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Label Lounge: We Caught Up With Free House Music Frontman Tom Caruso

Tom Caruso

Belfast’s Tom Caruso, a prominent DJ and producer, has made waves in electronic music with releases on respected labels like Glasgow Underground, Midnight Riot, and Skint. His tracks consistently hit the top 10 on Beatport and Traxsource, endorsed by industry figures such as Danny Howard and Carl Cox. Formerly at Glasgow Underground, he discovered talents like Earth N Days and Fhaken. Caruso’s diverse productions, from House to Disco, highlight his affinity for vocals and distinctive style. A skilled DJ, he seamlessly blends genres, injecting energy and feel-good vibes into his sets. In 2023, he launched FREE HOUSE MUSIC, a label dedicated to Original Vocal House. Notable achievements include remixing Fatboy Slim’s ‘Talking bout my baby’, and his track ‘FREAK LIKE ME’, with over 600k Spotify streams. Tom Caruso continues to pioneer authenticity and creativity in electronic music.

As he unveils his latest record, ‘Someone To Love’ alongside talented UK singer/songwriter Lara George of The Voice fame, we sit down with Free House Music’s Tom Caruso as he joins us for our latest Label Lounge feature. 

Thanks for joining us today. Where are you talking to us from, and what have you been up to over the last few weeks? 

Thanks for having me. I am in not so sunny Belfast, my hometown. The past few weeks have been spent sorting our summer releases for Free House Music. Not much time spent on my new music but hopefully that will change soon. 

Introduce your record label and tell us about the influence and vision behind it. 

So my label is FREE HOUSE MUSIC. The ethos of the label is all based on Original Vocal House music. The aim is to be more than just a record label and more of a community of passionate artists dedicated to preserving the essence of original vocal house music. We pride ourselves on curating authentic tracks that resonate with audiences worldwide. Hopefully, our commitment to fair collaboration will set us apart from most labels. I’m trying to create a label where producers and vocalists thrive together. A place where everyone’s equal. 

What artists have released music on the label, and from whom would you like to sign music in the future? 

So far, we have released music from Discosteps, Elliot Chapman, Jenny Voss, Andreas Amato, Lee Wilson, Lexcano, Rachel Barror and myself. Upcoming, we have Devstar, Tasty Lopez, Hyslop, Lara George, Da Funk Junkies, and Mishell Ivon, to name but a few. 

In the future, I hope to possibly see artists like Oscar Barilla, Tom Enzy, Rion S, Sam Dexter, Mallin, Queen Rose, Raff, Tom Brownlow, The Goddess Music and many more join us. 

What do you look for when curating releases for your label? 

It’s got to be a solid track. The genre should be under the House umbrella, but if it’s outside the box, I’m all ears. Ideally an original vocal, though. If it’s just a killer instrumental that we can work with, that’s also cool. I’m always open to helping find vocalists to potentially pair up with the producer for a collaboration, as I have done in the past. 

What release on your label has had the most significant impact and why? 

We are still in the early days with the label, but so far, Discosteps and Elliot Chapman’s ‘Hypnotised’ has been our most successful release. It had BBC radio support, did decent numbers on Spotify, and was over on Beatport. It’s been a big hit in the charts. It’s also up there in Discosteps’ Top 10. Considering he has released on labels like Glasgow Underground, Salted, Large etc we are right up there at number holding that NO8 spot. 

Also, this track started with sample pack vocals. I hooked Elliot and Alexis (Discosteps) up, and Hypnotised was the result, which is proof that the label idea works. 

What other labels are you currently enjoying and why? 

I mean there are loads of amazing labels out there. I’m a big fan of Sam Dexters & Mallins - Hungarian Hot Wax. It’s like my second home and I’m always made to feel welcome. Sam and Mallin are top lads, every release is wicked and they are proper fair to deal with. I also have a lot of love for Deepalma, Salted, Good Company, HouseU, Divine Sounds, Defected and more. 

What is your favourite track ever released on the label, and why? 

I love all the releases but I will say my favorite track is yet to come ! Watch this space. April 26th its coming. 

What characteristics make a good label boss? 

I think you have got to have a passion for music and the music you release. Be adaptable, open-minded, and willing to evolve within the industry. They should be good at building and maintaining relationships, which is essential for success. Overall, being a good label boss requires a combination of passion, knowledge, skills, and personal qualities. Also, 100% don’t be a DICK! 

Tom Caruso

What advice do you have for other potential label bosses and aspiring artists? 

You will never know unless you try it for yourself. There will be challenges and times you doubt yourself. That said, nothing is ever given, and if you want it enough, and are willing to work, then I say go for it. No regrets!

Lastly, what can we expect from your label in the coming months? 

Buzzing for the next few months. We have some really talented vocalists and producers with some quality original tracks dropping just in time for Summer. Myself and Lara George are up first with Someone To Love on March 29th. April sees us shift through the gears as Devstar and Tasty Lopez drop an absolute weapon with RUN FROM YOU. You won’t want to miss it! 


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