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Highway 9 Records Launches in Alpharetta, Signs First Artist to Recording Contract

The independent label plans to help emerging artists create, record, and market debut and early stage recording projects, as well as build core audiences.

Highway 9 Records has been launched by local businessman Brian Johnson, who is teaming with music industry veteran producer and musician Heber Pampillon to run the label. Johnson will serve as executive producer and Pampillon will be Highway’s 9’s director of artist development.

The company is focused on helping emerging artists create, record, and market debut and early stage recording projects, as well as build core audiences. Local musician and Peggy Still School of Music product Beth Ballinger will release her debut album in summer 2013, with Pampillon serving as her producer.

The first artist signed to the new label is Marietta native Beth Ballinger. She began her study of music at the age of 5 with vocal instructor Lynn Donald at Alpharetta’s Peggy Still School of Music. Beth sings and plays piano, and lists Etta James, Sara Barielles and Martha Reeves as her influences. Beth’s as yet untitled debut album will feature a collection of original, biting, blue eyed-soul-pop songs, with special guest appearances by Atlanta-based drummer Jason Monseur and Greenville, SC-based rock cello player Sarah Clanton Schaffer.

“Getting the chance to work on this project at Highway 9 is a lifetime dream coming true for me,” says Ballinger. “I am excited to work with Brian and Heber, who are so willing to not only help me establish myself as a professional musician, but to do so in such an active and supportive way.”

Johnson said musicians have more avenues than ever before to create and distribute their music.

“However, the sheer quantity of these opportunities has diluted quality immensely, and led some people to believe that they should only seek out and take the shortcuts on the path to becoming a professional musician or to producing 'radio-ready' music. We want to help new artists understand and take full advantage of the current and ever-changing DIY (do it yourself) toolset, but to do so in the context of a comprehensive, disciplined and proven artist development framework.”

“We have decades of experience in business operations and music industry management,” Johnson said, “as well as connections to subject matter experts who can help steer the musicians that we work with towards the most effective (and cost effective) ways to turn their musical talents, passions and aspirations into reality.”

“Just as importantly, Highway 9 will be a place where artists can work, grow and dream in a fair, collaborative and vibrant environment where their opinions are highly valued, and where they also have a meaningful financial stake in their own success,” he said.

Highway 9 records is headquartered just south of downtown Alpharetta on GA 9 at 11775 Northfall Lane, Suite 203, Alpharetta.

Highway 9 is seeking other talented emerging artists in the north metro Atlanta area who are interested in recording and developing their skills as professional musicians. Interested parties should email Brian Johnson or call him at 770-289-2110.

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