Artist manager Bruce Kalmick of WHY&HOW is launching Hazel Street Records, a joint label venture with global distributor The Orchard. Spanning various genres, the first two signings are alternative rock band Goldpark, and alt-pop duo Nox Holloway. Kalmick will serve as Hazel Street Records’ CEO.
Laura Bender, most recently General Manager of Hard 8 Management/Folsom Records, will lead the label as General Manager based in Nashville. At Hard 8, Bender worked with Dashboard Confessional, Twin Forks, and Dan Layus while overseeing the company’s team of day-to-day managers as well as digital marketing and touring personnel. Prior to Hard 8, Bender was National Dir., Promotion at Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) after more than a decade in promotion at RRP/Warner Music Group.
Lesley James and MJ Marty will serve as Directors: Radio and Streaming. James previously spent two years at East City Management (alt-J, Wolf Alice, Kodaline) as head of U.S. Radio and Streaming Promotion. Prior to that, he was on-air talent and program director WWCD in Columbus, Ohio.
Marty’s career includes time at Epic Records, Island Def Jam, Columbia Records, and most recently established Realid Records at Warner Music Group. Marty has been integral in promotion efforts and campaigns for Beyoncé, John Legend, and Fall Out Boy.
Andrew de Torres has been named Dir., Digital and Artist Marketing. He spent the last two years at Thirty Tigers (John Prine, Alanis Morissette, Jason Isbell) as digital sales manager, following time as a touring artist signed to Photo Finish Records/Atlantic Records.
Kalmick launched WHY&HOW late last year, which represents Grammy-nominated rock band KALEO, Platinum country-trap artist BRELAND, Southern rock band Whiskey Myers, and genre-bending singer-songwriter ZZ Ward.
“My vision for Hazel Street Records is to find undeveloped talent and do the hard work of building career artists,” said Kalmick. “The Orchard is the perfect partner to build this vision with us. We’ve been lucky enough to assemble a team of some of the most creative people in the industry, led by Laura, who is one of the most innovative and tenacious executives I’ve ever met.”
“When I first began talking to Bruce nearly two years ago, I was impressed by his passion for finding talent, and his track record is a testament to his long-term commitment and dedication to his artists,” said Bender. “We shared a vision of building a label from the ground up as a home to find and develop raw talent. Then 2020 hit, and we were forced to redefine artist development without the prospect of touring. Our artists, in turn, used the time to explore their creative process in new ways, and honed their craft, writing and recording incredible music that we can’t wait to share this year. Through all of it, we are grateful for the support of The Orchard, who were true partners through unprecedented times.”
The label is off to a running start with Goldpark’s first single “Beautiful Desperation,” set for release Friday, Feb. 12. Nox Holloway released “Separate Ways” last summer and is currently working on their debut album.