Started in September 1999 by Robert Luis (A&R) and Paul Jonas (Label Manager), Tru Thoughts is an independent record label based in Brighton, England. Robert and Paul founded the label on the back of their highly respected Brighton club nights phonic:hoop and Etch, and the label has grown continuously over the best part of a decade, releasing albums from the likes of Quantic, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Alice Russell, Bonobo, Belleruche, Me&You, Spanky Wilson, TM Juke, Nostalgia 77, The Bamboos and Hot 8 Brass Band, amongst many others. Tru Thoughts' hip hop sister label Zebra Traffic has released music from Rup, Dirty Diggers, Cappo, Phi-Life Cypher and many more UK based hip hop artists.
Support for the label has been impressive, garnering a dedicated and steadily-expanding fanbase, with DJs and tastemakers from a variety of styles hailing Tru Thoughts as one of the most respected leftfield labels around. Fans include LTJ Bukem, Aim, Mr Scruff, Gilles Peterson, Coldcut, Mark B, Kruder & Dorfmeister, the late John Peel, DJ Vadim, Daddy G, Laurent Garnier, Mark Lamarr and many more. In 2005 Tru Thoughts won Record Label of the Year in Gilles Peterson's Radio 1 Worldwide awards.
Over the years Tru Thoughts has licensed music to hundreds of compilation albums across the world, including albums on Ministry Of Sound (Chillout Sessions), Warner (Chilled Ibiza 1&2) and Café Del Mar (Vol 9), Compost, Stereo Deluxe, The Big Chill, Fabric, Water Music (USA) and Wagram as well as on compilations from Groove Armada, Kid Loco, Kid Koala, Tim 'Love' Lee and Rob Da Bank. The label's own 'Shapes' series started with MONO (a collaboration with MTV) with the aim of highlighting some of the most innovative music in this scene and on the label, and is now a regular twice-yearly label showcase compilation which tends to sell out in a matter of weeks. Tru Thoughts music has also featured on countless TV shows, advertising campaigns for BT, Grolsch, iTunes, Hyundai, Surf, Volkswagen and even a clip in the recent Transformers movie.
In 2007, Tru Thoughts signed Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans - the first American act on the roster - and released their incredible version of "Sexual Healing" which had been setting dancefloors on fire on a Worldwide scale. Hot 8 Brass Band's album, 'Rock With The Hot 8' followed. 2007 also saw the release of the critically acclaimed 'Tropidelico' by The Quantic Soul Orchestra (their fourth full album on Tru Thoughts) and many other standout albums. Belleruche's 'Turntable Soul Music' very quickly established itself as the fastest-selling debut in Tru Thoughts' history, whilst the Nostalgia 77 Octet released the epic deep jazz album 'Weapons of Jazz Destruction'.
Early 2008 saw Robert Luis donning his A&R hat, bringing an influx of exciting new talent to the Tru Thoughts roster, including half British, half Brazilian band Saravah Soul; Holland-based cyborg funksters Milez Benjiman; long-time Bristol favourites Unforscene; and Australian soul diva and Bamboos-collaborator Kylie Auldist; all of whom released albums in the first half of the year. The supremely talented singer-songwriter Lizzy Parks, previously heard on a number of collaborations with Nostalgia 77, released her first album on Tru Thoughts in September. A welcome return to Tru Thoughts was also in store for Natural Self and Hint, both releasing stunning solo long-players in Summer 2008. The label Unfold was also re-launched as a home for musicians and artists with a similar open minded music policy. Collaborators so far include Fluid Ounce and Impossible Ark. Unfold also features genre specific compilations such as Tru Thoughts Hip Hop and Tru Thoughts Covers. Both corralling the diverse and wide ranging Tru Thoughts sound into easily digestible platforms.
2009, our 10th Anniversary year, sees releases and collaborations featuring Larry Stabbins (Working Week), Keith & Julie Tippett (formerly Julie Driscoll), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Arthur Verocai. Collaborations with visual artists such as Nick Walker, Josh Keyes, Alex Young and Static grace the sleeves of current and upcoming releases. With albums due from Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, Domu, Flevans, Lizzy Parks, Kylie Auldist and Hot 8 Brass Band our 10th Anniversary should be another vintage year in Tru Thoughts' history.