For most students, the dormitory is a place to study, crash, or watch old episodes. Breaking bad For an hour. But for Lizzie Plopping, her dormitory in Vasar was not just a place to hang out in class: it was the temporary headquarters of her growing boutique record label, Neon Gold.
In 2008, Plapinger and his longtime friend and label co-founder. Derek Davis, every waking minute was spent dreaming about their post-college plans. They met as teenagers while working at Martha’s Vineyard summer camp: she grew up in London, and moved to the United States from the UK as a child, so mutual love for British pop and up-and-indie bands spread. Friendship and youth are transformed into partnerships.
“When we grew up, we kept sharing music over and over again and we were completely obsessed,” Plapinger said. “Then I went to Vassar and Derek went to New York University, and we always had this dream behind our minds about starting this record label: at that time, we were friends for so many years, and we had an aggressive and arrogant feeling of music. I would have liked something, so the biggest feeling was to get all our friends back to him. “
While classes and internships spent their days, Plapinger and Davis – who searched for labels – spent their free time singing their next favorite song and their next favorite song on MySpace and hit shows in the city as soon as possible. When they came “Sliphead, “Troubled, dreamy debut single from an up and coming band from Boston called Pete of emotion, They knew their lives were about to change.
“We were both, ‘It’s all to us,'” Davis heard “Sliphead” for the first time. “We were like,‘ We’ll never find such a good band, this early on, never again! ’” Plappinger added. That’s not what happened: they jumped up and went to Passion Pitt to see if they were interested in keeping it as “Sliphead” 7, and Neon Gold was born in 2008 – three semesters before they’d graduated from their respective colleges.
“We dreamed of starting this pipe with our own 7” singles label, adopting the UK business model but doing it in the context of New York and doing it for cool, believable pop music, ”Davis said. “We spent the summer doing a few different things to pull everything together and meet the cost of the startup. We released Side 7 in our first double-A with Passion Pit, and it exploded from there.
Creating a tasteful boutique label
Other artists – especially the intensely independent, female pop stars – have praised the word Neon Gold cultivates, as well as their unquenchable praise for dance, electronic and pop music at a time when popping was, as Plapinger said, the word “dirty.” ” Marina Diamondis, Then Marina and Diamonds, connected with Davis through Neon Gold’s music blog, which covered the music they enjoyed in addition to their own releases; He liked what they were doing and although he only signed with Atlantic Records, he teamed up with Neon Gold to release his first single. “Obsession, “After that fall.
“Together we were able to build a relationship with the artists, and create this universal biography of what our neon gold tastes represented and what stood out – and we also cut our teeth in the art when each release was released,” says Plapinger. “At that time, Derek and I traveled frequently to the UK to go to festivals, watch shows and meet artists, and still run all shipping in my dorm room, doing absolutely neon gold and school.”
“We basically started off all our long weekends or school holidays in the UK and spent club nights there,” Davis said. “We met Eli Golding Around the same time, and he was another of our first releases. We’ve spent the last two years at school doing such handshake deals, limited edition, 500 quantity 7 “runs”.
In 2010, Neon Gold graduated himself – from Burdwan indie to major label flavor maker. Plapinger and Davis took an initiative with Columbia Records, which enabled them to sign their first full-length releases, but learn what it takes to roll them out successfully. Plapinger, a recording artist, also signed his own dance-pop duo in Colombia, MS MR, Which allows him to gain experience of the main label system on both sides of the contract. They also started hosting monthly concerts with pop shops, their curated showcase at Tammy Hall in New York, which serves as a launchpad for future hitmakers. Charlie XXX And Pray (Whose first U.S. performance was under their banner).
The pop shop has improved Neon Gold’s profile at extensive music festivals such as CMJ Music Marathon in New York and South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, and it introduces Plassinger and Davis to Sarah Kesselman when they take a new Venus to Showcase. 2012. Kesselman, a longtime talented shopper and booker of the iconic CBGB in his biography, was immediately connected to the independent, upstart spirit of Neon Gold, and they had the opportunity to collaborate with a then-unknown Australian artist on a CMJ showcase. The first unit through the label.
