The longstanding FADER Mix series presents new, exclusive DJ mixes from our favorite artists and producers.
It's a little mind-blowing to realize that Fade to Mind is marking its seventh anniversary this summer. That is, of course, an achievement worthy of celebration. But on the other hand, it feels like the innovative label, founded by producers Kingdom and Prince William, has been shaping club and production culture for way, way longer. The milestone feels especially impressive when you consider that Fade to Mind has wielded its incredible influence on music culture while remaining independent all along.
In honor of that history, Kingdom delivers a FADER Mix that manages to encapsulate Fade to Mind's ethos. It's a breathless journey through floating vocals and deconstructed club tracks, featuring sounds from Fade to Mind's own artists, like Leonce and Kelela, and icons like Erykah Badu and Missy Elliot. Listen below and, as Kingdom suggests, "[shake your] ass in the mirror and ponder the meaning of life!"
What do you imagine people doing while listening to this mix?
I imagine people pressing play on the mix right after you wake up, probably later than intended, having not even eaten anything yet, and you decide to pretend you are at the club even though you are in your apartment alone. Then make a smoothie if you have any frozen blackberries or avocados lying around. While you drink it look back and gaze at your own ass shaking in the mirror and ponder the meaning of life! It could function as a motivational workout mix too? Do some squats with plenty of mirrors around? Basically, you need a full-length mirror.
Is there a track in particular that stands out? Why?
This mix combines all the vocal blends and edits I gave away for free download last week. The first track “Cinderello” is one of the oldest edits I put on VIP Edition Vol. 2. For the version on this mix I added some pitched-up Tori Amos, which instantly takes me back to the first big concert I ever went to in 8th grade: Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette. Tori writhing side-saddle on the piano bench was what I came for, but I stayed to watch Alanis play the flute. I’m also excited about the last track on the mix "Getaway Kind" — my new collaboration with the incredible singer Zalma Bour that's coming out on my birthday in two weeks. It's a deep moody R&B banger with Alanis Morissette on the flute.
What music or artists do you turn to for inspiration when you're working on projects of your own?
I’ve been listening to my old freestyle records from the late '80s a lot again. In particular, the B-side dub mixes which are insanely chopped-up with tons of effects and vocal sampling on them. Also, the current wave of club music coming out of South Florida is really incredible. It's hyper sped-up, soulful, and uplifting. Aside from that I can’t stop listening to Swedish R&B queen Cherrie’s debut album Araweelo — it’s perfection! I find not knowing the language is incredibly liberating, helps me focus on the feel of the songs and not the lyrics (like an Elizabeth Fraser effect?)
This summer marks the seven-year anniversary of Fade to Mind. What are some of the most important lessons you've learned in running an independent label in this climate?
Despite some good vocal projects, I still see production as the core of the label. DJing with friends and finding new ways to make the club sexier and scarier and bang hard in weird ways. I’ve learned about letting go of and setting limits on certain relationships. Knowing when to critique and when to hold my tongue has been hard, I’ve finally learned to embrace more imperfections! The human relationships that make up a crew are as important as hard work, innovation, and precision. I personally don’t think timing matters that much though. If the music is truly great it will also be great a month later, although I think most artists would disagree with me.
Fade to Mind has directly and indirectly shaped a lot of corners of current music culture. How does it feel to celebrate that influence?
It feels pretty incredible that this group of friends from all different backgrounds and sexualities might have made an impact at that scale, together. It's hard to tell really, but I think the best is yet to come. I'm a bit nostalgic for the years I spent in N.Y.C., so I'm excited to be throwing big anniversary parties there as well as in L.A.
Tori Amos - Father Lucifer
Kingdom - Cinderello
Kingdom - Mila Brackins
Kelela - S.O.S. Edit
Uninamise - The Ages
Be3k - My Kitty Kat
Kingdom - Horeyezon
Erykah Badu - Phone Down (Kingdom Edit)
Kingdom - Gwen Yummy Neptunes
Justine Skye - Still
Kingdom - Yes Way
Leonce - Pick Up the Phone
Missy Elliott - Lick Shots
Fweago Jit - Tooted Up
Kingdom - Ryde Of Your Lyfe
P JAM - Pepper Pot (w/ Kelela - Rewind Vox)
Kingdom - Too Deep in this Formula
Kingdom - Untitled
Kingdom - Gigolo Chop
Terror Danjah - Right Now (Kingdom Edit)
DVA ft. Zoe - Come Lets Fly (Kingdom Edit)
Kingdom - Stalker 2019
Rizzla - And Stay Down
Kingdom & Zalma Bour - Getaway Kind (VIP)