Former Universal Records prexy Daniel Glass has returned to the record label wars with the bow of GlassNote Records. The indie label’s first deal is with Mercury Records for sales, promotion and distribution of its releases.
The new label will focus on maintaining a small roster of rock and R&B artists. Its first signing, Nastyboy Klick, has hit the street running in its native Phoenix, Ariz., with hit single “Down for Yours,” which local radio has embraced.
The deal bodes well for Glass, who has hooked up with the talent-friendly label Mercury and its prexy Danny Goldberg, who is extremely well thought of in the Polygram empire thanks to his successes with such artists as Hanson and the Cardigans.
Glass also can fill a niche for Mercury in the R&B genre, an area where it has room for growth.
“I expect to keep the roster small, which will allow us to focus on the artists,” Glass told Daily Variety. “I want the artists to feel wanted, something that doesn’t often happen when a label grows too fast and everything becomes fragmented. I’d rather have a batting average that’s three for three than three for 15.”
Glass said he’ll “hit the road” as part of his goal to be “extremely hands-on” while offering acts a nurturing environment. Glass also is known as a savvy promotion man and is no stranger to street-level marketing tactics to build heat on an act.
The Mercury deal is a first-look pact, so if either label feels an act would be better served by being released independently or with another distribber, Glass is free to shop it.
“GlassNote will provide an important area of growth for Mercury,” Goldberg said. “While nurturing talent remains an art and is dependent as much on experience as instinct, Daniel is one of the few executives who has mastered it.”
Before ankling Universal in January, Glass inked a number of potent pacts, including the one with Kedar Entertainment, whose Erykah Badu has become a platinum seller (Daily Variety, Jan. 7).
He also landed a number of now-successful acts, such as Lost Boyz, Crucial Conflict, Space and Real Big Fish, and made Universal one of the industry’s most successful startup labels.