Veeps founder Sherry Saeedi, blink-182 singer Mark Hoppus, and veteran music manager Nick Lippman have teamed up to launch Verswire, an artist development incubator. Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz will also serve as a strategic advisor, along with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and manager Gus Brandt (Mark Hoppus, Foo Fighters) as investors.
Following a Shark Tank-like format, Verswire will act as a venture capital company offering custom-tailored investments for artists, while allowing them to keep majority ownership of their masters.
“I am very excited to help build a new way for bands and artists to create music for communities,” said Hoppus in a statement, “while retaining ownership of their work.”
Each investment is individualized to a particular artist’s needs, from A&R to distribution, marketing, brand partnerships, development, and more offering an alternative to working under a traditional record label deal. Under Verswise, each artist is paired with a mentor along with the opportunity to work with some of the best songwriters and producers in the music industry to help shape their vision and sound.
“The countless tech solutions that allow artists to make extra money have merely been a bandaid, while no one has fixed the root of the problem: that unfavorable deals do not allow artists to make money or own their music,” said Sherry Saeedi, Verswire CEO and founder, in a statement. “In witnessing my closest friends put on the back-burner or trapped within the deals they signed while going bankrupt, I didn’t feel like anyone out there was providing the right solution to artists, but rather an iteration of the same archaic business model we’ve seen fail artists time and time again.”
Saeedi added, “I decided to build Verswire with an incredible team to re-envision the industry and provide musicians with an alternative that’s truly created with their well-being and careers as the priority.”
Verswire debut signing Beauty School Dropout, an alt-rock band mentored by Hoppus, will release their new single “Assassin” on May 25. The band’s new video for the single also features Hoppus, Wentz, and Paris Jackson.
“Seeing documentary after documentary about multi-platinum, arena-selling artists coming forward with their experiences of unfavorable label deals,” added Saeedi. “I was tired of hearing the same horror story over and over again: that musicians are struggling to make a dime off their work, while their label partners rake in millions.”
Wentz added, “I’ve been a fan of Sherry and the work she’s done for years, and look forward to being part of Verswire’s journey.”
Of the partnership, Lippman said, “The artist and label relationship needs to be a symbiotic partnership in order to garner absolute success. Verswire is the culmination of this ideology and something I’m proud to be a part of.”
Photo: Brian Doherty