Home Interviews Sergei Okushko [Interview]

Sergei Okushko [Interview]

21 min read

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 two years. In relatively short order, Sergei has amassed an artist roster that includes Dmitry Molosh, GMJ, Kamilo Sanclemente, Navar, Sebastian Sellares, Weird Sounding Dude and more. Now widely considered a Top 10 progressive house imprint, Deepwibe Underground is about to embark on it's most anticipated release schedule to date as the year enters it's third 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 sitting with us today! What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

I'm just tired right now 😊, listening to Chicane – Poppihola, awesome music and video a swell.

What are your plans for the week?

Chill and watchin Johnny Depp & Amber Heard court case. Better than any detective movie, in some places even better than any comedy. :)

Tell us more about your story. How did you discover electronic music?

Well my first love was hardcore and goa trance in the beginning of 90s, I think most people who was born in 1980s were in love of that music ), but later I was started listening to more trance and classic house, I still listen tracks from 1990-2000, I think that was a golden era of house and trance. These times and that music grew on me as a electronic music fan.

At which club or event did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories have stuck with you from that moment?

I can't remember to be honest, that was some party in dungeon, I think that was Drum N Bass party, it was most popular music here in 1990-2000s. But all these people dancin or shakin ) and that energy – Epic emotions.

Can you name five tracks that were influential in your musical development?

Hard to say, but i'll try to catch five...

Faithless – Insomnia

Robert Miles – Children

Prodigy - Narayan

Storm – Storm

RMB - Spring

What led you to start the label 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.

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.

Later on you expanded by adding -102C and more recently Deepwibe Digital, tell us about those and what led to their creation?

Well I just want to release what I like. Progressive house, organic house and sometimes mixed styles or not classical progressive, so that's why I've created Deepwibe Digital and –102C, so more labels, more music I can release.

Organic House has become quite a trendy sound in electronic music this past year, in fact -102C was created to showcase this sound, what are you thoughts on the rise of this sound? And is it still growing?

I think it will grow more and more, people enjoy that sound and of course in our mad world and hard times people want to find peace in these organic house melodies.

Running three labels with a consistent release schedule like you have is a daunting task. Are you solely responsible for the A&R on all three labels? And if not, who else contributes to what gets signed or helping with the weekly duties?

Yes, just me, myself and I. Well it’s a bit hard on a beginning, but then you realise that’s your life, so just enjoying what I'm doing at the moment.

Do you have someone who you get a second opinion from when it comes to signing tracks? A significant other perhaps?

Well usually I make  all decisions, but sometimes I sending demos to my friend, who is also producers and they giving me advices.

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

I don’t know really, maybe my mood.

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.

What advice do you have for artists hoping to get signed to Deepwibe Underground or -102C?

Well there is no specific advice to be honest, but for me if producer send me a pack of the tracks, for example 3 or 4, its easier to be hear good decision from me.

Is big DJ play a factor in signing something? From someone like Hernan Cattaneo or Nick Warren for example.

Not really, if you see on our labels discography we got strong names and sometimes even artists who is making first steps in industry. Quality the first!

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

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 Deepwibe Underground discography, which one of your early releases / tracks 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.

Will we ever see a vinyl release from your labels? And what is your feeling on releasing vinyl? Does it affect the perception of a record label?

I was thinkin to start pressing –102C releases, but definitely not now. Its too complicated for me and sure will take all your time and money. But I like vinyl production, got a small collection as well.

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

Well definitely Ric Niels, the quality of his production his is high, Sebastian Sellares, Agustin Pietrocola, Fuenka. These names must watch next years!

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Actually, we thinking about label showcase, but we need time. We want that everything runs cool. Music, lineup, location, light etc. Well for me perfect line up is of course Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, Dmitry Molosh, Fuenka. And from all of them 2 hours set.

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 GT car, 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?

Ferrari F40 :)

What’s a superpower you wish you had and how would you use it?

To know what women want😊 Its just for fun 😊

If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?

Well always wanted to go to see North of Canada and Iceland. I prefer cold places. Nature, volcnos, clean forests and lakes - that’s all I need ).

What is your favorite food?

I eat everything :).

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

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

What can we expect from Deepwibe Underground and -102C for the remainder of this year – any special releases we should be looking out for?

More and  more quality releases and few big names on our –102C you will see on summer time aswell. But what I can say, that we will release less releases in future, will concentrate on EPs.

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

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