Chicago Record Labels

March 28, 2016

From Warner Bros. and Def Jam, to Columbia Records and Interscope Records, these notable record labels represent the highly coveted artists around the country. At the Chrome City offices, we like to have a variety of sounds playing to get our creative juices flowing. Aside from labels in California, Chicago has a variety of respected labels that influences and represents the city's vibrant music industry. With Chicago having renowned music venues, artist and record stores, the city is a hub for record labels. The Chrome Crew decided to pull together some notable labels that are based right here at home. Read up on our curated list. 


Bloodshot Records

Bloodshot Records is an independent label based in Chicago founded by Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller in 1993. They look for the sounds of punk, country, soul, pop, bluegrass, blues and rock n roll mix. Their signed artists stay off trend and aren't afraid to stand out in the crowd with their American roots. Bloodshot Records vibes off innovative takes on music and look for artists who are willing to take chances. They were also named the Best Local Record Label by Chicago Reader in 2015. Some artists they represent include, The Bottle Rockets, Freakwater, Lydia Loveless, Murder By Death and more. 


Red Scare Industries

Red Scare Industries started out in San Francisco by Tobias Jeg. The record label works with quality bands who are looking to write quality music, rather than focusing on their image. The label aims to break the mainstream problems with the punk scene. The Lippies, Enemy You, The Falcon, Sam Russo and Direct Hit are just a few bands signed with the punk rock label. 


Thrill Jockey Records


Thrill Jockey Records is an independently owned label that operates out of both Chicago and London. The unique label offers a full-length streaming service for every song that is released off their catalog. From Indie rock and metal to post rock and electronic music, owner Bettina Richards wants visitors to receive a full experience when visiting the bands individual pages on Thrill Jockey's website. Through bios, videos and quotes from artists, customers are able to capture who the artists are. Artists that have recorded on the label include, The Sea and Cake, Freakwater, Chicago Underground Duo, Liturgy and more.



Maek was recently founded in 2013 that is the world's first completely free music label. Their label is predominantly electronic dance music mixed with indie pop and hip-hop. Maek aims to make a change in the music industry that allows for creative freedom. According to the president, Jason Sizer, this concepts allows artists to develop their fan base and bridge a relationship for artists to make money and the public to access free music. A few artists on the label include, Steve Noah, Jason Maek, Zaena, Jay Oskulata and more. 


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