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EMPIRE and +1 Records Announce New Global Partnership Deal

Jonny Kaps Nat Hays
Jason McDonald

Jonny Kaps and Nat Hays

Independent music company EMPIRE has entered a new global partnership with +1 Records, it was announced Tuesday (Oct. 15).

Under the terms of the deal, EMPIRE will distribute and provide label strategy to +1 Records’ roster of artists, including those of +1’s label partner Honeymoon. Meanwhile +1 will help to further establish the San Franciso-based EMPIRE’s presence in New York, where the former label is headquartered.

“Similar to EMPIRE, Jonny and Nat have built up +1 Records the old fashioned way - through artist development," said EMPIRE founder and CEO Ghazi Shami in a statement. "We look forward to working with the +1 Records team and their diverse stable of artists as well as sharing knowledge in this ever evolving industry."

The first release under the new partnership will be American indie-pop duo Coast Modern’s new single “Puppy Llama,” which is slated to premiere on Wednesday. EMPIRE will work alongside +1 on the rollout and continued development of the group, as well as that of Irish rapper Rejjie Snow.

"Our mission is to continue to champion artists that don’t necessarily fit the status quo,” added +1's Nat Hays, who co-founded the label with Josh Swade and Jonny Kaps. “While A&R in the industry has become increasingly data driven, we always focus on the music first and are willing to take chances on artists that we believe in. The culture at EMPIRE empowers us to be ourselves. EMPIRE doesn't play by the rules, and we love that."

Founded in 2010 by Shami, EMPIRE has played a key role in launching such artists as Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, D.R.A.M. and Anderson.Paak, while +1 Records -- spun off from the management, PR and marketing company  -- was founded in 2008 and has helped develop the careers of The HeavyThe Kooks and Anna of the North, among others.

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