DJ Sam Young has been providing the soundtrack to elite parties on the London scene since he was 14 years old. Today you’ll find him behind the decks at The Playboy Club, Boujis, Chinawhite and any celebrity party worth its salt/that can afford him.
He became the first European DJ to sign to the prestigious US agency SKAM in 2010 and regularly tours the slick club scene stateside.
However, he is also the man behind Nod Factor records – a, independent dance music label set up to release his own tunes and remixes and also those of hot fellow DJs and emerging talent.
Sam explains ‘,The label came about because I was making a lot of music of my own that I wanted to put out and I didn't want to be chasing other A&R's for an answer. Then word got out I had a label and I started receiving a lot of good music from producers and DJ's I know. The label doesn't have a specific musical style but it does tend to lean towards good electronic and house music.’
No stranger to the business side of the music industry, Sam worked himself in A&R for a small label called Concept Music before he DJ'ed full time. He signed Kasabian to Sony BMG, who then went on to become one of the biggest rock bands in the UK.
Sam quips wryly ‘, Generally I think DJ's can tell what’s next and what’s going to be hot…’
A notable ‘hot release’ on Nod Factor was Rosie Gaines vs Sam Young 'Closer than Close' – a reworking of a dancefloor classic by Sam which then took on a life of its own as it was remixed by hundreds more DJs, including The Loose Cannons, Lee Mortimer and Feral Youth. ( www.beatport.com)
The son of celebrity photographer Richard Young, Sam grew up in bustling West London surrounded by music and culture. ‘The first cassette I made sure I had was Bobby Brown's 'Don't be Cruel' album,’ Sam recalls ‘,Growing up in the 80's I was an avid collector of albums and used to wear out the batteries on my Walkman regularly. I used to love making tapes for friends of mine and introducing them to new music. At one point I even had a small hustle selling mix tapes to shops in Kensington Market.’
Simpler times to the digital download and file sharing culture of today.
Sam adds ‘, I think any digital label these days makes their money from getting tracks on compilations and tv/film. Unless you are a huge DJ like a Guetta or one of Swedish House Mafia you will find it hard to make money from digital sales. Those guys have insane followings and marketing budgets behind them…’
Nod Factor is about creating a vibe, it seems. Tracks are sent to DJ mates, promoted through social networks and – of course – via the dancefloor Each release carries the branding of the line drawn Nod Factor ‘headphones’ logo – harking back to an era of record shops stocked with limited edition white-label vinyl with handwritten labels or cheaply printed stickers on them.. DMC World recently described Nod Factor simply: ‘cool as f*ck’.
Sam says he gets most of his music online now ‘, I get sent a lot of music from various labels and promo companies. I do tend to check a lot of blogs and Beatport for new releases also. Soundcloud is also a good place to search for obscure edits and bootlegs.’
But when asked what tune would he would never part with? ‘, It’s a hard question for any DJ. But I would say I would never part company with any tunes made by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince or Jodeci. They are four all-time faves!’
Listen to some great sounds on Nod Factor: