Updated at 6:53 pm, 06-02: 604 Records, the umbrella entertainment imprint of Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger and maverick music entertainment lawyer Jonathan Simkin, has crossed the road and left UMC for what is described as “an exclusive distribution deal” with Warner Music Canada.
Founded in 2001, the west-coast imprint has become an extraordinarily successful innovator and earned significant commercial success for its artists including Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench, and Coleman Hell. Along the way, it has opened five umbrella companies. The first to come to fruition was the alternative Light Organ Records, home to artists such as The Zolas, Mounties, Hotel Mira, and Fake Shark. 604 Records also began developing talent outside of music with their comedy label, Comedy Here Often, which has earned two Juno nominations and one win, for Andrea Jin’s Grandma’s Girl. More recently, the label has launched Intraset, an ambient record imprint and earlier this year, 604 announced it was launching 604 Infinite, an NFTmarketplace.
The company's office complex in the Railtown neighbourhood of Vancouver has recording studios and a soundstage.
As per a press release this week, WMC president Kristen Burke stated: “Jonathan is one of the strongest artist advocates I’ve ever met, and he has such an incredible history of finding and developing talented new artists. I’m honoured that he has chosen (us) as his exclusive Canadian distribution partner and I look forward to working with his team to further elevate his impressive roster of artists.”
Simkin fired back: “When I heard that Kristen was going to become the new president of Warner Music Canada, I knew that I wanted to go there. I’ve known (her) for many years because of 604’s history with Universal, and we have developed a great working relationship over time. It felt like the right time for 604 to make a move as we enter an exciting new phase of the company’s history. I’m looking forward to working with Kristen and her entire team for many years to come.”
- An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Light Organ Records is distributed by a label other than WMC. In fact, the entire 604 stable of imprints is now with WMC. We apologise for getting this wrong.