IMPALA - interview with Year0001 co-founder Oskar Ekman

How did you discover Viagra Boys, and why did you sign them?

They were friends, friends of friends and been around in different constellations for quite some time. The first time I came across VB I was shook. The stars aligned for them and they immediately found a purpose as a group. 

What did you think of the album the first time you heard it?

I booked them a studio session trying out with an old friend of mine (Daniel Fagerström), pretty much just to see if they catch a vibe. After the first 3 days of recordings I was invited to the studio. The room was filled with energy and expectation. They started playing the songs. “Slow Learner”, “Just Like You”, “Sports” and I was completely floored. I knew then and there I would dedicate the next few years and all our money on this project.

What’s next for YEAR0001 and Viagra Boys?

The band has dedicated themselves to touring and working this album for as long as it takes, but there’s a really strong creative energy in the group right now that makes everything feel easy and achievable. There’s still much to do on this album and there’s a lot of people that are still yet to discover it, but the band has already started think about the next project.

How is being a label different nowadays than it was, say, ten years ago?

Well, our label is really young. Our first release was early 2016 so that’s only 3 years. My background is in DIY punk, Agent, Promoter and management since 2013. Basically the label started out as a plant school for the projects that I was managing, but now after 3 years our identity and vision is strong enough to sign acts that aren’t necessarily signed to management.

I’d say, for me, the big difference between now and 10 years ago, I feel like the “record label” as a curator and creative visionary is more important than ever. 

What advice would you have for labels starting out today?

Find your purpose and narrative as early as possible. Work hard. Be transparent. Prioritize the paperwork. Ask for help.

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