Business

Triple Tigers Names Norbert Nix President as Nashville Label Prepares For a Busy Fall: Exclusive

Norbert Nix
Aislinn Daley Nix

Norbert Nix

Triple Tigers is a small record company with a big roar.

As the Nashville-based boutique label marks its fourth anniversary in October, it continues to build on the success launched by its first two artists, inaugural signing Russell Dickerson and Scotty McCreery. Every radio single from the pair — three each — has gone to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Airplay chart, giving Triple Tigers six consecutive chart-toppers with its first half dozen releases.

“Love You Like I Used To,” Dickerson’s fourth single for the label and the first from his December album, moves into the Top 10 this week on the Country Airplay chart, while McCreery’s new tune, “You Time,” — from an album coming next year — prepares to go for radio ads.

The success is due to the artists’ talent, but also a deliberate strategy, says label partner Norbert Nix, who has assumed the role of president of Triple Tigers. Nix has been at the label — a joint venture between marketing company Thirty Tigers, Triple 8 Management, Nix and Sony Music Entertainment — since its start, when he joined as general manager. The music industry veteran came to Triple Tigers, which is distributed and marketed through Sony’s The Orchard, following his role as Columbia Nashville vp of promotion.

“Scotty and Russell are dialed in, but the timing is also spaced to navigate singles and create credibility,” he says. “We don’t have two new singles waiting in the wings to come out after we release a new track. We have room to focus on each single.”

Nix and his nine-person staff will now try to work their magic with Cam, in partnership with RCA Records New York. “We thought, she’d be so perfect to work with with us,” Nix says of the singer/songwriter who signed with Sony Music Entertainment in 2014 through a partnership between RCA and Sony Music Nashville. “I love the idea of keeping it in the [Sony] family. She’s a global brand, she’s played on the BBC, she tours [in England]. She’s had 400 million streams. I just said, ‘Let’s have Triple Tigers representing her at country radio and work with her.’ It’s a unique deal.”

The through line for the label’s roster is the acts come with some measure of success and experience. Dickerson had garnered 25 million streams on his ballad “Yours” and had toured for six years in a Sprinter van when Triple Tigers signed him. McCreery had won American Idol and had a solid run on Mercury Nashville when his management company, Triple 8, brought him to Triple Tigers. Cam broke through with “Burning House” a 2016 CMA Awards song of the year nominee before her split with Sony Nashville in 2108.

Now, Triple Tigers, which Nix says has run a profit since last year, will try to re-establish Cam at country radio. The label has released the catchy, up-tempo, Jack Antonoff-produced “Classic.” While radio has been slow to embrace the bright tune, “we’re trying to find daytime airplay. We’re trying to find heroes who will play it. This is a great first song,” says Nix, who has completed 10 Ironman competitions and brings the same dedication, patience and perseverance to his job as he does training for a race.

For a brief time, the label was also home to Gone West, a co-ed quartet featuring Colbie Caillat. Shortly after the release of the group’s debut album, Canyons, this summer, Caillat split with her bandmate and long-time fiance Justin Young, before then announcing in August that she and Young were dissolving the act.

Gone West’s break-up leaves room for another act (though the label will continue to promote the group’s album, including the release of a video for “Never Getting Over You” coming shortly.) “I want to get this music out to people,” Nix says.

“I would love to find someone like an Eric Church. Someone like that would be amazing,” says Nix, stressing he’s in no hurry to round out the roster to its four-act cap. “I think it’s risky to sign an unproven artist,” he says.

Instead, he and his team will concentrate on taking Dickerson, McCreery and Cam to the top of the charts, while keeping their ears open. “When you’re talking about the country format and country radio, it’s about hit records,” he says. “It’s about finding those artists capable of writing or finding those songs and having the artistry to deliver. The music has to be undeniable.”

Scotty McCreery Talks 'This Is It,' Wanting to Collaborate With Bruno Mars at 2018 CMA Awards | Billboard