Kidnap Kid: Black Butter Records’ Burgeoning Underdog
Since its inception in 2010, Black Butter Records has seen a nearly unprecedented rise in popularity, expanding from a homegrown record label created by Stackhouse Management founders, Olly Wood, Henry Village, and Joe Gossa, to promote their artists, to one of the dance music’s premier imprints. By putting the onus of the label on quality, rather than quantity, putting careful consideration into its artist signings, and not letting traditional genre barriers confine them within a specific sound, Black Butter Records has quickly risen to the top through consistently fantastic releases.
The label’s first release of the Soundclash EP featuring Jessie Ware by RackNRuin, but it wasn’t until the release of Rudimental’s single, “Feel the Love,” featuring John Newman, that Black Butter Records was considered to be at the forefront of the UK’s house and garage resurgence, led by the likes of Rudimental and Disclosure. With its their diverse range of music or family-esque feel of their roster, Black Butter Records has developed a nearly fanatical following both in the UK and the rest of the world, and in the United States, it seems as if the label can do no wrong, whether it be their music, or one of their many label-affiliated parties.
The UK-based record label boasts an impressive roster featuring both superstars and exciting upcomers in the dance music scene. Black Butter Records is responsible for the success of many heavyweight artists like Gorgon City and Rudimental, while still finding time to help build the careers of their young talents like My Nu Leng and Wayward, in addition to releasing tracks by the likes of the Grammy-winning quartet, Clean Bandit. While superstars like Gorgon City and Rudimental are archetypes of the success of Black Butter Records, the cornerstones of the franchise lie in their artists like Kidnap Kid.
Hailing from Sheffield, Matt Relton, or better known as as the producer, Kidnap Kid, has developed himself into one of the UK club scene’s favorite artists, thanks to his unique style of groove-driven house. Relton developed a passion for music early, as he began playing the drums at the age of 10, and the bass at the age of 12, and this early love for music eventually set the foundation for him to begin producing electronic music at the age of 15.
While Relton saw marginal success with the releases of his first two EPs, The Great Confusion, and, The Apocalypse of John, in 2011, it wasn’t until his signing to Black Butter Records that his career took off. He made his BB debut in 2012 with his single, “Vehl,” which marked a major turning point in the burgeoning artist’s career. The single was released while Relton was still a student at the University of Leeds, marking him as one of the few, if any, artists to be awarded iTunes’ “Best Electronic Song,” while being enrolled in school. Relton continued his trek towards stardom as Kidnap Kid, releasing his third EP, and first on Black Butter Records, Alphaville, which was a resounding success.
Following the release of Alphaville, Kidnap Kid made a name for himself with a string of highly successful singles and remixes, including his own imaginations of Disclosure’s track, “Tenderly,” and Naughty Boy’s tune, “Wonder.” His single, “Stronger,” showcased an evolution in Kidnap Kid’s sound, as he moved away from his signature vocal-centric style to a sleeker, darker house technique that has come to define his tracks as of late.
While Relton’s production ability has played a key role in his growth as an artist, Kidnap Kid has cemented his legacy as a cornerstone for Black Butter Records as a DJ. Even as Relton tours around the world with the likes of Disclosure, TEED, and Clean Bandit, Kidnap Kid is a mainstay on all Black Butter Records showcases, as his dance-floor-ready outputs showcase the perfect marriage between Black Butter Records and their artists.
In March, Relton took to South Beach during Winter Music Conference, taking over Treehouse nightclub alongside his label mates, Gorgon City, My Nu Leng, and Wayward, for a Black Butter Records showcase. Just weeks later, Relton traveled to New York for MATTE and Black Butter’s “A PARTY.” Now, with Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival fast approaching, Kidnap Kid is making his way to the Motor City for the official Movement afterparty, where he, alongside Gorgon City, will be showcasing Black Butter Records at its finest.
Tickets to the Black Butter showcase and Movement afterparty in Detroit are still available, and you can get yours here.
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