In August 2018, Brooklyn-based record label VIP Music Records launched a platform called Secret Hits. The platform gathers a team that combines the intuition of new talent and producers with songwriters like Lil Eddie, The Jackie Boyz (who have worked with artists such as CNCO and Fifth Harmony) and Pinto Picasso (who has worked with Daddy Yankee, Jowell & Randy, and Natalia Jimenez) to cover the areas of composition, production, filming, artistic development, distribution and marketing.
"We are looking to bring together the best songwriters and independent producers," Fabrizio Moreira, the head of Secret Hits, told Billboard Argentina. "Our focus is teamwork. We meet with the producers and songwriters, and we create daily content, selecting the best material."
VIP Music Records was born in 2009, and today, the group has agreements with The Orchard Music, Sony Music's distribution division. To head its A&R department, the company attracted Dwayne Domonick Grant, a hip-hop recording artist, record producer, songwriter and rapper, known as D-Teck, who is a former executive at Konvict Muzik.
One unique component of VIP Music Records' new platform is the in-house nature of their operation. Everything is handled in-house, including all marketing campaigns, from record releases to artists' social media, video production, songwriting and finally, the production of all music. For example, their video and photography production team consists of Leo Schober from Gravity Motion Pictures and Danny Ruan, as well as Ismael Volquez as the director of photography.
"When you don't have to rely on outside companies, you are able to wrap projects much quicker, allowing you to get it out to the market sooner, which creates a win-win situation for all involved," Moreira explained. "Anytime you can remove outside vendors, you stop having to work on someone else's clock, giving you more control of the entire creative process."
In December 2018, they released "Fuck The Other Side," a song with Trippie Redd, which featured their first signed artist, Kvng Shad. The track currently has more than 4 million streams on Spotify. In February of this year, they also signed a deal with Stylez, a reggae recording artist from Jamaica. All of these opportunities have come to fruition because of VIP's wide diversification strategy, as well as the company's fast-moving pace.
Right now, they are working with more than seven composers from different Latin American countries and the United States. "The platform (Secret Hits) is barely nine months old, but we have a team that is ready to compete for the Champions League," Moreira shared.
Currently, the company is also working with D.OZi, a multifaceted Puerto Rican artist who has songs with stars such as Farruko, Daddy Yankee and J Alvarez. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, he relocated to New York with his pregnant wife, where he is currently establishing himself and working on new music for Secret Hits.
"We understood that there's a lot of independent talent that doesn't want to sign with a label but is still willing to work as a team. We provide all the necessary tools, both technical and for scheduling," Moreira added.
The goal of VIP Music Records is getting American artists to work with new Latin talent, which was unthinkable 10 years ago — but, thanks to the success of "Despacito," it's beginning to happen more frequently. They launched Secret Hits believing that Latin music has finally gained necessary and much-deserved exposure.
"People thought that the Latin market was small, but they've recently realized it is not," Moreira said. "Surely, more Latin genres will emerge similarly to what is happening with trap music. There are many artists and producers who are making the crossover to the Latin market. Latin music is here to stay."