The label, Wolves Records, is an ambitious and unique proposition that will unite two of the world’s biggest passions – music and football.
Wolves Records will see performing artists benefit from the reach of a Premier League football club’s global audience while also gaining access to ADA’s marketing and distribution expertise, giving unprecedented exposure and opportunities to emerging artists.
The label is already inviting track submissions from local, national and international solo acts, bands and producers for consideration via the website wolvesrecords.com.
Wolves’ general manager of marketing and commercial growth, Russell Jones, said: “Wolves Records is an ambitious and progressive project that we have been working on for some time, and we are delighted to finally be able to announce it publicly. Working hand-in-hand with Warner Music’s ADA and lots of very talented and experienced industry professionals, Wolves Records will provide talent with life-changing opportunities.
“As many of our supporters will be aware, one of our goals at Wolves is to grow the club in innovative and entrepreneurial ways, developing new business ideas that will eventually complement and help support the continued success of the football club.
“Of course, this is just the beginning of the journey for Wolves Records, and the hard work now intensifies as we begin the search for our first acts to sign to Wolves Records; I am confident that we have a great team in place to make the label a huge success.”
Wolves have been investing their efforts in projects outside of football for some time, with considerable moves made in the world of esports and fashion, including a recent partnership with US esports giants Evil Geniuses and a high-end fashion line launched at a runway show on top of a Shanghai skyscraper.
While the label’s initial focus will be on nurturing and developing talented artists of all styles and genres local to the Midlands, Wolves Records’ ambition is to expand into international territories. Artists who sign to Wolves Records will not only benefit from ADA’s global distribution network, digital marketing, product management and radio promotion, but will be supported by the club’s various and sizeable media and social channels, including airplay at Molineux Stadium and across the club’s digital productions.
To aid the label in their search for a first signing, Wolves Records is also partnering with various A&R and production consultants, the first of which is singer, songwriter, and highly sought-after producer, S-X.
Wolves fan and Wolves Foundation ambassador S-X’s sounds have long been shaping the industry, where the Wolverhampton wonderkid has spent years making a name for himself with his production prowess, working with the likes of Lil Wayne, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole and Skepta; as well as a Grammy-nomination, gold and silver-selling records and an international tour with Lily Allen. Years in the making, his latest mixtape A Repeat Wouldn’t Go A Miss marks the 29-year-old’s arrival: a graduation into a class of his own.
S-X said: “I am very excited to be involved and support Wolves Records from the beginning and am looking forward to helping identify the best local talent and working with the label’s first artists.
“Wolves and the city of Wolverhampton are both very close to my heart, and I am deeply passionate about giving talented young people from this area the best opportunities, and the rich musical talent that the West Midlands has to offer.
“I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how Wolves Records can impact the music industry and support new artists, and I’m also very proud that it is my club that is going to be the first in the UK to venture into music in such an authentic and exciting way.
Legendary music manager and Wolves fan Peter Rudge, who managed The Who and The Rolling Stones amongst others and is the recipient of over 270 gold and platinum album awards, has also joined Wolves Records as a strategic consultant.
“I was born one mile away from the famous old Molineux and came to my first game with my Uncle Had in March 1951,” Rudge said. “I sat on my uncle’s shoulders on the old South Bank, and thus began a love affair with Wolves that has been such a major part of my life ever since.
“Football and music are a universal language. Wherever in the world you visit you will likely see a Beckham or a Beatles t-shirt, and the footballers of today have so much in common with musicians in terms of influencing and setting the cultural tone of the times.
“Wolves and Warner Music’s ADA will merge these two cultures and partner in combining their respective skills and assets to develop Wolves Records, and in turn support, nurture, and encourage the local music community.
“I am thrilled to be involved in this initiative, to be able to be part of creating Wolves Records, and thus merging two of mine, and the world’s, great passions – football and music.”
Wolves Records’ head of label, Ricky Hill, said: “I went to University in Wolverhampton so I’ve a lot of affection for the city and the Midlands. There’s so much talent in the local area, that Wolves Records is perfectly positioned and hungry to back.
“However, this is not just about supporting local artists, but a genuine and authentic move by a football club with a vast audience to penetrate the music industry and develop new and emerging talent across the world. By partnering with Warner Music and ADA, we are also able to plug into some of the best distribution available and have support from their team of experts when it comes to releasing music.”
Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Cllr Ian Brookfield said: “This is a bold move which highlights how ambitious our football club is. Music is a key part of the package for sports marketing and brand development. We already know that Wolves has a huge global brand and fanbase and this move will help cement that.
“More importantly for me, it will create fantastic opportunities for local bands and musicians, building on Wolverhampton’s reputation as a music city. With the Civic Halls opening next year and operated by AEG and live music being a fundamental part of our new five-year events strategy, the music scene in our city is going to go from strength to strength.”
The label is currently inviting emerging artists, bands and producers to send in music for their consideration