THE STORY SO FAR…
Yab Moung is a body of solidarity. Yab Moung are people who believe first in each other and the value of collaboration and exchange. Not competition. Not exclusivity. We challenge ourselves as individuals and as a community to find alternative ways to build and maintain a business which is not driven by the idea of manufacturing overvalue but to let value grow out of the requirements and demands which the community members have.
We believe in diversity and we want to develop an awareness of maturity means. This is key to understand the concept of (creative) freedom.
Yab Moung was founded 2014 as a record label. It considered the quest of alternative musicians as their main reason for existence, as well as to add a breeze of subculture to the local, heavily popular music dominated market. Yab Moung Records had a hard time to find its place. For years it struggled with survival. With the bands Doch Chkae or Vartey Ganiva the label had bands contracted, which are hard to place in Cambodia. They constantly faced problems with money. Money for production, money for recordings, money to “buy” the time to practice, money for equipment, promotion, events etc. On top of being based in an environment where people are not used to paying money for original content or shows. The common struggles of an artist, with a label in the back, which was managed by people for the passion and for the vision to support diversity within the Cambodian music market.
In 2019, with the breakthrough of Doch Chkae playing Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany, things began to change. The NGO, Moms Against Poverty (MAP) and its Phnom Penh based NGO, MAP Cambodia (MAPC) where Doch Chkae was not only founded and formed into a band but also literarily and creatively nurtured over the years, showed interest to invest. MAP, sharing an understanding for the value of the therapeutic aspect of the arts and how important it is to build a foundation, a stable and secure surrounding for artists, especially in a developing country such as Cambodia.
For 2 years we as Yab Moung have access to funds as well as the expertise of MAP to transform Yab Moung Records into a sustainable label. Alongside the label we are developing a vocational training programme for media production and build up a more youth-oriented record label for the younger generation to gain practical experience.
We believe everyone is an artist; being artistically positive is a precious aspect of recovery. The process of doing art is a crucial element for mental health, one of the most important qualities of life.
Obtaining Moms Against Poverty as a funding partner for our label to develop and build the foundation for an alternative music scene in Cambodia, we again had to face the question: How does alternative match up to the music industry?
- We don’t build Yab Moung for profit
- We don’t want to harm artists with doing what they love and therefore need to do
- We don’t want to be a competitive record label, because we don’t want to become managers of art (recovery)
A basic income for each Yab Moung artists. Substantial percentage of profit each artist makes, goes back to the community. Why? Because the artist may not have flourished to who she/he is without a secure, healthy, inspirational environment, provided by Yab Moung community (family).
The money is used to pay a basic income, maintenance, technical upgrades and if not fully used can be shared at the end of the year to all members equally.
A big thank you to Moms Against Poverty (MAP) for their support over the next 2 years to build the foundation for our venture.