Founder of Black Iris, one of the most successful indie music collectives in the advertising and entertainment industries, Daron Hollowell has been helping to redefine the business of making music ever since the digital download changed the name of the game forever. With a knack for discovering stellar new talent, Hollowell co-founded White Iris Records — Black Iris’ label counterpart — as a platform for emerging artists to see and be seen in the brave new world of career-making commercial and branded content projects. Chosen as one of the Top 10 Most Exciting Indie Labels in LA in its fledgling year, White Iris discovered Best Coast, Electric Guest, and FIDLAR, among others. Just last year it played an instrumental role in forming the Frenchkiss Label (super)Group, a hands-on boutique distributor focused on growing visibility for independent labels as the bottom line. So much more than a savvy business man, he’s also the frontman of his own stellar bluesy psych-rock band, whose second debut album is out early next year on White Iris. Oh, and Hollowell’s first band opened for Fugazi. — CC
What are your plans for the holidays?
I wish I could train myself to take time off, but it’s really hard for me. I’m producing a 7″ for a Toronto band I’m really excited about called Smart Boys. They share members with Fucked Up and we’re recording them in Brooklyn this week. I’m also flying to LA for one night to see Lewis’ (Pesacov, co-owner of White Iris Records) chamber operetta inspired by the ending of Mayan long count calendar. But eventually I will get to Richmond, Virginia for a few days with my family and friends. I’m going to take my kids to see Santa, eat some good food, and build some fires.
Which New York artists do you count among your greatest inspirations?
All of them. I don’t mean to be reductive, but more than any one artist I’m blown away by New York’s creative legacy and its ongoing ability to inspire people to artistic greatness. It’s unstoppable.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
My band, El Sportivo & the Blooz, is releasing our first full-length record, Nights & Weekends, on White Iris Records in February. We’ll be doing SXSW stuff and a bunch of other shows as well. On the White Iris side of things, we’re doing a big brand relaunch with a lot of very cool content on our website as well as some very swank packaging for our vinyl. In addition to our ongoing commercial projects, Black Iris has also signed on to score our first TV series. They won’t let me talk about it yet, but it’s an amazing show and you’ll hear about it soon.