andfriends is the brand new label from Mr. Smooth himself Uly, a long-held ambition by the hardcore artists turned soulman.
“I want to push the boundaries and do everything on a bigger scale,” Uly told us of the andfriends project back in January, when we interviewed him for our Plec Picks series. “I want to start a label, start releasing my own music and music from my friends. I want to have a career in music, so I need to learn about all the moving parts of the industry.”
The first release on andfriends is Ev Carm’s debut single Laugh Again. Uly describes Ev Carm as an “incredible artist” who has “hundreds and hundreds of songs”.
Laugh Again is the perfect debut release for the label whose mission statement is to create and release music with Uly’s network of collaborators including Nealo, Innrspace and Ev Carm.
“To make art with friends that we all feel good about, that’s the goal. If we can do that, game on. It’s a bit of a cliche but you gotta make (music) for yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do, even if it doesn’t make sense and I don’t understand it.”
It’s a sentiment that Ev Carm fully agrees with: “Being apart of andfriends records is a real treat, because all though I like to write and record alone at the moment, community has always been the most important part of art for me. Getting to work with my close friends Rafino Murphy, who runs the label, Peggie McKeon who did the single artwork, Donal Talbot and Clare Lyons, who worked on the press photography, Adam Garrett who mastered the track, and hopefully more and more amazing artists, has been a blast.”
As well as working with Nealo and his Innrspace compatriots, Uly has also been working with rising bedroom producer and fellow Plec Pick April, who he describes as “extremely talented, she’s gonna blow the fuck up.”
As well as more music for the andfriends beehive Uly plans to release his debut album in 2020, something which Uly describes as “a bucket-list moment”.