The Nashville-based Tennessee Recording Company aims to bring a diverse group of music to the masses. Matchbox Twenty musician Kyle Cook partnered with longtime friend and collaborator, Mike Fiorentino, and web developer Ben Shaw in 2013 to create this innovative approach to the music industry.
“It started with a simple love of music on my part,” Cook explains. “I always approach any record I’m working on by asking, ‘How can we make it appeal as wide as possible?’ Starting a label was the best canvas to do that. Having success in a band like Matchbox Twenty has given me the ability to do other things and I’m blessed for that.”
The company, which Cook has spent nearly a decade envisioning, will develop artists of many genres under one umbrella. In order to do so, Cook – whose talents range from musician to songwriter to singer to composer to producer – has compiled a dedicated team in Music City and London. Fiorentino brings producing, songwriting and engineering talents to the mix, while Shaw manages the company’s online presence from the United Kingdom. Former Country Music Association and Haber Corporation alum Angela Everett serves as the company’s Director of Operations, overseeing the Nashville office and studio.
The label’s debut project comes from Nashville native, Maurico. “I always loved Tennessee there are so many great writers and musicians here; there’s more to it than just country music,” Cook admits. “I’d always thought with starting a label in Nashville, the obvious thing to do is to sign a country artist. Then we’re just another needle in a haystack. Maurico is a talented singer and has a great sense of storytelling with a heart-opening quality. So, let’s break a hip-hop artist out of Nashville, no one is going to see that one coming.”
Maurico’s EP, I Am Maurico is due out in the summer of 2014, with a follow up EP in 2015. The project is a creative collaboration by the hard-working rapper and his producers, Cook, Fiorentino and Phivestarr Productions. Each brought their unique experiences and history to the studio to “put the puzzle together,” as Fiorentino says.
Hip-hop is only the beginning for the Tennessee Recording Company. “When I’ll feel like we’ve really arrived as a label is when we have a hit with a hip hop artist, with an Americana artist, a punk rock band,” Cook reveals. “That’s when I’ll feel from a business perspective we’ve really got something.”