Top Indies Secretly, Ghostly International Merge
Two top independent music groups Secretly and Ghostly International have merged operations.
Under the deal, record label Ghostly International and publisher Ghostly Songs are now Secretly affiliates, with Ghostly Songs administered through Secretly Publishing.
Ghostly International founder Sam Valenti IV will become a managing partner of Secretly, as Secretly Group owners Ben Swanson, Chris Swanson, Darius Van Arman, and Phil Waldorf become partners in Ghostly International’s music operations.
The two companies have been working together since 2019, but according to the combined company, the new partnership “addresses the uncertainty of 2020 with a renewed emphasis on ambition, the socialization of ideas, and greater scale for the artists and international network of employees both companies represent.”
Both Labels Join From A Position Of Strength
Secretly had its highest revenue year in 2019, with acclaimed releases by Bon Iver, Better Oblivion Community Center, Jamila Woods, Whitney, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and others, topping many year-end lists and earning four Grammy nominations, including Album, Song, and Record of the Year.
Ghostly celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, while continuing to build on a discography of 500+ releases that consistently shatter the boundaries of music, design, presentation and technology, sometimes all at once.
The two companies – who share midwestern roots and boundless imaginations – earned a collective ten nominations at this year’s Libera Awards, to be presented June 18, as part of A2IM Indie Week.
“It’s a very personal affair, music,” says Valenti. “It’s hopes and dreams and ambitions for artists. It’s their lives, and yours. Trust and intention are focal to even starting, let alone finding new partners. Since Secretly started distributing Ghostly International in 2013, it’s been a dream to work alongside an ethical and creative family of labels, not to mention our most productive phase as a label. It has given us the confidence to keep building.”
Secretly co-founder Darius Van Arman adds, “Our belief is that the most important contributions to culture come from individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Rather than growing just for growth’s sake, we choose to work with extraordinary artists and creative partners like Ghostly, to help truly nourish their creative works while maximizing their impact.”