Interview With The founder of Antonovka Records
I was blown away by the fantastic music Antonovka Records produces and was eager to know more about their operation. I reached out to the mastermind behind the label, Mr Anton Apostol, and asked him some questions about his passion for music and his vision for the future of Antonovka Records.
In our conversation, Mr Apostol was very forthcoming about the label’s early days, including how he got started in the music industry and his challenges in building a successful label from scratch. He also shared insights into his creative process and the types of music that inspire him the most.
Overall, my conversation with Mr Apostol was an enlightening experience, and I’m thrilled to be able to share my article with fellow music lovers. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did and that it deepens your appreciation for the incredible music being produced by Antonovka Records.
Anton Apostol founded Antonovka Records to record and publish traditional music from various ethnic groups worldwide. Anton’s passion for music began during his student years when he started collecting CDs. Later, he met local folk musicians and musical instrument makers on his travels and sometimes bought the instruments. Over time, his passion for traditional music led to the establishment of Antonovka Records.
Antonovka Records’ first recording was made in 2017, and its first release came in 2019. The label has worked with various artists, groups, and ensembles worldwide. Antonovka Records finds and selects artists and ensembles through social networking, local committees of culture, and the internet. The label tries to record as many ethnic groups as possible for each region they visit, not just the main and obvious ones.
The recording process is relatively straightforward. Anton and his team come on location, install their microphones and recorder, and press the big red button. The recordings are processed without adding effects, preserving the music in documentary form.
Despite the records company’s mission to provide a platform for traditional music worldwide, it faced some challenges. One of the significant problems is language barriers. Anton’s team had to find ways to communicate with the artists and understand their music. The label also needs to understand music promotion, so Anton cannot provide a detailed answer on balancing preservation and promotion.
The record company releases its music only in digital format because physical releases require more investments and resources, including time. Nevertheless, the label hopes to produce physical releases in the future.
Anton considers a few thousand monthly listeners to a particular album per month on Spotify as a success. However, the primary goal of Antonovka Records is to preserve traditional music and make it available to a broader audience. Anton believes we live in a fortunate time from tradition and innovation perspectives. The recording equipment is very convenient and affordable, and traditional music still exists to be recorded. Technology has made it easier to record and distribute traditional music worldwide. However, technology threatens traditional music, so Antonovka Records aims to preserve it.
Anton advises young musicians interested in traditional music to play and sing it. Traditional culture is declining in all countries, but it will not die because enthusiasts will keep it. Young musicians can be one of them. Anton encourages young musicians to be passionate about traditional music and be willing to learn from experienced musicians.
Antonovka Records collaborates with artists, groups, and ensembles worldwide, such as Vianey Mushabizi, Sophie Nzayisenga, and Deo Munyakazi, who are talented inanga players from Rwanda. Shuldyr, a Finno-Ugric ensemble hailing from Petrozavodsk, Russia; Kvitochka, a Golendra people ensemble from the Irkutsk region in Siberia, Russia; Damir Guagov and Asker Sapiev, Circassian musicians from Adygea, Russia, and Nuradin Osmonov and Keshali Faikov, Ahiska Turkish musicians from Kyrgyzstan.
The company discovers and selects artists and ensembles through various channels such as social networking, local committees of culture, and the internet. The label strives to record as many ethnic groups as possible from each region they visit, not just the more mainstream and popular groups.
They record and publish traditional music from various ethnic groups worldwide. Although the label aims to provide a platform for traditional music worldwide, it has faced some challenges. One of the significant hurdles was language barriers, which forced Anton’s team to find ways to communicate with artists and understand their music.
Another challenge Antonovka Records faces is the cost and time required to produce physical releases. Therefore, the label only releases its music in digital format, which requires fewer resources. However, the label hopes to create physical releases in the future.
Antonovka Records’ dedication to preserving traditional music is commendable. Its founder, Anton Apostol, believes technology has made recording and distributing traditional music worldwide easier. However, technology threatens traditional music, so Antonovka Records aims to preserve it, despite the challenges…