TikTok musical tastemaker Ari Elkins is starting his own record label called Blue Suede Records.
Elkins is teaming up with Avex USA for the new label, which aims to “find, develop, and champion undiscovered talent.” Ari Elkins will be leading the hunt for those artists, while Avex USA will handle the logistical side of Blue Suede Record’s daily operations.
Elkins is known for releasing videos on TikTok that offer themed music recommendations. Some of the topics he has touched on include holiday playlists, relatable lyrics, and break-up songs. “I’m so excited to take my love for finding new artists and sharing them with the world to the next level with Aves and the launch of Blue Suede,” Elkins says in a statement.
“What we are building is a unique opportunity for emerging artists to get best-in-class traditional label services but also truly tangible and contemporary marketing power. I’ve been following Avex and Selene’s work since inception and have always admired their swift mobility and unconventional approach to the music industry, which in 2023 is so crucial.”
Blue Suede Records takes its name from a couch that appears in Ari Elkins’ TikTok videos. Avex USA is also the logistics side of Selene, a brand founded in 2021 and led by Lucas Thomashow (pictured left). Many of Selene’s signees have avid followings on TikTok, highlighting just how important a tool the social media site has become for discovering new talent.
Avex USA was launched in 2020 and is the American operation of Japan’s Avex Group. It oversees Selene, Avex USA Publishing, Avex House, and now Blue Suede Records. Selene has helped emerging artists like Sadie Jean, Austin George, Sophie Holohan, and Zach Hood find their footing in the music industry. In February 2020, Avex USA struck a partnership with Sony Music Publishing to provide worldwide administration services outside of Japan to Avex USA’s catalog and roster of songwriters and producers.