Indie Music News | BMG Acquires Indie Hip-Hop Label RBC Records

BMG Acquires Independent Hip-Hop Label RBC Records, Home of Chief Keef, Flippa, Waka Flocka Flame, Big L, and The Gucci Mane Catalog

BMG, new music model - BRASH! Magazine BlogLos Angeles, CA  – BMG has announced the acquisition of Los Angeles-based independent hip-hop/rap label RBC Records (RBC). Launched in 2002, the label is home to a number of prolific and influential artists including Chief Keef, Flippa (aka Skippa Da Flippa), Waka Flocka Flame, Big L, and Gucci Mane, whose catalog sits alongside more than 500 label releases having sold millions of records worldwide.

The first acquisition of a label by BMG since it acquired Nashville powerhouse BBR Music Group (Broken Bow Records, Wheelhouse Records, Stoney Creek Records) in February 2017, RBC joins BMG’s recording operations in Los Angeles and New York, together with Rise Records in Portland, OR, and S-Curve Records in New York City.

The deal continues to amplify BMG’s position in the hip-hop market following the recent string of successes from Big K.R.I.T. (4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time), Scarface (Deeply Rooted), and releases from Commission Music artists Lil Dicky (US and UK chart-topping, 2X Platinum single ‘Freaky Friday’), MadeinTYO (Platinum single ‘Skateboard P’), and newcomer Derez De’Shon (Platinum single ‘Hardaway’).

Founded by partners Brian Shafton and Ben Grossi, RBC is an independent rap/hip-hop label and artist services company specializing in digital marketing and distribution. Offering artists and independent labels distribution, product management, sales, marketing, publicity, radio and video promotion, and creative-services consulting to artists and management, RBC is a full-service label alternative.

RBC’s existing team, who are based in Los Angeles, will remain in their positions and continue to report to Shafton, with Shafton reporting to BMG’s EVP, Recorded Music, Tom ‘Grover’ Biery.

Over the years, RBC has released hundreds of projects from artists such as Tech N9ne, E-40, Run the Jewels, Goldlink, and Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

The first projects slated for release include new music from Chief Keef and Flippa, with more to be announced soon.

Zach Katz, President, Marketing & Repertoire, BMG US, said, “We have an incredible amount of admiration for what Brian has been able to build and achieve independently and are very excited about what we can now go on to grow together. The RBC team brings a wealth of experience, an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit, an unrivalled network and a great track record of success. Put that together with BMG’s scale and ability to deliver and I think you have something very special.”

Said Shafton, “BMG respects our history, took notice of our immense growth over the past couple of years, and most importantly, are fully invested in our future. We love BMG’s vision, team, and infrastructure. By joining forces, RBC will gain tremendous synergies that will allow us unbridled growth. I am so excited about this partnership and know that it will propel us into the future.”

Said Grossi, “BMG understands the intrinsic value and experience RBC brings in its more than 16-year history in the hip-hop/rap game and BMG possesses a formidable machine to complement it. The depth and scale of what BMG brings to the table will allow RBC to achieve new heights.”

About BMG
BMG is the new model music company founded by Bertelsmann in 2008 as a direct response to the challenges of music’s digital revolution. Key to its innovative approach is the fact it represents the traditionally separate music publishing and recording rights off the same state-of-the-art platform internationally. BMG is already the world’s fourth biggest music publisher and the first new global player in the recordings business in decades. BMG’s pitch is unique – a relentless focus on fairness and transparency and service to its artist and songwriter clients. BMG’s 15 offices across 12 core music markets now represent over 2.5m songs and recordings, including the catalogues of Chrysalis, Bug, Virgin, Mute, Sanctuary, Primary Wave and Talpa Music, as well as literally thousands of artists and songwriters attracted by its fresh approach. BMG is owned by international media, services and education company Bertelsmann, which also includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group, and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. With its multi-platform perspective, integrated technology platform and commitment to help artists maximize their income, BMG aims to be the best company in music to do business with.
Twitter: @BMG_US


Banger After Banger | No Service Album by Griff Queso

Inglewood’s Griff Queso Releases NEW Sophomore Album No Service

No Service Album by Griff Queso

California is in the spotlight again following the release of Inglewood’s own Griff Queso’s latest album No Service. The rapper’s sophomore project comes just a year after the success of his debut EP Passion. With Executive production credited to Wall Street Crooks, and engineering to rising star Enimal, it’s no question as to why the album is comprised of banger after banger.

