Beatport Hype: Hot Fuss
One of the freshest and most noteworthy purveyors of blistering electronic music, Belgian imprint Hot Fuss knows exactly what clubs all over the world are hungry for. Started up by Sem Thomasson in 2018, the imprint isn’t evasive about what their mission is — making accessible house and tech house music that will bring people from all walks of life together on the dance floor.
Pushing out humid and heavy singles, EPs, and compilations at an incredible rate, Hot Fuss gained widespread attention from the scene after releasing NightFunk’s remix of the Technotronic classic, “Pump The Jam“. After this spicy rework climbed the charts to Beatport’s overall number one spot back in June of 2020, the dance floor arsenal that Hot Fuss has built up since then has only served to impress audiences further. Their catalog includes audacious tracks from Belgian house music all-stars and international acts alike, such as Dario Baldasari, Withus, Kagge & Bowen, Mathy, Jana, Heff Teppa, and more. All in all, Hot Fuss is shaping up to becoming one of dance music’s go-to outlets for unmissable tech house heat.
We caught up with label head Sem Thomasson — who recently introduced his new HURM alias via an exclusive Beatport livestream — to learn more about the plans Hot Fuss has for future dance floors. He also provided us with an energetic mix that will give listeners the low down on what Hot Fuss is all about.
When did you first fall in love with dance music?
I can’t really recall when it was, but I remember watching a television show in my childhood named The Deejays on a Belgian television channel. They showed the life of a DJ, the atmosphere in clubs, and that really triggered my interest in electronic music. I think I must have been around eight years old. A few years later, Santa Claus gave me a digital sampler to play around with music, and that’s how it all started.
What motivated you to start a label in the first place?
In 2006, I founded my first label. It existed for only a couple of years, but the basic idea behind it was getting my music out. It was super hard to gain attention from big labels as a “new” act, so I decided to release music myself. That way, I built a name for myself and could release on my dream labels a few years later. After a very successful period, back in 2018, I was eager to go back to the roots and start an imprint that focused on music that I love along with my friends. That’s how Hot Fuss was born.
What are you typically looking for in an artist before signing them to Hot Fuss? Who are some of Hot Fuss’ most essential acts?
With Hot Fuss, we want to bring accessible club music to the forefront, whether it’s pure house music or tech house. It needs to fit in every club night. We are looking for honest and pure club music. Besides having some long time friends signed to the label, we are also working a lot with NightFunk, who has a momentum since his Beatport number one — a remix of Technotronic’s “Pump The Jam.” Recently we signed a talented guy named Dario Baldasari, who we will work with closely over the next few years.
How did you come up with the name and design for the Hot Fuss logo?
The name Hot Fuss comes from the idea of creating hype with music. Back in the day, hits were born from the clubbing culture. We want to bring the hype and the fuss around clubbing back. The logo is formed in a timeless design but hints at the early clubbing days.
Describe the type of dance floor that you would typically find a Hot Fuss track being played. Who are some big-name acts that have supported you in the past?
When I think of Hot Fuss, I think of a dance floor in a warm and cozy club or playing on an open-air festival stage somewhere in the woods during a warm sunset. Oh God, saying that makes me only miss nightlife even more. Bloody Covid-19. Anyway, we are happy to have gained support on our tracks over the last year from both commercial as underground names from Michael Bibi and Patrick Topping to David Guetta and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike.
You were supposed to host several stages during summer festivals this year before COVID. What were some of the events you were meant to play, and what are your hopes for next summer?
This summer, we would have made our hosting debut with stages on several Belgian festivals such as Sunrise Festival and Genk On Stage. It would have been an excellent test for us and brought significant exposure to help grow the label. Luckily, most lineups are moved to next year, although I don’t have high hopes for the summer season. Realistically, I think we are looking at autumn next year before events are fully back.
Can you give us some insight into your weekly livestream series, Hot Fuss Summer Camp? What artists would play, and how would you describe the overall vibe?
This past summer, like most DJs and labels, we did a series of livestreams. We invited mainly Belgian DJs for the stream who are artists or supporters of the label. It was a great way of staying in the picture, and we noticed the overall solidarity has grown. Despite Covid-19, we had a taste of great upcoming music and felt the Belgian scene’s affection and unity.
What can we expect next from Hot Fuss?
We received some great demos the last few months, and some of our key artists have excellent releases lined up. We want to release even more music and keep growing as a label, but first and foremost, we plan to keep putting out the music we love.
Tell us about the mix you put together for us.
It’s a mix of mainly Hot Fuss releases: approachable house and tech house vibes. Perfect listen for a party setting at home or in your car!