Interview: Idriss D

Today we’re catching up with Idriss D – the head honcho of Memento Records & Memento XS. This year the label is celebrating its 16-year anniversary. In this conversation, we talked about his journey and experience of running a label and its event series in Macarena club in Barcelona. He shares how important it is for him to have creative control, stay true to the vision of the brand, and also connect with his audience. He opens up on lessons learnt, and difficulties faced throughout the years. To sum things up he gives us a sneak peek into his plans leading up to 2023.

Hi Idriss! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. What have you been up to lately?

Hey guys! It’s a pleasure to be joining you for this chat 🙂 Recently I have been busy as usual. I’m currently in the middle of touring, managing my label, the agency and a beach club in Italy. I also got married in May, so it has been a busy life 🙂

Congratulations on Memento’s 16th anniversary this year! How has it been the experience of running a label? What are some important lessons you have learned throughout the years?

Thank you! I’m learning every day how to grow the profile without being mainstream. It’s important to keep the connection with the niche, so that has been the main goal. Back in 2006 launching and running a label was definitely much harder compared to nowadays so there’s been a lot of sacrifices and tears in the process. The main lesson I have learnt from this is that it’s important to keep control of your own business and follow suit with the ethos of the brand.

MEMENTO XS is an event series you have been running alongside the label. Can you tell us more about its concept and name some of the artists that took part?

I started Memento XS 6 years ago in Barcelona at the Macarena club. I wasn’t able to do weekends because of my busy schedule, but with the help of two amazing partners – Gustavo and Ivan who are the owners, we decided to run the event on Mondays. There was no outsourced PR running for this, everything was done in-house with my team. We had the same graphic designer on board for both the label and the events since the beginning. The events run every Monday of the year. XS stands for 100 pax, and the idea is to book artists from the label, artists who supported our music and who have a similar musical direction.

How would you describe the musical direction of your events?

We do electronic music, predominantly long sets. It varies from dub to more dance-oriented music. We focus on proper DJ’ing with the mission of making all people dance and smile without being banal.

If someone was to attend MEMENTO XS, what can they expect from this experience? What is it that you’re trying to create for the community with this project?

First of all a packed Monday with no tables, no seats, forbidden to sell bottles, all same level on the dance floor, one bar and the DJ booth in the middle of the room. We have a face control at the door, but it’s not just strictly related to the look. For us, attitude is really important and we try to not fail at that. Music is experimental at the beginning of the night. I can’t say more, so just come over and experience it for yourself.

You have recently announced Memento Sixteen Years at Rex Club in Paris where you have invited Carl Craig to join you for this occasion. How did you meet? What does it mean for you to have such a reputable artist joining you?

Carl is one of my favourite producers, he has done a lot for the scene. It was always a dream to collaborate with him. On top of the work, we are also really close friends with him, his wife Hagi and the whole family.

What has been your highlight MEMENTO XS night this year so far?

This year the goal for us was to reconnect with our fan base post covid. A great crowd has been coming every Monday from midnight to 5:45 in the morning.

What can we expect from Idriss D and Memento Records in the near future?

For myself, I am really happy seeing my schedule full of gigs and I want to keep this momentum leading into 2023. I am also preparing an EP on Memento Records for 2022. The label will keep pressing vinyl. We recently had a release from Dino Lenny with some amazing remixes. We have also recently launched our sixteen years merch with all the names of the producers who released on memento. Here is a link to the online shop we have set up for this.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to mention before we go?

Thanks a lot, guys! Just follow us 🙂