Signing Story: SUR

The marketing materials for SUR’s upcoming EP Savage Beast and his recently released lead singles, the anthem-like rockers “Lean Back” and “Make It To Morning,” paint a romantic picture of multi-instrumentalist/producer Zack Arnett creating the music he calls “native electric” during a nomadic journey through some of California’s wildest spaces. Frustrated by the confines of Los Angeles, the Northern California-bred artist built a makeshift studio in back of a friend’s RV and set out on a two-month journey.

The backstory finds Arnett in L.A. trying to make a living doing music for the past 10 years. After finding some success as an indie artist with the hip-hop group Ostrich Head, he spearheaded the alt/indie band Fire in the Hamptons for five years, releasing the album F.I.T.H in 2012.

Arnett’s girlfriend Gara Gambucci, a top stylist whose clients have included Madonna, sent his music to her friend Dyana Kass, who then worked in marketing at Interscope. Kass loved the band’s live show, and when she left Interscope to form Novateur Entertainment, she became Arnett’s band’s manager. She maintained her full support for Arnett even when the band split a short time later.

When he emerged from his RV trip with fresh new music, Kass shared some of that and his Fire in the Hamptons songs with her former colleague at Interscope, Tony Seyler, the VP of Film & Television Marketing. “Angel Bones,” as Arnett calls Seyler, liked the material and helped him hook up a deal with Pulse Music Publishing. He then asked the artist if he could give him a full recording of songs like “Lean Back” and “Make It Till Morning.” Arnett signed with Interscope as SUR after he had completed the full EP of Savage Beast.

“Tony saw in me what I didn’t see,” Arnett says, “an artist who could be touring all over the world. Dyana was always championing me, but I needed that second voice to go full force. I think it’s great to start a career as a DIY artist, but once you’ve been on your own a long time, you realize the value of having a solid team behind you, with a great vision for what this could become.

Date Signed: July 2017
Label: Interscope
Type of Music: Alt-Rock
Management: Dyana Kass, Novateur Entertainment, Dyana.Kass@
Booking: Brandon Zmigrocki, ICM [email protected]
Legal: Yu-Yu-Leseberg, [email protected]
Publicity: [email protected]
A&R: Tony Seyler, Interscope, [email protected]