With more new record labels being launched than ever before, standing out from the crowd is crucial to success. But if great music doesn’t necessarily make a great label, what other factors determine the success or failure of an imprint? Running a label is easy. The day-to-day process, at least. Anyone can do that bit. Running a good label? That’s a whole different ball game. The best record labels are cultural icons that can reflect the era we live in. They aren’t just about delivering music to people. They’re about identities and stories, communities and, in some cases, whole lifestyles. The labels to which we submit and subscribe are those we consciously or sub-consciously allow to define our own identities; they’re extensions of our personalities, signifiers of our self.
Royalti Virtue is one of those labels, and their internal policies describe as much. Their vision began in March 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and evolved through a collaboration between founder and artist Da’Rell Miller, and his mentors, CEO of “Bella Marcia’ Kiki Romeo and producer Jordan Clayton. “We were fed up with greedy records labels and sought to create an organization that encourages creativity, community, family and an environment where artists can work on their music freely without unnecessary distraction or concerns,” says the crew.
Though Royalti Virtue focuses on what is important; investing in the music and the talented artists that create it, they say that the project ‘is first and foremost an initiative of goodwill’. “We are about maintaining our uncompromising core values, which center on providing the resources and services needed so our artists can focus on their music.”
Rather than ride on the coat tails of those that have come before, Royalti Virtue also distance themselves from the scene’s de facto standard imagery, something which help to make the label stand out from the rest.
A label has to understand who they’re aiming the music at, and also have the inner confidence to deliver and dictate the formats to their audience. And nowadays, it’s very important to have a focused sound, and a focused image. In this digital age, it’s become a lot easier for any anyone to set up a digital label and get their music out on to various platforms.
It’s common knowledge that the hip-hop music scene is now awash with thousands of labels all pitching for a small slice of the market so a new label should come focused and prepared, but should also be bold, and deliver something that’s going to get talked about – something to give its roster the edge over the many other labels working in similar musical waters.
Royalti Virtue boasts the following hard-working and talented members: Da’Rell Miller (Hip – Hop artist, CEO, Model), D3 (Hip – Hop artist, Producer, Model), Telly Boi Hogg (President, Hip – Hop artist, Producer), Mackology (Hip – Hop artist, Producer), AnimalPoet (Caleb North and Kyle Scott), dp Major (Pop, Hip-hop, producer), Kristen Wilmot (Marketer, Producer, Photographer, Videographer, Singer, Graphic Designer), DJ Kool Whip and Davonnie Menendez (CEO of YMDR, Photographer, Rapper). The Royalti Virtue collective have put together the stunning “Road To Royalti” EP which serves to showcase their creative wares. It contains 4 tracks led by Telly Boi Hogg, D3 and Da’Rell Miller with inter-switching features by the rest of the crew.
In the fiercely competitive world of hip-hop, where most major record labels sign only the most polished acts, the chances of making it as a newcomer on your own are slim. So you find need to find yourself a team. Many emcees, singers and producers are increasingly turning to collectives: loosely organized groups of artist-friends who hustle their way to hip-hop stardom. Part of this strategy comes through on “Road To Royalti” as Royalti Virtue rise above the noise in support of each other.
They sound like a tight-knit incubator concerned only with greatness—and that’s what’s ensures the music that comes out of the crew is consistently on point. Just as hip-hop aficionados have become weary of record labels’ go-to tropes, Royalti Virtue arrive with an almost entirely new oeuvre. There seems to be a genuine sincerity in their approach to music