Home Interviews Interview: Sergei Okushko (Deepwibe Underground)

Interview: Sergei Okushko (Deepwibe Underground)

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From creating Deepwibe Underground and -102C, to being part of the progressive house outfit Monograph, Estonian based artist, DJ and label manager Sergei Okushko has made a significant impact on progressive music over the last year. In short order, Sergei has amassed an artist roster that includes Dmitry Molosh, GMJ, Kamilo Sanclemente, Navar, Weird Sounding Dude and more. Now widely considered a Top 20 progressive house imprint, Deepwibe Underground is about to embark on it’s most anticipated release schedule to date as the year enters it’s final quarter. We had a chance to catch up with Sergei for an exclusive chat about all things Deepwibe Underground, -102C and more. Enjoy!

Hi Sergei, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hey guys, well a bit tired to be honest with all this situation in the world plus I don’t really like autumn, its windy and rainy outside I prefer summer time. Last piece of music I listened to is some label demos, some of them are really nice.

What are your plans for the coming week?

Well, I’m on holidays next two weeks, so will spend my time with family, maybe we go to see some places in my country.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

It’s very hard to choose five, but I’ll try. They all different styles, but each from this list gave me something. For me it’s a classical tracks and every time while I’m listen these ones, I’m back to the happiest times of my life :).

Fairmont – Gazebo (Sebastian Leger Remix)

RMB – Spring

Stephan Bodzin – Bedford

Sasha – Xpander

Westbam – Beatbox Rocker

What was it that led you down the path of creating Deepwibe Underground?

Well, I don’t know. In the beginning it was just a hobby, I was trying to release good music and that’s it, but then I met some really nice guys, who told me, look Serge let’s try to make something big. So today it’s not just a hobby – it’s more a lifestyle and all my labels are a big part of my life.

How did you come to decide on Deepwibe Underground as a name?

Well originally, I had Deepwibe Records first, that label still release deep and Nu disco music, that’s why first idea was Deep Vibes records (deep house music), but then I checked and found that this name is already reserved, then I just change v for w. Eventually we got Deepwibe, so some people think it’s a bit weird, but I think its unique :).

Could you list some of the artists who you consider a core part of Deepwibe Underground and the development of its sound?

Well, I think it’s not fair to name some of the artist. Every artist gave something to the label, I just can say that at the moment we going to more classical progressive sound, of course I will experiment with the sound, but mostly we will release classical progressive.

Dmitry Molosh, Kostya Outta, The Cobb, Ric Niels, Agustin Pietrocola… I think these guys are core at the moment but I want to work with more and more producers, always looking for the new talents and maybe in a few months’ time this list will grow up.

If you had to pinpoint a few tracks that you released which were crucial in the development of Deepwibe Underground what would they be and why?

Well definitely it’s the Cobb’s – Elysium remixed by Dmitry Molosh, that track changed everything. Top track, after this successful remix people start writing me emails, sending demos etc. Changed everything in my Label life. Second is Roman Kandel’s – Mahasim, I’m in love with this track, fantastic sound. This track was supported and played by all major DJs such as Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren etc.

You recently started –102C as a companion label to focus on Organic House. Why did it feel like the right time to expand the Deepwibe family?

Just wanted to split good organic music and progressive, so organic is a house for –102C now – Deepwibe for progressive and I’ll tell you we got a big plan and already signed a lot of cool artists there. Yeah, right, organic house is a popular at the moment, so I believe it’s a right time to build new label with that style of music.

What is the significance of the name -102C, how did you settle on this to represent the label?

It’s just numbers and letters from my head. We were thinkin about a label name and I’ve asked my friends to give me the ideas and in one moment I just said -102 degrees Celsius :))). This is true story! :)))

What advice would have for an artist hoping to sign their music to either Deepwibe Underground or -102C? Both in terms of presentation and stylistically, what are you looking for from a new artist on each label?

Every artist got his own vision of music, so just to be unique. In nowadays thousands of producers making similar sound, like if you going back to the 90s or 00s, that times had so many interesting artist and projects. Every track had unique melody and vision. So, I’m trying to find the same in artist today. Be unique – that’s the key of success.

