Derek Davies is the Co Founder of Neon Gold, a boutique record label based in New York City and distributed worldwide through Columbia Records, specializing in the finest and most credible pop music the world has to offer. Despite their relatively short history, Neon Gold has already produced singles for such noteworthy acts as Passion Pit, Gotye, Marina and the Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, and several others.
WHAT'S THE FIRST RECORD YOU REMEMBER THAT HAD A BIG INFLUENCE ON YOU ?
It wasn't the first record that had a significant influence on me, but Bloc Party's Silent Alarm was probably the record that made me realize music is what I wanted to with my life. I distinctly remember being a junior in high school and calling my friend (and now business partner) who lived in London at the time and asking her to pick it up from the record store on its UK release day and send it to me over instant messenger, and then listening to barely anything else for the rest of that year.
THUS FAR WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING PART OF YOUR CAREER?
Is it lame to say every single day? It just seems like everything's constantly getting more exciting. Five years ago when we started out in New York and were spending a lot of time in London it was just great to find people we liked that were our age and working in the same space as us with similar aspirations. And now most of those same friends are selling out shows across the country and really making it happen for themselves. Shit, a couple of them even have Grammys now. And for us, having started out releasing vinyl singles from our dorm rooms, to having been given the chance to put out full length records through Columbia and now running a successful live promotions arm with monthly club nights in different cities across the country… It just keeps getting better.
WHATS THE BEST WORDS OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD?
It’s a simple one, but just to take every meeting you can because you never know what will come of it, even if it’s five years down the line. Someone told us that early on, and we’ve always kept it close to heart.
WHAT WEBSITES AND MAGAZINES DO YOU READ ON A REGULAR BASIS?
I don’t have as much time for books and magazines as I’d like unless I’m traveling, but I subscribe to Billboard and try to keep up with it every week. Online, I’ve got a number of blogs I check regularly (Disco Naivete, All Things Go and Abeano are favorites), and Popjustice has always been a frequent destination for me as the gold standard in pop music journalism as far as I’m concerned.
WHAT'S THE LAST 3 ALBUMS YOU LISTENED TOO?
Alt-J’s record was my favorite album of last year, and they were in town recently so I’ve been listening to that a lot lately. And someone played me the debut from a new artist called Until The Ribbon Breaks last week which was just jaw-dropping. Mainly though I’ve been listening to St. Lucia’s forthcoming debut album nonstop, as we’re putting it out as our first album release ever this summer and are putting the finishing touches on it now. It’s going to be something really special.