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Stephen Orso on loyalty records: Discovering up and coming talent

Stephen Orso is a Los Angeles-based music executive and entrepreneur who is determined to take Loyalty Records to the next level

Published: Sep 18, 2020 02:51:49 PM IST
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 06:29:12 PM IST

Stephen Orso on loyalty records: Discovering up and coming talent

Hailing from Long Island, Stephen Orso is a Los Angeles-based music executive and entrepreneur who is determined to take Loyalty Records to the next level. When it comes to their mission statement, the company is focused on finding undiscovered gems in the music industry — giving potential stars the platform to grow their brand and develop their craft.

Orso uses KBeaZy as a case study, who at 19 years old has already earned a Top 10 Billboard charting record. “Mood” by 24KGoldn and iann dior recently peaked at the #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, just one hit in BeaZy’s catalog of records: Kehlani’s “Toxic,” Smokepurpp’s “What I Please,” Roddy Ricch’s “Feed Tha Streets 2 (intro)”... the list goes on.

Teaming up with his long time business partner Peter Ashley, whom he went to high school with, the two pride themselves in artist development, with a genuine care for creativity, passion, and work ethic. Two years in the making, the label is now home to R&B artist Perri Jones, producers KBeaZy, Kyle Stemberger, and Pilgrim, as well as rappers TEC and YVS Village who has just released his debut single “Rugrat” featuring Columbia Record’s viral female rapper ppcocaine

But Stephen’s experience in the music industry dates back to a different time of his life where he saw the rise of Bryson Tiller’s music career from humble beginnings. In fact, a friend of Orso’s brought him Bryston Tiller at a time when Stephen was primarily promoting nightclubs.

“My buddy found Bryson Tiller and brought him to me,” Orso states, “tried to convince me to help with his management. TrapSoul was actually written and conceptualized in my house on Long Island, I saw that process. I saw it from start to finish, how big he got from where he started and how he used social media to create a rabid fanbase. That's what really drew me into music. I always loved music, but it felt like a passion project to me.”

In other words, Orso was able to witness first hand how raw talent and a driven work ethic led to the meteoric rise of a completely unknown act out of Kentucky ” which wows him till this day. After helping sign Bryson to RCA Records, he started working with a few more RnB acts such as TYuS (who ended up signing to Warner Music) and Yo Trane (who’s with Caroline/Universal).

“I signed them to my label, this was before Loyalty,” Orso explains.” I didn't even have a name, I just signed them to an entertainment company I had formed. Two years later, I started Loyalty with Charlie Walk and Peter Ashley. KbeaZy was one of the first acts we signed”

Soon after, they were introduced to a talented 18 year old producer with perfect pitch named Kyle Stemberger, who recently signed a lucrative deal with publishing powerhouse Prescription Songs. Orso always stresses the importance of working with young talent.

He states, “I wanted to groom young talent. I wanted to create the next big stars in the world. I've always wanted to be around celebrities, but never wanted to be a celebrity myself. I'm a behind-the-scenes type of guy. I started Loyalty because I like to work hand in hand with my friends, I don't want to work for anyone else.” Orso continues, “I wanted to have loyal people around me, which I feel is extremely important in a business like the music industry.”

Loyalty Records recently made the move to Los Angeles, working out of a beautiful house in the hollywood hills until the office arrives in the near future. His goals for the label are to be as culturally impactful with the artists they sign. Orso wants his artists to stand for something, similar to how Loyalty Records stands for something bigger than putting out music and making money.

“I want to create a hub for artists to come to,” Orso states. “We're actually adding value, not signing people up to sign people up. I treat all my artists like family. We have dinners at my house. It's not just a business thing with me. I choose the artists I want to work with carefully based on what's happened to me in the past. I don't sign talent to sign it. Only if I really like to be around that person, their people and believe in their vision, that's what I'm looking for.”

This is the exact passion Stephen has for YVS Village, a new project between Orso and KbeaZy. The partnership is with the latter’s record label Fyed Up Records, inspired by his producer tag and brand.

Orso states, “I'm really excited about building Fyed Up Records, I’ve always thought KBeaZy was way bigger than just a producer. He's an actual brand, which not many producers have really been able to do. Although he's behind the scenes and makes beats, you're going to see a lot more of him, and a lot more producers like him.”

It’s KbeaZy’s infectious personality and confidence that Stephen appreciates most. Combining his cute nerdy look with his huge following on social media from YouTube to Instagram, KBeaZy proves he’s not just some guy behind a computer.”

Stephen found KBeaZy at age 17 while he was still in high school in Michigan, where he actually had to miss a few of his final exams in order to fly to LA and work directly with superstar rapper G Eazy. Upon receiving an excusal letter from the rapper himself, his teachers ultimately understood. Orso states, “The sky is the limit for what we’re building here. With our flagship acts in place, we’ve started to create a culture that’s exciting to be around. I already know 2021 is going to be a big year for us”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.