Scion is a North American arm of giant car-manufacturing company Toyota and they are about to enter the music industry. After the release of two free EPs by Dam Funk and Omar S comes the news that Scion will become, in effect, a very supportive record label for 20 actually pretty cool artists. Below is their announcement:
“Scion A/V…announces today its evolution into full-service music company and its commitment to sign, nurture and produce projects for over twenty vital musical artists through 2012. Taking a larger role in the careers of artists than ever before, this is a defining moment for Scion A/V which will partner with each artist in the production of an all-original music project, a video and provide tour support as well as public relations, promotion and marketing services. All twenty artists will create original, previously unreleased musical projects, which the artist 100% owns. As always, Scion A/V releases all of the projects digitally and free to the public.”
Scion’s idea is an interesting one – rather than go after the biggest celebrities for endorsement, they are funding nicher of music genres, such as Omar S’s delicate recapturing of Detroit techno or Singaporean band Wormrot’s brutalist grindcore. Below is the somewhat unlikely label roster so far, conjuring the unlikely image of Omar S, Wormrot and Municipal Waste driving to a Steve Aoki concert in an slightly boxy car.
Thee Mike B
Dale Crover of the Melvins told The New York Times: “I am really glad that a company like this is interested in art,” Mr. Crover said. “It’s a way to continue doing what we do and make money doing it.” Also quoted in the same article is Jack Hollis, Scion’s senior vice president, who was pretty open about the fact that supporting niche music was a not a sure-fire marketing strategy. “We have chosen to be supportive of the arts regardless of whether it comes back directly to us,” he said.