Ten Years of Arbutus Records
A chat with label head Sebastian Cowan and artist Blue Hawaii on the Arbutus’ anniversary, and what the next ten years might hold.
In 2007 the Montréal loft venue Lab Synthèse, cofounded by Sebastian Cowan, was shut down by the police. Shortly thereafter, Cowan began to manage and record artists who had performed there, resulting in the formation of Arbutus Records. Early on, Cowan and the label helped launch the careers of Blue Hawaii, Grimes, Majical Cloudz, Sean Nicholas Savage and TOPS, among others — Arbutus fosters a familial strength not often seen in labels of its size, and as a result, many of the artists that were there from the outset have remained on the label over its ten years. In honor of its impressive decade, Red Bull Music will present an all-night, multi-room birthday party, with a stacked lineup of longtime and new family members and friends. Guest host Harley Brown will speak with Cowan and Blue Hawaii to discuss the Arbutus legacy, hear some anecdotes and discuss what’s up next in the label’s sure-to-be-bright future.