News October 24, 2016

Exclusive: Jaddan Comerford & Matt Emsell detail new label venture, 1825 Records

Former Editor
Exclusive: Jaddan Comerford & Matt Emsell detail new label venture, 1825 Records

Two of the globe’s most influential music industry entrepreneurs Jaddan Comerford and Matt Emsell have officially launched their new venture, 1825 Records

TMN can exclusively reveal the founder of UNIFIED and the founder of Wonder Management (5 Seconds of Summer, Matt Corby) will sign and develop Australian acts to export internationally.

Speaking to TMN over the phone from Los Angeles, Comerford said: “As an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do is work with people that you want to work with.

“[…] We’ve always seen eye to eye on music, the potential of Australian music and where it fits in the global landscape,” he added. “We just always wanted to do something together.” 

While Comerford has launched the careers of Vance Joy and The Amity Affliction globally, and Emsell has a successful history of helping local acts climb charts abroad, artists signed to 1825 Records will have access to the resources and teams at two of the world’s biggest music companies, Warner Music Australia and Atlantic Records.

Atlantic Records Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald said: “We’ve developed a terrific relationship through our work together on Vance Joy, the Amity Affliction, and Matt Corby, and we’re constantly impressed by both their A&R vision and their 24/7 dedication to their artists. Australia today is breaking great music with global potential, and the entire Atlantic team is looking forward to the amazing artists that we know 1825 will be bringing us in the months and years to come.” 

The collaborative label partnership will see 1825’s artists tap into all three labels to release their music and fast-track their careers worldwide. 

Warner Music Australia Managing Director Tony Harlow said: “1825 is something new, different and unique. I think only Jaddan and Matt would have the worldview and contacts to put something like this together. I feel totally excited that this will be a new opportunity for Australian artists on a world stage and, who knows, some world artists in Australia. We can’t wait to be part of it.”

1825 Records will be based in Sydney at UNIFIED and Wonder’s shared Woolloomooloo office, with Meg Meredith handling the day-to-day operations of the label and working across A&R. Previously Promotions Manager at SUM Management, and Publicist at Positive Feedback, Meredith has a history of working with emerging artists such as Alison Wonderland, Safia and Little May. 

Meanwhile, Comerford and Emsell are set to open an office near Venice Beach in LA, which will act as a shared communal space for 1825, UNIFIED and Wonder Management. Comerford told TMN he has plans to relocate from New York to LA.

Speaking to TMN over the phone this week, Emsell said: “We have such great teams at our respective companies and something we always talked about when we were starting this company was to tap into the expertise we have within Wonder and within UNIFIED. It’s a very collaborative process.” 

The first signing to 1825 is Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter Xavier Dunn. Emsell and Comerford’s conversations with Dunn began nearly two years ago, while he was signed almost a year ago.

Xavier Dunn

“One of Xavier’s great strengths is that he is an incredibly gifted and prolific songwriter,” said Emsell. “A lot of his time has been spent collaborating in Sydney and Melbourne and LA. Xavier has been focusing on creating music and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Dunn releases his debut single through 1825 today. The release of Give In – featuring Brisbane vocalist and songwriter Airling – follows two national support tours with NZ duo Broods and fellow Sydney singer-songwriter Gordi. His next live show is tonight in Brisbane as tour support for Airling.



TMN can also reveal 1825 signed a contract with Bendigo band Fountaineer at Brisbane’s BigSound. Comerford attended the showcase and conference event this year as a keynote speaker.

1825 is the opus of five years of friendship and mutual admiration. Comerford and Emsell have actually been working on the label behind the scenes for around two years.

While inking the two label deals, starting conversations with artists, and hiring staff have no doubt been a lengthy process, much of the time readying the label was spent carving out its label model. The pair have created a model to give artists signing worldwide deals out of Australia the best chance of breaking on a global scale.

“The idea is that we’ll develop these artists – in most cases – from very early days, working with them in Australia to develop a story which they can then take overseas,” said Comerford. 

Both Comerford and Emsell are well dressed when it comes to giving an act time to find their sound and presence. In Emsell’s case, 5 Seconds of Summer enjoyed a two-year build before the release of their eponymous multi-Platinum, global #1 album. Before which, the band had played 100 arena and 50 stadium shows. Similarly, he’d been working with Matt Corby for five years before his ARIA #3 6x Platinum EP Into The Flame was released.

“The approach that Jaddan and I share on everything we work with is not rushing our artists and making sure that they have the time and space to develop their craft,” added Emsell. 

“Every artist has every opportunity that they want to create for themselves,” said Comerford, “we’ve just done a little bit of pre-work to ideally skip a few steps.” 

1825’s roster will be genre agnostic, but Emsell and Comerford do have certain criteria for the artists they wish to sign. 

“We came at it from two angles,” said Emsell. “The primary thing is we’re looking for great artists with a strong creative vision and a real sense of where they want to go. And we love artists with ambition. It is something all the artists signed to 1825 have in common.”  

1825’s core model might currently be to launch the careers of local acts overseas, but its founders remain open about the future. 

“We’ve talked about the idea of signing international talent to our label in Australia,” said Emsell. “We may look at signing US talent further down the line. […] Anything’s possible really.”

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