Atlantic Records has announced a new artist development partnership and joint venture (JV) label deal with Detroit-based music company Assemble Sound. The JV unites the industry leader with the innovative independent music company known for its unique approach to artist development. In addition to giving Atlantic ears on the ground in one of the world’s most influential and historic music cities, Assemble Sound will serve as an external partner that has an established team and facilities to discover and develop artists from the earliest stages of their careers. Variety broke the story HERE.
“Garret and the team at Assemble have created a unique, extraordinarily fertile environment for emerging talent,” said Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald. “By combining free studio space and artist development resources with a yearly residency program for gifted artists, songwriters, and producers, they’ve created a fantastic place where collaboration is natural and inspiring. The proof is in their amazing track record in nurturing brilliant artists who have landed major label deals. We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Assemble to launch a next generation of talent coming out of one of the world’s great music cities.”
“Our work has always been anchored in giving artists access to a collaborative creative space. It’s a simple idea, but when you introduce the right intention and involve the right people, the simplest ideas can be transformative,” says Assemble co-founder and GM, Garret Koehler. “Our partnership with Atlantic allows us to stay focused on our work knowing that we’ll have the ability to scale it’s impact alongside a world class team with a proven track record of putting Detroit acts on the global stage.”
Assemble Sound was born out of a belief that real artist development could be fostered by simply creating a recording space where artists from different genres could convene under one roof with the intention of creating, sharing resources, and progressing together. In 2015, the company purchased the shell of an old vacant church with the goal of refurbishing it and turning it into a music compound. It had no plumbing, heat or electricity, and only half of its roof. The founders proceeded to build out four DIY recording studios alongside an ever-growing group of artists who were given free 24/7 access to the space without giving up any rights to their work. This studio model eventually formalized into Assemble’s annual Studio Residency program, where they give the same unconditioned access rotating each year to a new cohort of artists, producers and songwriters. Past studio residents include Yoshi Flower and Jax Anderson, who went on to sign with Interscope and Neon Gold respectively, as well as whiterosemoxie (300 Entertainment) and Sam Austins (Atlantic), who Assemble now manages. See a full list of 2020 residents here and 2021 residents here.
Assemble’s unlikely studio model was made possible by their pre-launch realization that one of the key funding sources for developing artists could be sync licensing. They created a full-service sync and supervision department, led by co-founder and music supervisor Nicole Churchill, that has placed thousands of songs with clients ranging from Hulu and ESPN to Apple and HBO. Besides helping fund the careers of dozens of independent artists, Assemble Sound’s sync efforts have allowed the company to continually invest in their ecosystem of development-oriented artist services, including management, marketing, and a boutique record label run by Head of Marketing, Shack Shackelford and Head of Music, Seth Anderson.
In 2022, that record label will have an upstream partner in Atlantic Records, who, with the Assemble Sound team, will begin signing select artists to a jointly-operated Assemble Sound / Atlantic label. In the unique partnership, Atlantic brings the resources and expertise to help acts that are ready to scale, while Assemble Sound retains the independence and autonomy they need to work effectively in the weeds of early stage artist development.
Assemble Sound’s founding executive team includes Garret Koehler (GM), Seth Anderson (Head of Music), Nicole Churchill (Head of Sync & Supervision), and Nicole “Shack” Shackelford (Head of Marketing).