Date Signed: January 2023
Label: Yep Roc Records
Type of Music: Americana / Indie
Management: Chris Tetzeli and Nate Meese - 7S Management, [email protected], 303-565-5690
Legal: David Wykoff - [email protected]
Publicity: Anna DeNelsky - Shore Fire Media, [email protected]
A&R: Mariah Czap
Singer-songwriter Jobi Riccio caught her big break when she entered and won Citizen Vinyl’s Asheville, NC NewSong Music competition in 2019. Her prize was the professional production of her record by producer and musician Gar Ragland, who also sponsors the contest. Ultimately this led to the completion of her record Whiplash, which dropped in the summer of 2023, and to a deal with Yep Roc Records.
“Gar knew some folks at Yep Roc through the North Carolina connection and sent them my record,” Riccio recollects. “They were super into it and that’s how I got my deal with them. He spoke with some other labels but I felt that Yep Roc seemed the most artist-driven; they really championed their artists being at the creative helm of everything.
“After I was offered a potential deal, I flew out and met with the folks at the label,” the singer continues. “I played a small showcase for them and Red Eye Distribution, who’s now my distributor. They were phenomenal people and we had the best time. It was clear that they’d listened to every single song on Whiplash. They were fired up about it as a whole body of work and about me as an artist.”
Work on Whiplash began in 2020 but due to the pandemic, it took some time to complete. Several singles from it have been released, the latest being “Lonely Tonight” in August. When Music Connection spoke with Riccio she was on a brief hiatus before stepping back out onto the road in November for a tour of the Northeast.
The NewSong Music contest is sponsored by Ragland’s Citizen Vinyl. In addition to his studio, he also runs a pressing plant and the indie label NewSong Recordings. “At the top of the building there’s an old radio studio where people like [bluegrass originator] Bill Monroe and other folk and bluegrass musicians would play when they’d come through North Carolina,” Riccio explains. “Whiplash was the first record done in [Ragland’s] studio since he acquired it.”
NewSong Music was launched in 2001 followed by Citizen Vinyl in 2020. Interestingly, Riccio’s entry was recorded as a voice memo on her phone rather than professionally. Given the minimal requirements, such contests should be within nearly any artist’s grasp.