The multi-Grammy nominated songwriter/producer team of Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony have partnered with award-winning creative shop Night Agency to form Weirdo Workshop, an independent artist collective.
The newly minted imprint will sign and develop artists across all musical genres, beginning with hit Caribbean pop/soca group KES, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Masha and Kelly and Harmony’s own group, Louis York. Weirdo Workshop will be distributed through Sony RED.
Individually and as a duo, Kelly and Harmony have penned hits for a veritable who’s who of the Billboard charts, including Bruno Mars (“Grenade”), Miley Cyrus (“Party in the U.S.A.”), Kelly Clarkson (“My Life Would Suck Without You”), Rihanna (“Russian Roulette”), Britney Spears (“Circus”) and Mary J. Blige (Growing Pains), to name a few. Their songs have sold more than 25 million copies to date, blanketed radio airwaves around the world, garnered multiple Grammy and Billboard nominations and dominated international song charts.
The New York-based Night Agency is a full-service creative shop known for their innovative work on behalf of brands such as Spotify, Kiehls, MTV and Nestle, among others. Founded in 2004, the agency has won countless awards thanks to their use of modern tech, branding and social media to create bold campaigns.
Night Agency co-founder and managing partner Evan Vogel, Kelly and Harmony have joined forces to make Weirdo Workshop a truly independent and viable home for artists, empowering them with the freedom to pursue their artistic visions while providing the support to help them achieve success. From content to branding to live experience, each Weirdo Workshop artist is supported by a strategy customized to match the uniqueness of his or her art.
“Weirdo Workshop is a safe haven for artists,” says Kelly. “Because we respect art and have a deep passion for music, Chuck and I embrace the responsibility to invest in new talent and help them develop into artists of the future. Evan and his team of disruptors bring a creative vision that lives up to the standards we’ve set for the music. From the moment we met them, we knew they were the right partner.”
“We’re thrilled to team with Claude and Chuck, two guys who’ve spent years furthering the careers of young and established artists by writing and producing a plethora of hits,” says Vogel. “We initially bonded over the belief that the music industry needs a fresh perspective and this collaboration is primed to deliver just that. We want to venture beyond the realm of the traditional record label to create new and exciting experiences to connect artists and fans.”
Kelly and Harmony unofficially launched Weirdo Workshop earlier this year with the release of the Louis York single, “Clair Huxtable.” In the weeks that followed, they were featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, garnered coverage on Fader and Billboard, were hand-picked by UBER to play their SXSW event, appeared on VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz Live,” performed at Will Smith’s launch party for the new DC Comics film, Suicide Squad, and had their “Clair Huxtable” video added to MTV and Vh1.
The label’s second release saw them teaming with VEVO for the premiere of “Mr. Presley,” the debut video from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Masha (the video recently won MTVu “Freshman” honors). While working on her album, slated for release later this year, Masha posted cover videos on YouTube, which generated millions of views and established a fanbase. This past December, she was handpicked by the agency for Three Olives Vodka to cover the Warren Zevon classic, “Werewolves of London,” for a national TV spot, which followed her rendition of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” for Lifetime’s “Witches of East End.”
Weirdo’s latest release comes from KES, the Caribbean pop group known for their unique blend of soulful vocals, calypso-inspired melodies, rock riffs and island beats. Formed in Trinidad, the group, led by vocalist Kees Dieffenthaller, has amassed over five million combined YouTube views, shared stages with artists such as Rihanna, Maroon 5 and John Legend, collaborated with Snoop Dogg. The group, which includes Dieffenthaller’s brothers Hans (drums) and Jon (guitar) and Riad Boochoon (bass), just teamed with Yahoo! for the premiere of lead single “Balloons.”
For more information, visit weirdoworkshop.com.