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Driven By Passion: Julien Passeron, AKA Moojo, Founder, Calamar Records Originally from France, and with Calamar Records headquartered at Hong Kong, Moojo is now hoping to bring his record label's house and indie music expertise to the UAE as well.

By Entrepreneur Middle East Staff Edited by Aby Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Calamar Records

As someone who began his music career at the age of 14, DJ and music producer Julien Passeron -professionally known as Moojo- is well versed with the ins and outs of how the music industry works. But when certain hurdles related to record labels kept becoming a persistent thorn in his journey, he decided to tackle them by taking matters into his own hands by launching electronic music label Calamar Records.

"The ultimate vision for the Calamar Records label is simple- for it to grow around the globe, and for us to be able to launch parties with the label in several cities, which we have already done in Hong Kong and Saint Tropez," he says. "The vision is to always set the goal higher. The motto of the label speaks for itself: 'we rise by lifting others.'" Moojo launched the label with eight of his close friends in the industry, who he emphasizes are "more like family than friends."

Originally from France, and with Calamar Records headquartered at Hong Kong, Moojo is now hoping to bring his record label's house and indie music expertise to the UAE as well. "The UAE music market is growing step by step," he says. "But, honestly, I believe it's missing out on a lot of local talent, because I know there are quite a few, especially in the electronic music industry. The country has so much to offer, in my opinion, and I'm talking particularly about the nightlife industry."

Excerpts from a chat with Moojo:

How have you been able to balance your passion for music and your responsibilities as the founder of Calamar Records?

It's a lot of work, but mostly, it's also my passion. I feel like my "music label owner" title is fitting me well, but it's also so interesting to discover new talents, help your friends on their projects, share ideas, and making people discover your world through your music and your label. I believe it's a long-term vision, a form of storytelling.

How similar, or different, are the processes of producing music and running a business?

Music is my passion, but it's a business too. My vision on this is that you should work with a team full of people that you trust. I don't believe any business in the world is one that you can make by yourself- it's team work, and there is always going to be someone better than you at something. So, you just need to be smart and patient.

Could you describe the kind of artists you like to work with at your label?

I like people with talent, but I especially appreciate people with ambition and charisma. You need to feel good in your sneakers, and be confident about yourself to make it as an artist. After all this, of course, musically, it's important to have a signature sound- to sound different from others. Nothing is impossible, however. If you have a dream, you need to give it your 1000% if you want to make it. But as an artist, my dream is to collaborate with known names such as Jorja Smith, Burna Boy, and Drake in the future. I'm sure that if we mix something from our different musical universes, it can be dope. I already have so many ideas!

How do you maintain an approach where you can stay true to yourself and the art you create?

Honestly, I don't look that much at what others do. I've always wanted to do music the way I love it, and if people like it, it's simply a bonus. I don't try to follow a trend or whatever. I believe you should follow your first intention. Besides, there is so much music released everywhere, every day, that you can't really follow everything. So, just stay true to your art, and believe in yourself.

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