Shall Not Fade: From Bristol to the world and back again | LOUD Bristol Issue Four

Shall Not Fade: From Bristol to the world and back again | LOUD Bristol Issue Four

Posted on: 14 Apr 2022

This article was first published in the fourth issue of LOUD Bristol, 365Bristol's dedicated music magazine. Read LOUD Bristol Issue Four and browse our first three editions here.

LOUD Bristol Issue Four

Shall Not Fade


From Bristol to the world and back again: Kieran Williams charts the development of his seminal label and discusses plans to build a community around his new city centre HQ 


“We’re not trying to be a record shop,” Shall Not Fade founder Kieran Williams (pictured, centre) muses from behind the counter of his, er, record shop. “We’re just stocking what we like. We kind of see the more established stores like the supermarkets, and we’re more of a deli, just selling select stuff.” He’s not wrong. You won’t find a dodgy value range at Shall Not Fade, no off-brand fodder, no wonky fruit and veg. Just the finest cuts of house, techno, breaks and more sourced from quality producers all over the globe.


I’m catching up with Kieran on Zoom just a few weeks after the opening of his label’s first bricks-and-mortar store, a welcoming space situated in the heart of St Nick’s. Alongside a diverse selection of vinyl releases, it’s a proud home to Plant Works, an in-house plant store run by his partner, Bailey. “We’ve got lots of records - we’ve probably got 300, 400 at any given time - but space-wise the plants are kind of everywhere,” he says with a smile. “She’s a gardener and runs her own gardening company, so when we opened we decided it would be cool to bring things together. It’s nice, it kind of makes the shop.”


For Kieran, the Shall Not Fade store is the product of years of hard work, the natural next step for a Bristol-based imprint whose influence extends far beyond the Westcountry. Since launching in 2015 with a release from then-emerging, now world-renowned DJ/producer Mall Grab, the label has gone from strength to strength. Projects from revered artists such as DJ Boring, Ruf Dug and Cinthie make up part of Shall Not Fade’s heavy-hitting discography and have, in just a few short years, earned the label a stellar reputation across Bristol, up and down the UK and internationally.


“It’s a good time to be giving something back to Bristol and opening up somewhere that’s more of a meeting point and a creative space than a record store”

- Kieran Williams


Kieran’s approach has always been one of simplicity: developing relationships with artists in the early stage of their careers and building an extended family with Shall Not Fade at its core. “It very much has been a case of friends of friends over the years,” he says. “I think what’s set us apart from other labels is that we ultimately just release music we’re into. That’s quite apparent on our earlier stuff especially.”


Primarily pushing sounds from the house and techno sphere, Shall Not Fade has branched out in recent years to form numerous sub-labels, from Time is Now - focusing on more bass-driven projects from the likes of Nicky Soft Touch and Interplanetary Criminal - to Shall Not Fade Basement Tracks, which takes more of a leftfield approach to club music.


Those broad horizons have meant that, generally, Shall Not Fade isn’t regarded as a typically ‘Bristol’ label. An emphasis on diversity of sound and style has led Kieran to carve out his own path entirely. “When I think of Bristol,” he explains, “I think of Livity Sound, Punchdrunk, Idle Hands, Tectonic – the labels I was buying when I was first getting into music. Whereas I think for us, because we’ve become more of a global thing, it’s less of a Bristol sound. It’s become this family of different sounds under one umbrella.”


Having grown up in the city, however, and lived locally his whole life aside from short stints in London and Bangkok, Kieran is keen to ensure Shall Not Fade remains an active part of the Bristol scene. “Really that community aspect was a major motivator for setting up shop here,” he says. “It’s a good time to be giving something back to Bristol and opening up somewhere that’s more of a meeting point and a creative space than a record store.”

The Shall Not Fade team outside their flagship store in St Nicks.The Shall Not Fade team outside their flagship store in St Nicks.


A handful of renowned DJs and affiliates have spun some records at Shall Not Fade since the store’s opening as part of an in-house mix series, and Kieran is exploring the possibility of hosting his own label management courses in the future. Admirably, he’s spent the best part of six years assuming the roles of accountant, A&R, marketing manager and everything in between, and is aware that he could offer valuable advice for people looking to set up their own imprints.


“The whole way through the process has been completely independent – we’ve never had handouts, grants, funding. I started Shall Not Fade with a hundred pounds, and for maybe the first three or four years of the label we didn’t make any money, so I know exactly how difficult it is to start something like this,” he says.


“It’s been a lot, but I’m glad I’ve done it the way I have because I’ve experienced all those different sides to the industry. I’ve ended up in this position where I can share that knowledge – the thinking [behind the courses] was just about giving the next generation of people in a music a foot in the door.”



Kieran is no stranger to the events circuit either, and outlines how much he missed being able to take Shall Not Fade to venues across Bristol and beyond during the pandemic. Accordingly, he’s looking forward to hosting the label’s first-ever festival in September, set to take place at sprawling multi-use venue, Propyard.


A diverse lineup is stacked with in-demand artists and Shall Not Fade signees such as Tim Reaper, Sally C and Denham Audio, backed up by a selection of hotly-tipped local DJs including Motion regular Ellis Roberts and new Club Djembe resident Rema Mukena. Billed as a celebration of UK dance music, the festival is Kieran’s “next big project,” an event which he hopes will cement the label as a major contributor to Bristol’s musical community.


“Bristol, for me, has always been such a welcoming, supportive and open place for music and creativity,” he says. “It seems like there are so many opportunities here for so many different people, and with the shop opening, the festival on the way - all these things to enjoy and look forward to - it’s nice to feel like we’re a part of that.”


Head to Issuu to read LOUD Bristol Issue Four in full, featuring a selection of interviews with some of the city's best-loved artists, venues, labels and more.


Main Image: Matteo Amadio & Rob Ellis

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Article by:

Matt Robson


Editor - & LOUD Magazine

Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at