Marriott International's W Hotels, known for its on-property music festivals, is launching W Records, the brand’s very own music label.
At its core, W Records is a record label and resource for artists selected by W Hotels and their music industry partners. W Records will support artists through every step of development, providing recording space, video shoot locations, mixing and mastering and distribution of the new sound via live performances, streaming and vinyl production.
Tracks for W Records are recorded on property in W Sound Suites, with four artists signed on to record with the brand over the next year. Tracks from the first artist have already been released through W Records both digitally and via limited edition runs of vinyl.
“Over the brand’s 20-year lifespan the music industry has changed beyond recognition, and we have changed with it. Intimate live performances in our Living Rooms have evolved into weekend-long music festivals throughout our hotels. The curated soundtracks of years ago have given way to late night recording sessions in our W Sound Suites. That’s because one thing remains constant: travel and the allure of a W hotel room inspiring musicians around the world,” Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels, said in a statement. “W Records is, undoubtedly, a natural next step for W and music. It represents a complete 360-degree approach to our innovative music programming – one in which we support emerging talent, provide them a place to record, distribute their music and act as a live venue. We’ve accomplished each of these tasks in increments before, but now we can do it all.”
Artists recording with W Hotels will produce their tracks in W Sound Suites at the W Hollywood, W Barcelona, W Bali or W Seattle. These sessions will include a cover as well as an original track. Once recorded, W will release 500 limited-edition vinyl copies, which will be delivered to DJs and members of SPG/Marriott Rewards. Each artist will also film a music video to accompany the release of his or her W-exclusive tracks, culminating in a live set for W guests and fans.
The first W Records artist is R&B artist, songwriter and producer Amber Mark. Mark covered “High On Your Love” by Kings Go Forth, the first exclusive release from W Records. Mark will kick off the program with a live performance in her hometown of New York City at W New York – Times Square on Oct. 10. The second track from Mark, a rework of her song “Can You Hear Me,” will be released soon after. The Oct. 10 show will also premiere Mark’s music video for “Can You Hear Me (Rework)” which was shot at W Montréal. Both tracks from Mark were recorded earlier this summer in the W Sound Suite at W Hollywood.
The entire W Records project with Amber Mark is women-led, with Mark producing the tracks, which have been mixed and mastered by women, and manufactured by a women-run vinyl production company.
All W proceeds from the streaming releases of W Records tracks will be donated to a charity of each artist’s choice. Mark, who holds the cause of breast cancer awareness and early screenings near and dear, has chosen The Rose, whose mission it is to save lives through quality breast health services, advocacy and access to care for all. She chose this charity in honor of her mother, Mia Mark, who passed away from breast cancer in 2013.