About Unexpected Records
Amsterdam based label Unexpected Records was established in March 2001 by composer/producer Perquisite, at that time 18 years of age. The idea of starting his own label came to him whilst travelling through the United States after high school. Perquisite: “Since at the time no-one seemed interested in my music, I decided to do it myself.” The main purpose of the label was, and still is, to release original, authentic music, with a focus on hip-hop, jazz and other groove based music. Over the years, Unexpected Records has had the pleasure to collaborate with various labels and distributors worldwide, including PIAS/Roughtrade, RushHour and Epitaph in Europe, P-Vine in Japan, Music Aroma in Korea and ANTI in the United States. Being the director and curator of Unexpected Records, Perquisite not only releases his own music through the label, but also the work of artists he finds to fit the Unexpected sound.
Unexpected Records kicked off with two jazzed out instrumental Hip Hop EP’s on which Perquisite collaborated with saxophone player Benjamin Herman (2001) and clarinetist David Kweksliber (2002). In 2003 an EP by Amsterdam hip-hop collective North West Metropolis was released, soon followed by EP’s and albums by hip-hop group The Proov, beat smith Arts the Beatdoctor and hardjazz-formation Monsieur Dubois. In 2004 Perquisite hooked up with MC Pete Philly and their Mindstate EP was released, followed a year later by the Mindstate album. Eventually being released worldwide, Mindstate was the first big success of the label. It caused quite a stir in the international music scene, with Talib Kweli proclaiming Pete Philly & Perquisite to be ‘lightyears ahead of the game’ and UK’s Notion magazine calling them ‘as much 21st century soul as hip hop genius’. Their second album, Mystery Repeats, was released in 2007 and entered the Dutch charts at the first position in the week of its release, beating Kanye West.
In 2009 Unexpected released its first soundtrack album, Carmen van het Noorden, for the film with that same name. For this project Perquisite worked together with the cream of the crop of the Dutch hip-hop scene, including Jiggy Djé, Duvel, Typhoon and Sticks. After this, Perquisite started to work on his first full-length solo album, Across, which was released in 2010. In terms of sound, new musical directions were being explored, breaking out of the hip-hop-genre towards soul, indie and singer/songwriter. Following this, Perquisite collaborated with singer Renske Taminiau (2011) and composer Sliderinc on their Lotus EP (2012).
In 2013, Unexpected Records would engage in another big project, the collaboration of Perquisite with singer Kris Berry. The soulful duo released their combined album Lovestruck Puzzles on Unexpected, which was embraced by the press as ‘the golden egg Kris Berry & Perquisite laid together’. NRC Handelsblad proclaimed it to be “the ideal dream music, smoothly bouncing like a trampoline”. Their single ‘Let Go’ became 3FM megahit, the album entered the Dutch Mega Top 50 and was nominated at the 3FM awards 2014 for ‘best album’.
In December 2015 Surinam-born Soul singer Jeangu Macrooy was signed to Unexpected Records, after being scouted by Perquisite. A collaboration between the two of them kicked off, and debut EP ‘Brave Enough’ was released in April 2016. The day of the release Jeangu was named ‘Serious Talent’ by 3FM, and the week after he played his first single ‘Gold’ at Dutch national talk show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’, where he has became a frequent guest ever since. After having played over 120 shows in 12 months, 2016 was concluded with a performance at Eurosonic/Noorderslag and a nomination for an Edison Award in the category ‘Best New Artist.’ Jeangu’s debut album, ‘High On You’, again Perquisite-produced, was released a year later, in April 2017. The record entered the Dutch album charts and was critically acclaimed by the press. ‘Algemeen Dagblad’ gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and wrote ”High On You’ might be the best Dutch debut album of 2017.’ The release of the album was celebrated with a club tour throughout the Netherlands, of which 6 out of the 7 shows were sold out.
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