a true labor of love that leaves him with little time but LOADS of stories.
Here are Three Big How’s from a guy who might like music more than you like anything in your life:
THREE BIG HOW’S
FIND YOUR SCENE
If you want to break into music, then you need to really get into music. Not just listening. Find the venues, go to shows, meet people. Get involved, talk to bands, talk to promoters, and learn. Eventually, you’ll gravitate to what resonates with you, and you’ll be surrounding yourself with like-minded people. That scene will be critical to you building your own taste and point of view.
HAVE A SOLID VISION
What defines and differentiates your label? Steve leans towards a specific visual focus and tonality, which is clear when you take a look at Hi-Vo Records. There is a rebellious edge to the brand that has dictated who Steve decides to represent, and vice versa. If you decide to get into this business, you’ll want to define yourself so you can communicate to bands and listeners alike. From Blue Note to Def Jam to Island to Death Row, there is example after example of record labels who stand for a specific POV and a specific type of artist or band.
Keep searching everywhere for things that inspire you and stretch your imagination. Define your label, yes! But keep it fresh, give yourself the chance to have new perspectives, and give your artists something only you can provide. Steve has made a career out of continually trying new things, and he also has a massive appreciation for the past. This combo makes it natural for him to keep finding inspiration from wide-ranging places.