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After co-producing more than 100 Billboard Hot 100 hits for Fox’s Glee, the show’s executive music producer, Adam Anders, is looking to capture some of that lightning in a bottle for recording artists on his own label.
Anders Music Records’ first release is the self-titled debut album of singer/dancer/actor Shane Harper, who plays the recurring character Spencer Walsh on the Disney Channel sitcom Good Luck Charlie.
Also in the works are albums by Montana native Zac Poor and Texas singer/songwriter Ben Burgess. Universal Motown will be the distributing label for Poor’s album.
“When you do a standard distribution deal, you are being boxed into one system,” Anders says. “By saying, ‘Let’s do everything in-house,’ we can make the decision as to when we need a major.”
Harper’s first single, “One Step Closer,” was featured on Good Luck Charlie in April. Radio Disney added the song to its playlist and Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hollister stores used the song and Harper’s image in promotional activities.
“One Step Closer” has sold close to 3,000 digital tracks since its March 31 release, while the album has sold fewer than 1,000 units since its April 12 bow, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sales total for the album, which is available as a download at retailers like iTunes and Amazon, doesn’t include CD sales at concert venues during Harper’s current tour with Greyson Chance and Cody Simpson, which wraps May 18.
“I don’t believe in putting out a single and then if it doesn’t hit, drop the artist,” Anders says. “We are here to develop artists — there is no timetable to getting it right.”
In addition to appearing on Good Luck Charlie, Harper, 18, has danced in High School Musical 2 and Nickelodeon’s Dance on Sunset. Anders signed Harper to a production deal when he was just 15 and “at 18,” the producer says, “he was ready to make an album.”
For Poor, the label’s second signing, Anders and his wife, Nikki, who performed together as a duo before focusing on production, have developed a reality TV show, The Poor House, which they’re shopping to networks. The label has already placed a Poor song with the Facebook game Nightclub City.
Anders notes that Poor’s debut album, which he says is about half finished, will be released “with a mixtape approach to help build buzz” before its release.
“With Shane, Disney offers platforms,” Anders says. “With Zac, we have to create them.”
Anders Music’s latest signing is Burgess, a singer/songwriter from Dallas who co-wrote “Chillin’ in the Summertime” for the Jonas Brothers’ Disney Channel show Jonas L.A.
“We will move much quicker; he figured it out on his own,” Anders says of Burgess, who has landed songs on TV and in independent films as an unsigned artist.
A native of Stockholm, Anders grew up in Tampa, Fla., and moved to Nashville after graduating high school. He was playing bass for Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman when he met his future wife Nikki Hassman, a singer with whom he has collaborated on writing songs. Before joining the creative team of Glee,”Anders co-wrote the Backstreet Boys’ 2000 hit “More Than That” and composed and produced tracks for Disney’s Camp Rock, High School Musical 3 and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Anders Music’s first three signings range in age from 18 to 24, and Harper’s “One Step Closer” features a sunny, pop sheen that will be familiar to fans of the 128 Hot 100 hits that Anders has co-produced, nearly all of them with his musical partner Peer Astrom and Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy.
Still, Anders insists he isn’t limiting his roster to the young performers he has been associated with through his work for Disney and Glee.
“I’m 35 and I tend to gravitate toward younger artists,” he says. “But if the singer is 30 and the music’s great, I’ll consider it.”
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