Russ Shakes Up the Music Industry with His Own Record Label Launch: ‘DIEMON’
Shaking up the music industry is nothing new to independent artist and best-selling author Russ, as he launches his own record label, “DIEMON.” Alongside his childhood best friend, fellow independent artist, and DIEMON co-founder, Bugus, the power duo conceptualized DIEMON together when they were only 17 years old. With over ten years in the making, the artist-friendly record label has finally launched and is ready to help new up-and-coming artists in the music industry.
“We get to have a direct hand in the artists of tomorrow’s future and careers, and we can help… That’s my whole thing. Now I see artists and have now assembled the resources and network myself where I can actually help an artist fully.”
The first artist to sign on is Rapper LaRussell from Vallejo, California. Unlike other record labels, DIEMON allows artists like LaRussell to maintain creative control and ownership of their masters. The goal behind DIEMON is to provide artists with an alternative way to win and achieve considerable success in the music industry.
Being a successful independent artist, Russ is a proof of concept to new and upcoming artists. His 37th single, “What They Want,” which was released back in 2015, was Russ’ first song to hit 3 Million plays. It has now garnered over 320 Million views on YouTube and has been certified 4x platinum.
In December 2021, Russ released his latest album, “CHOMP 2,” which featured contributions from rap legends like The Game, Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, Wale, Jay Electronica, and more. As a beat aficionado, he also joined forces with producers like 9th Wonder, Boi-1DA, and more to create this special project.
His latest single, “HANDSOMER,” hit #1 across all genres on iTunes and Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Russ also used the power of his fanbase to an open verse challenge on TikTok, where the winner would be featured on the “HANDSOMER” Remix. San Diego female rapper, Ktlyn, jumped on the official remix with Russ and together hit Billboard and Spotify charts within the first week of release.
Russ plans to use his knowledge and experience to help artists like LaRussell and Ktlyn win. He hopes that with the launch of DIEMON, he will continue changing the mindset of people who think you can’t make it in the industry without being signed to a major record label.
“I’m more focused on my legacy…even hearing you say ‘I like how you think,’ that is something that means a lot to me to hear from anyone. I feel like when you can impact how people think, especially how people think about themselves…that’s something I’m super proud about.”
Besides having two different eye colors, Contrast Magazine asked Russ what makes him strikingly different and he responded, “when you actually live your truth and when you contribute yourself to the world, you don’t have to try to be different; you are different by nature.”
Photography by Matthew Felix.
Creative Direction by Michael D. Monroe.
Interview by Alex Quin.
Story by Michelle Chia.
Styled by Jyotisha Bridges.
Hair by Tracy Love.
Production Assistants: Jose Resendez + Keven Pimentel.
Tailor: Brently Pearson.
Videography by Petey Pablo.
Video Assistant: Lester Santos.
Produced by UADV + Alex Quin + Contrast Publishing.
Special thank you to Christina Lo Duca + FYI Brand Group + Prop Movie Money.