Nelly Furtado has decided to try her hand as a label head and, unlike most of the musicians who begin labels, is doing it without the assistance of one of the major record companies. Furtado will work with Last Gang Labels, a Canadian indie label group, to start Nelstar. The first band signed by the label is Toronto’s Fritz Helder & the Phantoms. Two members of the band are back-up dancers for Furtado. so she has a personal connection to the band. Its first album will be released July 7.
Furtado said that she decided to create her own label as an indie instead of as a partnership with Interscope, her label, because she thinks that major labels put too much pressure on new bands and because she always wanted to be an indie artist herself (at least until she found out about the money). The deal with the band is meant to be a three- to five-year deal in order to give the band freedom to choose its own path in a few years. It will be the only band on the label for the time being because Furtado says she wants to make sure that she is passionate about everything at her label.
It’s good to see a big star decide to promote a band independently. Furtado’s fame will give Fritz Helder & the Phantoms a huge promotional opportunity without having to deal with the sales pressure a major label would force on them. It would be great to see more artists follow her lead and help bands that they like get a start while they get a chance to make some money off their own labels.