Defected Records and the new era of record label influence

It's a safe bet that Defected Records (and founder Simon Dunmore) will be remembered as an icon for dance music labels. This is its story.

Defected Records and the new era of record label influence

Defected Records, a name that has become synonymous with house music, has been a driving force in the genre for over two decades. Founded by Simon Dunmore in 1999, Defected has grown from a small independent label into a global music brand, consistently delivering quality house music to the masses. Simon Dunmore, the man behind Defected Records, is a figure of immense importance in the house music scene. Raised on a diet of music and clubs, Dunmore's journey began as an A&R man at Cooltempo, AM:PM and A&M Records, where he honed his skills in identifying and nurturing talent. His passion for house music and his keen ear for potential hits led him to establish Defected Records. Dunmore's vision for Defected was clear from the outset: to create a label that would consistently deliver high-quality house music, and over the years, he has done just that.

Defining the Sound of House

Defected's first release, Soulsearcher's 'I Can't Get Enough', was a commercial success, reaching No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. This initial success was a sign of things to come. Over the years, Defected has released numerous albums that have not only topped the charts but also helped shape the sound of house music.

One of the label's most notable releases is Kings of Tomorrow's 'Finally', a track that has become a timeless classic in the house music scene. Another standout release is Bob Sinclar's 'Paradise', an album that encapsulated the funky and soulful side of house music. More recently, Defected has seen success with albums like 'In The House' and 'For The Love Of House' series, which showcase the breadth and depth of house music.

Defected's discography is a testament to its commitment to quality and innovation. The label's releases, such as John Summit's 'Deep End', Meduza's 'Born To Love', and CamelPhat's 'Hypercolour', have consistently pushed the boundaries of house music, introducing new sounds and styles to the genre. These chart-topping releases have not only earned Defected a place in the annals of house music history but also helped define the genre's evolving sound.

Defected Events Goes Worldwide

Defected's influence extends far beyond its music releases. The label has made a significant impact on the live music scene, hosting events that have become a staple for house music fans worldwide. The annual Defected Croatia festival is a six-day celebration of house music, featuring a lineup of artists from the Defected roster and beyond. The festival, set against the stunning backdrop of the Adriatic Sea, offers a unique blend of music, culture, and community.

In addition to the Croatia festival, Defected hosts regular nights at Ibiza superclub Eden. These events, known for their electric atmosphere and top-tier lineups, have become a must-attend for anyone visiting the White Isle during the summer season. Defected's events are more than just parties; they are a celebration of house music and a testament to the label's commitment to the genre.

Defected's event portfolio is continually expanding, with recent announcements of a North and South America tour across five major US cities and two shows in Brazil. The label also hosts unique events like The Lonely Hearts Club and D4 D4NCE X O BEACH WEEK, further diversifying its offerings and reaching out to new audiences. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Defected has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability, continuing to celebrate house music and connect with fans worldwide.

Embracing the Digital Realm

In recent years, Defected has also made significant strides in the digital realm. The label's weekly radio show, hosted by Sam Divine, has become a must-listen for house music fans worldwide. Meanwhile, the Defected Virtual Festival, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrated the label's ability to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances. Defected's digital initiatives extend to its commitment to fair artist compensation, with the label setting a minimum 30% digital royalty rate for its artists. This move, while not a drastic change for many on Defected's roster, signals the label's dedication to its artists and serves as a call to action within the industry.

The label's digital presence has grown significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 5 million fans across various digital platforms, Defected has added another 2.6 million since hosting its virtual festival from Ministry of Sound in March 2020. This growth underscores the label's successful transition to the digital realm and its ability to connect with fans in an increasingly online world.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Defected Records

As Defected Records enters its third decade, it shows no signs of slowing down. The label continues to release chart-topping tracks, host sold-out events, and champion the sound of house music. In a music landscape that is constantly evolving, Defected's commitment to its roots is both refreshing and inspiring.

Looking ahead, Defected has exciting plans in store. The label has announced its return to Ibiza for a summer 2023 residency, continuing a tradition that has been in place since 2001. Furthermore, Defected's new owner, Wez Saunders, has expressed his commitment to preserving the label's legacy, stating, "I want to continue the work that made me a fan of Defected."

More Than Just a Record Label

In conclusion, Defected Records is more than just a record label. It's a movement, a lifestyle, and above all, a testament to the enduring appeal of house music. As we look to the future, one thing is certain: Defected will continue to be at the forefront, shaping the sound of house music for years to come.

Defected's success is not just about the music it releases, but also about the community it has built. The label has fostered a sense of belonging among house music fans, creating a global family united by a shared love of the genre. As Simon Dunmore once said, "Defected is not a record label anymore. We're much more than that." This ethos is evident in everything Defected does, from its chart-topping releases to its worldwide events and digital initiatives. As Defected continues to evolve and grow, it remains committed to its mission: to bring people together through house music.