LVRN – Spotify for artists

When they decided to start an artist management company in 2012, Shawn “Famoso” McNichol, Tunde Balogun, Junia Abayedu, Justice Biden and Carlon Ramang said they just matched it. The five first got to know each other as students at Georgia State University and Kenesao State, where they gained a reputation as party promoters and DJs. LVRN (“Love Renaissance,” for short) was born when they decided that they would turn their passion projects into throwing parties and working with local artists into an effective Atlanta-based organization. The crew says they were inspired to become “love” champions as a story that they felt was missing from popular music and culture. Seven years later, LVRN Records + Management is the interscope-backed company behind chart-topping. 6 black, Drums, Boogie, And R&B newcomers Summer Walker, And a cultural force of family style for business. Here, the label’s co-founders share the story of LVRN’s high-risk, instinctive, and promising independence.

In the beginning

Before signing their first performance in 2013, the singer’s papyrus Rowry, The founders of LVRN were developing the skills of the artists and practicing the music industry behind the scenes. McNichel and Balogun, who have known each other since high school, run and intern the local Atlanta producer duo FKI. Ludacris‘Disrupting the peace, in the end the publishing force of the label is running. Baiden, Ramong, and Abaidoo have worked as sales associates in the women’s footwear department at Nordstrom so that other local works end up in development.

Abayedu explains, “In the beginning we all had jobs because we subsidized our creative endeavors and the things we wanted to do.” Balogun added, “We were just like sitting back, learning, observing, and when we didn’t know anything we just asked questions or we figured it out. This is the type of feature [that] Managers need to have a mindset. We do not accept ‘no’ for the answer. It is always in our blood. ”

Photo by LVRN's Tund Balogun, Carlon Ramang, Justice Biden, Junia Abaidu and Shawn Famoso McNichol, Jhamak F.

LVRN’s Tunde Balogun, Carlon Ramong, Justice Baiden, Junia Abaidoo, and Sean Famoso McNichol, Photo by Zhamak F

Increasing pain

LVRN’s figure-it-out mentality stretched particularly well towards the company’s lack of funding. “When you have little money to work with, you actually become the most creative,” McNeil said. Being an artist on the roster and not working with any budget, LVRN was forced to think outside the box when it came to marketing. “It started at the beginning of the anti-tour, when we popped up Rory on other people’s shows, including a U-Haul truck and a band, playing for fans from the generator,” McNeill recalls. “We always say that at the root of any great idea, [the concept is] Free money should only make it bigger. From the beginning, it was a very creative-oriented organization when it comes to marketing and things that we all like to pull off.

As the company grew and signed more laws, the team realized that they needed to define and specialize workflows. Abayedu explains, “Shawn, naturally took good ideas, branding and marketing. Justice, naturally a person who helps the artist create real music, he took A&R. Tunde, naturally a person who was a direct point of contact between artists and labels and the kind of management work, took the lead. I, realizing the budget and things of that nature, I took the operation. And then Carlon, a painter and just around the corner, took creative, creative directions.

Although LVRN’s five co-founders consider the company itself – and the decisions that have come with its founding, such as dropping out of college, quitting the job, and denying parents – can be a big risk, McNeil commented on the company’s culture. They also have a view that the way they personally invest in themselves is risky. “We are a very family-style company, involving artists,” he says. “[It’s a] Very personal, hands-on approach. The risk we naturally take is [we] Take care of these people on a deeper level than a normal client relationship. [We] They personally feel a personal responsibility to ensure everything, financially, emotionally.


After the successful launch of both Rowry and “BroccoliThe boys behind the singer DRAM’s career, LVRN, felt confident about both their understanding of how art works and their ability to break tradition and innovate. With each artist, they build relationships with executives on major labels (signed by Rory in Colombia and signed to DRAM Atlantic). “You start making friends with everyone, or at least acquaintances, so you have mutual respect for them,” McNeil said. Although they did not go with Interscope, who repeatedly expressed interest in both artists, they maintained a relationship with the label that would bear fruit in the way LVRN looks today.

When LVRN signs 6LACK and the company finally has some money in the bank, they are able to make more profit and move freely. They declined dinner and flight in meetings with Labor, inspired to find their own 6LACK mainstream success, until Interscope came up with an offer they could not refuse. Today, LVRN’s joint venture with Interscope is a mutually beneficial partnership that allows Impressions to maintain their independent mindset of which they are proud.

Interscope’s investment helped LVRN open its Atlanta headquarters, which serves as the company’s center of management, creative direction and production services, and began launching LVRN Records. “We have the resources to do what we want to do at the time and pace we want to do and have a partner to help us further our efforts,” McNichel said. “It’s really important to have everything you need to activate your freedom.”

Drum, picture by Asato Ida

Drum, picture by Asato Ida

The future

LVRN’s latest signer, Summer Walker, released her debut album in October last year and landed her first Billboard Hot 100 single in February.Girls need loveRemix with Drake No. Debut at number. With a strong foothold in the music industry, LVRN’s vision is to strengthen the brand by expanding into creative projects outside of music. “There’s a lot of value that we know we can add to various endeavors that have nothing to do with music, so I think it’s something we’re definitely looking forward to doing more,” Abayedu said.

Keeping things close to home will be an important part of the way LVRN is moving the business forward. “We are setting up a real base in Atlanta [so that] All our talents that are revealed here do not have to go to the next level, ”said Ramang. With a personal connection to the artists they serve in Atlanta and a single head office, LVRN is equipped to maintain the established culture while expanding its horizons as a company.

– Khalila Baro

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