Transparency. Accountability. Stability. You wouldn’t necessarily see these words typically being used by a record label...and I worked for a major label so trust me on that. Based in Los Angeles, the female-owned and operated Lauretta Records is redefining the traditional label and creating a platform for artists to build a runway to be financially self-sufficient and independent - something that in the world of the music business is hard to come by. While most labels may be looking for their next chart-topping teen pop star, Lauretta Records is focused on spotlighting underrepresented voices who may not fit that criteria and helping them to develop a more impactful and creative footprint in TV and film. Lauretta Records is led by Katrina Frye, a Black Independent Music Accelerator Fellow (A2IM) and by night an adjunct professor teaching Music Entrepreneurship & Music Marketing who is providing her roster of musicians with education and access to information to empower them to steer their own path.
“I created Lauretta Records to be a home for artists who are not interested in that ‘traditional’ path, says Frye. “This indie label is here for artists that want to work, expand their reach, and understand that all good things take time. We want to support artists that want a sustainable life doing the thing they love the most, music. And in commitment to this one task we ask artists to approach their catalog in a different way.”
This speaks true throughout the sounds you’ll hear within the roster of artists and even reflects the company’s name which was inspired by a time Frye and her now husband Jordan, a songwriter who previously worked for Capitol Records, were living in San Diego on a street named “Lauretta” and would dream of becoming full time artists. She recalls the time and says, “It’s when music and art and commerce felt tangible. I remember feeling rich in the fact that I could do what I love and pay my bills.”
Now, she is trying to make that dream a reality for her roster of six artists that span across genres from the alternative soul of Revel Day and the anthemic melodies and dark synth of Lavendel to the charming R&B grooves of Kesha Shantrell and the electrifying rhythms of producer and singer-songwriter J.Pollock.
From the creative lense, Frye, who received her degree in Visual Art, strategizes with the label’s creative director Gabrielle Veneracion to carefully review the artist’s catalog and decide how the song’s story would best shine through in a scene for a movie or TV show. And so far the label has placed over 50 songs.
Lavendel, official music video for her debut single “Bloodstream”
Author: Ash Eliot