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Monday, October 5, 2009

Canadian Powerhouse Hopes to Crack American Market


Canadian musicians (and record labels) want a piece of the American dream. And it appears they may get their wish.

Reuters reported several indie labels from Canada have formed a new label services company named Rock Steady.

Chris Taylor, founder of Last Gang Records in Toronto, developed a way to introduce Canadian artists to the American market. Housed in L.A., Rock Steady offers marketing, PR, sales and radio promotion for U.S.'s northern counterparts.

Record labels who have partnered with Rock Steady include: Hamilton, Onatrio-based Unyon Records, and Toronto-based labels Dine Alone Records, Paper Bag Records and Underground Operations.

Vice President of Last Gang Records said costs of starting on their own label service would be “prohibitive” but partnering would “allow us to make that work.”

Rock Steady, operating with only four people on the pay roll, did a mini-launch in August. Right now, they’re promoting current releases from five partners. Two of which are Silver Starling’s self-titled debut released on Last Gang Records and the Ghost Is Dancing’s “Battle On” on Sonic Unyon Records. I’m sure you’ve heard of them.

Rock Steady is primarily funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), which is a government agency that supports Ontario’s cultural and artistic businesses. They put forth an initial amount of $301,000. The five partnering labels contributed a total of $100,000. (both in Canadian dollar amounts)

Chris Taylor remains confident the company won't need to apply for more money.

--Ashley Thompson
currently listening to "Clean" by Incubus

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