INTERVIEW: Shima33 on returning as DREAM general manager

After a couple of years away from the label, Shima33 has returned as the general manager of Dream Catalogue in a full time role, with Nicol returning as lead designer. He gives his thoughts on his new role and where he sees the future of DREAM heading under his tenure.


How does it feel to be back as the full-time general manager of Dream Catalogue?

It feels liberating! Over the last year, I took the skillset that I had acquired from the years of general management at Dream Catalogue and essentially "went pro" by venturing into an official, 9-to-5 style job. The good news is that it pretty much confirmed I have the tools required to thrive in an office environment. Photoshop is the same everywhere in the world, and I can handle all the other administrative, social, and media tasks too. The bad news is that the company I was working for was awful and completely burnt me out in a situation I'm not legally allowed to fully discuss, but things ended catastrophically there. Dream Catalogue has always been a welcoming and safe haven, so here I am again.

What is the 'Shima Directive' going into 2024? What sort of plans do you have for DREAM?

The approach is quite similar to the previous Shima Directive—essentially, focusing and cutting out the unnecessary. The era of DREAM experimenting with its style, tone, and message is pretty much over at this stage; a decade of dreaming has revealed what our audience wants. That said, the experimental spirit is still very much alive in my heart and in the hearts of others, so we're exploring other methods to express ourselves without compromising the DREAM brand. It's a balancing act, one that I'll oversee with great intent.

What kind of artists are you excited about for DREAM right now? Who represents the future of the label?

DREAM currently boasts a great mix of newer and older talents. There are stalwart veterans like myself, Ra Light, Remember and HKE, but there's also a new breed of artists like The Monarch, Eulalie, and Mutilomaquia, making it hard to pinpoint who the "future" truly is because all are contributing significantly right now. Both Blood Couture and Eternity Devil brought great bangers to the compilation, and completely fresh names like fdsdf and Aloysius Scrimshaw are frequently catching my attention. There's quite a lot to look forward to!

Can we expect any old names to return?

If there were any older names I was interested in bringing back, it would have to be an artist who has shown loyalty and dedication in the past. More so than other labels, DREAM values loyalty. Now, there are quite a few artists in our back catalogue who possess both loyalty and stellar releases, so it's more a question of whether those older names have any drive left. I'm more of a "look forward, don't look back" kind of guy. If anyone from the past wants to make their presence felt, I welcome it, but if not, I lose no sleep over it.

Nicol has come in as lead designer too. Will you be working closely with him?

Absolutely. Nicol's design work has always been exceptional, and while I have worked with him on other projects in the past, I don't think we've ever collaborated and combined our efforts as much as we are doing right now. There are a lot of exciting designs and products we're developing behind the scenes, and Nicol's vision in terms of brand and identity brings everything together with cohesion and focus. That's the crucial factor that differentiates DREAM as it was from DREAM as it is today: great ideas, great focus, great products.