|Illumin Records Relaunches with J. Graves Single
Jessa Graves has announced a new beginning for her mother’s old record label. You can check out J. Graves‘ new track, the maiden voyage for the relaunched label….
This is not your mother’s record label, but it is founder Jessa Graves’. In the early 90s Annie Graves started Illumin Records to independently release her own music. Twenty-six years later, her daughter Jessa Graves (front woman of J. Graves and entrepreneur) resurrects Illumin Records with a revitalized mission at the intersection of music, tech, and advocacy. Illumin redefines the role of record label for womxn and gnc led projects through education, transparency, empowerment, and new deal structures leveraging tokenization and blockchain technology.
After self-releasing her own full-length record in 2019, it was apparent to Jessa that no definitive resource existed for womxn artists to release music and build sustainable careers. In addition to the guidance gap, the music industry has historically been exploitative of artists, with little business structure innovation. Her experience in the tech startup world gives Graves a unique lens, savvy, and approach to solving these problems, establishing a new and improved path forward with Illumin.
J. Graves (recently featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered) will be the first band to release on the structurally innovative label, following and iterating on an artist accelerator framework called “WTR RISE”, developed in partnership with Women That Rock’s founder, Andie Aronow, adjunct professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU. The strategic partnership between Illumin and Women That Rock will grant the Illumin roster direct access to high-level artist management, development, marketing, mentorship and support through all channels of WTR, the music discovery platform dedicated to supporting the best up-and-coming womxn in music, with live event production, marketing and promotion, digital media, presented tours, and a new licensing division.
Illumin will be working with two additional pilot artists in late 2020, Van Mary (Austin) and Egg Drop Soup (LA), both featured artists on the WTR platform.
Illumin Records is lighting the path for womxn in music with a disruptive roadmap, a defiant rejection of the status quo, while harnessing new technology to shine through an opaque industry – and the future looks oh so bright.
J. Graves is Portland’s most passionate dance punk trio. For fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, and Gossip, this highly-charged, sweet and agonizing garage rock lures listeners towards angular guitar work, skittering disco beats, and thudding, melodic bass. Front woman Jessa Graves, who takes her cues from Karen O, Corin Tucker, and Kathleen Hanna, is joined by Aaron MacDonald on the drums and Kelly Clifton on the bass.
Their 2019 debut LP, Marathon, was lauded by music press as having “that something.” Celebrated as “an ice bath of a punk album, a body seizing banger,” Marathon was called “fully formed and immediate… a compelling, unified statement of intent and vision.” (American Standard Time, Razor Cake) The band’s highly anticipated fall 2020 follow-up release fast approaches.
Writing, performing, and recording music is in Graves’ blood and will forever be her lifeblood. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, her mother was a musician and recording artist. Graves remembers waking up in studios, sleepy-eyed, with the feeling that this was home. Watching her mother build an independent label, release her own records, and tour the country, Graves was sure she was destined for the same path. She’s never been more sure of anything in her life.