Music Updates

Label Look: Nice Life Took the Long View with Lizzo, and the Result Was Good As Hell

The label’s efforts paid off: last week, “Rumors” (which Reed produced) debuted at No. 4 on the Hot 100, becoming Lizzo’s highest-ever launch on the pop tally and her third top 5 hit. The successful debut is the latest testament to Nice Life’s fruitful relationship with the artist, having signed her in 2015 in a joint venture with Atlantic Records. While some labels might have given up on Lizzo over the subsequent years before she had the chance to blow up, patience is a guiding ethos at Nice Life, which prides itself on taking a long-view approach to artists’ careers.

Reed — himself an artist, songwriter and producer — is familiar with the pressures of being a creator in the modern music industry. In 2013, he released an album under the performance alias Wallpaper on Boardwalk/Epic, followed last year by The Room, released by Nice Life under his own name. In addition to Lizzo, he has written and produced hit tracks for an impressive list of artists, including Jason Derulo, Pitbull, Twenty One Pilots and Fifth Harmony.

Those experiences have informed Reed’s work as a label CEO. In Feb. 2020, Nice Life began integrating non-recoupable mental health funds into its deals with artists, and also extended them retroactively to the remainder of the roster. “I’m always trying to help our artists live better and feel better,” says Reed, whose perspective extends to the label’s artist development-centric philosophy: giving artists room to breathe and grow but also knowing when to push.

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