There’s A New Record Label In Town: Love Takes NWA

There’s A New Record Label In Town: A highlight of Love More Records, its leadership, artists and plans. Artists include Baang, Pura Coco and CEO Raquel Thompson (DJ Raquel).

Robyn Jordan

Love More Records is a record label on the grind to disrupt the music industry in Arkansas and beyond. This artist-friendly label is based in Northwest Arkansas (NWA) seeking to help musicians gain more stability and success in their careers using partnerships, equity and transparency, and authenticity.

Their foundation is “spreading love, positivity and togetherness through music” and they are working with top talent in Arkansas as a start. Having ties with top dogs with generations of experience in the music industry, 21-year-old Raquel Thompson is the CEO calling the shots behind the label. Thompson, more well-known as DJ Raquel, is no stranger to the music scene and has hands-on experience to lead her team toward success.

She’s been a professional DJ for over a decade, exposed to a variety of music throughout her upbringing, and helped establish the student-ran label Hill Records at the University of Arkansas, as well as interned for George’s Majestic Lounge. Growing up around and furthermore, being raised by music professionals, Thompson has an advantage to challenge standards in the music industry that is often associated with being cutthroat and unfair.

DJ Raquel always jammin'

Her goal is to “put love back into music” and understands “[the music industry is] a tough industry where a lot of things that are happening shouldn’t be happening.” Learning from her dad and Chief Operating Officer of Love More Records, Greg Thompson (G.T.), who was a touring musician with worldwide acts and recording in their home studio, the Thompsons recognize the importance of making “somebody feel good, treating artists with respect, and allowing them to have a say with how they’re portrayed in music,” says Thompson.

On a mission, Love More Records wants to put people on the map who bring quality to the table and value to the industry. With a powerhouse roster featuring Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggaeton, electronic and acoustic genius, Love More Records strives to develop longevity and build communities of superfans for their artists to become financially stable and fulfilled in their passions and crafts.

Thompson and her team are just as passionate about placing an emphasis on the emerging talent that resides in Arkansas and local artists in NWA. When getting the CEO’s take on why she’s building her company in Arkansas, she mentioned how “people don’t take Arkansas seriously within the music and entertainment system. We’re in the middle of it all and we don’t deserve to be overlooked.”

Making their own industry standards, Love More Records utilizes the people within the Arkansas region instead of branching out to recruit others out of state as seen by many music and creative-entertainment companies in NWA. They are focused on building a music ecosystem within the state to elevate the artists and their artistry and fostering support networks in Arkansas so that their artists and those coming from the region have a safety net when they return to visit home.

Love More Records roster of artists
Love More Records roster of artists

So far, the Love More Records roster includes BAANG, Pura Coco, Little Yei, H3ADCANNON and Sarah Lily, and with A&R executive, Ryan Jones a.k.a. PRO KiD, it’s safe to say that these artists may be the ones from Arkansas consistently releasing quality music and going gold or platinum. Jones said it’s “time to wear [Arkansas] on our chest” to show “we’re coming from here, we’re living out our dreams here.”

As a music producer and enthusiast who’s interned in the studio of Hot Beats Studio and produced songs for Gudda Gudda, 2Chainz, and Soulja Boy, he has found his tribe at Love More Records filling in the gaps in their infrastructure.

He is seeking out new musical talent and working to develop the talent that’s in Arkansas and abroad. Brand new sounds, more local shows, physical products, and being more present in the community are only some things he said to expect from the label. When asked about the success of music artists, Jones shared “it’s not about blowing up, it’s about staying up.”

Confident in his role and label, Jones is interested in creating sustainability for artists and telling Arkansas’ story in a complete fashion. With over two decades of experience with music and within the industry, he shared how he thought at one point that he should be in Los Angeles or Atlanta. Having lived in these mentioned places at one time or another, he discovered when he moved back to Arkansas that he belongs and that there are like-minded people that he can build, work and sustain with. He shared his perspective that “music is communication in a sense” and sees himself as a translator between the executives, artists and the sound.

Pura Coco on the mic
Pictured: Pura Coco

One of the first artists that you can expect to hear from Love More Records is the sultry and sensual singer, Pura Coco. Born on Broadway in New York, Pura Coco moved to Rogers at age seven and has faced obstacles as a child of immigrant parents from El Salvador and English as a second language. Growing up immersed around merengue, salsa, and bachata styles, loving theatre and performing in talent shows, they recognized the impact of people’s stories and the importance of letting people know that they aren’t alone.

After being discovered by music innovator, Jasper Logan, at an open mic, Coco’s voice found people who believed in them and dropped their first project, Leaves. Coco shared that they are inspired by all the people that they work with and is ready to take the leap at becoming a national, even international artist. A deluxe version of Leaves is in the works and you can expect some visuals coming as soon as this Fall. Love More Records is filled with charisma and one of their most magnetic artists, BAANG, makes sure to bring the energy on and off the stage.

baang in front of the step and repeat
Baang rap artist

His name is an acronym for what he strives for himself and others to do: Believe, Aspire, Achieve, Now Go. Arkansas-bred and raised, it’s interesting to hear someone like him say they don’t want to be famous, but BAANG is forging space in the community he’s building for the many fans that adore him. BAANG is a rapper, Hip-Hop artist, lyricist, and performer but overall sees himself as a storyteller that wants to connect his audience with themselves and each other.

Consistent and now becoming the face of music in the region, BAANG recently opened for Big Boi and Run the Jewels at the Momentary. He hopes to inspire his audience and experience more stability and unity, especially within music and entertainment communities. Committed to his skill and artistry, BAANG will be fostering more opportunities to connect with his music lovers.

The self-claimed Neighborhood Love Dealer will host his next Baang and the Gang at Hail Fellow Well Met in Rogers, Arkansas on August 12. The overall consensus is Love More Records is here to stay and they are building and going beyond the unprecedented structures in the music scene to develop fresh systems that will be used in Arkansas and beyond to benefit independent artists.

G.T. says “Love More is going to kick down doors here” and it’s exciting to imagine the wonders that Thompson and her label will do.