FatKidOnFire in 2013 - A Recap

FatKidOnFire in 2013

A Recap

2013 was a fairly productive year for the FatKidOnFire crew and I. I never quite got around to putting a ‘FKOF in 2012’ review together at this point last year, but the last 12 months have been so impressive that I figured it’d be rude not to do it for this year just gone.

The following is a rather in-depth piece, so I’d recommend setting the first FKOF mix of 2014 to play (love and thanks to The Stepchild!) and reading on…

FatKidOnFire in 2013

2013 in total site visits

We achieved a 30% year-on-year growth in both total and unique visitors to www.fatkidonfire.com, as well as a 10% increase in page views, last year. We had visits from 144 countries, up from 132 in 2012. Having launched the (mobile-optimised) FKOF2.0 in March, the biggest overhaul to what we offer on the web since our launch, we’ve seen a 103% y-o-y increase in smartphone traffic and a 110% increase in tablet traffic – which is absolutely brilliant!

We started 2013 with two of the best events we’ve ever done. On the first of February, MakeItGood and FKOF returned to Cable (RIP) to host room 2 at the GetDarker ‘This is Dubstep’ 2013 album launch party. We had six and a half hours of absolute amazing music, a capacity crowd and non-stop vibes throughout the night. Two weeks after the Cable send off, Lara and I called time on the three years and 145 features of MIG x FKOF – although we did end on a high.

A few weeks later, ToastKaiju, Congi, Quantum Soul and Killawatt joined The Illuminated and the rest of the MaasBASS family for the first FKOF takeover in Maastricht. You can probably tell how much we enjoyed ourselves – and what went down (at the main event anyway) – in Joellyn Both‘s awesome video. You can check her images from the night here. Here’s hoping we’re back in Maastricht soon!

A few weeks later, we narrowly (it was pretty damn close) beat our friends at Hedmuk to win the ‘Best Website’ category of the 2012/ 2013 Dubstepforum Awards. Which was a shock – given in the proceeding two years we didn’t even get a nomination!

In March, London welcomed the return of the founding fathers with DMZ’s 8th birthday. What a night that was. You can check the recap here and watch my personal highlight back below (although ‘DMZ Sunday’ also went down on the RC1 pretty well). Special shouts to Suraj and Lea – the amazing team behind Gritsy who flew from Texas to London for DMZ (and then travelled to Leeds for Subdub the following night and then flew back again!) – and Huy (who came to photograph the event and then misplaced his SD cards, so we never got to see his images).

We celebrated FKOF’s third birthday on 16/03/13 and reached an astonishing 5,000 followers on SoundCloud. We celebrated both with a few FKOF free downloads (including this one from Kaiju – the year’s most popular free download alongside Dubfreq’s ‘Hail Di King’) and a little teaser mix of what was to follow in April…

April brought with it the launch of our debut compilation album; the 20-track CD and digital download entitled FKOFUn/Known01.

I pressed 250 of the CDs and sold 200 in the first week – which meant spending more than my fair share of time (and money) in the Post Office getting them sent out to everyone who purchased the album. Given the response to 01, 02 might be appearing for fourth birthday celebrations this year, but more on that if it happens… For those of you who missed out earlier in the year, grab one of the few remaining albums on the FKOF Bigcartel store (and get 320s/ mix free!) or buy the digital release on the FKOF Bandcamp here.

May brought the first ever feature with Jon Evelegh; the guy who concepted, created and runs the RC1 sound system – a sound system that travels across the UK rattling chests, pupils and eardrums (and terrifying bicycles) wherever it goes. We’re hoping Jon and the RC1 team get to take the system abroad this year so the international crew get to experience the crisp power of one of – if not the – best systems around.

Interestingly, our RC1 interview turned out to be the most popular feature I did for the site last year, alongside the FKOFUn/Known01 launch post (which was the most popular post for 2013).

In the latter half of the year, we continued with the features here on the site with a number of interviews – including Hit & Run’s Rich Reason, the almighty Kryptic Minds (who have since announced the end of their collaborative career together), Author, recent Tempa signee AxH and many, many more. You can catch up on what’s happened by visiting fatkidonfire.com/interviews.

There have been two other areas of the FKOF offering that really stood out to me in 2013.

The first was undoubtedly our work with the SoundCloud account (and our musical offering in general).

After three years’ hard work, the account reached 5,000 followers in March – racking up 500,000 plays a few months later. Nine months later, we’ve reached almost 11,000 followers and 1,000,000 plays (we’ve a few weeks to go until 1M, but it won’t be long into 2014 when it happens). 68% of the account’s plays happened in 2013, which is a bit of a shock given it’s been up and running since September 2010. There’s even a SoundCloud user in Ohio who streamed our uploads 1,200 times last year. Absolutely ridiculous! We’re achieving a hugely impressive growth rate – and it’s hopefully one we can continue in the coming months.

We celebrated the 10k milestone with an extra special FKOF EP and an extra special FKOF-only 70m mix. We also broke 1,000 followers on the FKOF Mixcloud mid-2013, having hovered at around 500 followers on there for a good few years. Mixcloud still trails behind SoundCloud in terms of its userbase but it’s getting there – and we’re now uploading our mixes to both platforms.

In 2013, we gave away many a FKOF EP, championed our favourite labels and releases with the all-new FKOF Promos (that have quickly become an integral part of what we do) and even gave away our first free LP in the form of Rat’s concept album ‘Around the World in 80 Riddims’. And not forgetting the 130+ mastered FKOF Free Downloads that keep the SoundCloud account ticking over…

We also launched our FKOFd digital record label in October last year. We reached #1 on the Juno ‘Deep Dubstep’ chart with our first EP, and so far have achieved #2 or higher with every FKOFd EP we’ve released. And we’ve sold 819 tracks so far – which shows we’re well on our way to getting established. And, if you’re a fan of what we’ve been doing so far, you’ll be pleased to hear we’ve recently decided on the track list for FKOFd009; with monthly releases sorted right up to June 2014. Thank you to everyone who’s supported the label so far!

What’s the second area that stood out looking back at the past 12 months? In my opinion, it’s what we can improve on.

FatKidOnFire in 2014: What's Next?

I don’t think we’ve not done enough events yet. With those I’ve discussed earlier, we also visited Berlin for a FKOF takeover in June, but that was about it as far as FKOF’s events in 2013 went. I’m on the lookout for more venues and promoters we can collaborate with in 2014. If that’s you or someone you think we should be talking to, please get in touch! On a positive note, if you’re in the US, watch out for the #bridgethegap project TUBA NYC‘s Bakir is initiating, we’re stoked to be a part of that.

What else can we do better? Well, in our excitement to get the music side of things off the ground (which I think we’ve achieved and then some), we’ve let the fashion and tech side of things slip a bit. Both are coming back in 2014 – along with our first mobile app which is built and ready – along with a few other new bits and pieces we’re working on. We’re looking for content and new contributors at the moment, so if you’d be interested in joining the FKOF gang in some form, please get in touch!

2013 was our best year yet. Here’s hoping, with your continuing support, 2014 will be the same. We can’t do what we do without you guys, so love and thanks to each and every one of you for keeping us inspired to carry on!

Peace, love and respect.
Wil