Country singer Cali Tucker, profiled in the May 2011 issue of Nashville Music Guide, has signed with multi-faceted startup company Tower Entertainment Group in Nashville, which is involved in music, film and television projects. Tucker’s signing with the company’s management division and its record label, 1010 Records, comes as the company is staffing up with professionals with serious backgrounds in those areas, and it plans to take Tucker to the top as it builds its own name in Nashville and worldwide.
Tower Entertainment and 1010 Records are the brainchild of CEO Rich Owens, who spent time in the music business in New York City and was involved in the writing and production of television shows such as Scrubs and movies like The Longest Yard. He’s also been involved in diverse business ventures, from a hockey team to a pizza chain, and still in his 30s, is the definition of a true entrepreneur. Owens said that signing Tucker was a no-brainer, and that he believes she has the goods to go all the way.
“We’re really fortunate to have been able to sign Cali to management and recording,” Owens said. “She’s amazingly talented to put it mildly. We’re really excited about working with her, and really believe she can play a major role in putting this company’s name on the map in Nashville and beyond as she becomes a major name in the business.”
Tucker seems to be as excited about the deal as Owens, whom she met when she was playing a showcase at Nashville’s 12th and Porter. Tucker and her onetime promoter Mike Todd, who is now Tower’s promotions director, were in the process of raising capital to launch Tucker’s career on their own until Tower Entertainment entered the picture.
“We were trying to do it ourselves, looking for investors, because I didn’t want to get signed with a major and end up getting shelved,” said Tucker, who is the niece of country legend Tanya Tucker and the daughter of Tanya’s sister, LaCosta, who enjoyed her own successful recording career some 30 years ago. “But Rich and everyone at Tower are awesome and everyone’s committed to making this happen. They have a great game plan and we’re all on the same page as far as where my career is headed, so it’s a really good fit.”
Mike Todd said that he believes the company has a star on its hands, and not just because he’s now part of the corporate team.
“I’ve always believed in Cali, which is why we’ve been working together for so long and hard to make something happen,” he said. “Cali would be a really talented artist for any company to take the ball with and start running with. I’m really excited about working with the company and seeing Cali go to the top as well, because I know she will. I believe it’s going to pay off big time for everyone involved in the long run.”
The label also is the home of singer Donny Sawyer, who was actually responsible for all of the involved parties becoming connected.
“Donny and I have been co-writers for several years,” said Todd, who is also a co-writer of the Jason Wyatt Christian Country hit, “Jesus Loves You.” “Donny told us about Tower and 1010 Records, and he’s the reason everyone ended up at Cali’s showcase and started having meetings, which eventually led to the deal.”
In her interview a few months ago, Tucker made it clear that while she loves country music and respects its roots and the traditions of such artists as her mother and her aunt, she plans to do something a little more progressive in the 21st century.
“I never want to do what’s going on; I want to do what’s going to be the next step in country music,” she said. “I see myself as, for lack of a better comparison, the Katy Perry of country music. Great songs, crazy outfits, real fun, sassy, energetic, girl power. But I love ballads too, and I love the minor melodies, real dark, eerie, emotional and edgy songs as far as lyrics and subject matter. “
Tucker said there is no firm release date yet, but she hopes the recording of the still-untitled CD at Tower’s studio in the Germantown community will be complete by October. “There’s a lot of writing and co-writing going on right now, and we’re meeting with publishers looking for great songs,” she said. “It’s really hard, because a song can be great but not necessarily something I should sing. But we’re meeting with people all over town, and hoping to make relationships through those meetings that will last for as long as my career does, because I’m in this for the long haul.”
By: Rick Moore