Nashville – A new music label aims to break the mold in marketing music to children and families. Headed up by a team of seasoned executives, with A&R curation by Kenny Curtis (of SiriusXM Kids Place Live fame), 8 Pound Gorilla Records announces its first roster of acclaimed and award-winning artists offering several new releases in 2021.
Based in Nashville, 8 Pound Gorilla Records is a division of the noted comedy label 800 Pound Gorilla Media, which is continually finding new ways to celebrate and promote a diverse roster of comedic talent, including Marc Maron, George Lopez, Kathleen Madigan, Affion Crockett and power Kevin Hart’s LOL Records.
In selecting artists for the new children’s label, 8 Pound Gorilla Records aims to mirror these smart digital marketing tactics while reflecting the interests of today’s families by presenting a wide-ranging array of music from recognized leaders in the genre.
Says Curtis about the lineup, “These are artists who go way beyond ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ when they write songs for kids. These are honest, well-crafted songs that speak to kids in their world today. Family dynamics are changing as millennials become parents, and there’s a new appetite for music and content that families can share. For artists, the possibilities of working in this genre are endless, and we give them free rein to imagine and create their own ‘8 pounds’ of fun.”
Australia’s Formidable Vegetable and Grammy-nominated Bay Area artist Frances England released extended-play collections with the label last fall. New for 1st quarter 2021 will be Great Indoors by Genevieve Goings (known for her work with Disney Jr.), comedian-musician Mike Phirman, and the pop songwriting duo Rabbit! Noted musician and Sesame Street songwriter Erica Rabner will release her inspirational We Got This EP in March. Other signed artists planning releases this year include noted Nashville songwriter Elliott Park, Grammy winner and kid show personality Tim Kubart, Grammy-nominated rapper/singer/songwriter SaulPaul, Latin Grammy and Emmy Award winners The Lucky Band, Chicago’s soulful duo Raii & Whitney and Atlanta’s hip-hop hero DJ WillyWow. At least four more EPs will be released by year’s end.
Goings is delighted to be the first artist to release with 8 Pound Gorilla Records in the new year. “I’m really excited to step into this new and exciting partnership,” she says. “8 Pound Gorilla is really nurturing to artists – we do what we do, and they will take it from there.” And Phirman, whose Activity Books EP is out in March, adds, “There’s just something magical and fitting about a kids’ label being birthed by a parent company. I look forward to helping make 8 Pound Gorilla a household name (like Downton Abbey, Wayne Manor, or Graceland).”
The team’s proven experience in the children’s music space allows the new label to formulate custom marketing strategies, unique digital branding and analytics-driven audience-building tactics appealing to both parents and their kids, new fans and established ones, in a personal, safe, trustworthy and relevant manner. All marketing efforts are designed to help artists reach a worldwide audience speak directly to established and new fans in personal and highly relevant ways.
As Luke Youngblom, Head of Music for 800 Pound Gorilla Media says, “The children’s music genre is clearly untapped. With many talented artists not yet recognized in the mainstream, we hope to change that. We are developing a nimble indie approach to this niche genre, and we will individualize our process with each artist as we grow this space, releasing original music that only a few major labels have been able to undertake effectively undertaken.”
8 Pound Gorilla Records is the inevitable offspring of 800 Pound Gorilla Media. Moving into kids’ and family programming was a natural decision for the company’s founders, Ryan Bitzer and Damion Greiman. The label distributes recordings to more than 100 digital retail partners in the United States and an additional 300 partners in nearly 200 countries internationally. Each new record receives strategic placement and integration into each platform’s Search and Play algorithms.
As they did with their comedy-focused label, Bitzer and Greiman have discovered an under-served genre. As Bitzer notes, “There’s a veritable treasure-trove of talented artists around the world making high-quality family-oriented music that remains largely unknown to mainstream audiences. With unique marketing strategies and analytics-driven audience building techniques, 8 Pound Gorilla Records is building a platform for this genre that will bring increased awareness and opportunities for these talented performers. We’re partnering with the best independent kids’ musicians on the planet to help build a community of music and joy for families everywhere.”