Despite the adverse effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the local music industry, longtime label executive Ricky Ilacad marched on with his dream of launching and running his own independent record company.
After almost a decade of planning, Off the Record—which touts itself as an “alternative choice” for people seeking “diverse music, quality production and engaging content”—has finally gained ground. It also plans to discover, develop and distribute “bold” Pinoy voices, while maintaining a “collaborative experience” among the label, artists and audiences.”
It’s a move that could be deemed as risky, given that traditional business models and operations are still in the balance as they try to adapt to the “new normal.”
Together with a young and creative team that grew up consuming digital media, Ricky aims to nurture the creativity that sprung from quarantine. “The lockdown gave lots of people time to pause, plan and truly think about what they wanted to create. Off The Record gives them the platform to do so,” said Ricky, who used to head MCA Music Philippines.
To complement this burst of new energy, Ricky brings in his extensive experience in the industry, which allowed him to help promote bossa nova, alternative music, hip-hop and new wave in the country, through his former artists The Dawn, Sitti, Nina and Francis M.
Ricky described “Off the Record” as an artist-centric company. “Our artists are always at the center of what we do,” he said of the label, whose current artist roster includes the likes of singer-actress Alexa Ilacad and singer-songwriter Jacob Clemente. New additions are set to be launched in the coming months.
“It’s not a business; it’s a family. Our goal isn’t to just release music and profit off it—we work to bring our artists’ vision to life and create a community for people to come and celebrate it,” he said.
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