SXS Label Roster
The idea of a musical recluse is nearly a myth at this point in pop music. Quiet composure is mostly a forgotten skill, and with each wave that comes and goes, the fundamentals of storytelling twist and erode to the point of becoming a new idea entirely. Luckily, artists like Ofelia K continue to keep us bound in her personal narrative. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to use a wide variety of colors and thoughts in her music, but rarely does it ever lose control or derail from the objective. Her distinct strain of lush, whisper-pop resonates across time zones and continents by showing the listener a world so well constructed that if feels as if we’ve been in it our entire lives. She’s telling us all an incredible secret, one full of other worlds and lost loves, and we continue to come back because it’s all told with such beauty and prose. Ofelia continues to keep her hometown of Los Angeles gripped in her words, and between multiple #1s on Hype Machine, her brand new EP, Chaos Cave, and collaborations with the likes of Kaskade and Felix Cartal, her world will continue to live and grow.
When one thinks of the future of dance music, they usually don’t look to Cullowhee, North Carolina for inspiration. Fortunately for the rest of the world, John-Luke Carter, also known to his fans as Mokita, ditched his small-town upbringing for Nashville, Tennessee and is now bringing his art to the world on the highest level possible. Mokita started as a classically trained pianist, playing in church and honing his craft for years. He then moved on to guitar and eventually tried production where his ideas could finally come to life. Moving to Nashville in June of 2015 was the catalyst for the Mokita project; he was able to do the near-impossible by making a name for himself in Music City by incorporating thunderous drums with vocal samples and a future-pop leaning mindset. The trends in music ride in and out faster than anything, but luckily for Mokita, he’s on a wave that has yet to hit our horizon
There are people and memories that we cherish anywhere we go. There are snapshots of our lives that stay with us in some shape regardless of the path we choose. All of these fuzzy recollections have a soundtrack that scores the scene, and someone like Kaptan knows how to keep the moment together through a golden light. His self-described genre is “Shimmery Indie-Pop”, and while that works on the surface, it barely does his songs justice. The songs are personal Rorschach tests: depending on how you hear them, each lyric takes the shape relative to the listener. Some songs contain outright joy, and it’s sublime in tracks like “Anywhere We Go” and “Jump”, and there are also existential pulls in “Numbers” and “Let Go”. He’s also been heard everywhere from Chevy commercials to McDonald’s ads in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which is a testament to the relatability and straight-up catchiness of all of his releases. Nostalgia plays such a large role in our lives, and in Kaptan’s world, he keeps it safe while also helping us push toward the future.
BIYO is a case study in restraint. Together, Grayson and Sam create a world in where silence and space are the most powerful music tools. The Nashville-based duo continue to create deconstructionist-pop: a distinct bend of traditional pop music where high-end sounds and techniques are purposefully warped and distorted, creating a bounce that's undeniably theirs and undeniably new. Their skills span farther than just their own releases; with production credits from artists like Milly Roze and Cappa, their sound continues to grow and evolve.
Jeffrey James is in an incredible position. The Indiana-born singer-songwriter has already captivated the world without us realizing. We’ve heard his songs everywhere, on shows like Criminal Minds and Nashville to coveted performances with the Postmodern Jukebox collective, reworking futuristic pop smashes into doo wop classics. Jeffrey’s appeal somehow lies between all of these lanes: between commercial and critical, between nostalgia and what comes next, between sharing a secret with a best friend and projecting feelings so the world can hear. His voice resembles stars of the past while it simultaneously runs headfirst into a musical future where genres have been destroyed and new sounds have come to fruition. His time in Nashville has been exponentially productive; he’s signed a publishing/licensing deal with Sony/ATV and continues to play these songs live to fans both new and old. He’s had our attention for years, and now for Jeffrey, it’s time to show us what’s next.
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An artist is nothing without an identity. An identity shows who they are, what they believe in, and what they’d die for. For Chancellor Warhol, his identity has always belonged to a higher level. His first creative endeavor was in fashion, where he learned about the strings that hold an entire piece or collection together. His calling then took him into music where he applied the same lessons: understand the elements that keep the idea moving forward. Chancellor has been the voice, the eye, the look, and the vibe of all things non-country in Nashville for years now, and with each new step he takes, he carries a brand new culture and progression with him. His music soars higher and cuts deeper than anyone around him, allowing space for everything from choirs to booming 808’s and arena singalongs in-between. Just as Andy did before him, Chancellor Warhol takes the common and the unfamiliar and seams them together in a way that has never been seen or heard before. His music and vision will continue to reverberate out to all of us, until the light calls for him somewhere else.
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SXS Publishing Roster
Brandon Day || Producer & Songwriter
Nashville has been good to Brandon Day. In the times he’s been here, B-Day has had an active hand in reshaping what it means to be a songwriter in Music City. His palette is constantly expanding and his work can be heard through projects in nearly every genre. He knows how to take the sentimentality of country lyrics and put them into a pop song, and he also knows how to take a straightforward country demo and shift it just enough to bring it to life in the eyes of the indie-pop community. His credits range from the shimmery pop of Kaptan to the new-wave country of Filmore and has even caught the ear of country music legend Big Kenny from Big & Rich. Only time will tell which mountain Brandon decides to climb next.
Matthew Russell || Artist & Producer
Dance music is a universal language. We have collectively been speaking the same rhythm for thousands of years, and the story will continue to grow and evolve as we do. Dance music has had countless strains and variations, and while some tend to push away from convention, it’s still communicating a similar tone to the listener. For someone like Matthew Russell, his goal is to tell a timeless story with a new plot twist. As ⅓ of the collective Cheat Codes, Matt’s meteoric rise in the past few years has been heavily attributed to the stories he tells and his instinctive ability to make people move, and it’s been heavily documented in their 450 Million+ streams on Spotify. Some of Matt’s biggest songs have come from variations of other past pop hits, further positioning himself as a creative who can move forward while simultaneously paying homage to the past, a trait that most pop contemporaries have a difficult time grasping. Progression cannot be made without acknowledging what came before, and it’s been proven that Matt is ready and willing to lead the next wave of dance and culture.
Brandon Metcalf || Mixer & Producer
The process of materializing a song is nearly impossible to describe, in that nearly every journey is completely different. There are, however, a few parts of the story that stay the same each time it’s told. As a mix engineer and producer, Brandon Metcalf is the nucleus of the project; he is the center of the noise and it’s his main job to make sure everything ends up in it’s right place. These job titles are as fluid as their responsibilities; some projects need much more room to grow and breathe, while others need direct care and attention. Brandon has worked on nearly every time of project, ranging from rap to rock to country to everything in-between. His most important skill is his ability to be a good listener first, and with his credits ranging from Jewel to Secondhand Serenade to Ofelia K, his ear transcends the rules of one genre or format. Brandon’s job is done best when the listener can’t tell the job’s been done at all, and it shows that he has mastered the craft of working in the shadows.