In the decade since Defected Records released its first single, Soulsearcher’s “Can’t Get Enough,” the label has become a byword for soulful house in Britain and has grown to be one of the biggest independent record labels on the international dance scene. On April 28, the label will bring some of its top artists to Tokyo to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a night of uplifting, classic and funky house at superclub Ageha.
Perhaps the secret of the label’s success lies in its business model: None of the artists represented by Defected are actually signed to it. The label simply buys selected tracks by artists and releases them — meaning the only risk to the label is that head Simon Dunmore loses his ear for a great tune. Over the last decade, that hasn’t happened. With nearly 200 singles released through the label, as well as a series of compilations, including the big-selling “. . . In The House” series, Defected has earned praise for the chart success of the music it releases as well as criticism for being too commercial.