If you listen to D&B for some time, you know that online music streaming platforms constantly evolve. Elder ravers know how difficult it was to find tracks you loved and we had been reliant especially on YouTube channels. The channels used to be the only source of quality free music. How does a prestigious channel begin? What does it mean to lead one of them? We asked Petr Karda, the head of Fourseason YouTube channel, which has hit a magical border with 10k subscribers last year. Petr describes himself as Liquid & Deep D&B Dealer and you will find out it fits just perfectly.
Petr, let me start with this: what does the name Fourseason mean? And why is a deer in the channel´s emblem?
The reason is that you can listen to drum´n´bass all the time. Every day, every month, every year. I like that phrase four seasons. I put words together, deleted „s“, and the name arose. And why a deer? Deer is majestic and clear as well as liquid drum´n´bass which I really love.
Great idea. How, when and why was Fourseason channel founded?
When I was teenager I ran an online radio show. Someone broadcasted house, R&B or pop. I was the only one who broadcasted drum´n´bass there and a very solid fan base grew during a few months. I used to have my own night times and people were keen to listen to my show where I presented different sets from Czech portal sety.cz and international dnbshare.com. Then I lost my laptop and I was not able to run it anymore. One year later I got a new computer as a high school student from my parents and I founded Fourseason channel. I must emphasize that it was in 2011 and I was really young, I was only sixteen. Since that moment it went faster and faster. I have been running the channel for 9 years now.
Quite a long time! Those times were a bit different, some technologies have just been developing…
Yes, the situation was very different. Tracks were not uploaded on YouTube as much as they are nowadays. SoundCloud was not developed as much as we know it now. There was no Spotify in Czech version yet. Stream platforms themselves are very progressive. Can you imagine that there was only one million paying Spotify subscribers in 2011 in Europe, while there was 40 million last year? Since 2013 I started to focus on channels such as Liquicity, Skankandbass or majesticdnb. They have become my inspiration and I have decided to follow a similar way. The main goal is to share music with people.
How it happened that Fourseason has 10k subscribers?
It is mainly a matter of time. During less than a decade I have uploaded up to 250 videos. This is not such a big number, but it is enough. When I observe other channels, they have perhaps one thousand videos what is kinda respectable. It is important not to have deadlines otherwise I pursue myself and I feel dissatisfied. It is necessary to do things with a peaceful mind. Not to hurry. I do not have a schedule and I do everything for my pleasure. The most important thing is to be able to choose the right music. I upload only the tracks which really attract me.
What exactly do you promote and why?
I promote soulful, liquid and deep drum´n´bass. I show especially unknown producers, newcomers or the ones who are not famous enough yet and they deserve to be. I am a DJ as well and I often look for music bangers that people do not know. During online searching I discover pretty tunes which are not on YouTube yet. So that it is an opportunity for them. Anyway I do not reject any tracks made by legends. It means you can find Lenzman´s or Calibre´s tracks on the channel. But in the last few years people started to send me their music so I can also choose from this. Lately they sent me some things from Fokuz Recordings or Bay6 Recordings and Fourseason is going to show some of their premiers. It is cool!
I think so! How do you get to the work of less known producers? There is such a huge production everywhere, a lot of labels spit the numbers of tracks every month.
Someone watches football, I search for music. Every day. For example I have been a subscriber of Skankandbass for many years and thanks to channels like this I discover unknown producers. And also Soundcloud, I have met a lot of excellent producers there. I am sure SoundCloud is still the best platform to explore fresh new stuff.
What is the feedback after Fouseason reached 10k subscribers?
Feedback is quite large. Especially after I have released first LP called Park on Fourseason last September. It was intended as an acknowledgment to all subscribers. Thanks to this act I was recognized by one of the best Slovakian DJ Lixx who invited me to his radio show to talk about the channel. It is a real success for me. I have feedback from renowned artists. People from Data Transmission told me they like the channel. People from Ledge Sound, DelightDnB and Liquiddnbftw want to upload something.
It seems like a joyful work. What are your objectives with the channel?
I am ambitious but let’s see how it is going on. Anyway I wish to let it grow and grow. I want to release some free EPs free for people this year. It is the similar concept as Skandandbass has, you can play their tracks in your showcase as a DJ. It is a good way.
It is good for producers and good for you too.
Yes, it is especially good for beginners. When I look at SoundCloud, I see for instance 50 subscribers on someone’s profile. When I upload his track on Fourseason it gains quickly more than one thousand views and producers are absolutely happy.
No wonder. What about Fourseason as a label?
It is right at the beginning. It is a very independent project so far, something I would like to develop. I will see how it will exactly go, it depends on whether I will like this kind of work in future, in the next few years. Label running is extremely time consuming.
Why? What is it about?
You need to prepare graphics. You need to prepare promotion. Only to upload tracks on all the platforms whether it is Spotify or Bandcamp, via all distributors, it takes a lot of time. I do all of those things by myself. I am loner in this, you can see it in my own graphic work. I want everything done well. I work hard until I am satisfied.
You prefer quality over quantity.
Yes, I do. I do not want to release track at any cost. Sometimes I have to refuse people who want me to upload their track because I do not simply like it. The reason I do not want to upload everything is that my subscribers know they can find only good music on the channel. It also makes me happy.
I think it is an advantage of solitary platforms like you run. You are not indebted to any big company and you can afford to follow your own style. What are your plans for this year?
I had six tracks on the first LP Park. I prepare the next LP, Park 2. I have already agreed six artists and I wish to agree next six to have one track from each of them.
Can you reveal any names?
I say two names: Petrol and FearBace. FearBace has already appeared in the first edition of Park. I love his track „Within“. It is one of the most beautiful tracks of the whole album, it is touching my heart. I want to release at least four EPs this year. A few days ago I have released EP Parallel Reality from Dan Guidance. Dan is British, he has been making music for a long time and I think he is underestimated. So I am glad that I could release his EP on Fourseason. You all should check it out!
I must admit that the title track „All The Love Has Gone“ is a very precise and pleasant piece of work. What about you as a DJ and party promoter?
It is a good question. I have met a great girlfriend. We both love D&B. Now we start to produce our own music. We organize parties called Bass Overdose in Prague for the third year. We had invited Technimatic, Monrroe, PRTCL, Tephra and Arkoze, Trail, Surreal.
It looks like a musical dream. Keep it going and thank you for this interview, Petr!