Gladys Pizarro, former A&R director of the defunct Strictly Rhythm Records, is starting a new production company, Launch Entertainment. Launch will work closely with Strictly Rhythm founder/CEO Ma
Gladys Pizarro, former A&R director of the defunct Strictly Rhythm Records, is starting a new production company, Launch Entertainment. Launch will work closely with Strictly Rhythm founder/CEO Mark Finkelstein, whose repertoire-management firm, Think Fink, will handle Launch's business affairs.
Launch will shop its repertoire to labels in the U.S. and abroad. Pizarro will initially focus on securing singles deals or licensing the music for use on compilations.
Throughout the '90s, Strictly Rhythm released hundreds of 12-inch vinyl singles. Many were international hits, including Ultra Nate's "Free" and Reel 2 Real Featuring the Mad Stuntman's "I Like to Move It."
In the process, Pizarro guided the careers of such internationally recognized DJs/producers as Erick Morillo, Armand van Helden and Grammy Award-winner Roger Sanchez.
Four years ago, Strictly Rhythm entered into a 50/50 worldwide joint venture with Warner Music Group. Two years later, the New York-based Strictly Rhythm ceased operations. Finkelstein remains in litigation with Warner Music Group.
Together again, Pizarro and Finkelstein will navigate an industry landscape that has greatly changed since Strictly Rhythm's heyday. That said, Pizarro stresses the importance of utilizing legitimate digital download services--particularly since dance music is predominantly a singles-driven genre.
"The genre will come back really strong within the next three years," Finkelstein says. "Digital downloads will show the way."