A YouTube channel, record label and an events promoter, Liquicity is a brand that stands for consistent quality. It defines the sub-genre of drum & bass known as ‘liquid funk’ and brings soul and an uplifting spirit sadly missing from so much dance music these days.
Maris Goudzwaard and Mark Van Der Schoot are then men behind the brand whose next release, the compilation ‘Escapism 2’, will further galvanize Liquicity’s reputation. We caught up with them for a chat and they also let us give the first taste of Maduk & Vandera’s magnificent ‘Never Stop Loving You.’
So, when and how did you guys first start working together?
Mark: We got in touch when Maris uploaded my very first track “Avalon” three years ago on his Liquicity channel. Especially because we both lived in The Netherlands we started talking more and more, until a point where we realised that we made a very good team together!
What motivated you to start the YouTube channel?
Maris: Before I started the YouTube channel in 2008 I had been listening to Drum & Bass for a few years. To be quite honest most of it I didn’t particularly like, but every now and then I’d stumble upon a track that just perfectly synced with my idea of what perfect music sounds like. It felt like I had been searching for this feeling my entire life. These tracks became very important to me personally. It didn’t take long before I found myself sifting through countless releases trying to expand that narrow selection of tracks. I knew it was necessary that the rest of the world should hear this special collection of music. I couldn’t be the only one who needed this music in my life.
Was it hard work growing the number of subscribers to where it is now or did it snowball really quickly?
Maris: The early years of Liquicity have been a time-consuming part of my life that undoubtedly required hard work. But there hasn’t been one single moment where I thought that what I was doing was “work”. I didn’t start Liquicity with an end goal in mind but I just focused on doing what I loved to do. If I’d set a goal for the channel it would’ve probably felt more like I was working towards something. With the addition of the record label and events Liquicity has turned into a full time job for both of us.
After the first tracks had been uploaded to YouTube they immediately received positive feedback. The group of followers was small, but very enthusiastic. With each upload people started praising the selection of music as well. There seemed to be a need for filtering out the particular melodic tracks that meant so much to me. Conversations started to appear underneath the videos and people were showing the channel to friends. Liquicity was the first independent music promotion channel around and it seemed to catch on quite well. Within one year Liquicity had become a solid community of likeminded people.
What triggered you taking it to the next level of becoming a label?
Maris: We realised that with so many people following the channel it would be great to release music too as the music and the YouTube channel enhance each other. The artists who got featured on the channel already became a close group of people. With the label and the events we now have the opportunity to expand this family and offer the artists more than just promotion.
Can you tell us a bit more about the events? We see more and more people talking about it!
Mark: We started in our hometown of Amsterdam two and half years ago with the first event. It was really small but one of the coolest nights ever. People came from all over Europe to the first Liquicity night and the atmosphere completely amazed us. The always-positive YouTube vibe of the Liquicity community really translated in real life. It was beautiful to see! At this point we have well-established nights in Amsterdam and Antwerp and in January we will come to London for the first time!
The tracklist for ‘Escapism 2’ has some real heavyweight names on it as well as some great emerging talent. How do you go about putting together a compilation like this?
Maris and Mark: Months of work go into a project like this. Constantly being in touch with the artists, listening to demos and making the final selection. The album shapes itself along the way. It’s not a predictable process. We really wanted a big name for this album and so we’re very happy with Logistics supplying his remix of ‘Believe’. He was one of the first artists on the channel so it is very special to us to have him featuring on the album.
Do you like other types of music? Do you ever think about having other channels?
Maris: Honestly, I appreciate any type of music when it’s played on the right occasion. I can hear when music has been produced with the right motivation behind it. I can never rule out expanding to any other genres in the future but at this point my soul is with Drum and Bass.
If someone was to try and emulate your success what advice would you would give them?
Maris: It would be quite a big task to enter the market now with a promotion channel and emulate our success as there are many YouTube channels around doing the same. However, there is always space for something new! Be sure that what you are going to offer is something unique. People love to experience someone else’s vision. Make sure that your audience believes in what your selected music is expressing. Money and success are never the right motivation behind anything and your audience will immediately sense when this is the case. Rely completely on yourself and most important of all: Enjoy it.
Premiere: Maduk & Vandera ‘Never Stop Loving You’
Pre-order ‘Escapism 2’ on iTunes http://smarturl.it/escapism2
Pre-order the Limited Edition CD http://smarturl.it/Escapism2CD