Wednesday, February 10, 2021
– Kane Brown formed a record label, 1021 Entertainment in a joint venture with Sony Music Nashville.
Restless Road, a trio consisting of Zach Beeken, Colton Pack and Garrett Nichols, were the first act signed to the label. The band debuted its first single "Took One Look At Her Momma."
Brown told Variety, that starting a label "wasn't something that I always wanted to do," Brown tells Variety, "but we just got to a point where I started finding artists online, and the only thing I could really do at the time was just refer them over to my label and hope that they get a record deal. We knew that we had a platform and I knew the people that I wanted to sign first, so I started talking to my manager and found out that we could do it as a joint venture with Sony, and we just kind of went all-in at once."
"I want to give people chances to succeed. With 1021 Entertainment, I feel like we have a platform and team that can mentor and build up talent in country music. With my own label, I want to use it as an opportunity to shape and promote artists that may not have gotten a chance otherwise, for Restless Road and others in the future," said Brown.
Brown told Variety that he named the label after he and his manager's birthdays. "It was (the date of) my first number one with 'What Ifs,' and the first time I ever released music was Oct. 21, so it kind of just became a thing."
"We are excited to welcome Restless Road to the Sony Music Nashville roster. Colton, Zach, and Garrett each bring undeniable talent, dedication, and innovation to this trio. It has also been rewarding to collaborate on this project with Kane and watch him mentor and advise as a label partner in ways only a superstar artist can," said Margaret Tomlin, Sony Music Nashville Director, A&R.
"Took One Look At Her Momma ," was co-written by Restless Road with Lindsay Rimes and Andy Albert and explores the adage that women are similar to their mothers. The trio was first inspired to write about the topic after considering a few words of advice from Nichols' father.
"The song stemmed from a really entertaining conversation my dad and I had where he was, basically sharing fatherly wisdom on everything from fishing to finding the right woman. We loved the idea of 'Took One Look At Her Momma' as a song title, and once we all got into the writing room it came together pretty quickly from there," said Nichols.
Restless Road has released a Dann Huff- and Lindsay Rimes-produced EP on Feb. 27, 2020 on Sony Music Nashville. The group co-wrote three of the four songs on the EP. The band also performed John Denver's "Take Me Home (With Kane Brown)" on NBC's Today show. The group also toured with Brown.
Beeken first met Brown in 2013 when both were contestants on The X Factor. The group has changed members over the intervening period. Pack, a West Virginia native, left a group with Beeken in 2014, only to return about five years later. Nichols was a former contestant on season 13 of American Idol.
""I'm really big on trying to use my social media and my fans to grow their fan base," Brown told Variety. "I'll be bringing them out on the road with me for all the tours that we do, getting them out in front of my audience. They've never even toured, and their first tour is going to be in front of 12,000-plus people every night. We've got my manager (Martha Earls) on the team as well, helping develop and get in front of people as well."
"What I love about them is not only do they have great personalities, but they all can sing," he said. "Bands usually have one lead singer and everybody else will be the background or the harmonies . But on their songs, one verse will be Garrett (NIchols) and the next verse will be Colton (Pack) and then the next verse will be Zach (Beeken), and they all sound completely different. But they also bring old-school harmonies back, which I love — and it's been gone out of country music. So the sky's the limit for them. They've still got a lot to do to grow, but they're on their way."
Brown told Variety he plans no more signings - for now. "I kind of look at myself as the head, but also the A&R. I'm pretty good on finding people who I think can be different or break out, and I've already found a couple that I would love to sign right now," he said. "But I don't really want to sign anybody else until we break Restless Road because I know how it is for artists that get signed to a label and kind of get stuck on a shelf. I just want to put all my focus behind them, and then once we break them, go for the next one."