Wolves announce move into music business with launch of record label

Wolverhampton Wanderers has officially launched a record label – and is the first football club in the UK to do so.

Singer, songwriter and record producer S-X, from Wolverhampton, announces Wolves Records
Singer, songwriter and record producer S-X, from Wolverhampton, announces Wolves Records

The club has teamed up with Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), a division of Warner Music Group, to launch the 'Wolves Records' label.

Bosses say the move will "unite two of the world's biggest passions" – music and football – with an initial focus on artists from the Midlands.

But it is hoped it will expand internationally, with Wolves Records already taking submissions from solo acts, bands and producers online.

Singer, songwriter and record producer S-X features among its team of A&R (artists and repertoire) and production consultants in a bid to hunt down a 'signing'.

The 29-year-old, from Wolverhampton, has worked with artists including Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. And the first artist on board will have their first track produced by the Grammy-nominated star.

S-X, a Wolves fan, said: "I am very excited to be involved and support Wolves Records from the beginning and am looking forward to helping identify the best local talent and working with the label’s first artists.

"Wolves and the city of Wolverhampton are both very close to my heart, and I am deeply passionate about giving talented young people from this area the best opportunities, and the rich musical talent that the West Midlands has to offer.

"I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how Wolves Records can impact the music industry and support new artists, and I’m also very proud that it is my club that is going to be the first in the UK to venture into music in such an authentic and exciting way."

Wolves have already been investing their efforts in projects outside of football for some time including in fields such as esports and fashion, including a recently announced partnership with US esports giants Evil Geniuses and a high-end fashion line launched at a runway show on top of a Shanghai skyscraper.

Legendary music manager Peter Rudge, who managed The Who and The Rolling Stones amongst others and is the recipient of over 270 gold and platinum album awards, has also joined Wolves Records as a strategic consultant.

“I was born one mile away from the famous old Molineux and came to my first game with my Uncle Had in March 1951,” Rudge said. “I sat on my uncle's shoulders on the old South Bank, and thus began a love affair with Wolves that has been such a major part of my life ever since.

“Football and music are a universal language. Wherever in the world you visit you will likely see a Beckham or a Beatles t-shirt, and the footballers of today have so much in common with musicians in terms of influencing and setting the cultural tone of the times.

“Wolves and Warner Music’s ADA will merge these two cultures and partner in combining their respective skills and assets to develop Wolves Records, and in turn support, nurture, and encourage the local music community.

“I am thrilled to be involved in this initiative, to be able to be part of creating Wolves Records, and thus merging two of mine, and the world's, great passions - football and music.”

Artists who sign to the label will not only benefit from ADA's global distribution network, digital marketing, product management and radio promotion, they will also be supported by the club's media and social media channels – including airplay at Molineux Stadium and across the club’s digital productions.

Wolves’ general manager of marketing and commercial growth, Russell Jones, said: "Wolves Records is an ambitious and progressive project that we have been working on for some time, and we are delighted to finally be able to announce it publicly. Working hand-in-hand with Warner Music’s ADA and lots of very talented and experienced industry professionals, Wolves Records will provide talent with life-changing opportunities.

"As many of our supporters will be aware, one of our goals at Wolves is to grow the club in innovative and entrepreneurial ways, developing new business ideas that will eventually complement and help support the continued success of the football club. We are beginning to see considerable success in our global esports teams, and we believe Wolves Records can have the same level of impact.

"Of course, this is just the beginning of the journey for Wolves Records, and the hard work now intensifies as we begin the search for our first acts to sign to Wolves Records; I am confident that we have a great team in place to make the label a huge success."

Ricky Hill, from Wolves Records and co-founder of Midlands-based artist opportunity platform Syncr, said the label is "perfectly positioned" with "so much talent" in the local area.

He added: "However, this is not just about supporting local artists, but a genuine and authentic move by a football club with a vast audience to penetrate the music industry and develop new and emerging talent across the world. By partnering with Warner Music and ADA, we are also able to plug into some of the best distribution available and have support from their team of experts when it comes to releasing music."

Councillor Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, said: "This is a bold move which highlights how ambitious our football club is. Music is a key part of the package for sports marketing and brand development. We already know that Wolves has a huge global brand and fanbase and this move will help cement that.

"More importantly for me, it will create fantastic opportunities for local bands and musicians, building on Wolverhampton’s reputation as a music city. With the Civic Halls opening next year and operated by AEG and live music being a fundamental part of our new five year events strategy, the music scene in our city is going to go from strength to strength."

The label is currently inviting emerging artists, bands and producers to send in music for their consideration. For more information on how to submit your tracks and to follow the Wolves Records story visit wolvesrecords.com.

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