The Daily Street

March 1st, 2011 | Magazine

In the eighteen months since its inception, The Daily Street site has quickly garnered a respected reputation that belies its short tenure, bringing the reader up to the minute news and features on street fashion and underground music. Its forward-thinking attitude and inherent sense of style has made it a regular haunt for those in the know, with the site continuing to grow each day. Ranging from news pieces through their blog to in-depth features to their impressive mixtape series, The Daily Street stands on the frontline as an urban lifestyle site. Enjoy the interview with founder Alex Powis below while listening to a random Daily Street podcast.

Firstly, what is The Daily Street and what exactly is your involvement with it?
The Daily Street is a UK focused urban fashion and lifestyle blog. That kinda sums it up in a nutshell. As well as the blog, which is the main core of the site, we also have magazine style features and a monthly mixtape series that we host using Official FM.
I am one of the 3 founders of the site from way-back-when. These days I’m an editor, looking after a couple of our writers and overseeing topics such as sneakers and menswear. I also curate the mixtape series and handle our twitter presence amongst other things.

What are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently pushing our most recent mixtape by Lung and organizing the next few mixtapes, which I’m really excited about – some relatively unknown names who are gonna be huge this year and some already huge ones. I can’t leak any names unfortunately, but I’m really excited about some of the people we have lined up.
On a grander scale, we’re starting our long overdue rebuild of the site, which should be completed in just under 3 months time. We’ve been going roughly a year and a half now with basically the same site since we started, so it’s time we upgraded. I can’t wait for people to finally see what we’ve been planning. It’s not too big a change in terms of how it looks, but it’s gonna feel so much smoother and logical to use. Exciting stuff!

What would be your dream online music service?
This is a tough one, partly because one of the key factors of how useful a music website is is how active and large the community around it is. Make sense? The more often a site is used, the more useful it is to people like me. But usability is also highly important. I guess my dream online music service would have rapid upload and download speeds, a well designed and easy to use player, a strong online presence and community, incredible social media integration and analytics similar to the standard of Google Analytics. That’s the dream requirements.

How do you keep in contact with your fans? Through your site, community sites…?
We keep in touch with our fans through a number of different ways. Firstly, the comments section on our website; we read through every comment that is submitted, replying to any that ask questions and often joining in the conversation ourselves. We also reply to everything on Twitter and Facebook and have a really strong connection with our fans on both – it’s really nice. Other than that, there’s always email. We all have our emails up on the site and are more than open to people emailing in with questions or suggestions. It’s not unusual for people to email the info account saying that they are coming to London and asking for advice on what stores to visit. I really enjoy those emails, it’s very flattering and it feels like a really practical side of what we do.

Is there any feature/service we could build for you?
Yes, most probably. A desktop uploader might be a good look? Depends if it would make much difference to the upload time or not. I think going into serious depth on analytics couldn’t harm, especially when it comes to player embeds and how many hits/plays/downloads they are getting. That information is really important to me. A music site with serious analytics would be incredible. A Facebook app would be really useful, so I could embed all of the mixtapes into a nice list under one tab on our fan page for people to play direct from Facebook. That would be very handy. Do you guys have an iPhone app? That could help increase plays. Dunno, I’m freestyling here.

Do you think that giving away music for free (as free mp3 or streaming) could help sell more physical or even digital releases?
I’m quite strongly opinionated about this one. I think that the majority of free music (mp3 or streamed) will boost sales … when used properly. Obviously just giving away full tracks is not gonna boost sales, as the listener will already have it. But mixtapes like ours, for example, are only going to aid sales. It’s only really the major labels that are struggling to grasp this concept, that mixtapes (streamed or downloaded) are a really good promotional source that boost the profile of artists and specific songs, in term boosting awareness of releases and therefore potentially increasing sales. Personally, I would be encouraging it as a label owner, as long as it’s not the entire track and it’s not separated track-for-track. That is important. Streaming and downloading of music isn’t going to go away, so people need to learn to look at the good side of it and see it’s positive advantages.

What tools are you using the most online? How do you use internet on a day to day basis, what sites besides do you use to spread your music over internet?
The tools I use most online are the basics – Twitter and Facebook. After that it is most likely music sites, so Official FM, Soundcloud and Mixcloud. Or on a more personal level, Tumblr. I love that site – their simplicity and functionality is amazing. When it comes to spreading music over the internet, I use all of my social media outlets on twitter and facebook, but then I also use a select list of blogs, sending info to them for them to blog, it’s a really good way to get your music heard. However, you gotta do your research and make sure that you’re sending relevant info for that specific blog, otherwise you’re just going to be spamming their inbox and no one likes that.

What are the next musical trends you see emerging?
Well, this Juke music seems to be getting a lot of spins in people’s sets, but I just feel like the UK crowd isn’t ready for it. The DJ’s keep spinning it and the crowd seems to stand their confused. I’m not saying they don’t like it, but it’s a very difficult tempo to work with, especially for a full hour. Maybe they’ll come round to it? Maybe not.
Also, the 110bpm region seems to be growing in popularity. A lot of people slowing things down at the moment and working in that region, which is really exciting. A prime example being Jamie XX’s mix for Benji B’s Radio 1 show a few months back. I could see that doing better than Juke – it’s easier to dance to and it’s got a real cool vibe to it. We’ll see if either of those stick around, you can never really tell.