Major news on the Canadian record label scene was made yesterday with the announcement that two prominent independent labels, 604 Records and Light Organ Records, have entered into an exclusive deal with Sony Music for distribution in Canada.
The announcement was made by 604 Records/Light Organ Records President Jonathan Simkin from 604 Studios, his new creative production facility in Vancouver’s Railtown.
Founded in 2001 by entertainment lawyer/artist manager Simkin and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, 604 Records has achieved major domestic and international success via an eclectic roster featuring such artists as Carly Rae Jepsen, Coleman Hell, Dallas Smith, Marianas Trench, Aaron Pritchett, Thornley, My Darkest Days, Daniel Wesley and Theory of a Deadman.
The more left-field leaning Light Organ Records was founded by Simkin in 2010. Primarily focused on west coast acts, its roster includes The Zolas, The Shilohs, Fine Times, supergroup Mounties, JPNSGRLS, and The Matinée.
In a label press release, Sony Music Entertainment Canada President Shane Carter noted that “Under Jonathan’s leadership and vision, 604 Records has become one of the most respected names in the industry. We are honoured that Jonathan has decided to call Sony Music his new home and look forward to working with the whole 604/Light Organ team to help take their artists to the next level.”
Simkin commented that “We are at a transitional point in the music industry, and I am thrilled to be stepping into this new era with a new Canadian distribution partner. The genuine excitement and enthusiasm shown by Shane and everyone at Sony is a breath of fresh air at a time when there is so much negativity throughout the music business. I look forward to working with Sony to prove that the recorded music business can still be profitable…and fun!”
In what was perhaps a preview of the deal, Simkin sent out the following tweet on the weekend: "make yr own scene. if it's good, ppl will follow. if enough ppl follow, corporations will notice. If they come to you, u might not get fuckt."
Simkin also has his own management company, Simkin Artist Management. 604 Records was previously distributed by Universal Music Canada.