Two years ago, he was performing at open-mic night in front of five-ten people. On their most recent headlining national tour, he played 70 cities in 30 states, appearing on big stages in front of sold-out crowds. By anyone’s standards, that’s a success story. But for Marco Archer, better known as Phora, and his group Yours Truly, success depends on creating an influential independent record label so that they can create “Yours Truly Records” to take their indie movement to the next level. That means new albums, high-end music videos, national tours and international concerts, and new clothing designs. They’re striving for all these things, but they don’t want the baggage that comes with traditional record label signing; in other words, they don’t want to have to jump through the hoops of corporate investors, sponsors, or ultra-controlling record labels.
In order to achieve the creative freedom that they’re looking for, they need help from Kickstarter crowdfunding donors. Their crowdfunding campaign to raise $60,000 by July 2 has already brought in over $17,000. If the goal is reached, then “Yours Truly Records,” destined to be one of hip hop’s most influential independent record labels, will be born.
The inspiration for this career direction comes from the fans. As the music became better known, concert attendance exploded. One of their motivations for going this route is because, despite all their hard word on their last national tour, they couldn’t perform in all the cities and states where their fans were eager to see them live. Traveling on their own headlining tour, Phora says, was “a dream come true.” But funding their own tour limited their potential. They wanted to visit every state in the country. They want to put out a lot of new music, but they want to do it without sacrificing their independence.
The funds will be used to cover touring expenses including a tour bus, rehearsal time, travel, venue and sound costs, DJ’ing, new studio equipment, mixing and mastering programs, and CD pressing, printing, and distribution; merchandising expenses such as graphic design and production costs, labor, screen-printing, photoshoots, promotion/marketing, and packaging; video costs including rentals for cameras, lighting, and equipment, and fees for the director and editor. Last but not least, the funding will pay for record label and trademark costs so that everything they create is copyrighted onto their own label and branded as their own. “This is the biggest part,” Phora proclaims. “This is what will make us legit!”
Since January, Phora has been recording a brand new full-length album which will be ready to share in October. Their goal is to release the album under their own label, “Yours Truly Records”.
For Phora, producer Anthro Beats and Eskupe Beats, Yours Truly is a family that no one can tear apart. Phora has known struggles, and his music reflects the wounds that life has inflicted. But it’s through music that people relate to one another and share their experiences. Phora says that if he can be something in someone’s life, he would want to be that person’s guardian angel.
Make that an independent guardian angel.