Houston’s New Label Has Something to Say About the Scene
There’s a new record label in town, Houston. I had a chance to chat with the founder of Roologic, Ruben Jimenez, about how it all started, where it’s going and what he loves about Houston. If you haven’t seen their artists live yet, do yourself a favor and check out a show. There are upcoming events at the bottom of this post.
Lauren Ignited: When did you know you wanted to start what eventually became Roo-logic? What was the moment where it clicked for you, and you thought, this is what I have to do? And how did you feel when it was moments from launching?
Ruben Jimenez: Raymond A and I were working on the unexpected mixtape spring of 2015, and I had already been acting as Def’s manager, and we were thinking of how we could better establish the appearance of said management for Ray as well. He suggested the name Roologic Management, Roologic was my social media name at the time. At the same I had been DJing for allot of local rappers around town, and it was getting old seeing these talented artist just have a bandcamp page or use CDBaby or Tunecore and get this generic sort of platform where there music was able to be discovered, but there was no order to it. It was just sort of out there.
I spoke with Mark Austin about who he uses for distribution because I saw The Suffers release on a french website I buy Hi-Res files from, he gave me some names, and I applied and was denied (of course). In my search for something better than bandcamp, cdbaby, and tunecore I found Symphonic, which offered a greater international presence through their services. I called them asking about Hi-Res options and suggested some digital stores they should work with in the global market. A few weeks later I saw they were offering services to those very digital retailers and I contacted them about my application, they said I had been approved (the message was in my spam folder) and that’s when I it all sort of came together.
LI: What is your criteria for selecting artists for Roo-logic? Are you exclusive to a certain genre? How does an artist become a part of the crew?
RJ: Our criteria is be active in the scene, work hard and be professional, have great recorded and live performances, be serious about your music, not just a hobbyist and most importantly, we want. We are definitely not exclusive to one genre; we have our fair share of Hip-Hop acts, but we also have Space Villians* who are southern psych rock and Gabe Bravo, who is a comedian. We want to expand our non-rap act wing of the roster but we aren’t in a huge rush to expand just for the sake of expansion. That said, the current roster keeps their eyes and ears open all the time and if we find an act that not only is talented but can work within the dynamics of the label we will offer an invitation.
LI: What are your biggest dreams and aspirations for Roo-logic? Where will you, and the team, be in 10 years?
RJ: The biggest aspiration is that everyone on the label learns as much as possible about the business and becomes leaders in their own right. Of course, we want all of the acts to be successful and have a healthy following, but I think the overarching goal is to create a strong foundation in Houston for what independent artists and labels look like. In 10 years I’ll be 50, I’d hope to continue to have an active presence in the music and art community in a way that helps up and coming artist stay on the right track and hopefully still be able to give them an avenue to distribute their art.
LI: What do you love most about the Houston music scene?
RJ: That it’s tougher than other markets. You really have to want it in this town, and this is a hard town to impress. But once you win them over, you have such a loyal crowd. The scene consists of some of the most enterprising and scrappy artists I’ve ever met. They don’t take no for an answer, they will create their own lane if need be, on top of being creatives, that in a nutshell is that Houston Hustle that I admire and respect.
LI: What are you looking forward to most this summer?
RJ: Getting all of our acts in the studio and putting out some great work. One thing about all the artists on the label, they are humble, hungry and ready to work.
LI: What can you share with us about upcoming Roo-logic news / events?
RJ: News wise: we have Brew (formerly of Lower Life Form) completing his project that is due out mid-summer, Genesis Blu and Raymond A will follow shortly after with their releases. Gabe Bravo has a completed project we are excited about as well. We want to really get behind him and his vision, he is a talented comedian and with his ties to The Secret Group and Youngblood Management I think we can really put our collective draws together to really make a an impact with that project. Space Villains*, Dirty & Nasty and Def. are all targeting fall releases. It may seem like allot, that’s because it is but we are glad to have it all to do.
Upcoming Roo-logic Events:
- Def. will be at The Nightingale Room on 03/31
- The Space Villains* and Def. will be at House of Blues in the main room on 04/16 for the Local Brews / Local Grooves showcase.
- Every Friday Night I am DJing in the Foundation Room at House of Blues, every Saturday Night I am DJing at The Commoner (410 Main St)