Record Label Spotlight: Daptone Records

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Over the last 20 years, HIP Video Promo has enjoyed working with some of the most outstanding and iconic record companies within the music industry. Every Tuesday, we’ll go down memory lane and talk about some of our favorite record labels we’ve worked with in the past. This week, we’re continuing with the fantastic Daptone Records.

Daptone Records is an American record label founded in 2001 by Bosco Mann and Neal Sugarman in Brooklyn, NY. Daptone specializes in independent funk and soul artists and albums. Before there was Daptone, Mann had previously run what is now known as Desco Record Label. The sound began when The Dap-Kings and Mark Ronson backed Amy Winehouse in their recording studio. Daptone’s offices and recording studio were located in a converted two-family home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The studio itself, Daptone House of Soul, was built from scratch by the label itself, and they prided themselves on creating music the old-fashioned way. They relied on only tape machines and CD recorders and absolutely no computers – something extremely rare not only in the music industry but in any industry.

Throughout the years, Daptone Records has had its share of amazingly talented artists, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley here at HIP Video Promo.

In 2010, HIP Video Promo worked with Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. This dynamite group has mastered the art of funk and soul music and has achieved success in almost every aspect. These music vets know exactly what to do to deliver a powerful, emotional, and soulful performance. In 2010, we promoted their “I Learned the Hard Way” video. The video shows Sharon arguing with a guy outside of a bar. It then transforms to Sharon alone on a beach, daydreaming of the good times the two lovers had together. This video was shot and filmed shortly before Sharon was diagnosed with cancer.



Another video we got to promote is the “Stranger to My Happiness” video in 2014. With this video, we’re invited to a wedding after-party, where all the guests have left, and all who’s left is the band. In this video, Miss Jones decides to show off her hair. In between the two videos, Sharon went through chemotherapy, which resulted in losing her hair. However, she did not let it define her; she’s always been herself with or without the wig, and she wasn’t about to change that. In 2016 Sharon Jones lost her battle with cancer and passed away in Cooperstown, NY. She was 60 years old. We are so honored to have had the chance to work with such a resilient and beautiful person.



Another Daptone Records artist we’ve had the honor of working with is Charles Bradley. Charles Bradley was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and spent a great deal of his childhood on the streets. But his destiny changed when he got a ticket to see James Brown at the Apollo in 1964. He would spend the next few years of his life chasing job after job from Maine to Alaska. His music dream was still alive all those years, and fate again came into play and brought Bradley back home to Brooklyn, where he found Daptone Records. In 2011 HIP Video Promo helped with his video for “The World (Is Going Up in Flames)”. This funky ’60s inspired song is paired with an even more fun video. The video shows Charles on the rooftops and subway stops in New York City and Brooklyn. Sadly in 2017, Charles Bradley lost his fight with cancer and passed away in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY. He was 67. We are so honored to have had the chance to work with such a talented man.



Daptone Records is the mecca of everything soul and funk music and some of the most talented musicians we’ve had the honor of working with. Their artists all have some back story that sets them apart from the rest and makes you want to sit up and listen. We are so honored to have had the chance to work with some of the best soul and funk singers the music industry has ever seen, but we know they live on in their music. It’s no wonder why they’re one of the best record labels in the music industry.


Written by HIP Intern Rebecca Karaman.