Toronto record label Arts &Crafts, the company behind popular Canadian acts such as Feist, Broken Social Scene and Stars, has launched a tiny satellite operation in Mexico City.
"What we've discovered [are] these really exciting, burgeoning, independent local music communities all over the world," label co-founder and owner Jeffrey Remedios told CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence on Monday.
"One place that was really resonating with us, with a scene that is alive and well, is Mexico."
'There's all kinds of audiences for really interesting, exciting music that are outside of the Western Hemisphere we're used to.' — Jeffrey Remedios, Arts & Crafts
So, while many in the Canadian music scene were in Toronto celebrating the awarding of the Polaris Music Prize last week, Remedios officially launched his label's office in Mexico City.
Arts & Crafts co-founder and Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew, James Shaw of the bands Metric and Stars were on hand to perform at the launch, along with local musician Luis Arce of the band Chikita Violenta.
A light bulb went off for Remedios when, for instance, Broken Social Scene landed a myriad of international gigs this year, including "Istanbul, Helsinki, Moscow, Singapore, Taipei, all over South America and Mexico City," he said.
When he couldn't find the right local partner to release the label's music in Mexico City, Remedios made the decision to open a satellite office, staffed by a couple of friends from Chikita Violenta "who have a total handle on the local scene."
The plan is to move slowly and in stages, first "catching" up the Latin market with existing Arts & Crafts releases to get a sense of the climate. Remedios will also return with Broken Social Scene and the Constantines in November to attend a local music festival.
The goal is to eventually add local bands to the roster and have the label "work its way south," Remedios said.
"There's all kinds of audiences for really interesting, exciting music that are outside of the Western Hemisphere we're used to. A lot of these places have no records available. People are just finding out online."