Leo33, an independent record label based in Nashville, officially launches today with the announcement of its formation. Co-headed by industry veterans Rachel Fontenot (Marketing and Operations) and Katie Dean (Promotion and Artist Development), the label’s initial core team also includes Daniel Lee (A&R) and Natalie Osborne (A&R).
Rachel Fontenot began her career with BMG Nashville (later Sony Music Nashville), holding several roles within the company including production, sales, artist development, international eventually serving as Director of Marketing & Artist Development at Sony. She launched her own artist consulting firm in 2017, with a focus on marketing strategy and artist development. Fontenot most recently served as VP of Marketing & Artist Development at UMG Nashville. Throughout her career Fontenot has been involved in major projects by artists including Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Maren Morris, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Jon Pardi and more.
“The members of this team have experienced so many different facets of this industry – each has a unique perspective and passion,” notes Fontenot.
Dean most recently she spent nearly 18 years at Universal Music Group, the last seven at the helm of the MCA Nashville imprint. Previous stops include the Country Music Association, Disney’s Lyric Street Records, Music.com, AristoMedia and Mediabase.
“As the industry evolves, so does the role of the label,” says Dean. “We’re trying to build a model for the future – an entrepreneurial approach that combines the resources of a major with the agility and focus of an independent.”
Leo33 plans to curate a roster unlike any in music, one where artists will know they are unique to the label, surrounded by a team who is accessible and available for their every need. Creativity will be front-and-center at every stage of the experience as a Leo33 artist, from the initial deal through music creation, marketing, streaming, promotion and distribution.
Alongside their in-house A&R, marketing and promotion team, Leo33 plans to utilize a unique opportunity for innovative partnership. Global music companies Firebird Music and Red Light Ventures are behind the new label.