Jay DeMarcus, of country trio Rascal Flatts, announced on Wednesday (Oct 24) that he has plans to launch a brand-new independent Christian label, Red Street Records. In a press conference, the country superstar explained that the new venture is, for him, a full-circle moment.

"I kinda feel like everything I've done up to my life has led up to this one moment," DeMarcus stated. "Christian music was such a huge foundation for me, even as a kid, and I grew to love Christian music not only because of the musicianship, which I thought was extraordinary, but because of the message in it. It was such a huge building block of who I was and who I would become."

According to Billboard, DeMarcus considered forming Red Street Records as an imprint of a major label, but ultimately decided that the shifting world of the music industry today made it an exciting and critical time for an independent venture. "With Christian music in particular, I feel the real estate is wide open for a new company to come in that is really unconventional, that is not beholden to larger label that is controlled by a larger label and has to move slowly," he explains.

The first two acts to sign to DeMarcus' label are fledgling performer (and Joel Osteen worship leader) Lauren James, as well as longtime Christian stars Avalon, who have a long history of friendship with DeMarcus. DeMarcus toured with members of the band while in his own Christian group, East to West, in the late '80s.

The label is currently being operated out of DeMarcus' Nashville home, though the country star says Red Street Records will ultimately look to establish offices and a publishing team on Music Row.

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