No Service Album Back Cover by Griff Queso - BRASH! Magazine Blog

No Service is Available Now on Apple Music, Spotify, and other major digital retailers!

Hip Hop Artist, Griff QuesoAbout Griff Queso
Griff Queso is a 24 year old rapper from Inglewood, California. After being inspired at an early age by poetry, Queso first stepped into a recording studio in middle school. The young artist was inspired by Drake, and Kanye West while working to develop his own sound. His first project “Passion” was an example of his ability to capture the listener with his talent to display raw emotion on records. As a further developed artist, Griff Queso is out to make his mark in the industry, and engrave his name on the wall of Hip-Hop Culture.
Twitter: @GriffQueso
IG: GriffQueso

Week8 | Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Music Monster

Tobi's new music monster

Kids in America by ofVerona - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: of Verona
Track: “Kids in America”
Kim Wilde’s 1981 debut single, “Kids in America” entertains the conjecture of a darker time, with alt pop/electro soul, three piece of Verona. The seminal 80s hit recast a wide sonic vessel of creeping ambients and melody in murmur; lead singer Mandi Perkins’ poring rendition, struts and frets her 3 minutes 36 seconds upon the band’s expertly crafted stage. Full of percussive sound and distant fury, much of Dillion Pace’s instrumentation deftly shrouded by EQ and set deep in layers of reverb. The pride, pomp and circumstance of Jeff Sojka’s glorious drum work, adds drama and depth to the mini pop odyssey. With many an pop act keeping it on the down low, the sheer cinematic scale and epic overtones of the LA based trio’s music, makes for an inspiring, if at times almost overwhelming listening experience. Set speakers Olympus high! Cry havoc and press play! “We’re the kids in America! We’re the kids in America! Everybody live for the music-go-round!”. Our revels now are ended.
Twitter: @ofVerona
IG: ofVerona


Tanners EP -BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Tanners
Track: “This Crazy”
New York based artist/songwriter Tanners drops a 3 minute 58 second slice of alt pop/psychedelic dream pop and cautionary snapshot, with new single “This Crazy”. Short percussive bass riffs partner a drum kit, set roomy; the rhythmic pair driving the song in a shuffled series of darting stabs and rolls. Synthpopped electro hooks and shifting synthsonics, modulated ambient envelop the track, providing width and depth. Tanners vocals are clear and bright, with a soulful hush, emphasized by well worked reverb. The young Artist’s lyrics, ideas and memories flow in an intuitive rush of singalong melodies and percussive turns; engaging in their haste, as Tanners relives and reveals the great waste of indulgent/destructive youth. Part confessional, part conversational, part art rock, part chartpop, “This Crazy” is an accomplished blend of contrasting musical influences, that strikes a compelling balance between art and entertainment; and places its author at the heart of a growing movement of young women, intent on bringing intelligent, challenging, socially and artistically relevant pop back to our much devalued charts. Tanners is very much an artist on the up…whoever she might be.
Twitter: @WhoisTanners
IG: WhoisTanners


