Paradigm agent Mike Malak has launched his own record label and publishing company, Coldpress.
Malak, whose agency roster includes Billie Eilish, Jess Glynne, Girl In Red and Denzel Curry, has made singer-songwriter Henjila (pictured) his first signing in partnership with Locomotion, which also reps Yungblud.
Here, in a Q&A, Malak tells Music Week about the ethos behind the new company and its ambitions moving forward...
Where did the idea to launch your own label come from?
"You could credit the MTV years as my inspiration! I’ve always had a strong passion for artists and artist development. I love seeing the journey an artist embarks on as they find their sound, figure out who they are and take steps up in their career. The truth is I have always wanted to do this but profoundly believe in timing and this last year felt like I could bring genuine value and leverage to artists I sign on a label and publishing level."
How long have you been working on it?
"Subconciously since I was 14 years old and consciously for the last year."
How much was the decision influenced by current state of affairs?
"Coldpress is not a product of the current crisis that is for sure. That being said the current state of affairs enabled me more time and focus to find our first artist, Henjila, as well as some other talent that will be out there soon!"
What do you want Coldpress to stand for?
"To me, Coldpress in its name is about going through a process and retaining the best of an artist/producer. Therefore, over time I want to build a culture of likeminded individuals and talent that collaborate freely and offer real value in artist development. I want to look back and the artists we have worked with in the next 10-20 years and be proud of what they stood for, why we chose to work with them and the evolution on their journeys."
What does its launch mean for your agency work?
"If anything, Coldpress enhances the agency work. The more I understand the ins and outs of the record and publishing world as well as spend true development time with an artist signed to Coldpress it makes me a better and more empathetic agent. I love the live music industry with a passion and all the clients and teams I am lucky to work with every day therefore that remains unchanged. By continuing to empower people around me and working with strategic partners on a case-by-case basis will allow me to offer Coldpress as much value as possible whilst focusing on my agency clients. We are not looking to run before we can walk, everything is step by step and my focus is to ensure Coldpress as a company zones in on the artists/writers it has without needlessly oversaturating. Less is definitely more for us."
What signings have you made so far?
"Our first signing is an incredible talent named Henjila who we co-signed with Locomotion. Henjila blew us all away with her raw talent and understanding of her own brand. She surprises us every day with her growth and progress and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the music. In terms of what I look for, the truth is I am open minded and simply want to find talent that I feel we can offer value to and help grow on a global scale."
What are your ambitions for the company?
"Our ambitions for now are simply to build Henjila into what we all know she will be and step by step find more music we are passionate about. We love collaboration and building meaningful relationships with partners therefore case by case we will always look to do what is right for the artist or writer and build strategically. In Henjila’s case, we are lucky to be partnered with Locomotion, headed up by the awesome Tommas Arnby and therefore benefitting from his incredible team. The key is to do deals with partners that are genuinely excited about the artist or writer in question."
What releases have you got coming up?
"Expect the first wave of Coldpress music to drop top of 2021!"