When you get to a point with a track or set of tracks where you’re close to committing to signing them what pushes the decision one way or the other?

I’ll ask my friends. Sometimes I can listen 10-15 times, but still not sure, but I’m lucky person, I got many professional producers and sound engineers, so they always help me with decision.

Do you have a special spot to listen to demos? Outside of the studio I mean, a place where your mind resets a bit and you have fresh ears in a way.

Usually it’s a long process, I’m listening in a bed, sometimes while I’m driving, but final decision of course it’s coming from studio, you can check the quality of all details.

Is big DJ play a factor in signing something? From someone like Hernan Cattaneo let’s say.

No, for me not. Track must fit a label philosophy.

What is your thought process behind remixer selection on a given project and how many is too many in your opinion?

Don’t want to include more than three remixers to be honest, even three sometimes is too much. Selection is easy, trying to make release interesting, every producer can give something to original track. Trying to make release for all people, adding some deep notes or sometimes even techno 🙂

You’ve reached around 80 releases on Deepwibe Underground thus far, with one artist album I believe, might we see more artist albums in the future, and do you feel they carry the same significance that they did 10-20 years ago before everything became digital?

Well yeah, it might be next year. We thinkin about it, to release one more album with our friend. He is quite busy at the moment, but he likes the idea. Albums are a big job but very interesting. I remember our first album on Deepwibe with Roman Kandel, still can’t believe that we released it :))), because albums are not usual for our time. Singles, Eps that work better. But I believe that every producer needs his own album even if it’s only one in his producer’s life.

What is your biggest pet peeve about receiving music for the labels?

Ohh, still people don’t know how to send demos, I never listen tracks if they come as a dropmefiles or wetransfer links.

Looking back over your discography, which one of the very first tracks you released still puts a smile on your face when you listen to it now, and why?

Second release by Deeplomat, track called Alexandra. Many years left, but still sounds great, when I listen, it’s just reminding me these times when I start my label.

Where do you see Deepwibe Underground and -102C going in the coming years?

Don’t know, but hope we will be stronger. In a list of Top 20 labels in a few years’ time will be great, but even if we stay the same as today – I will be happy!!! Just in love what I’m doing.

Who do you see as future stars in Progressive and Organic House?

It’s a many fresh talented producers at the moment, who can change all progressive house scene such as EMPHI, Jiminy Hop, The Cobb, Forty Cats, Agustin Pietrocola, Ric Niels. They got everything to become a star. They know what they doing and trying to work hard. Organic house is a bit hard style for new names, but I hope that on –102C we find some new talents :).

What is the situation with the pandemic in Estonia at the moment?

Situation is changing every day, so hard to say. Today is not too bad, but main thing is – people tired about all these new rules, everybody hope that finish of pandemic is next to the corner.)

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451! Read it twice for last half a year, enjoying this story and every time you reading and thinking that it could be with us in future. Not fan of movies and tv shows, but sometimes can watch classic such as Pulp Fiction or The Shawshank Redemption.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

Oh we risking every day, mad world :). Yeah I can say that I’m a risky person, my main job is in chemical factories, so every day at work I’m risking. I do kickboxing three times a week. I got a GTcar, so I’m not a person who is scared of something :). Risk is adrenaline, adrenaline is cool :)!

What is one thing, physical or non-physical, that you want more than anything else in the world?

Peace, Love and Laugh 🙂

Who from earth would you like to be abducted by aliens?

Internet spammers :)))

Current five favourite tracks?

ARTBAT – Flame

Monolink – Return To OZ (Artbat Remix)

Stephan Bodzin – Boavista (Innellea Remix)

KAS:ST – Whos To Say Whats Real (Mind Against & Colyn Remix)

Logic1000 – Safe In My Arms.

What is your favourite food?

I eat everything :).

Iphone or Android?

Cellphone. 🙂 No prefer Android!

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Everything around us. Family, friends, sport, nature etc.

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Well, these big changes with Deepwibe Underground, of course happy to see new labels –102C and Deepwibe Digital, so next year will be full of quality music. 🙂

Check out the Deepwibe Underground catalog here: https://bit.ly/3iln7UM

 

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