Kaua E Mate Wheke by soccerpractise - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: SoccerPractise
Track: “Kaua E Mate Wheke”
Skip hop, trip electro, alt pop, four piece, SoccerPractise concoct a b*tches brew of simmering grooves, spiraled phrasing, and blue note inflections, with new single, “Kaua E Mate Wheke”. The heady mix of contrasting musical influences, shift like liquid, in layered depths, upon the stuttered and snapped, syncopated beat. Loop, sample and instrument, twist, turn and tiptoe in the sonic melting pot. Metallic shards sound percussive left/right; evocative of the experimental film soundtracks, belonging to 70s B-Movies, such as Tobe Hooper’s infamous flawed masterpiece, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974). The willfully unsettling instrumentation is grounded and given soul, by talented lead singer Geneva Alexander-Marsters’ quietly compelling, conversational vocal style and her use of te reo; the warm, open phonetics of the Maori language, bringing a rich, earthy weight to the hazy glissé of the quartet’s expansive musical expression. Ill-formed awesome, imperfect splendid, “Kaua E Mate Wheke” is an inspiring 3 minute 42 second slice of explorative art pop, extraordinary. Newly signed to Kartel Music Group, the New Zealand based group promise an ongoing musical journey, rich in possibility and improbability.
Twitter: @SoccerPractise
IG: SoccerPractise

Week8 Music Monster Picks


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.

Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week5 | Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Music Monster

Horrorscope by Jack WattsArtist: Jack Watts
Track: “Horrorscope”
Ambient soundscapes, shattered memories guised audio snapshot, blunted bass sonics and lofi-ed beats, shuffled to Motown seasoned syncopation, makes for the alt pop, electro experimental, canvas on which singer songwriter Jack Watts paints his latest release, the kaleidoscopic, helter skelter-ed, “Horrorscope”. Jack Watt’s soulful voice carries the lyrics gentle, in well worked, strained phrasing that compels, in quiet surges of emotion, as it flexes to breaking point ; accompanying harmonies add depth and warmth, but also contrasting disturbance and uneasy melancholy. The scattered shifting sonicscape works the stereo field in criss-crossing breaths ; sudden snatches of aural agony burst, breaking open the well crafted melodic flow. A jazz infused crescendo groove tops the track off, in a surprising turn of pace. Inspired as it is odd, delightful as it is disquieting, “Horrorscope” stands apart. Jack Watts is very much one to keep on ear on. ..if only to hear what he’ll dare to do next.
Twitter: @JackWattsMusic
IG: JackWattsMusic

Track: Kingdoms Fall (DIS-ORDER EP)
Canadian born, LA based, bittersweet alt electro pop artist, X.ARI follows up on quick fire release, the dancefloor moving, Bimbo Jones remix of “Stay v Go”, with her much anticipated second EP, DIS-ORDER. Delayed two months, the hardworking songwriter left with no choice, but to take a well overdue break, the six track collection and creator, are perhaps best summed up by the conflicted beauty of opening title, ‘Kingdoms Fall’. Stadium filling singalong pop anthem, heartbreaking in their melodic elegance, sit oddly against FX drenched, percussive lyric riffs ; lofi stuttered bit blunted beats, are swallowed up by pitch drops cascading in rhythmic waves ; X.ARI’s words cast infinite in feedback washed delays, or plunged into unfathomable depths of reverb. The experience for the listener, akin to being caught in a sonic maelstrom, as X.ARI struggles to reconcile two great opposing forces ; her striking talent for crafting powerful chart conquering choruses, versus the delicate introspect, fragility and darkness of her lyrical world. And yet, it is through this act of struggling, X.ARI’s work excels ; the point of violent convergence, a vital spark that infuses her music with a bright light. Very much a star in ascendance, we can only hope that X.ARI’s inspiring artistic struggle does not come at the expense of her own health, as she turns her pain into our power.

