Video game developer Rockstar Games and Ibiza club culture icon CircoLoco announced Monday the launch of new independent record label CircoLoco Records.
CircoLoco Records will release its first project, the compilation album Monday Dreamin’, in July, and will tease the album with individual weekly EP drops starting June 4th. The project will feature new music from 20 artists handpicked by CircoLoco and Rockstar that reflect CircoLoco’s history, the two companies say. Artists on the album, all of whom have played sets for CircoLoco’s parties in the past, include Luciano, Seth Troxler, Lost Souls of Saturn and Tokimonsta along with several other acts.
Neither Rockstar nor CircoLoco are directly music companies, but both have been immersed in, and defined by, music culture since their founding. For 20 years, CircoLoco has been influential in the dance music scene through its parties in Ibiza with sets from many DJs like Luciano and Tale of Us, while music has been a keen focus across all of Rockstar’s massively popular franchises including Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.
“Both CircoLoco and Rockstar have a real passion for music, so it felt very natural to come together and for Rockstar to take this step with us,” CircoLoco’s Nick Benedetti says. “This first release will represent 22 years history of CircoLoco as a longstanding brand in electronic music. But for the future, we want to create new collaborations and crossovers and scout for talent to give a platform and extend reach for new artists.”
A label partnership between a popular club promoter and video game developer presents clear opportunities to push new music, whether through live events or expansive digital opportunities. While CircoLoco and Rockstar haven’t ruled out such experiences in the longer term, they say the label will remain separate from the two companies’ businesses for now.
CircoLoco’s influence comes from the more traditional party scene, but Rockstar’s was born amid the digital era. Artists including Frank Ocean and Julian Casablancas have their own radio stations in GTA Online’s in-game radio feature, and Rockstar launched a virtual nightclub in the game last year featuring sets from DJs such as Moodymann and Palms Trax. Elsewhere, artists including Willie Nelson, Josh Homme and D’Angelo recorded music for Red Dead Redemption 2’s soundtrack in 2018. Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser started his career at BMG before going into video games.
“This came from a passion for music, and it brings an opportunity for us to come together and join forces to push music,” Rockstar Games’s director of music Ivan Pavlovich tells Rolling Stone. “Music’s been part of our DNA since day one. Sam [Houser] grew up on dance music, a lot of us who work at the company grew up on dance music, it’s a way to come together with our friends and support this scene, these artists and all this music.”