I’ve mentioned several New Jersey-based record companies in my column. The most featured label to date has been Asbury Park-based Little Dickman Records. But now we have another Shoreworld area label that deserves mention and I wanted to talk about them and discuss what they do for the local community.
MOTO Records is a collaborative independent record label that aims to provide state-of-the-art recording opportunities at Lakehouse Recording Studios, as well as continued professional resources and artistic support before, during, and after the recording process. The label is run by Artist Program Directors (Albie Monterrosa, Eric Novod, and Jon Leidersdorff), and young industry professionals (Joey Affatato, Jordan Witt, and additional Lakehouse team members).
Moto Records will create a community of Artist Program students who are looking to take their music career to the next level. In addition to the advice, direction, and overall mentorship they will receive from the leaders of the label, MOTO Records artists will be encouraged to collaborate and help each other to turn all their hard work into exciting, professional music!
MOTTO Records features a step-by-step guidance through the budgeting, pre-production, recording, mixing, and mastering process at Lakehouse Recording Studios, including a special recording rate for MOTO Records artists. Information from program directors on how to register, publish, and distribute all recorded songs for the MOTO Records label. Plus career direction on social media reaction, promotion, maintenance, and access to email and mailing lists for professional songwriters, musicians.
A significant list of professional resources (photography, videography, radio, merchandising, design/branding, performance, booking, and more) that MOTO Records artists can personally use to further multiple aspects of their careers and Inclusion on MOTO Records-run concerts and events.
Whenever an artist has recorded artist program songs, an original band may be formed to play the songs with the artist at potential future live shows. Inclusion on the Artist Program/MOTO Records/Lakehouse Music YouTube channel. Information and direction for parents and business partners on how to executive produce/manage their artist. Aside from co-writing/publishing splits, artists will not sign any contracts or be held to any longstanding obligation from MOTO Records. MOTO Records artists are free to pursue any opportunities that will benefit their career.
Longtime friend Jon Leidersdorff has never been about pure self-gain when it comes to the musical community, and this latest label launch tells me that, with his ensemble of labelmates, he’s continuing his assault on stringent the musical industry while freeing up musicians to pursue and build their original craft with plenty of experienced guidance. If he gets anything out of something like this, it’s the fact that he’s helping a fledgling group of artists safely pursue their dreams in an industry famous for taking advantage of the innocent and I like that.
I spoke with label team member Joey Affatato (The Carousers), and he sent me tons of information on the label and some of the bands associated with them. Some of the groups that have kicked things off to date are listed here as well.
Georgia Owen is singer/songwriter from Allentown, NJ. She began singing at local venues at the age of 10. Eventually she realized this was going to be a lifelong passion and began attending Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park. She is part of MOTO Records label. Owen has recorded one EP and is recording more songs in January. One of her biggest successes was the 2016 Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. She recorded her version of U2’s “One” which was the music used for the movie trailer.
She also had a cameo in the movie and has been featured on several music blogs. Jersey style photography stated, “The long history of the Jersey Sound is in good hands with young musicians like Georgia. She a bit indie, a bit alt-indie, but all New Jersey.” Her music is influenced by musicians such as Glen Campbell, Fleetwood Mac and Taylor Swift. Today, Georgia not only plays in her hometown but she has played at a The Cutting Room in NYC, The Wonder Bar, The Saint in Asbury Park and Love Park in Philly just to name a few.
Another label group is Sophia Montalbano. Sophia is a singer/songwriter from Middletown, NJ; she also goes by stage name MONTE. She has performed all over Asbury Park, including The Saint, The Asbury Music Foundation and the House of Independents. Sophia is a senior at Middletown High School South and has been a part of the plays and musicals there. She has performed in shows and has also helped with the technical aspects of the shows, by working on their soundboard.
Through this, Sophia has decided to go to school for audio engineering, something she finds very fascinating. She has released two records, one called Something New and the other Ego, which you can find on all music platforms. When her second record was released, she had a wonderful record release party at the House of Independents. She is also involved in a charity called “Alive Inside,” which helps people who have Alzheimer’s through music. This foundation is essential to Sophia, so important that she wrote a song about her experiences in the program. This song is called “I Don’t Know Why,” which you can find on YouTube. She is very passionate about music, and is very excited to continue performing.
Sonic Blume is an indie rock band from Red Bank, NJ, whose sound can best be described as “dreamy” with jangly, upbeat guitar melodies. Sonic Blume is comprised of Max Connery, 16, on guitar/synth/vocals; Danny Murray, 17, on drums; Andrew Phelan, 16, on bass guitar; and Chase Landgrebe, 16, on guitar.
The musicians met in 2014 while performing at the Count Basie Theatre’s prestigious Rockit Academy. The band was formed in December 2015 when the friends discovered a mutual interest in indie music, specifically Tame Impala and MGMT, and similar older influences like The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine.
Since then, Sonic Blume has performed at major local venues including The Stone Pony (opening for The Revivalists/White Denim and playing for The Light of Day Foundation); The Brighton Bar; and most recently, with Remember Jones at The House of Independents. Sonic Blume first arrived at Lakehouse Recording Studios in May 2017, just one year after meeting Lakehouse founder Jon Leidersdorff at a local Battle of the Bands.
At the time, Sonic Blume played only covers and finished in second place. However, Leidersdorff approached the boys and told them he was impressed by their musicianship and sound, and that they should see him when they started writing originals. Inspired, they did just that, and in November 2017, Sonic Blume released their debut, self-entitled EP, which is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and more.
Also, there are other artists on the label’s roster: Ella Ross, Leah Nawy, Just 6 Hours, Lauren Gill, Danny Scerbo, Skylar Springer and James Sleeman. Lastly, here is the next show that is a part of MOTTO’s Live at Lakehouse series that they have coming up: Live at Lakehouse at Russo Music in Asbury Park on January 13. For more information on MOTTO, records head over to motorecords.com.