Photo Credit: Whitney Farrer
Broken Entertainment is making serious waves in the industry. From nation-wide tours to sending acts to some of the biggest music festivals in the U.S., Broken Entertainment's rise has just started.
And after we spent some time with Broken Entertainment's founder, Garrett Marengo, 2019 looks to be a big year for the young company.
NON: So tell us how Broken Entertainment came to be?
Garrett Marengo: I started out doing management right out of college, scrapping and finding bands in Orange County, down in Southern California. Just trying to create platforms for them to find new fans and perform in front of new people. We did a couple of college tours. We would load up a trailer with a stage, a P.A., and other equipment and just perform at college houses and at parties just to get exposure. It was very D.I.Y. the first couple of years. That was like the basis and character that this company was built on. We had a recording studio in Orange County and we have grown up since, transitioned into filling the artist's career in a more premium professional manner. The company now sits in L.A. and we do mostly record releases. So we act as a record label and we do manage a few artists, as well.
NON: What inspired you to create the company? Are you just a big fan of music? What made you decide that this is what you wanted to do?
Garrett: It was really the result of working directly with artists. I was working at Red Bull at the time and I got a few opportunities to do some stuff with a band called AWOLNATION and another band called New Beat Fund. I've always loved music, just been around it so much. It excited me a lot and I saw a space for me. I saw myself as a person who could work well internally with a band. I'm not meant to be a musician, in my opinion, the management thing just made sense. When I started doing it, I felt like I really started to add value so that inspired me to continue that and grow that within Broken.
NON: We are huge fans of the bands you have on your label and from what we have listened to, you guys have something for everyone. Do you guys have a specific music style that you associate with your label?
Garrett: So, traditionally we have kinda stayed on that Alternative spectrum. We have Joe Marson and Zac Clark, they are more for the older crowd. They have this "timeless" sound. We have the indie groups like Hot Flash Heat Wave, King Shelter, and Moontower. And, we have made a more conscious effort to find female-fronted bands, which we weirdly haven't had a chance to work on just because of relationships. We are in a couple different conversations with a couple artists to some signings here in coming months...two female-fronted Pop acts and and all female band.
NON: So, we understand your company is launching a new distribution company for independent artists?
Garrett: Yes, we are rolling that out at the top of 2019. We are basically switching over our existing catalog to that. We're very excited because we feel that this year has been a year of growth for us. We are still working with some great companies on the distribution side to put music out, but we want be able to work with more artists and do it ourselves. It's really going to allow us to expand our roster of artists and the way that we work with them. We are very excited to roll this out.
NON: The year is about halfway over but you guys are still putting out some awesome music. Zac Clark's new CD comes out at the end of this month and we love his music. But, can you tell us about some of the future releases you have ready to drop?
Garrett: We have Hot Flash Heat Wave coming out with an EP. We have two newer artists that we are excited about. One of them is a band called Dizzy Spells, they are working on a full length album that will be coming out soon. We have Nightshifts coming out with an album, he's an artist coming out of Toronto. He's doing really well on the Spotify-side of things, we are looking forward to expanding his fan base here in the U.S. He spent the last week recording his album at Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica. Joe Marston is putting a single out for people who love alternative and blues-y stuff. We have some signings to announce...a lot of stuff going on!
NON: Now, we love all kinds of Nerd Culture. We nerd out over comics, anime, video games...stuff like that. Is there anything out there that you "nerd out" to personally?
Garrett: (Laughs.) The honest answer is Baseball. That's my thing, I follow the San Francisco Giants in a religious way. I live down in LA, so I subscribe to MLB TV. I love watching it and I play softball with friends on the weekends. The second thing is Golf. I grew up playing it and I still follow it. My entire life is engulfed in music, so I like to have my means away from that...family and sports.
NON: Ok, so my obvious question is how do you survive out in L.A. as a Giants fan living in Dodger territory?
Garrett: It is difficult, I struggle with it at times(laughs.) I'm very fortunate to visit my family in northern California and visit San Francisco to work. So, I catch Giants games often.
NON: We are based in the Bay Area, so we are Giants fans. And there is nothing worse than losing in Game 7 of the World Series, like what happened last year.
Garrett: That's the stuff that brings you happiness(laughs.)
NON: We always ask anyone who work in the music industry what type of music they listen to. What kind of music do you have in your playlists?
Garrett: I'm pretty interesting in that sense. My playlists tend to be very indie/psych/alternative when I need to be in the zone working. It helps me stay focused. When I am driving, I don't mind a bit of Pop.
And a part of me has this deep love for bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac ,and Bob Seger. I have a little record player and have all the albums for those artists. I keep it pretty eclectic.
NON: Name one thing or one song that people would be crazy surprised to know that you have on your playlist.
Garrett: Oh yeah, I'll share that. I have one song that I have been listening to but there is a comical story to it. There's this song by Zedd, it's called The Middle. My 2 year old niece, every time that song comes on...she stops what she is doing and starts to dance. It's her favorite song, she can even go into a phone and figure out a way to play it. So, not only is it infectious and my girlfriend like to play it in fun moments, but I think of my niece dancing to it and it makes me happy.
We look forward to what Broken Entertainment will be bringing in the near future. And, if their rise is anywhere near Garrett Marengo's drive and ambition, the future will be bright and the hits will keep on coming.
Find out more about Broken Entertainment here!