Know Your Labels: Crosstown Rebels

Under the creative direction and ownership of the legendary Damian Lazarus, Crosstown Rebels has, for many years, maintained the kind of polish and good standing with listeners that only results from of the right mixture of raw creative talent and professional experience. Despite its huge level of success, this is not your average big five record label. Even with its extensive and impressive roster of artists, Crosstown Rebels operates more like an underground mom-and-pop imprint than a multilevel compartmentalized machine. Head honcho Damian Lazarus keeps the staff small (about 20 people), and made up of individuals he knows and trusts. There is no official “office,” but the team maintains the sort of tight-knit family-style relationship you might expect from an in-house setting.

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Over a decade after opening its doors, Damian Lazarus still listens to and chooses all the music that gets released, and has worked with all of the label’s artists on records. His unwavering belief in the importance of connecting with the artist and not just the track has helped him build a label that operates and feels like a family and not just a laundry list of one-off hits.

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It isn’t the ideal business model for selling tons of copies and making a boatload of money, but according to Lazarus, that’s never been the intent or purpose of Crosstown Rebels. Which brings us to why we have chosen this particular label as our spotlight this week. One of the unique things Crosstown has is a vastly diverse family of artists from a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds. You can’t really play all of their records and immediately recognize that they came from Crosstown. There’s no trademark sound, no standard format, and this commitment to innovation and interesting, new directions is, in our opinion, what continues to set the record label apart from the thousands of labels that seemingly crop up every week. Here’s to many more years and many more Rebels.

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Current Crosstown Rebels:

Acid Pauli

Francesca Lombardo

Infinity Ink

Deniz Kurtel

Damian Lazarus


Fur Coat

Russ Yallop

Maceo Plex

Jamie Jones


Mathew Jonson

Art Department



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