Russ and Bugus have teamed up for the new record label DIEMON. The two independent acts started DIEMON as a collective in Atlanta in 2010. Now that Russ is no longer signed to Columbia Records, he partnered with Bugus for the label, in which the name is an acronym for “Do It Everyday Music or Nothing,” Variety reports. Most recently, Russ released his Chomp 2 album as an independent artist.
“Everyone owns their masters; everyone owns their publishing. We don’t eat on your merch or your tours, and everything’s a profit split deal,” Russ said. “We’re not looking to invest in an artist just to change their music. If we like an artist enough to sign them, it’s because we like what they’re doing. It’s just a super artist-friendly situation, where we’re here to provide resources and mentorship to artists that we believe in.”
“We don’t want to have to chase you around and beg you to come to the studio. We want the kind of artist that we need to pull out of the studio and be like, ‘All right bro, you’ve done five songs tonight, take a break,’” Bugus added. “There’s a lot of rappers who have a label but it’s all rap, or R&B artists have a label and it’s all R&B. We want to be more like the big labels in that sense, where they have Garth Brooks and Lil Wayne and Wizkid from Africa.”
The first signee to DIEMON is LaRussell, a hip-hop star form Vallejo, California. “If you look at what he’s doing with his music, he’s putting out a bunch of content all the time — dropping albums here, dropping songs there. With him I was like, ‘Man, do whatever you wanna do. Whenever you need me, hit me,’” Russ says of LaRussell.
The label is expected to operate with laid-back deadlines and financial transparency. Signed artists will be able to sign into their distribution platform to track their earnins in real time. With the start of his new label, the two hope to spark change across the music industry.
“I hope that artists recognize that they’re the nucleus. They have more power than they realize and there’s alternative ways to win, you don’t have to go the major label way. You don’t have to give up your masters and do all of these really exploitative things,” Russ said.