When I first met Ryan Russell and Swapneel Ukhalkar, the founders of Adrenalin Room, they had just finished playing an opening set for Super8 & Tab at San Francisco’s Vessel. I, having no idea who they were, approached them and congratulated the two on a fantastic set. Ryan immediately started chatting me up about who I was and my interest in dance music, totally disregarding the fact that we could barely hear each other in the jam packed, beats bumping nightclub. He mentioned something about a music label and ended up giving me his email.
I thought very little of it, but a few months later found myself reconnecting with the duo, and within days they had welcomed me with open arms into their Family of Friends. Since then, I have come to feel at home within the group and love everything that is Adrenalin Room.
But just what is that? What gives this particular label that X-factor that sets them apart from every other crew spinning records and making music out there? Well, I was able to sit down with the two recently and finally figure that out for myself. Ryan and Neel couldn’t be more genuine or open about their love for dance music and culture. Their answers will probably make you think twice next time you see a flier in down town San Francisco with a small but recognizable “AR” plastered in the corner.
With that, I give you Adrenalin Room.
1. When did Adrenalin Room start? Tell us about it’s humble beginnings.
We (Swapneel and Ryan) are best friends and we started Adrenalin Room together. We met through mutual friends on a life-changing trip to Ibiza years ago. During our flight to the magical island we discussed our thoughts on the future of music and realized we had very similar goals. Between the two of us we have an immense amount of combined expertise in music production, marketing and event promotion. In 2012 we created Adrenalin Room to stand as a beacon for awesome music, quality people and world-class events.
2. How have you seen the label grow since its birth 3 years ago?
What started as a passion for dance music to give unknown artists more of a voice has turned into an incredible brand. Our team has grown and our world-class events in San Francisco are consistently sold out across many of our city’s top nightclubs
Though it has grown immensely from the nothing we had when we started, we still feel like it is in its infancy. The biggest surprise to all of us are the deep friendships that have been created because of Adrenalin Room. Our initial idea was to just release music we thought was cool and different, but now that multiple artists have moved across the country to be closer to HQ in San Francisco, it has turned into what we refer to as a “Family of Friends.” Our core team has recently gone from two to eight people on staff and our artist roster is at about 25 right now.
Two years ago we started with a humble 250 person event consisting of local artists on our label and now we run about two events per month at just about all of the top nightclubs in San Francisco like Ruby Skye, Vessel and Audio.
We’re about to hit 25 releases on the label, and our pace is getting quicker and the quality even higher as we grow. We’re even gearing up to launch our first label album compilation full of originals from all of our core artists. We’re really excited to make our first big musical stamp on the industry with this album!
3. How has being based in the Bay Area influenced the sounds, productions, and events that AR give to it’s adoring fans?
We are so lucky to be based out of a city as incredible and nurturing to dance music as San Francisco. We have danced all around the country and genuinely believe our scene is the best there is. The ability to rub shoulders with the revolving door of talent and industry folk is never-ending. It’s kind of like trying to become an actor in Los Angeles or drug lord in Miami— the number of industry opportunities are uniquely high in certain hubs.
4. Speaking of fans, how does Adrenalin Room connect with the public, other than just releasing music?
We are a sentient being in a way. We exist as real people doing real things and don’t mind sharing what we’re up to. When we bring Adrenalin Room to life, we do it through events. What better way is there to listen to our music than by the artists themselves in real life alongside someone we admire?
5. Going a bit deeper into your music, what sound or sounds would you say AR strives to nourish and produce?
We look specifically for forward-thinking artists that are ahead of the industry curve when it comes to both composition and engineering. Everything we release on Adrenalin Room is always deeply musical, club-friendly and genre-bending. Much of our catalog thus far has included progressive trance, but going forward we’ll be exploring many different styles including future house, electro, moombahton and more!
6. What sets AR apart from other music labels.?
Quality products start with quality people. We have always focused on including truly genuine people in our talented family of artists, marketers, editors and promoters. On top of that, our unique combination of artistic talent and top-notch events put us in a very favorable position for growth going forward. We’re excited for the future
Pretty cool what two guys with a common interest can do with a few years of hard work. They make music, they throw parties, they have fun. They don’t try to force it, or make tons of money by building some huge music conglomerate. Adrenalin Room has an organic approach that grounds them and gives them a sense of respect for themselves as well as their fans, and they do what will give both parties the most enjoyment.
Get to know these guys. It’s good times with great people at Adrenalin Room, and the best part is that the Family of Friends is always growing.