From Walmart spot to record label

How a song in a holiday ad led Vapor Music to launch its own label.
Copied from Stimulant - eastofavenue

Turns out, advertising can make dreams come true.

As part of its holiday campaign last year, Walmart and audio house Vapor Music got Toronto indie pop group East of Avenue to write an original track, “Paper Planes,” for the spots. Response to the song was huge, and Vapor immediately began getting requests from labels looking to sign the band. Joey Serlin, president and creative director at Vapor, saw this as an opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream of his: he decided to launch his own record label instead.

Fifth Kid Records, as the label is called, has started by releasing East of Avenue’s new self-titled EP, which is already nearing 1.4 million plays on Spotify, and on Monday released a video for the track “Army of One.”

The label’s branding and design were created by Lg2 and Lg2boutique, and it partnered with Canadian music biz heavyweights Fontana North and Maple Music to provide assistance with distribution, publicity and promotion.

Serlin is no stranger to the Canadian music industry himself, having spent the better part of the ’90s as a guitarist and songwriter in The Watchmen. He had been kicking around the idea of launching a label since the band stopped touring, but found himself in the ad world instead. Going forward, Fifth Kid looks to specialize in finding top artists and providing all the services expected from a label, while also using its connection to Vapor to give musicians access to licensing opportunities for ads, video games, animation and long-format video (and helping them maintain their artistic integrity while doing so).

From Stimulant. You just read about a “Passion Project,” a weird and wonderful thing keeping creatives busy when they’re not hard at work in the agency world. Have your own side project like the one above? Then email Jen Horn with your passion for the chance to be featured.