In the few weeks since going live with his new label, Mega Royal Records, Dallas hip-hop producer and DJ Rob Viktum has already given away The Big Gold Instrumentals, a beat tape by Vanderslice that you can download for free via Mediafire or UserShare. And he already has ideas for upcoming releases next year including artists AWAR, AddLib & Jabee and Chief.
But don't expect everything from the label to be a freebie.
"Right now, I want to kind of ease into it," he says. "It's my way of putting out stuff I like, and it makes it easier to put out my own music. In 2010, we'll be doing freebies and selling stuff. At a certain point you realize that you're devaluing yourself by just putting out free stuff."
Fittingly, the first item for actual sale on his label will be under his own name, and a project very close to his heart: the sequel to his 2007 compilation, Progress.
Like Progress before it, Progress Volume 2 (scheduled for a January 12 release) will consist of beats created from classic and popular Cambodian music. Unlike the original, though, the sequel aims to raise money for Cambodian charities and increase local awareness on cultural climate in that overseas nation.
Viktum became aware of the horrors inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge through his wife, Tavy Um, whose family escaped Cambodia. Knowing of his interest in music, her father gave him a treasure trove of vinyl records he had managed to save--and from that collection came the bulk of the sounds created on both the initial and upcoming Progress releases.
"We're talking about music that was destroyed, music that doesn't exist anymore because it was banned," Viktum explains.
Along with more information about the upcoming release, formal announcement about the Cambodian charity to benefit from the album will be made by Mega Royal next week, Viktum says.
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