With Missouri’s Kansas City not exactly being a hotbed for the music business, Strange Music has beat the odds and become one of the most profitable independent labels in the world today. Nearly two decades in business, Strange Music continues to be the pinnacle independent hip-hop business model and are now poised to take on the world of pop music with the launch of their new elite division of Strange Music, deemed Strange Main.

The independent landscape would not be what it is today without pioneers like Strange Music’s co-founders CEO Travis O’Guin and the label’s flagship artist Tech N9ne. Tech’s multi-faceted skillset has not gone unrecognized by artists of all genres, exemplified by collaborations with such diverse artists as The Doors, Serj Tankian, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar, to name just a few, a clear testament to constant reinvention and inarguable excellence that has become a standard at Strange Music. With their continued DIY work ethic and refusal to be limited by paths long-ago forged by major labels, Strange Music continues to thrive in the ever-evolving picture of the music business. “We have this established machine that’s proven successful for us. Whether it’s screen printing our own merchandise, putting together and executing domestic and international tours, extensive marketing efforts, cutting-edge social media strategies or getting the best quality music into the hands of the fans, we have found ways to do all of that and do it well,” says CEO Travis O’Guin. “Hip-hop will always be the cornerstone of what Strange Music is about, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to limit ourselves to focusing on one genre of music.”

An exclusively hip-hop label for nearly 18 years, Strange Music is poised to complement its hip-hop success with the introduction of its pop music division, Strange MainStrange Main’s inaugural release will be Mackenzie Nicole’s debut albumThe Edge, out on April 13.

Even before signing to Strange Music in 2015, Mackenzie Nicole was well known to Strange Music fans from singing hooks for multiple Tech N9ne albums. It was through her love of music, her formal training and recording these memorable hooks that her potential as a pop artist was realized. Mackenzie Nicole formally unveiled the song “Actin Like You Know” in 2016, boasting a cameo from Tech N9ne. Early acclaim came as the track racked up over 3.9 million YouTube views and 1.9 million Spotify streams, while serving as a centerpiece on the Tech N9ne Collabos album Strangeulation Vol. II, effortlessly bridging the gap between pop purists and the Strange Music faithful. “It became the best-selling song on the album,” explained O’Guin. “Mackenzie’s rise came as no surprise.” added Tech N9ne, “Watching her grow into this artist is beautiful, I’m so proud of her. I’ve been searching for our first female artist for years. Mackenzie is the first lady of Strange Music, which is crazy to me. I always thought it would be a rapper.”

In February 2017, Mackenzie released her second single, “Deleted,” which she co-wrote with labelmate Krizz Kaliko. The song deals with an issue close to her heart: internet bullying. “Deleted” garnered much attention, with over 978K Spotify streams and 599K YouTube views to date. Simultaneously, the 18-year-old songstress assembled what has become her full-length debut and the first release for the Strange Main imprint. The Edge, co-written with and produced by Los Angeles duo The Jam(Lady Gaga, Santana, Jojo), will be available everywhere on April 13.

Strange Main has paved the way for the album with the video for the song “Preview,” which is already stirring things up with over 98k views since its November 2017 release.

Travis O’Guin has enlisted some seasoned help to get his pop division off the ground: Ponch Hudgens, widely known in Kansas City as the former program director and morning-show host at KMXV Mix 93.3 FM, has been brought on as the executive director of pop music. In addition, to further bolster their pop division, Strange Music has opened an impressive performance and event space in the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland complex. With a proven history, talent in place on both sides of the fence and a take-no-prisoners attitude, Strange Music’s Strange Main is ready, willing and able to make their mark in the pop music world.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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