Music curator Ari Elkins and Avex USA have joined forces to form the new label co-venture Blue Suede Records. Seeking to sign undiscovered talent, Blue Suede will provide its signees with hands-on development and a non-traditional approach to the changing music business.
Elkins is possibly TikTok’s most popular music curator and has helped his nearly 2 million followers find new music and undiscovered artists to add to their playlists for the last few years. The 22-year-old’s presence on the short-form video app has led him to become the host of Spotify Live’s Soundtrack Your Day and Simon Cowell’s newest show, Stem Drop. But through the creation of Blue Suede, Elkins will now be able to not only recommend new artists, but build with them as well.
Avex USA, the American operation of leading Japanese music/entertainment company, is also new to the record label sector of music. Just over a year ago, the company launched its label SELENE and since has signed artists like Sadie Jean, Austin George, Sophie Holohan, Billianne and Zach Hood, many of which have gone viral on TikTok.
Together, Elkins and Avex bring a fresh approach to the label business and a penchant for digital marketing.
“Ari has built a dedicated audience of millions through his love of discovering new music,” said Lucas Thomashow, senior vp of Avex USA and head of SELENE. “His passion for finding and championing new artists is infectious, and something we share at Avex USA. Ari has found new ways to connect audiences and music and to help songs cut through, we felt he was perfect to partner with and launch a disruptive new label venture.”
“I’m so excited to take my love for finding new artists and sharing them with the world to the next level with Avex and the launch of Blue Suede. What we are building is a unique opportunity for emerging artists to get best-in-class traditional label services but also truly tangible and contemporary marketing power. I’ve been following Avex and SELENE’s work since inception and have always admired their swift mobility and unconventional approach to the music industry, which in 2023 is so crucial,” adds Elkins.