Local Music

New Label Bribery Corporation Wants to Spread Miami Musicians Across America

There's strength in numbers. Most often in life, this is true. Two is better than one, and collaboration always breeds better ideas. But sometimes finding like-minded folk to collaborate with can be easier said than done.

Bribery Corporation, an up-and-coming Miami-based label, is in the early stages of recruiting its soldiers, and will soon be testing the waters with a night of music curated from the label’s own selection.

Managed by its own personal enigma, an artist that identifies as Mystvries (Disclaimer: Mystvries contributes to Miami New Times music section under his government name, which he'd prefer to not reveal), the idea for the label first started when he found himself assisting his musical peers with the business side of things.

“At that point I started thinking, OK, let me just collect all my friends that don't know exactly where to take this awesome music they're making and use my behind the scenes experience to save them from making all the mistakes I had to make — just kind of fast track straight on to what works,” Mystvries says.

So far Mystvries has signed two local acts to his Bribery Corporation: Light Bodies and Olde Time Religion. The other two bands on the label, Year of Suns and ROOMS, are L.A.-based. For the time being, Mystvries has sacrificed working on his own music.

“For me it's not about being Mystvries. It's about having all the other artists want to do good and kind of evolve from the unknown indie into the tastemaker label. I have a very distinct plan for every artist, and right now I'm focused on getting them all where they need to be before I even focus on my own music."
Although the label explores various genres, Bribery Corporation is attempting to show that electronic music is capable of being soulful.

“I think the qualm that a lot of musicians that play instruments have with producers is that it's very detached and it's not rooted in any type of emotion or any type of conceptual theme other than 'let's turn up,’” he says.

Citing artists like Moby, James Blake, Cashmere Cat, and even a few locals like Kodiak Furs and Eons, Mystvries says the soulful type of electronic music he's after has always been around, but it’s just had a hard time moving past the underground, especially with the over-saturation of mainstream EDM.

“I've got this clear directive of trying to make it more than what it is and trying to get a lot of people to hear it because I think reach is the most important thing you can have with music,” says Mystvries.

Too many local artists, he says, are focused on “making it” within Miami and not focusing on the big picture.

“If you think you're going to make a lucrative music career out of just playing shows in Miami and selling your music in Miami or doing anything down here specifically, you're going to find that it's really hard to make a living or do anything. But if you travel and if you extend your reach outward, nationally, you'll find that other cities are way more open to it,” says Mystvries.
“One of the problems here is that venues don't want new and exciting things. ‘Oh you can draw a crowd? We can sell a bunch of drinks? We can make money? Cool, we’ll book you.’  If you're doing something new or if you have something conceptual or if you want to just create a really cool musical atmosphere, they’re not so much interested. And I think that's why the music scene here is stunted. Everyone's kind of working against each other as opposed to working together,” he says.

Though the label's name sounds like a veiled dig at the notorious corruption of Magic City, Mystvries assures us it's not.

“That whole concept just happened to fit in with where we are. Miami is a little corrupt, but it never once occurred to me that I was going to name anything after Miami,” Mystvries says.

The label is still in the building process, with a full launch expected in 2016. “I don't mind moving at a snail's pace," he says. "Because once you get the ball rolling, it's rolling. But getting it up the mountain is the hardest part before you kick it off and let it start gathering moss."

Bribery Corporation and Cheap Miami present Corruption. With Light Bodies and Olde Time Religion. 10 p.m. Saturday, August 15, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach. No cover. Ages 21 and up.
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Junette Reyes is a Miami native multimedia journalist with previous writing credits at FIU Student Media, South Florida Music Obsessed, and WLRN. She generally prefers chilling with cats over humans and avoids direct sunlight to maintain her ghastly appearance.