Will Ward‘s global management, production, publishing and business development company Fourward has now launched a record label, Billboard can reveal.
Dubbed Fourward Records, the label has already signed buzzy folk-pop artist Brenn! under a licensing and partnership agreement with Justin Lubliner‘s Dark Room imprint (via Interscope Records), as well as indie-rock band Sarah and the Sundays in a licensing and partnership deal with AWAL.
“I am excited to expand and grow the Fourward brand into the records space,” said Ward in a statement. “Our focus is to continue developing artists early, through the lens of a global management firm. Whether it be records, publishing or management, we provide an environment where developing talent can build a community of trusted collaborators to help properly grow their careers.”
Fourward head of music Joey McCarthy added that the record label “is something we have talked about for a long time, and we have strategically built into this launch. The goal is for our artists to feel like they are getting management-like strategy and treatment across the board.”
McCarthy additionally shouted out Fourward A&R and artist manager Jake Sarno, noting that the executive “has been instrumental in identifying talent early and helping us grow the music division. I’m excited for what Fourward’s future holds and the careers we are going to help impact along the way.”
Brenn! recently scored his first-ever entry on a Billboard chart with “4runner,” which debuted at No. 43 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs with 1.4 million streams earned in its first week of release. Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Ala., the singer-songwriter has released three additional songs on streaming services: “Oh,” “Vintage Tees” and “Closer.” Sarah and the Sundays have released two albums to date: 2019’s So You’re Mad About the Cups and 2021’s The Living End.
Earlier this month, Fourward also launched Fourward Ventures, a $50 million, early-stage growth fund actively investing in sectors including health and wellness, sustainability and consumer packaged goods.