Music Connection's Favorite Signing Stories of 2016

MC's Favorite Signing Stories of 2016


Sammy Arriaga
Date Signed: January 2016
Label: Latium Records
Management: Charles Chavez
Booking: Jake Kennedy - CAA
Legal: Leslie Zigel
Publicity: Jensen Sussman, jensen@sweet
A&R: Jim Catino & Taylor Lindsay - Sony Music Nashville.

For some careers to blossom, it’s all about being where the action is. Miami–born Cuban Sammy Arriaga was raised on salsa and meringue music. The sounds of classic and modern country, however, are what spoke to his soul. “But,” he says, “I didn’t know anybody in Nashville.” So the young artist began using Facebook to network and he connected with hit songwriter Monty Powell. Says Arriaga, “He listened to my demos and invited me to look him up if I ever came to Nashville.” On a wing and a prayer Arriaga moved to the country music capital. “I was in Nashville a short time and BMI signed me up for this songwriting camp. They needed songs for a Mexican reality TV show.” Then, through a camp friend, Arriaga was invited to Los Angeles, which led to an audition for Latium Records’ Charles Chavez (who manages Pitbull) who immediately wanted to work with Arriaga. The artist’s debut is Banjos N’ Bongos.


Toronzo Cannon

Toronzo Cannon
Date Signed: June 1, 2015
Label: Alligator Records
Booking: Intrepid Artists
Publicity: [email protected]
A&R: Bruce Iglauer

Put in the time and be ready for your opportunity to shine. That’s how it went for Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon, who has spent the last 25 years or so honing his craft. He released three albums for the Delmark label from 2007-2013. Prior to that, he was a sideman with esteemed blues artists like Joanna Connor, Tommy McCracken, Wayne Baker Brooks and L.V. Banks. But Cannon really wanted a contract with premiere blues marque Alligator Records. In June 2015, he got his chance to show the company what he could do on a big stage at the Chicago Blues Festival. It was there that the artist made his unofficial launch from local hero to national star. “That big! The crowd was electric, the band was tight. It truly was a turning point in my career.” Cannon’s Alligator debut, The Chicago Way, is available now.



Against The Current
Date Signed: Feb. 23, 2015
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Band Members: Chrissy Costanza, Dan Gow, Will Ferri.
Management: Chris Woltman, Mike Ferri
Booking: Ryan Soroka - The Soroka Agency Legal: Scott Bradford
Publicity: [email protected]
A&R: Pete Ganbarg

Against The Current hoped to avoid major change when signing with Fueled By Ramen. Instead, lead vocalist Chrissy Costanza’s ultimate goal was to enhance the alternative band’s strengths and pop–rock mentality, not transform into something phony and unoriginal: “Ramen said, ‘We love what you’re doing now, we just want to blow it up and make it huge.’” Also, Costanza’s experience recording the band’s debut album In Our Bones was extremely eye-opening. “Finally with a label,” says Costanza, “we had time and [money] to make trips to L.A. and have access to amazing writers, and that taught us so much about songwriting, since we hadn’t really done any co–writing sessions. Ramen supplied these connections we’d have no access to.” Costanza advises artists to “Take a step back and breathe. Look at what you’re doing and what you want. Too many people go right for it, but you need to have a vision. It’s important to know what serves the band and your image.”

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