*Kingdoms Fall will be released officially as a single on August 3rd. BRASH! makes no apologies for being ahead of the game 😉
Twitter: @xARIofficial
IG: xARIofficial

JON MAGNUSSON - ARTWORKArtist: Jon Magnusson
Track: “Sweetest Thing”
It’s been a busy year for Swedish singer songwriter Jon Magnusson, having already released his second EP, Always a Rebel and a string of supporting remixes, newly released, “Acoustic Dreams” retains the Independent Artist’s trademark mix of influences, ranging from punk to folk, metal to electro ; but in doing so, conjures an intoxicating nostalgia and a dreamlike sense of emotional place and time. Beautifully worked reverb and carefully, consistent use of panning and processing give the EP a binded together feel, rare in modern ‘multi producer / mixer’ releases ; providing a subtle frame in which to present, Jon’s talent for original arrangement and intuitive musical timing. The finger picked rendition of Stockholm based Indietronica duet, Almost Honey’s, “Sweetest Thing”, is an inspired blend of counterpointed arpeggios, wistful backing vocals and sweeping, intricate string accompaniment. With a growing canon of impressive musical works, Jon is steadily becoming an Artist of considerable integrity and depth. A storyteller who stands favorable compare with likes of Dylan, Petty and Springsteen.
Twitter: @JonMagnussonof
IG: JonMagnussonof

Week5 Music Monster Picks.JPG

About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for Brash. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.

Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Turning the Page | “Not Having Fun” by Kate Gillespie

Toronto Singer/Songwriter, Kate Gillespie Releases Summertime Single, “Not Having Fun”

Not having fun by kate gillespie, new music releases“I wrote this song just moments after deciding to end a casual relationship that I was very emotionally invested in. I denied my emotions throughout the entirety of that relationship on the notion that I shouldn’t take anything too seriously as we were just having fun. While I was writing the song I came to terms with the fact that I had tried to push my negative feelings aside because he and I shared similar family tragedies in our lives. As it turned out, that meant more to me than I was willing to admit, until I wrote the bridge of “Not Having Fun”. Each verse is a little more honest than the last because I was revealing thoughts to myself that I had repressed as I was writing.”

“Not Having Fun” is Available Now on iTunes, Spotify, & Amazon!

About Kate Gillespie
Kate Gillespie is an indie/folk singer-songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. During her adolescent years, Kate attended an art school located in downtown Toronto. This passion for all things creative led Kate to devote her time to songwriting, collaborating, and performing with other Toronto natives. When she was thirteen years old, her Dad took her on a trip to Nashville, based on their shared love for country music. In August 2014, Kate moved to Nashville to pursue her musical career.

A few years later, in September of 2017, she released her debut EP, titled Pink and Gold. The album gained quick success on Spotify, with over 500,000 streams on the title track and 650,000 streams on the EP overall.
IG: KateGillesp

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS | 2018 The International Songwriting Competition

2018 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Judges Announced

Judges Include: Adam Lambert, Tom Waits, The Script, Marc Anthony, Ne-Yo, Hardwell, Portugal. The Man, Kane Brown, 21 Savage, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), and More

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June 18 , 2018
– The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its panel of judges for the 2018 competition. Established in 2002, ISC is the world’s largest songwriting competition and is open to both professional and amateur songwriters, signed and unsigned. A total of 71 winners in 23 categories share in over $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash, and much more.

ISC offers the opportunity for songwriters to be heard by an elite panel of recording artists and music executives. The panel is comprised of high-profile recording artists and Presidents, CEOs, and A&R executives from many top record labels and publishing companies.

Over the years, ISC has helped to propel many artists to achieve greater success, including getting record and publishing deals, licensing agreements, gigs, and much more. Past winners have included: Illenium; Vance Joy; Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; and many more.

“There are a lot of songwriting competitions in the world, but only ISC has judges of such prestige and influence,” said Candace Avery, Founder and Director of ISC. “Although many of our judges participate year after year, we have a lot of new judges this year, bringing fresh ears to the process. We are grateful for the perspectives and opinions they bring to the process of selecting the winners.”

