Originally launched as a more commercially minded side of Tooth & Nail Records in 1997, BEC Recordings has since expanded with its own identity into one of the music industry’s most celebrated imprints. The label’s illustrious history began over a decade ago (long before the chart reign of Jeremy Camp and Kutless), helping springboard the celebrated careers of everyone from ska superstars The Supertones to electronica innovators Joy Electric and indie rockers Plankeye (to name a few), with an ever widening scope as the years progressed.
“Originally BEC was created as a catch-all label to put out artists that strayed a bit from the Tooth & Nail roster, which at the time was more rock/alternative/punk oriented,” says label group founder/president Brandon Ebel. “Artists that slanted a bit more commercial or hip-hop were the first signees to BEC, but the label has since evolved and matured. Now BEC is less genre specific and most of the artists that make up the roster could be simply classified under the umbrella of commercial pop.”
Falling under the EMI distribution umbrella at the turn of the decade, genre integration continued, coupled with increased attention in accessible contexts (though never at the expense of artistic integrity). If anything, the roster’s palatable centering helped escalate momentum at radio, in turn, kick starting the careers of several promising newcomers throughout the early-mid 2000s.
“The artists that really put BEC on the map initially were Jeremy Camp, KJ-52, Kutless, and Falling Up,” adds Ebel of the troubadour, rapper and pair of alternative rockers respectively. “Tooth & Nail had never received significant CHR or AC radio attention until Jeremy Camp and Kutless shot up the charts, but since then, BEC artists have been a staple at both formats.”
Outside of breaking through in multiple radio formats (a trend that continued with Hawk Nelson, Adie, Mainstay, Seventh Day Slumber, Telecast and many more) BEC also branched out to audiences from all walks of life, as evidenced by its increased presence in literally every facet of pop culture (including movie soundtracks, major retailer advertising campaigns and countless package tours). Come 2008, those trends continue with the aforementioned, along with viable newcomers to BEC, such as acclaimed tunesmith Bebo Norman, plus pop/rockers Jaymes Reunion and Chris Taylor (whom Ebel hints are “destined to follow in the label pioneers footsteps”).
While artists are at the core of BEC’s existence, fans have always been the primary focus across its entire tenure, with a series of CD samplers, downloads and exclusive promotional materials becoming highly sought after collector’s items across the globe. Though the label and its listeners recently reached the milestone of the first decade (and some change) together, Ebel promises increased excitement and excellence on all planes. “In the future BEC will continue to grow and evolve in order to best serve the artists on the label and fans of their music.”