Entrepreneur: Roz Raskin of SELF LUV Records

A dearth of live shows compelled Providence rocker to launch their own label

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“There’s so much incredible music being made locally; it’s important to me that people all over the world get to hear it,” begins musician Roz Raskin. Whether playing with NOVA ONE or The Rice Cakes in years past, Raskin is one of the first names that comes to mind as an active supporter of the musical community in Providence, and to those familiar with them as an artist, a label seems like a natural artistic progression.

“When COVID hit and I wasn’t able to book shows the way I had been, I thought it seemed like a good time to pivot into a new venture.” And that new venture is a modest record label, SELF LUV.

“I’ve wanted to start a label for a long time, really ever since I started playing and booking local shows in high school,” Raskin says. “When I was a younger musician in Providence, a few more established musicians took me under their wing and helped give me a platform to get my music heard, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities they gave me. I hope to be able to do that for artists I work with in whatever platform I have.”

In many ways, a label is a small community. Unlike larger labels, an independent can collectivize and amplify a message, vision, or sonic aesthetic. An indie label can have agency and purpose behind the music they release and in turn, offer their artists a like-minded community and platform providing full support. An independent label has the power to align vision and sound into action.

“I’m definitely a very left-leaning person and most of the bands I’ve booked fall within a similar belief system. I’m not a fan of separating the art from the artist. In general, as a queer artist, I’m very much looking to uplift the LGBTQIA+ community as much as possible…and a rad sound is crucial for sure.” The recent Muggs Fogarty release Eventual Party on SELF LUV Records is a wonderful sonic translation of that vision. (See review in the January issue.)

Prior to starting SELF LUV Records, Raskin reached out to their current label, the New Orleans-based Community Records, for guidance. “Greg and D-ray, the founders of the label, have taught me so much, and working with them as an artist has been a dream. I hope to build something similar,” they say. “I’ve been curating shows for years with the outward intention to build safer feeling music spaces in the city. The mission will be building off that work. I’m also currently one of the chairs of the RIOT RI (a non-profit dedicated to fostering empowerment through music) board of directors and I’m hoping to bring RIOT’s influence and vision into my label work as well.”

And for those curious about NOVA ONE happenings, Raskin adds, “I just rescheduled my band album release show (for the third time) that’s now happening April 30 at the Columbus Theatre. A great Providence band Bochek is joining us for that one. Should be fun.”

Learn more at SelfLuvRecords.bandcamp.com, on Instagram @selfluvrecords, or join  the mailing list by emailing SelfLuvRecords@gmail.com

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