Plenty of people love music, but few take that passion and start a record label.
Desiree Newman grew up with parents who were major fans of hip-hop.
“My dad’s retired Army now, but when we were living in Germany, hip-hop was his connection to America,” Newman recalls. “We were always listening to hip-hop CDs at home and that made me want to know more about the music business.”
The result is Siren Vibes Records, Richmond’s newest record label and an outgrowth of Newman’s virtual internship last year with Warner Music Group as a student at New York University majoring in music business.
“Because of COVID, my internship had to be done through Zoom, but it was great being mentored throughout the internship and getting to learn from Warner executives,” she says. “I found it pretty interesting talking to people pursuing music as a career.”
One issue abundantly clear to her was the lack of diversity in mainstream record companies. That was motivation enough to start a label run by Black women.
Although based in Richmond, Siren Vibes Records pulls its talents from the Washington, Maryland and Virginia corridor. “There’s so much untapped talent here and that pool has not been properly fished in,” Newman says. “Reading a Forbes article about Richmond’s underground music scene inspired me to be part of that.” Her goal with the company is boosting local talent by assisting with career…