London-based indie label Chess Club Records has an influential new investor in its corner — Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw — and a new worldwide distribution deal with Kobalt's recording company, AWAL.
The 11-year-old label founded and operated by Will Street and Peter McGaughrin announced the developments on March 14 as it readies releases by a young stable of talent that includes 15-year-old pop singer-songwriter Alfie Templeman, 18-year-old indie rocker Phoebe Green, 20-year-old Swedish pop singer Yaeger, West London alt-rock quartet Bloxx and Welsh electronica artist Casi & The Blind Harpist.
“We’re very pleased to partner with Will Street and Peter McGaughrin to help them take Chess Club into a new chapter," Capshaw said in a statement. "Over the past 10 years Chess Club has shown consistently good taste and ambition in their A&R approach to unearthing and developing exciting new artists globally. With our infrastructure around them, I’m confident we can grow a successful roster together and it will be a valuable partnership in our masters business alongside ATO Records,” the indie label that Capshaw co-founded in 2000 with artist Dave Matthews, whom Capshaw manages.
Street and McGaughrin will continue to sign and A&R Chess Club acts but will now be able to utilize the resources of Red Light — the music industry's largest artist management company — such as marketing, creative services, brand partnership, radio and online teams, as well as via AWAL’s recording distribution services. Prior to the AWAL deal, Chess Club had released music via a joint venture with RCA Records/Sony. In its early days, ATO Records also operated under a joint venture deal with RCA that ended in 2006.
“Having partnered with Red Light for my management business, I’ve seen first-hand how rich the worldwide resource in touring, marketing, radio, brands, festivals is within the company is and how long-term artist development is the core philosophy," McGaughrin said in the statement. "It feels like a natural fit and we’re excited for the next phase of Chess Club.”
Founded in 2007, Chess Club released early music by Mumford & Sons, Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Billie Marten, Jungle, Sundara Karma and MØ. "An indie ethos and culture has been at the centre of everything we have built from our approach to releasing music to collaborating with artists so to now have the opportunity to fully stand on our own two feet is very exciting," said Street.
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