Signing Story: Layto

Date Signed: June 30, 2021

Label: Left on Read Music Group

Type of Music: Alternative

Management: Garrett Ream and Steve Richards

Publicity: Deborah Radel

A&R: Mark Chipello

Mark Chipello, Head of A&R at Position Music, manages the rock band Welshly Arms. Garrett Ream was one of the individuals responsible for the group’s radio promotion efforts when they played Lollapalooza three years ago. As such, he hung out backstage during that tour. He and Chipello met, became friends and subsequently stayed in touch.

Approximately a year and a half ago, Ream began managing singer-songwriter Layto with Steve Richards. Soon, the former custodial worker from Cape Cod had amassed over 150 million streams. Part of the reason his sound blew up is that a music supervisor unexpectedly stumbled upon and used his song “Little Poor Me.”

Ream began messaging Chipello multiple versions of tracks that Layto had been crafting. The edgy vibe was exactly what Position was looking for. “Tyler [Bacon, Position’s owner] had been talking to me for months, describing what he wanted,” remembers Chipello. “And when Garrett started sending me these songs, I was like, ‘This is what we want.’”

Contract negotiations were quick and easy. Chipello’s solid relationship with Ream and Richards, on top of Layto’s unrelenting work ethic, made the deal highly appealing. Although Position has a sizable indie label side, Layto is currently signed only as a songwriter. Chipello and Bacon, however, remain open to the possibility of his joining their roster. 

Presumably, Position’s experience with sync licensing appealed to Layto, given how it was a sync license that took him to the next level. The love that Chipello and Bacon expressed toward his music was likely another vital element. “We’re a passion-based company,” says the A&R man. “I think all three of them felt that.”

Cowrites have already proven fruitful, with Layto’s first collaborative session resulting in a stunning track that’s yet to be released. Although more songwriting powwows are planned, the pandemic has delayed them until later this year. 

Chipello observes that aspiring songwriters must have an undying need to create, just as Layto does. It’s the best way to get noticed and signed.  “Love the process,” he says, “and hone your chops.”