Gucci Mane says he’s attempting to sign to his 1017 Records label Oliver Anthony, the Farmville, Virginia-based country act whose “Rich Men North of Richmond” track went viral earlier this month.
Atlanta-based Gucci Mane, who founded 1017 in 2007, just recently took to Instagram to reveal his goal of signing Anthony. For background, the latter individual – real name Christopher Anthony Lunsford – had until “a few days ago” worked in outside sales for an industrial manufacturing company, according to an in-depth Facebook post that he penned.
But a little over one week back, the chart-topping artist made a splash with the aforementioned song (which boasts north of 21 million YouTube views and nearly eight million Spotify streams at present). The tidal wave of interest also drove supporters to lesser-known but still-popular efforts including “Virginia” (2.4 million YouTube views) and “Ain’t Gotta Dollar” (1.6 million YouTube views), to name some.
“I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression,” Anthony explained of his rapid career ascent. “These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung.”
Predictably, in addition to garnering praise (and, in different instances, pushback) from more than a few listeners and observers, Oliver Anthony seems to have attracted multiple opportunities to sign record deals. And as initially noted, one such offer has come from Gucci Mane, who’s signaled that he would use the agreement to help his label break into the fast-growing country space.
“ye fam I need y’all help on this one I’m trying sign these guys as my first country artists to 1017!!! I need the info asap,” wrote Gucci Mane, including with his post an image of Anthony.
Though the extent of Mane’s country-music promotional expertise remains to be seen, the 43-year-old presumably possesses considerable industry knowledge and would in any event be aided by a body of work that’s doing a stellar job of marketing itself.
More broadly, notwithstanding the 1017 CEO’s public offer to Anthony – who’s disclosed that he releases music under his grandfather’s name as a tribute – it’s unclear where the quick-rising singer-songwriter will establish his professional home or whether he’ll sign with a label at all.
“People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers,” wrote Anthony, who’s scheduled to deliver another free concert tomorrow. “I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight.”
In another Facebook post, published earlier this afternoon, Anthony encouraged fans to be on the lookout for scams and emphasized that he’s working “to keep things local and family owned” as he expands his digital presence.
“I’ve gotten messages that scammers are asking for money for merch, vip access, ECT from other pages and emails. That’s not me!” relayed Oliver Anthony.
“Until website is launched,” he finished, “official merch will only be available in stock at our shows and through Mountain Creek Signs in Blackstone, Va. We are rushing to get website launched. I am appreciative of your patience. Just wanting to keep things local and family owned. Thank you for understanding.”