They also run Get Twisted - a label born back in 2012 that found itself at the epicentre of the nu disco, deep house and grooving garage explosion taking hold of London's underground scene.
Championed by everyone from Radio One's Annie Mac to Audio Rehab's Mark Radford, the label has earned a solid reputation for showcasing the more forward thinking edge of modern club music, complete with 'disco infused melodies, straight gangster hooks and bumping dirty basslines'.
Ahead of their label showcase at London superclub Ministry Of Sound on Saturday April 18th, we caught up with Tough Love to get a behind the scenes look at one of the country's most talked about underground record labels.
You’re a relatively new label - what have you learnt since 2012?
We’ve learnt loads about the industry since we opened and will continue to do so. We do almost everything in house from A&R of the record to plug and promo. We treat every artists we sign in the same way we would like to be treated and so far it's served us pretty well.
We’re in the process of doing our third major upstream deal in six months, we’ve just bagged our first national hit as a label and we’re just getting started.
What are the challenges of starting up a record label?
From where we’re standing reputation is everything, when you start it's important to build consistent momentum. We’re building a sustainable label that looks after its own. Signing artists and key records can be tough as it's a competitive business, as is getting getting key positioning in stores.
All these things come with time once you’ve started to make in impact on the scene and have built your reputation.
What’s changed in the way you operate since then?
We have a clear strategy set out with every record we sign. We now have a bit more support around the label which allows everyone involved to focus clearly on their roles, which in turn means a better delivery and end product.
What have been the releases that you’re most proud of?
We’ll always look back at our first release fondly, we took it to vinyl and then digitally. It was a four track sampler which included releases from Hannah Wants and Chris Lorenzo, Denney (above), Lee Webster and ourselves, way ahead of its time and it set the standard for the label.
Which are the releases that you think define Get Twisted as a whole?
Probably three - Tough Love 'So Freakin' Tight', Amine Edge & DANCE VS Tough Love 'The Perfect Love EP' and Hannah Wants and Chris Lorenzo 'Oochie Bang' (below).
As Tough Love, you’ve just had your track ‘So Freakin Tight’ put out on Island. What about that record label do you see in your own, and which parts of it do you aspire to be like?
It actually came out on Get Twisted and Island, so it was a team effort all the way through the campaign. It was vital to us that we partnered with a label that not only understood us as artists, but also as a label, our ethics, our brand and our dreams.
Island got it from very early on, they had the drive & determination to take this record from club level & make it a hit now on a global scale. Although they’re a major they still have a family feel & they’re accessible. All key factors for us!
What’s the sound of summer according to Get Twisted?
We’ve got a lot of big summer piano based records coming out from the likes of Purple Disco Machine, Taim and Mandal that we think are going to have a huge impact. Watch this space!
What tracks do you think are going to get crowds really going for it on the 18th?
We’ve got loads of new unreleased material that we’ve been holding just for this show which we’re excited about. We’ve also got a couple of new records with the S-Man Roger Sanchez which we’ll drop together in the box which will be a pretty special moment.
What advice would you give yourselves as label managers back in 2012?