Sound Gallery is a Fuss feature where we interview a DJ or producer and invite them to curate a mix which exhibits their style, skill and talents. In this edition of the Sound Gallery we feature the leader of The Cult Of Maybe, ANG(Angela Weickl) from Cape Town. She shares her journey through music in Cape Town, the influx of independent projects, her own independent project The Cult Of Maybe and where she’s going to find the time to start producing.
Before we get into The Cult Of Maybe, tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Angela Weickl and what is your history in the music industry?
I started out as a Live Sound Engineer for bands in 2006, I then moved onto managing The Independent Armchair Theatre in Observatory. The Armchair is where I was exposed to an array of artists that influenced the path I took, it is also where I started my DJ career. I picked up a Monday night residency at Mercury Live which I held as DJ Sideshow for 2.5 years, I was also on regular rotation at other music venues in Cape Town including The Assembly and Zula. Once my DJ career picked up traction I started playing festivals like Oppikoppi and RAMfest. I delved into internet radio about 3 years ago and tried my hand at promoting with a series of events both at The Assembly and at Fiction. The real turning point in my career was in 2015 when I launched my artist agency, The Cult of Maybe, and I changed my DJ name to ANG.
Of late, there are quite a few individuals who’ve had experience in the music industry starting their own independent projects. What are some of the factors which have created an environment for people to be able to start independent projects or is it all just coincidence that there is an influx of people doing so now?
It’s not just the music industry, its the way society is progressing. Now, more than ever, it is more beneficial to be independent. It is more difficult from the outset but eventually your efforts translate into results and all your hard work reflects on you and the brand you are building rather than being another cog in the machine. The influential factors that act as catalysts in this process are definitely access to information and resources, as well as building networks of independent operators who can collaborate on a project-to-project basis without any long term commitments. You can have a full creative team working for your company this week and have no salaries and bored to staff to pay next week when there is no work.
Why did you decide to start The Cult Of Maybe now and what do you hope to achieve with it?
The Cult of Maybe was necessary because of all the effort I was putting into growing my own career and helping others with theirs. People take you more seriously when you are an organization, a company or an agency. Rather than looking like some chick who stuck her fingers in all the pies, I have a roster of artists, a social media presence and a portfolio of work to reflect my efforts.
There is also no better way to get the music you want people to hear out into the world, than by releasing it yourself and giving it the legs it deserves. And that is where the label element comes into play.
Prior to launching The Cult Of Maybe, you launched The New Slang. Tell us a bit about The New Slang and how the two projects could work together?
The New Slang is a remix project, an established SA producer offers up a track for remixing and a selection of young up-and-coming producers are given the chance to put their own spin on it. The remixes are released on an EP along with the original and the producers all play an event together. Its a great foundation for artists within The Cult of Maybe as well as outside the agency to collaborate and the idea is to bridge the gap between new and established artists.
Who are some of the artists on The Cult Of Maybe and what is the common thread for the artists signed to the label?
I manage and book for DJ CAVIAR, Plagiarhythm, Slabofmisuse, JYD, Beat Sampras, Jamie Saint, Women Who Kill, DJ Skinniez, Lonerism and Ursus & Wolf. I am the booking agent for Omar Morto and Daddy Warbucks across SA and help Buli and Vox Portent with Western Cape shows.
The common thread is drive and tenacity, I don’t represent a particular sound or genre but rather associate with artists that have the same attitude and drive as I do.
Now that you have your own label are there any plans to get take the dive from DJing into production?
I help run 16 careers including my own, and I am the events, promo and night manager at Fiction. If you can find me a spare minute, I’ll start producing.
As part of your work you compile local compilations to give to international artists who visit South Africa. Who are some of the internationals you’ve given these compilations and has anything come of these connections yet?
The first time I did it was for Drop The Lime when he played Oppikoppi, he mailed me and told me what he enjoyed on the flash drive – so at least we know he listened!
In 2015 I did the same for CTEMF and handed flashdrives to Mr Carmack, Branko, Four Tet, Soulection, Patrick Kunkel, Anja Schneider and Slugabed. The only feedback I received from that was Branko telling me he loved Jumping Back Slash and if you have been paying attention you’ll notice that they have collaborated on some work since then.
What would you say are the most important factors to consider for anyone looking to launch their own artist management agency or independent label?
Are you super organized? Do you care more about other people’s success than your own? Are you a mom, policeman, negotiator, psychologist and party animal all rolled into one and can summon any of these skills at will? If you answer yes to all of these then you’ll be OK.
What is in the pipeline for The Cult Of Maybe for 2016?
Make an impact, launch some careers in to overdrive and keep fighting the good fight.
Images: James Blyth / Stewart Innes