Limon says the diverse artists on his roster are defined by “global quality”: “We don’t care about radio formula and the normal market.”
IMG Artists and producer Javier Limón have partnered to create a new label and touring venture for artists who have what Limon describes as “global quality.”
“We don’t care about radio formula and the normal market,” says Limón, who has had a long run of critical and commercial success producing iconoclastic artists like the late Paco de Lucia, Concha Buika, Diego “El Cigala” and Portuguese fado singer Mariza. “I’m talking about artists who will be here forever.”
Albums released by IMG/Casa Limón Records will be distributed by The Orchard, with tour booking and promotion managed by IMG.
“An agency and a producer are combining forces to create the content and the live shows,” Toby Tumarkin, IMG SVP and Global Head of Artists & Attractions tells Billboard. “We feel like it is a way to take advantage of some of the existing challenges in this part of the industry…we will work with [Limón] and these artists to create touring opportunities for them, which of course helps to drive careers more than ever in this current environment.”
Currently on the road in the United States, Limón-produced IMG artists The Paco de Lucía Project brings former members of the great Spanish guitarist’s band back together; Limón is working with the band on an album to be released on IMG/Casa Limón Records. The band currently has no album to support, which for Limón demonstrates the freedom for artists that his new independent venture with IMG represents.
“We recorded the album live; after the mix the guys didn’t like it, so I put it in a drawer,” he explains good naturedly. “So then I said, ‘In Toronto the concert will be recorded’ it was. They said, ‘No, we don’t like it.’ Finally, now we are going to record in a studio in Miami, or in Spain.”
Limón has discovered other label artists at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches and directs the Mediterranean Music Institute: albums by Nella Rojas, a singer from Venezuela, and Tonina, a singer from Missouri of Ugandan and Italian descent, will be released this year. The label’s first release, coming Nov. 3, is by Original Quartet, a group of musicians from four countries whose music represents the different cultures that historically came together in Andalusia. Lim’on plays guitar with the group.
“I really feel that there is a new musical scene, a new movement happening that is creating something outside of the major labels,” says Limón, a ten-time Latin Grammy winner knonw for working with powerfully-voiced charismatic artists and a flamenco-infused sound. “Being able to reach the world with twitter, YouTube instagram, there is hope for new artists to find their audience, they don’t have to wait for a big record company to sign them.”
All of the Casa Limón artists were presented during “Casa Limón Week” in New York City in October, which featured shows by over thirty artists at different venues. Limón says he plans to make the showcase for new and established artists a yearly event in different international cities.