Katie Scott has not let a matter as small as a global pandemic get in the way of her dreams. Last July, the teacher-turned-business-owner opened Red Zeppelin Records in downtown McKinney, a punk-grunge haven for crate diggers.
Soon after she opened the shop, Scott began to receive music submissions from local bands and singers. These artists only wanted Scott’s opinion, but she was blown away by the talent, which inspired yet another bold, mid-pandemic move.
Earlier this month, Scott launched an independent record label, aptly called Red Zeppelin Records, to create a launching pad for North Texas musicians.
“I spoke to a few others who have experience in the record label business,” Scott says, “and made the decision that I would create a platform for these musicians.”
So far, Scott has signed two artists to the label: Juno Uno, whom she describes as a “captivating character that creates dreamy synth-pop sounds combined with classic singer-songwriter elements,” and the store’s manager, Bayleigh Cheek, “a quiet storm of a human that mixes haunting vocals with raw and bold instrumentation.”
Independent record labels, despite what streaming habits would suggest, are still a sound endeavor, as Idol Records owner Erv Karwelis told us in a December interview.
As a one-woman record label owner, Scott plans to start small with her roster and slowly build as the momentum grows. She wants to be able to give her all to each artist she works with and believes her “organic” business strategy will blend well with this new endeavor.
Scott’s music taste is eclectic, ranging from punk music with raw emotion to folk music driven by lyrics and melody. She plans to sign artists who make “authentic, thought-provoking music.” She hopes to allow her artists the freedom to create the kind of work they want.
“I want to be known as a label that puts the artist’s best interest first,” Scott says. “That sounds cliché, but it’s true. So many artists sign a contract because they passionately want the public to hear their music, so badly that they may give up a large portion of their songwriting ownership, or even all at times.
"That’s when you see these artists that hit it big and then don’t have much to show for it, especially on their first album," she continues. "I believe a label is nothing without the artist and they should be given the accolades they deserve for being the creative mastermind. My goal is to protect those rights for them.”
Red Zeppelin Records is open to receiving submissions from artists of all genres across North Texas. For Scott, no submission is too weird, too poppy or too eccentric for her to consider.
“I don’t have anyone telling me what to do or specific types of music to search for,” Scott says, “so the options are so open, which I love.”
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