20-year Christian music veteran Jeff Moseley recently
announced the formation of INO (INOTOF) Records, an independent label
designed to focus on the new breed of artists who have had success on their
own. The first two signings to INO are Sara Groves and Mercy Me.
“Having worked for two decades in this industry, and seen the many changes
and shifts it continues to go through, I am realizing that artists are
looking for alternative options to the status quo of Christian record
companies,” Moseley said. “Due to the Internet and technology1s impact,
there is a generation of artists who are more empowered to do things for
themselves. That’s where INO comes in – we are creating a “third-way” of
doing things – partnering with and focusing on a small number of young
artists who have already had success on their own, and working with them to
continue to develop and grow their ministry.”
INO’s first two releases, the label’s only two planned for 2001, are by
Dallas based modern praise and worship band MercyMe and Minneapolis based
singer-songwriter Sara Groves.
Sara Groves will release Conversations on March 20. Sara has already sold
over 20,000 units independently, and the new INO release will feature 12 new
songs, all of which were penned by Groves. In addition to standout sales
and performing over 120 concerts a year, Conversations, has already garnered
a top 5 inspirational radio hit. A new single will be serviced in January
“Sara and I are very excited about signing with INO,” commented Sara’s
manager and husband Troy Groves. “This is the label relationship we’ve
envisioned for the last 3 years. This is a perfect fit for the ministry
that we’ve poured our lives into.”
MercyMe has been together for 7 years, and has sold almost 100,000 units as
an independent band. Their previous recording, selling almost 30,000 units,
was a top 15 best-seller for the Mardel Retail chain. MercyMe has also
penned “I Can Only Imagine,” a cut on Amy Grant’s upcoming studio project.
Based on regional airplay by WDJC, MercyMe recently drew 1600 fans at a
Lifeway in-store in Birmingham, AL. The INO debut for MercyMe is scheduled
for July 3, 2001. MercyMe is managed by veteran manager Scott Brickell of
Brickhouse Management, who also represents Audio Adrenaline and Switchfoot.
“I’m encouraged that there is finally an avenue for independent artists who
are successful to plug into the industry without having to take steps
backwards,” said Scott Brickell, manager, Brickhouse Entertainment.
“Combining the proven independent spirit of MercyMe, with the proven
experience and integrity of Moseley, we feel this could be successful for
MercyMe and INO, as well as pave the way for others in the future.”
“MercyMe and Sara Groves are artists that have already proven their talent –
they have a God-given passion for what they do, and they can sell records,”
commented Moseley. “INO’s mission is to mutually invest with the artist
where we support their strengths and successes, while giving them the tools
and opportunities to continue to grow and reach more people for Christ. I
see this as the “third way” of doing business. There has almost always been
only two ways of doing business. The traditional label way, or the
independent artist way. Both has their plus1s and minus1s. We are trying
to blend the best of both worlds by allowing the artist to remain
independently minded, but providing them a team that offers the highest
quality sales and marketing efforts. Too many times these types of artists
have not been happy with their options. I believe INO as a label, together
with Word distribution, provides that ‘Third Way.'”
Having launched M2.0 Communications in the fall of 1999, Moseley has already
seen significant growth. The group’s first signing, the Dove and
Grammy-award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, has sold over 250,000 units
of its latest recording in just 7 months.
“We are proving that a small group of focused people can help take artists
to the next level, “said Moseley. “the idea of labels working with artists
can work – and is working.”
Like its parent company, M2.0, INO Records will have exclusive distribution
through Word Distribution.

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