“Progressive is becoming a major part of people’s lives,” Paul Thomas tells Trance Project in an exclusive interview.
Paul Thomas’ forward-thinking record label FSOE UV is the home to the more groove-driven, melodic style of progressive/house music and boasts an impressive catalogue of hits from artists such as Aly & Fila, Paul Thomas, Grum, Olivier Giacomotto, Stan Kolev, Stereo Express, Space Motion and more.
A sub label under Future Sound Of Egypt’s umbrella since 2017, FSOE UV has rapidly become one of the scene’s most vital imprints, reaching 150 incredible releases this year. As part of the FSOE UV 150 celebrations, two special releases have been unleashed: Stan Kolev – Ahimsa (Stereo Express Remix) and Sean & Dee vs Melody Stranger – Apollo (Fuenka Remix), plus the FSOE UV 150 compilation.
Label boss Paul Thomas took the time to share with Trance Project on what it takes to run a successful label and his thoughts on the role Progressive music is playing right now during these trying times. See full interview below!
Congratulations on reaching 150 releases on FSOE UV! How does it feel to have reached this monumental milestone?
I am pretty proud about it to be honest. We have worked hard on building the label, and I think it’s become one of the standard bearers in the prog house / melodic house world and it’s pretty satisfying to see that.
What does it take to make a record label successful?
For me, one of the key things is having a very high bar for the releases. The tracks have to be 10/10 every single time. There’s so much music that’s accessible out there that to keep the brand in the forefront, the music needs rise above everything else that’s out there. Also, coming up with different concepts, having a strong selection of key artists and working all hours god sends, helps!
What’s been the most rewarding thing about running a record label?
For the pandemic came along, we were about to announce about a dozen UV shows in incredible venues around the world, which I hope we can still do. The success of the label extends beyond just the releases meaning we have a strong touring brand, which is the dream as an artist, but also helps bring both me and the label to the forefront with major artists and brands, meaning we can open doors that wouldn’t be so easy to open before we launched the label.
If you were stuck on a desert island, which FSOE UV records would you have to have with you?
Probably Yeadon’s ‘Sundance’, Nuera’s ‘Miracle’ and my remix of Aly & Fila’s ‘Shadow’. All 3 are sunshine vibes.
What’s next for FSOE UV and where do you see the label in a few years time?
We’ve just hit 150 releases, so we’ve got 2 big remixes out of ‘Apollo’ by Fuenka and Stan Kolev’s ‘Ahimsa’ by Stereo Express. We’ve also got the UV 150 compilation which I’ve mixed out mid March too. Aside from that, we’ve got new music from Jerome Isma-Ae, Space Motion plus loads of my own music coming too. On the events side, we are working on getting last years show rescheduled, so hopefully come the summer time Aly & Fila and I will be hitting the UV tours hard again.
What’s the best advice you can give to producers that want to have their tracks released on FSOE UV?
I have quite a wide reach which is comes to the type of music we put out. It should be deeper melodic vibes, it could be peak time prog house. The most important this is I need to play it in my sets to be able to sign it. So I guess the advice would be have a listen to the past releases or my sets to figure out what we sign. And if you aren’t successful, try and try again. Like with the main FSOE label, we listen to every demo that’s sent.
What role do you think Progressive music is playing right now during these trying times?
I think a lot of people have turned to deeper music in these times as they are listening to music at home, or using the time to discover different sounds and styles. We’ve benefitted from that as a label as our streams and downloads have grown considerably in the past year, as has my weekly radio show, which I guess means progressive is becoming a major part of people’s lives.
Follow FSOE UV’s Spotify Playlist: