Signing Stories: Des Rocs

Date Signed: July 31, 2020

Label: 300 Entertainment

Type of Music: Rock

Management: Aaron Frank

Booking: Nick Storch

Legal: Mike McKoy

Publicity: Joe Sivick, [email protected]

Web: desrocs.com

A&R: Rob Stevenson

Artists who are truly original are often misunderstood. Des Rocs is one of them. His exceeding ambition matches his offbeat creative vision. These factors made finding a label that was willing to sign him particularly difficult. 

“Everybody thought I was ridiculous,” discloses the musician from New York, regarding his meeting with honchos at Republic Records. He’d already gained the faith of Executive Vice President of A&R Rob Stevenson. Others at the label failed to connect. “Four out of five people in that room looked at me like an alien.” In the age of hip-hop, being a Jewish kid who played rock didn’t help either. 

Being rejected from labels was an experience he’d had many times before. “You could see the hope in these A&R guys’ eyes die,” he laughs. Meanwhile, he kept recording independently, uploading material to CD Baby and TuneCore. 

Rocs connected with a distributor and subsequently racked up 150 million streams. A few months after being turned down by Republic, he was playing arenas opening for Muse and The Rolling Stones.

In December of 2020, Stevenson joined 300 Entertainment. The executive responsible for helping bring megastars such as Katy Perry and Post Malone to the front of people’s consciousness phoned Rocs. Stevenson informed the player that he had more leeway to sign artists than before. Would he be interested in joining the 300 Entertainment  family? This being the time of COVID-19, meetings happened primarily over Zoom, and the label’s team never saw the guitarist perform before the deal became official. 

Rocs acted cautiously, as this isn’t his first signing. Previously, he’d been signed to Epic as half of duo Secret Weapons, and that experience forced him to remove his rose-tinted glasses regarding labels. Fortunately, negotiations with 300 went smoothly. Rocs characterizes the arrangement they hashed out as being extremely fair and artist-friendly. “We both walked away feeling really happy.”

Des Rocs’ debut full-length, A Real Good Person in a Real Bad Place, dropped on Sept. 24.