After working side-by-side as separate entities in the flourishing UK Country and Americana scene, w21Music Group and ZimagineD are joining forces to launch a new label that will offer support to their shared roster of artists. w21Records, which launches today will be led by Head of Label, Pete Woodhouse of w21Music Group and will build on the work he has done with artists under the brand since 2014
Responding to the needs of their artists, among the first moves by the label is a deal with 3Tone music to handle digital distribution and marketing. w21Records is launching with a closed roster of five signed artists and has built the services it will offer around them
They are US based singer songwriter Brian Collins and UK Americana artist Paul Carella, both long-time collaborators with w21Music Group, and three artists managed by Donna Zanetti of ZimagineD who will take the role of Commercial Director at the label: multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Kezia Gill; Americana artist Emilia Quinn (UK), and Nashville-based Country Artist Audra McLaughlin.
The story of w21Records began in 2018 when Pete Woodhouse started to assist Paul and Brian with their music releases. Over the years Pete and his team have worked with a number of artists in a variety of areas and have achieved a string of No1 singles under the name
The idea for launching w21Records as a full-service label came when partners Pete and Donna, working side by side on their respective businesses, realised they were increasingly collaborating to deliver the best possible service for their artists. They began splitting the work across their collective talent pool based on their individual strengths and skillset, so all their artists were benefiting from two industry professionals with multifaceted experience.
Due to the lack of indie labels specialising in the Country and Americana genres in the UK, Pete and Donna decided to build their own. Using their insight into the services and expertise their artists require they have put together a robust team to offer full label services, including PR, campaign strategy, artist development, graphic design, tour operations, project management, merchandising, and global digital distribution and marketing. Having set a vision for w21Records to nurture and develop artists on their way to a major label deal, and after a long search for the right partner, they approached 3Tone music to join them
3Tone music is a talent-focused music and media company. They bring crucial expertise in digital distribution and marketing to the table that goes beyond what standard distribution platforms offer, ensuring w21Records artists can achieve maximum impact from their music releases.
Speaking about the partnership, Rupert Stroud (Artist and Label Partnerships) at 3Tone said “We’re thrilled to be working with Donna & Pete at w21Records. Their enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of the Country and Americana music genre is what we all want to see from a record label! We’re excited to be working with them on a great roster which includes talented signed acts such as singer-songwriters Kezia Gill and Brian Collins. They’ve achieved so much in the live scene and now is the time for their music to be seriously recognised in the world of Digital Service Providers. That’s where we come in!”
Donna Zanetti started work in the music industry five years ago, driven by a lifelong love of Country music and following a corporate career which included experience in PR, marketing and brand partnerships. Working at first as a consultant for radio show hosts, festivals, promoters and artists, in 2019 she became Commercial Director for an independent label. When it closed, she moved into artist management, launching boutique agency, ZimagineD in 2021. Donna will continue to offer boutique artist management services as ZimagineD alongside her new role as Commercial Director at w21Records!
Speaking on the launch of w21Records, Pete Woodhouse and Donna Zanetti said “This label has been built to service our existing artist roster to give them a truly bespoke in-house team. Nurturing and developing artists careers to the point where they are attracting the attention of major labels is what w21Records is all about. We want to be a stepping stone on the journey, an indie artist’s gateway to a major label deal.”