“I’ve always had this DIY, grassroots indie feeling, and that’s where I’ve always wanted to be,” Kesselman said. “I came back to Santos because I wanted to be in an independent venue where I had more leverage and autonomy. [Plapinger and Davies] Came to me to bring a show, it was CMJ, and I hadn’t heard of Neon Gold. [For] CMJ, the biggest thing I had to book was because there was a lot of competition. They gave me a list after which they were going, and they were like, ‘There’s this unnamed artist by the name of Gotie, he’s really big in Australia, we’re trying to get him.’ I was like, ‘If you get wrapped up, you can spend the night.’ That’s how we met. “
Soon, Plapinger and Davis invited Kesselman to join Neon Gold as Leon’s manager, and his skills in live space and business skills continue to bolster their growing activities as they continue to learn from the industry as they form their corners. Following the end of their contract with Colombia, Neon Gold signed a new contract with Atlantic Records that left an impression in 2014 under their revered umbrella. This is Marina, Charlie XXX, and Pop icon, Another work supported by the Neon Gold Jump, called the Atlantic Home. For their first release, Neon Gold managed Sucking, Their old friend Charlie XCX’s Sophomore album, and Plapinger were impressed by the parallels between their new main label partner and his role in it.
“What really makes sense to me is that this company is led by Craig Coleman and Julie Greenwald,” said Atlantic Chairman / CEO and Chairwoman / COO. “It’s a unique situation to see a male / female couple run this company. I think there was a real symmetry and reflection of what Derek and I were doing in Neon Gold, and it’s inspiring to see what they’re creating with the Atlantic and it’s a reflection of a similar partnership.” That’s amazing. “
The new beginning of the Atlantic
Atlantic gave them the opportunity to experiment while following their releases, when they received input from the most respected executives in the business. “When we went to the Atlantic, I think it was important for us to know where to take guidance from older people and to have all these experiences and learn to truly believe in our gut,” Kesselman said. “Find out exactly where that support came from when we came along Christine and Queens, Which had a full-length album in French, and we felt very strongly about it, and so were inspired by it. To work with that album and to be able to do half French, half English albums in America, I think it’s still one of our proudest moments. ”
Since joining the Atlantic team, Plepinger, Davis and Kesselman have been challenging themselves on every project as they make a place for themselves – in the main label ecosystem, but also in the music industry, and without distracting them, passion, or inevitable drive to find that new favorite song To continue.
“We still hold the truth – we still sign artists directly to Neon Gold without crossing the Atlantic – but to be so early, and a company that can adapt to both the needs of artists as the industry changes. Something that really appeals to me.” Did, “Kesselman said. “I like that we can somehow capture the truth, what we want to work on, how we want to do it, and we can be flexible to support artists the way we need them through our variety of businesses, whether it’s by booking shows like pop shops or blogs. Posting, or simply signing a deal with them through Neon Gold, or signing them for an album with the Atlantic was a light support.
Work continues on Neon Gold, and Plapinger, Davis and Kesselman are looking forward to their stacked release calendar – full of powerful female voices using their energy and agency to bring as much equality as possible to their project.
“Neon Gold has always been a label that has been defined by the most creative independent women, both inside Lizzie and Sara and outside, Marina and Charlie and Tow [Lo] And Winona [Oak]”One of the larger trends we’re trying to get into is to empower more female producers and engineers, and creatives in that field,” said Davis. “It was really disturbing. I know it was a big wake-up call for Mariner, and a big inspiration for his current project and his last single.”The human worldThere was a completely creative team in all aspects of the project, producing with Jennifer Desilvie, engineering with Emily Lazarus, and all the female creativity she used for the videos and photos, to really bring women together, no matter where the producers and engineers are. We can work on any project. ”
They’ve come a long way since the days when they were pulling their 7 ”singles out of a floating dorm room, but looking back, Plippinger, Davis and Kesselman didn’t see it go the other way.
“That passion for music, the natural curiosity about how this industry is run, and the growth in terms of business, has always been holding hands for Derek and me,” Plepinger said. “I think that’s why we’ve been able to hold on for more than 10 years. It’s really an equal part of the love of music and wants to be the biggest fan and champion of artists that we get back, but also a real curiosity and interest in how this art works, because it’s the ‘Wild West’, and it’s been quite a while since we started From the Wild West. This is changing now, not just year after year, month after month and week after week, any new platform is being added to it. The appetite for continuous growth and how it reflects and helps the artist, it has been interesting to us and has always been. The sooner we can understand and learn it and use it as a tool, the sooner we can become bigger and better loudspeakers for artists that we think need to be at the forefront of this. ”