Electric Dream Records

Far too many people come to me with ideas for starting boutique businesses that haven’t been thought out. The costs and management of, primarily. It’s a 24/7 commitment no matter the idea and execution. I’m lucky to have creative friends that work their ass off to afford their passion projects, but have a larger goal in mind. Meet Brian Diamond, founder of Electric Dream Records.

I met Brian at my favorite midwest tavern, The Olympic, in the early 2000s. He worked there, waiting tables and running drinks around. We got to talking about music and life, and a friendship was born. Over the years, Brian dabbled in playing in bands, writing songs and books worth of material he shared with very few people. He also managed to land a secure full time day job in a town not known for revealing full-time opportunities aside of being a teacher, nurse. or an insurance agent. Brian’s passion for music equals his passion for sustaining work ethic no matter what work is being accomplished.

He proposed an idea in late 2016 about launching a vinyl record label focusing on a specific genre—noir, 80s inspired, electronic music. The genre for him changed how he created and produced music, but also led him to the reality that very few distributors and independent record labels existed to represent this growing genre of underground artists which had been self-releasing and selling their work through digital online stores (Bandcamp, etc.).

I mentioned the initial fear of launching a physical media business in a digital world for a genre little knew of (then), but he did his research convincing me it could work. Vinyl production and sales are on the up, and still are as of 2019, and the demand for Vinyl services by Digital artists is still approaching a high tide. Brian was right—not only right, he had every high-risk concern cost with his plan mapped out so that Artists were treated fair and his business could survive.

Brian needed my help and services with the brand development and launch, setting forth art and design standards, identity and logo development for all media, establishing core press-ready templates for vinyl labels, jacket packaging, and being available for consulting/often fixing or addressing quality concerns about artwork provided by his artists’ third party creators. I expressed upfront my lack of time and concern for being creatively out of tune with the genre itself and he was ok with it all. Lo and behold, it was one of the finer lessons in design and direction I’ve enjoyed over the years because I had no knowledge of the music genre or artwork Brian envisioned. For all of the love of music I have, I was challenged—finally!

I learned something about working with Brian that many executive cheapasses in business can learn from him: Brian hires a team of talented labor—mixing and mastering engineers, artists, designers, illustrators—and PAYS them. He PAYS for the talent no matter the budget allowance per artist recording and release schedule. The talent is from all over the world and not our backyard—which has decent talent, but no one specific that I can refer Brian to who can pull off his business branding’s specific genre related marketing needs.

Brian hired me to do what a Creative Director does—sans friendship—which is direct, oversee, consult, and jump-in cold to pull missing puzzle pieces together. In some cases, start from scratch and take over, keep costs contained and deadlines met, vendors happy and production approvals focused and swift.

As an artist, leader, and young business owner himself—Brian asks questions and listens to the answers, always learning. I take note of such because I’ve worked with many business execs at all levels (corporate, firms, independent) over the course of the past 29 years and I can name off three or four on one hand throughout who took time to learn every facet of their business. From inception to fulfillment, and every person’s role. He always wants to ensure that methods for accomplishing something smarter, better, are intact and that costly mistakes aren’t made. It has been an incredibly refreshing, creatively and professionally rewarding experience that I can’t thank him enough for asking me to be a small part of because my career is filled with inept characters earning 6 figures who possess the keys to the kingdom; they who are the antithesis of what a leader like Brian does effortlessly from a combined creative and business perspective.

I discovered Brian to be one of the finest, ethical professionals I’ve met, all while he nurtures a fearless creative drive to record and release his own projects under the moniker, “Shadows and Mirrors”—and it starts there with why Electric Dream Records is a growing, sustainable success for he and his artists. Launching EDR allowed me to be a true Creative Director and consultant; an emergency-as-needed-designer and developer to oversee EDR’s brand consistency and growth; checking press proofs for accuracy and granting green lights.

I’m proud of the work he’s doing, growing, and representing other artists with while growing his passion project—Electric Dream Records—into a legit, respectful business. I know of too many people that can learn a helluva lot from Brian and EDR about how to treat and respect others, to collaborate, and to create something meaningful…. Rather than the alternative—our conditioned need to simply pay debts with a shitshow dayjob. Brian put his dreams into action, I’m proud to call him a friend!

ClientElectric Dream RecordsServicesBrand Development, Launch, Direction, Design, ConsultationYear2017Linkelectricdreamrecords.com

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