Signing Story: Zandi Holup

Date Signed: September 2023

Label: Big Loud Records

Type of Music: Country / Americana / Folk

Management: N/A

Booking: Marissa Smith and Josh Garrett - United Talent Agency, [email protected], [email protected]

Legal: N/A

Publicity: Rachel Heatherly - Big Loud, [email protected]

Web: zandiholupmusic.com, instagram.com/zandiholup

A&R: Nate Yetton

2023 has been a banner year for country artist Zandi Holup. She connected with several well-placed industry players, which led first to a joint publishing agreement with Kara DioGuardi's Arthouse Entertainment and Turntable Music in partnership with Universal Music Publishing. Ultimately that resulted in a deal with Big Loud Records. Label A&R rep Nate Yetton reached out to Holup when the young artist's publisher sent him some of her music.

“Nate was scouting alternative country artists,” Holup recalls. “He asked if I’d like to meet with him so I went in with my publisher Ben Johnson and played five or six songs acoustically. The same day he said that he wanted to sign me. It was a dream and I couldn’t believe it was happening.”

Of course this raises the question of how she came to the attention of Big Loud in the first place. “There’s a guy named Rob Stevenson with Sparta, a distribution company under 300 Entertainment,” Holup explains. “He handled distribution for one of my songs and after hearing my body of work, called Nate and suggested that he check me out.

“I signed my publishing deal around the beginning of January,” the singer continues. “That happened because I’d been in a songwriting session with Kylie Morgan and we’d written the song ‘If He Wanted To He Would’ together. She suggested that we meet for a second session and bring in another writer to help clean it up. She recruited Ben [Johnson] who also runs the publishing company Turntable Music. After the session, Ben asked if I wanted to sign a publishing deal, which, of course, I did. Later he took me to meet Kara DioGuardi, president of publishing company Arthouse Entertainment. I hustled in Nashville for six years before I got to this point. If you keep going, something will happen.” Observant readers will recognize DioGuardi’s name not only as an industry powerhouse but also as a judge on ABC’s American Idol for two seasons.

Holup’s debut with Big Loud Records is planned for sometime within the next year. Co-written with Stefanie Joyce and Brian Alexander, the single “Gas Station Flowers” dropped in early October. In recent months the country artist has played a number of support dates and currently has 75,000 Instagram followers.