Rob-Luis – Tru Thoughts

What does your company do?
We are a record label (Tru Thoughts) and a publishing company (Full Thought Publishing), and we do the
majority of marketing from our office, too. So, a big part of our week is planning and actually releasing the music,
and publishing and licensing music to TV, film and adverts.
 
What is your role within the company?
I am the A&R and co-owner, so the main job is to work with artists on their releases, and to sign acts. As a co-owner I tend to be involved in lots of different parts of the business of running a label and publishing company
 
How did it start, and why?
I was running club nights in Brighton for a while and felt the need for a new challenge. I also wanted to try and get tunes to play out in my DJ sets and support artists and a sound that I was passionate about.
 
Where were you raised, and why did you come to Brighton?
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and my family came over to Walthamstow in East London, aged 4. We then moved to South Woodford on the edge of East London and next to Essex when I was 9, where I grew up till going to Brighton University aged 18.
 
Give me the pros and cons of Brighton!

Rob-Luis – Playlist
The best part of Brighton is that it is relatively small so you get to know people and bump into people (this can also be a con). I think being by the sea and the fact that many young people study here and party here also gives Brighton a dynamic energy… connected to nature but also a creative and tolerant vibe.
 
Your musical background?
When I was at university here I started a club night called Shake Yer Wig! (which helped pay my way through Uni and build up my record collection…). I used to book a wide variety of DJ’s to play at the night, like James Lavelle, Norman Cook, Fabio, LTJ Bukem, Ross Allen, Mr Scruff, Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada, The Nextmen and 4 Hero.s.
 
Highlights so far?
Quantic is someone I have worked with since 2000 and that has been a really great journey watching him develop as an artist and to release music I would not have expected to be releasing from him. It has been great to be part of the story of Bonobo. We released his debut album and helped secure his deal with Ninja Tune. It is amazing to see how far he has gone as an artist.
 
If you weren’t doing this…?
Not sure. As a child I used to really want to be a dustman, but not sure I could handle that now, at least in Brighton where they seem to be underpaid and having to strike quite a bit. So although it is a very important job it is not recognised as such. I am interested in law so if I could afford to study, being a Human Rights lawyer would be of interest.
 
What is your first love, music wise
Around 10 years old I really got into hip hop, listening to Tim Westwood on pirate radio in London. I lived in East London, right on the border of Essex so I used to listen to the soul pirate stations. Hip hop has a special place for me as I discovered where the samples were from, helping me to be introduced to so much music from the jazz, funk and soul worlds. But I have always enjoyed a variety of music; from Adam & The Ants to The Human League, and Fela Kuti to Todd Terry.
 
If you could go to any gig tonight who would you like to see?
D’Angelo would be good as I am really enjoying the current album. If I could go back in time I would love to have gone to one of the original Bronx parties with Grandmaster Flash or Afrika Bambaataa. I have heard some of the tapes of those recordings and that energy is like punk or grime… it would be slightly scary but very exciting.
 
Plans for 2015?
Very busy with a lot of releases. We have new albums coming from Harleighblu, Werkha, Quantic, Ghost Writerz, Manu Delago, J Felix and Jonny Faith amongst others.