The list of 2018 judges includes:

Recording Artists:
Adam Lambert; Marc Anthony; Porugal.The Man; The Script; Tom Waits; Ne-Yo; American Authors; Kane Brown; Hardwell; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Nicky Jam; 21 Savage; Rodney Crowell; Booker T. Jones; The Mavericks; Sara Evans; Bastille; Kristian Bush (Sugarland); Rakim (Eric B. & Rakim); Walker Hayes; Chris Lane; Keane; Omarion; Danilo Perez; Nervo; Jeremih; Peter Erskine; James McNally (Afro Celt Sound System); Nero; Sidewalk Prophets; Kenny Garrett; Russ; Krewella; Matt Nathanson; Amadou & Miriam; Kaskade; Sara Watkins; Ted Nash; John Mayall; Art Alexakis (Everclear); Joe Louis Walker; Nicholas Gunn; Vassy; Kim Walker-Smith (Jesus Culture); Ashwin Batish; Lonnie Liston Smith; Walter Trout; Tony Joe White; Micah Tyler; John Tibbs; Gordon Goodwin; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives:
Gregg Nadel (President, Elektra Records); Seymour Stein (Chairman/CEO, Sire Records); Jo Charrington (Co-President, Capitol Music Group UK); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); John Esposito (Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville); John Burk (President, Concord Label Group); Tom “Grover” Biery (Executive VP, Recorded Music BMG); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Steve Yegelwel (Sr. VP, Island Records); Mark Mitchell (Co-President, Parlophone Records); Ben Blackwell (Co-Founder, Third Man Records); Nate Albert (Executive VP of A&R, Capitol Records); Jacob Edgar (Founder, Cumbancha); Aaron Bay-Schuck (President of A&R, Interscope Records); Dan Fraser (President, Nettwerk Music Group); Mike Easterlin (President Fueled By Ramen / Roadrunner Records); Craig Balsam (Co-Owner, Razor & Tie, Washington Square, and Kidz Bop); Josh Bailey (Senior VP of A&R, Word Entertainment); Gordon Kerr (CEO, Black River Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); AJ Tobey (Head of A&R, Rough Trade Publishing); Cory Robbins (Founder / President, Robbins Entertainment); Angel Carrasco (Latin Music Consultant); Julie Kertes (Editor / Manager, Hot Diggity Media); Laura Margolin (Publishing, Glassnote Records); Leib Ostrow (Founder / CEO, Music For Little People); Katherine Dines (Co-President, The Children’s Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parent’s Choice Foundation); Benjamin Groff (Founder, The Brill Building); Sas Metcalfe (President, Global Creative, Kobalt Music); Golnar Khosrowshahi (President, Reservoir Media Management); Tamara Conniff (EVP, Roc Nation); Dara Frank (Head of Comedy Central Records / Viacom); Carl Caprioglio (Founder / CEO, Oglio Entertainment); Elena Epstein (Director, National Parenting Product Awards); and more to be announced.

Entering ISC can be done online or through the mail, and information can be found at

ISC is sponsored by: Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Gig Salad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musicians Institute; PreSonus; Pro Tour Nutrition; oneRPM; SongU; Sweetwater; Tunedly; and Vocal Eze.
Twitter: @intlsongcomp

Driving Rock | “Taxi Driver” by Overjoyed

Indie Rock Group, Overjoyed takes the lead for the next generation of outstanding export from the Gothenburg (Sweden) scene with single “Taxi Driver”, taken from their upcoming EP

taxi driver by overjoyed, overjoyed, rock band, indie rock, rock music, entertainment industry news, gothenburgOver driving percussion, glittering guitars bounce like reflective prisms from the walls as the vocalist seeks deeper meaning through the night. Overjoyed suggestive and exquisite music is as sad as uplifting.

This young trio has during their short existence already played on relevant stages in their home country. Previous single “Lights” has been streamed over 128,000 times on Spotify.

“Taxi Driver” ticking in just over two minutes is the first taste of the collaboration with producer Erik Bjarnar (The Sun Days). The track is mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes at Svenska Grammofonstudion and will be followed up with more releases on Blinding Recordings in 2018.

Stream “Taxi Driver” Now on Spotify!


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Overjoyed Band Members
Guitar/vocals – Tobias Ringsten
Guitar – Hampus Högdahl
Drums – Einar Thörn
Twitter: @OverjoyedBand
Instagram: OverjoyedBand