In December 2015, Will Toms and Dave Silver—at the ripe ages of 24—had already become fixtures in Philly’s music scene, having booked some 200-plus shows of up-and-coming bands at venues around the city through their Broad Street Music Group.
That’s when they decided to get out of the promotion business to launch REC Philly inside a former North Philly window factory. Through this venture, they focus on providing musicians access to recording space, a visual arts lab and a creative writing lab, as well as tools they didn’t even know they needed, like talent coaches and legal services.
The goal was to create a community around a collective of musicians who all wanted the same thing: to grow their business as creatives.
A few months later, when The Citizen checked back in, Toms and Silver were still riding the high from their showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and had launched their first membership-based program for local musicians.
Now, REC Philly is starting the new decade with a new headquarters—in the Fashion District—and have reinvented their membership model. Unlike a traditional record label, artists at REC Philly retain ownership of their art and business while paying a monthly fee based on a carefully tailored suite of products and services. The organization has started accepting applications from local organizations and businesses, as well as artists looking to be a part of the REC Philly community.
We sat down with Will Toms to talk about how the business has changed alongside the music industry, and what that means for Philly creatives.
Would you prefer the text version of this story? Check it out here.Photo courtesy Bruno Guerreiro