Ryan Waczek, founder of Lion Bold record and music company. (courtesy photo)
Modernizing music with bold moves
One 27-year-old Scripps Ranch product is modernizing music – and doing it his own way.
Ryan Waczek graduated with a music degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 2014 and returned to his Scripps Ranch roots with his own record company called Lion Bold.
Waczek is a Scripps Ranch High School alum and the son of Tom Waczek, a music teacher at Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School.
When asked about the origins of Lion Bold’s name, Waczek said it came from the Bible verse, Proverbs 28:1 (NIV): “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
“It’s speaks to the way I like to communicate and to the commitment I have with my artists; being bold with them and telling them the hard truths in a way that they can ultimately succeed. It’s also a way to stand out. I wanted something that had a little more attitude in a brand,” Waczek said.
Originally, a record label in 2016, Lion Bold has evolved into an artist development company and a creative agency hybrid of sorts.
While there isn’t a specific category just yet into what it is that Lion Bold actually does since getting out of the so-called “traditional record label model,” as Waczek called it, “we basically do everything related to what an artist needs in 2019,” he said. “We help artists with their careers. We don’t just stick to working with our own artists. It’s open to anyone who wants to come alongside us and partner with us.”
According to Waczek, the music industry has fallen behind a bit compared to other creative industries in the digital streaming era. His main inspiration for Lion Bold was to think of “outside the box solutions” to find “the new path” for artists in the age of declining CD sales.
“What we’re doing is a lead by example approach,” he said. “We’re using the message that we teach to show that growth can happen. It inspires artists and draws their attention. [For example] on YouTube, we’ve answered about 400 questions even though they’re not [from] our artists because it’s that community-building in this industry that is kind of missing right now.”
Waczek added that social growth and marketing is Lion Bold’s focus with business coaching also emphasized as a huge part of their curriculum. Their main strategies are designed to help their talent roster – also dubbed by Waczek as “music entrepreneurs” – best grow their audience and customer base.
“We’re leading by example by giving to the community first; by providing free valuable help first which goes to show we’re a team player and that this is out there,” Waczek explained.
Lion Bold is currently comprised of a small team consisting of Waczek, his wife Alessandra, his brother Kevin, copywriter Jessica Woods, consultant Travis Carver and various contractors.
In reminiscing about Lion Bold’s Scripps Ranch origins, Waczek credits the start of his musical journey back to his parents’ house – specifically their downstairs guest bedroom-turned-home studio – where he first wrote and recorded music.
“Scripps Ranch is the catapult into everything I’m doing now. This is literally where it was born,” Waczek said.
Visit lionbold.com or @lionboldrecords on Instagram.