Date Signed: Feb. 2023
Label: Warner Records / War Buddha Records
Type of Music: Americana / Folk / Rock / Indie
Management: Eric Mayers, Rick Krim - Red Light Management
Booking: Mary-Michael Teel - William Morris Endeavor
Legal: Elliot Groffman
A&R: Neil Mason, Jaren Johnston, Aaron Bay-Schuck
Neil Mason and Jaren Johnston, members of Southern rock group The Cadillac Three, were working with Warner Records when they came across the music of Rett Madison. The cross-genre singer had independently released her debut album, Pin-Up Daddy, and the title track delivered a wallop. It took a loan from the diva’s producer, Vulfpeck’s Theo Katzman, to finish the record, and a licensing deal with AWAL for it to reach listeners, but the Los Angeles transplant’s efforts got her talent noticed.
When it came time for Johnston and Mason to form their own label under the Warner umbrella, Madison immediately popped into their minds. Mason reached out to her management team in December of 2022 and then caught Madison’s showcase performance, held in a Los Angeles studio. No more than 40 people were in attendance that fateful day.
Madison had been searching for a partner, especially since she’d already recorded her second album, One For Jackie, and needed money to get it mixed and mastered. Until that point, none had suited her. The moment she connected with the duo, the proudly queer singer knew it was a solid fit. “With any deal I sign, I want to make sure I feel genuine passion,” she declares, “and that folks understand what I’m doing. Neil and Jaren really want me to be myself as an artist.”
Besides working alongside people who have faith in her musical vision, Madison needed to be sure there would be enough funding to properly tour. “That’s such an important factor for me,” the West Virginia native announces. “The way I build my fan base is connecting with people in a live setting.” Madison is War Buddha’s first official signing.
In addition to putting out the rising star’s sophomore release on Oct. 27, War Buddha snatched up her debut album. Neither would have happened without the singer getting the financial backing she believes she’s worth. “Don’t settle for less,” Madison warns. “Settle for numbers that can help change your life.” – Andy Kaufmann