Chess Club Records has today (March 14) announced new independent investment from Red Light Management and ATO Records founder and owner Coran Capshaw. The news comes coupled with the announcement of their new worldwide distribution agreement with AWAL, and also confirmation of new releases by Bloxx, Alfie Templeman, Yaeger, Phoebe Green and Casi & The Blind Harpist.
Chess Club – which was founded in 2007 and pressed the first releases by the likes of Wolf Alice, Jungle, Sundara Karma, Mumford & Sons and MØ – has previously issued singles and EPs independently. Until recently it had released albums by MØ, Sundara Karma and Billie Marten via a JV with RCA/Sony. Following the investment from Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management and ATO Records, they have secured new worldwide distribution through AWAL.
As part of the new deal, Chess Club will continue to be A&R’d by founders Will Street and Peter McGaughrin, who will now be able to access resources from Red Light’s eight offices around the world (including marketing, creative services, brand partnership, radio & online teams) as well as via AWAL’s recording distribution services.
With our infrastructure around them, I’m confident we can grow a successful roster together
Speaking about the changes, Will Street said: “Chess Club has always had an independent heart. An indie ethos and culture has been at the centre of everything we have built from our approach to releasing music to collaborating with artists so to now have the opportunity to fully stand on our own two feet and be the masters of our own destiny is very exciting. I’m really looking forward to being able to work with a diverse range of creative and inspiring artists.”
Peter McGaughrin added: “Having partnered with Red Light for my management business, I’ve seen first-hand how rich the worldwide resource in touring, marketing, radio, brands, festivals is within the company is and how long-term artist development is the core philosophy. It feels like a natural fit and we’re excited for the next phase of Chess Club”
An official press release stated that Street and McGaughrin will “work with Coran Capshaw and his teams to grow Chess Club into a significant force in the independent label world.”
Speaking about the announcement, Coran Capshaw said: “We’re very pleased to partner with Will Street and Peter McGaughrin to help them take Chess Club into a new chapter. Over the past 10 years Chess Club has shown consistently good taste and ambition in their A&R approach to unearthing and developing exciting new artists globally. With our infrastructure around them, I’m confident we can grow a successful roster together and it will be a valuable partnership in our masters business alongside ATO Records”.
James Sandom, Red Light’s UK MD, said: "We’re delighted to form a new partnership with Chess Club. Will & Peter's A&R focus and creative vision has been present for all to see with an array of great releases in the last decade, we look forward to helping them build the Chess Club reputation further in this next chapter, establishing a rhythm of releases with the entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility that defines the best modern record labels”.
As part of the new set-up, Chess Club will be announcing imminently new signings and releases by artists Bloxx, Alfie Templeman, Yaeger and Phoebe Green.
Paul Hitchman, president, AWAL added: “Chess Club has consistently discovered and developed exciting and innovative artists. AWAL is committed to supporting the best independent artists and labels, and this new partnership is therefore a great fit. We look forward to working with Will, Peter and Red Light to open up new opportunities worldwide for Chess Club and their artists.”