A new full service indie label will offer a stepping stone to artists on their way to a major label deal!
After working side-by-side as separate entities in the flourishing UK Country and Americana scene, w21Music Group and ZimagineD are joining forces to launch a new label that will offer support to their shared roster of artists. w21Records, which launches today will be led by Head of Label, Pete Woodhouse of w21Music Group and will build on the work he has done with artists under the brand since 2014
Responding to the needs of their artists, among the first moves by the label is a deal with 3Tone music to handle digital distribution and marketing. w21Records is launching with a closed roster of five signed artists and has built the services it will offer around them
They are US based singer songwriter Brian Collins and UK Americana artist Paul Carella, both long-time collaborators with w21Music Group, and three artists managed by Donna Zanetti of ZimagineD who will take the role of Commercial Director at the label: multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Kezia Gill; Americana artist Emilia Quinn (UK), and Nashville-based Country Artist Audra McLaughlin
The story of w21Records began in 2018 when Pete Woodhouse started to assist Paul and Brian with their music releases. Over the years Pete and his team have worked with a number of artists in a variety of areas and have achieved a string of No1 singles under the name The idea for launching w21Records as a full-service label came when partners Pete and Donna, working side by side on their respective businesses, realised they were increasingly collaborating to deliver the best possible service for their artists. They began splitting the work across their collective talent pool based on their individual strengths and skillset, so all their artists were benefiting from two industry professionals with multifaceted experience. Due to the lack of indie labels specialising in the Country and Americana genres in the UK, Pete and Donna decided to build their own. Using their insight into the services and expertise their artists require they have put together a robust team to offer full label services, including PR, campaign strategy, artist development, graphic design, tour operations, project management, merchandising, and global digital distribution and marketing. Having set a vision for w21Records to nurture and develop artists on their way to a major label deal, and after a long search for the right partner, they approached 3Tone music to join them 3Tone music is a talent-focused music and media company. They bring crucial expertise in digital distribution and marketing to the table that goes beyond what standard distribution platforms offer, ensuring w21Records artists can achieve maximum impact from their music releases. Speaking about the partnership,Rupert Stroud (Artist and Label Partnerships) at 3Tone said “We're thrilled to be working with Donna & Pete at w21Records. Their enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of the Country and Americana music genre is what we all want to see from a record label! We're excited to be working with them on a great roster which includes talented signed acts such as singer-songwriters Kezia Gill and Brian Collins. They've achieved so much in the live scene and now is the time for their music to be seriously recognised in the world of Digital Service Providers. That's where we come in!” Donna Zanetti started work in the music industry five years ago, driven by a lifelong love of Country music and following a corporate career which included experience in PR, marketing and brand partnerships. Working at first as a consultant for radio show hosts, festivals, promoters and artists, in 2019 she became Commercial Director for an independent label. When it closed, she moved into artist management, launching boutique agency, ZimagineDin 2021. Donna will continue to offer boutique artist management services as ZimagineD alongside her new role as Commercial Director at w21Records! Speaking on the launch of w21Records, Pete Woodhouse and Donna Zanetti said “This label has been built to service our existing artist roster to give them a truly bespoke in-house team. Nurturing and developing artists careers to the point where they are attracting the attention of major labels is what w21Records is all about. We want to be a stepping stone on the journey, an indie artist’s gateway to a major label deal.”
On signing to the new label Kezia Gill said “In a business where it's so easy for independent artists to be exploited, it is so refreshing to work with an in-house, bespoke team that consult you on every single detail of your career. I genuinely feel like they have my very best interests at heart. As a label they work with me and together, I feel like we can make anything happen."
Kezia's next single ‘Like I Did Before’ is out on 21st October on w21Records and is available to resave now!
Brian Collins is a CMT Discovery Artist based in Atlanta, USA and new single ‘When The Sun Gets In Your Eyes’ is being released on w21Records in October. He is heading to the UK in November to join Kezia Gill as a special guest on her tour. His new single 'When The Sun Gets In Your Eyes' is out now!
“Being a part of the w21Records family is an extension of just that. Family. I’ve never met a more dedicated and determined team of people so eager to roll up their sleeves and do the necessary work to help execute your vision. Being an independent artist who has been around them for a few years as a friend, it is quite special (but not surprising) to bear witness to their evolution with such character and professionalism. They are doing it right, my friends. With that said, I am very proud to be on the team and I look forward to sharing in a bright future where the artist and the music are the priority”
Emilia Quinn was named as ‘one of the fastest rising stars in the British country scene’ by Maverick magazine and has received a nomination in the BCMA awards for 'Best Female Vocalist' 2022. She is preparing to hit the road with Jade Helliwell and also Jill Andrews this autumn. Her next single 'Child' is out on 18th November and is available to presave now!
"As an artist who is quite headstrong and knows what she wants, signing to a label was always going to be a big decision, not taken lightly, which is why I know signing to w21Records is the right thing to do at this stage in my career. It is a milestone in any artist's career, and I feel so lucky that I have found this incredible team to share it with. To find just one person who believes in my visions and creative concepts as much as I do and wants to come on this crazy ride with me feels like one in a million. To find a team to work with is just insane. I am over the moon to be part of this label and giddy with excitement to see what the future holds for all of us!"
Audra McLaughlin shot to fame as a finalist on US TV show The Voice where she was on Blake Shelton’s team. Blake said “Audra is one of my all-time favourite country singers”. She lives in Nashville where she writes and records with country music veterans Johnny Garcia and Jimmy Mattingly. She performed live in the UK for the first time this summer and was a hit with fans. Her latest single 'I Don't Wanna Feel The Sun' is out now!
“I am so excited to be a part of w21Records. I am so humbled and honoured to get to work with this team. Being signed to an independent label is always something I’ve dreamed of. We get to make music we care about and music we feel the fans will love & relate too. Being a part of w21Records feels like family. I am excited to see what the future holds!”
Paul Carella is a multi-award winning Americana Artist from Scotland and has played at coveted festivals such as C2C at the O2 in London. He has extensively toured across America and throughout Europe. He has new music in the pipeline for 2023.
“Having known the people at the helm of w21Records for some time now, I’m immensely excited to be signing with such a credible and passionate team. Joining this expanding, bespoke management stable marks a new chapter in my career while I continue to explore new music and performances on a worldwide stage”