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Secretly Label Group is born: Numero, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian join forces

Tim Ingham
Secretly Label Group is born: Numero, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian join forces

A new ‘supergroup’ of North American independent labels has been announced, as Numero, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian combine under the banner of Secretly Label Group.

Ben Swanson, Chris Swanson and Darius Van Arman, all partners in the Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian labels, are each joining The Numero Group ownership as partners.

The Numero Group will retain a unique marketing and A&R staff in Chicago, handling all creative and marketing aspects of the label, while Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian’s global A&R and marketing team will remain focused solely on those three labels.

The labels will all utilise shared services, such as business and legal affairs, accounting, technology and more.

The four labels will all fly under the banner of the newly formed Secretly Label Group. Secretly Label Group is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, but also has staff in Brooklyn, Chicago, Austin, London, Paris and Berlin.

About the transition, Numero’s Ken Shipley stated, “We've known Chris, Ben and Darius since we were all on indie training wheels. Watching their companies grow from off-the-map vanity imprints to taste-making powerhouses has been a thrill to watch, and we're pumped to join what we know will be a formidable bloc of important record companies for decades to come.”

Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian’s co-owner Chris Swanson added, “Numero Group is the greatest reissue label in the world. Partnering with Ken and Rob is a dream come true. Their impeccable taste, unparalleled research acumen and keen business instincts are already making us a stronger, more well-rounded label group."

Dead Oceans was founded in 2007 by the owners of Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian, alongside Austin-based Phil Waldorf, It is the current home to Bleached, Bill Fay, Phosphorescent and The Tallest Man On Earth.

Jagjaguwar was founded in 1996 and merged operations with Secretly Canadian in 1999. The label's present roster includes Bon Iver, Dinosaur Jr., Foxygen, Sharon Van Etten and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Also founded in 1996, Secretly Canadian counts Antony & The Johnsons, Major Lazer, The War On Drugs, Yeasayer, the catalogue of Jason Molina (Songs:Ohia, Magnolia Electric Company) and the recordings of comedian Tig Notaro amongst its roster.

Nick Blandford, based in Bloomington, IN, is the Managing Director for Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian, while Hannah Overton is the General Manager for the three labels UK and European operations and is based in London. 

Established by Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley, The Numero Group was founded in 2003. In addition to Grammy nods for their Light: On The South Side and Syl Johnson box sets, Numero is home to the Cali-Tex, Numerophon and Jr. sub-labels, and the renowned Eccentric Soul, Cult Cargo, Local Customs and Good God! compilation series. Lunt shall act as an executive producer/A&R consultant for the Secretly Label Group

SC Distribution—an independent distribution company serving not only Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian but also independent labels such as Asthmatic Kitty, Captured Tracks, Constellation Records, Sacred Bones, Ghostly International and Temporary Residence Limited—will be distributing Numero Group throughout the world.

SC Distribution's main office is in Bloomington, IN, and is led by Managing Director Chris Welz. 

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Tags: Secretly Label Group, Secretly Canadian, Numero Group

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