After a decade in the Southern gospel and inspirational fields, Spring Hill Music Group is expanding into the pop/rock market with the launch of Slanted Records, Billboard.biz has learned.

After a decade in the Southern gospel and inspirational fields, Spring Hill Music Group is expanding into the pop/rock market with the launch of Slanted Records, Billboard.biz has learned.

The imprint's first signing is 19-year-old singer Charity Von, whose self-titled debut streets Sept. 28.

"We've talked about starting a new imprint for several years," Spring Hill Music president Scott Chancey says. "With Charity, we have the right artist."

Slanted will be distributed by Word to the Christian market and WEA to the mainstream.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Spring Hill built a name as one the top labels in Southern Gospel music with the Martins, Jeff & Sheri Easter, CrossWay and the Oak Ridge Boys before expanding into the inspirational/AC side of Christian music with the likes of Scott Krippayne, Babbie Mason and Wayne Watson. The label also has a worship product line, gift product and children's releases.

Spring Hill director of marketing David Ecrement says the staff is equipped to work the pop/rock market. "If you look at the experience of some of the people on our team here, cumulatively we probably have more experience working in other genres of music than we do Southern and [inspirational]," he says.