Audio Up Media, best known for its award-winning podcasts including Make It Up as We Go and Halloween in Hell, has launched Audio Chateau Records and formed a partnership with Virgin Music Group.
“So much of our audio entertainment incorporates original music, and we are constantly discovering and working with new talent that deserves to be heard by a wider audience,” said Audio Up CEO Jared Gutstadt in a statement. “ Our new partnership with [Virgin Music Group president] Jacqueline Saturn and [head of global music strategy] Matt Sawin and the great team at Virgin provides us with an additional and powerful platform to launch new talent into the stratosphere.”
The first release, coming next month, will be from Randy Savvy, who is co-founder of the Southern California equestrian group, Compton Cowboys. Savvy’s album, which will be executive produced and co-written by Gutstadt, will combine rap and country music.
Also expected in the first quarter of 2024 will be the debut album from Maejor Audio Sunshine, a group composed of producer/songwriter Maejor, who hosts Audio Up’s music and wellness Maejor Frequency podcast (which was named Adweek’s 2022 podcast of the year); Bipolar Sunshine, who is best known for “Middle,” his collaboration with DJ Snake; and Gutstadt, who as a producer/songwriter, has worked with Jelly Roll and Machine Gun Kelly, among others.
Coming in summer 2024 will be a full-length album from Uncle Drank, a character from Audio Up’s The Ballad of Uncle Drank, portrayed by Will Sasso. The musical podcast’s voice cast also includes Luke Wilson, Brian Kelley, Kinky Friedman and Billy Zane.
“It’s the perfect time for Jared and his team to expand their platform for creating and releasing music, and all of us at Virgin are thrilled to be the distribution partner for Audio Chateau Records,” said Saturn in a statement. “The company’s initial slate of releases is reflective of Jared’s ability to sign and develop artists and projects that are unique to the marketplace, and we look forward to having a lot of fun and success together in the coming years.”
Backing for the label includes investments from Audio Chateau board member/entrepreneur Jonathan Schulman and producer Gillian Hormel, heiress to the Hormel Foods brand, who recently launched Partners in Kind, a $50 million equity fund that will develop film and television projects that promote kindness.
Audio Up will continue to produce podcasts and other entertainment content, including former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s podcast, Mea Culpa, and comedy podcast Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn. In 2021, Audio Up released Strawberry Spring, the first podcast adaptation of a Stephen King short story.