Artist as a founder

I recently minted my artist pitch deck. (Embed doesn’t load properly!)

So heres the URL

I created one my first pitch decks in 2019 - It was for my record label and publishing company specializing in the Latin music market.

Since inception we’ve been innovating in and outside of the traditional industry, our rosters contributions have accumulated over 500M streams, Latin Billboard placements, and Latin grammy noms.

scr (label services mania)
scr (label services mania)

Many know me as the artist, front facing brand - Xcelencia (La Equis)

The reality is I am structured as a “record label” essentially a single member LLC, since 2018 - Shifted Culture Records LLC (gonna announce something soon)

I did a more elaborate piece on infra for artists and why they should consider this. Check it out if you’re interested! (or skip ahead for more)


“Influencers are positioned to become the most valuable brands of the future, replacing corporate brands. But to guarantee that shift, influencers need to sell equity just as a business would do, giving investors a share of their lifetime earnings. That would give them more access to the capital and talent they need to grow.” - Sam Lessin

Lots to take from the quote, there is no absolutes, rather open to interpretation.

from my artist pitch deck
from my artist pitch deck

in 2018 when I officially formed my label as an entity, I set off to raise a pre-seed, after successfully driving my 2017 album to over 2M streams in ˜3 months with practically no budget. The funds were to focus on IRL and hit showcases, festivals, and opening slots. In addition I wanted to launch my own white label distro company for the latin market and serve other artists, producers, and songwriters. I was working two gigs at the time so it was def a grind!

Lets kick off with napkin pros and cons of raising private equity as an artist.


  • Access capital vs loans

  • top to bottom deal in favor of artist (80/20 vs 20/80)

  • build core team (faster?)

  • Expand business/brand into other areas w/o label intervention (they don’t want you to one up them!)

  • benefit from potential infra & investment network

  • no lock ins or song commitments

  • no cross-collateralization (kinda) mostly because its not a loan

  • pure 360 using diff entities for liability purposes (sort of standard in trad word)


  • Term length/duration

  • dilution in future rounds (end up back at 20/80)

  • Board/investor friction (OpenAi? lol)

  • future brand/likeness ventures become part of entity (dystopian)

  • Career dependent on securing future round if artist remains unprofitable

  • Dissolution

  • Force of sale of assets incl. IP, hardware, property, etc.

  • Founders returning money due to no PMF (possibly right thing to do if there is nowhere but down)

Bonus check out this Yards episode by Black dave and mint it!

I have been thinking a lot about the conversion of my “label” into a talent incubator for latin artists, my passion is truly in artist development (and no i don’t mean the tik tok to spotify pipeline)

I’ve had the pleasure of working with talent that wants to be brand facing and talent that does not! I actually enjoy both and do not pressure anyone.

The non brand facing talent I helped over the years is now a Latin grammy nominated and billboard charting producer - with a focus on music and a maintaining that producer-first energy, they achieved this.

Bonus! a simple take on label deals/loans

Been sitting on this one for several months and I am excited its out, enjoy!

Any questions? DM

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