Veteran Nashville music executive John Grady has been named the president of I.R.S. Nashville, a new label based on the imprint started 34 years ago and revived by EMI two years ago. Grady will continue serving as partner at Crush Management.
I.R.S. Nashville was formed by Caroline, a division of Capital Music Group, and will provide its artists with A&R and marketing support. Caroline will primarily provide commercial support, radio promotion and licensing resources.
Grady tells Billboard I.R.S. Nashville won't be a typical Nashville label.
"As it evolves it will be a traditional record company in 2014,” he says. “It may not have all the accoutrements of a Nashville country label or a major pop label, but it will be built on the model that exists in 2014."
That model is based on there no longer being a rulebook for record labels. "You have to create your own rulebook to exist," Grady says.
I.R.S. Nashville does not yet have a staff or an office, and Grady doesn't have a goal for number of releases each year ("as many as we can do well," he notes.). The initial artist signed to I.R.S. Nashville is Crush Management client Striking Matches, a pair of former Vanderbilt University students who Grady says "may be as talented as anybody I've ever signed."