In putting up his own label, Off The Record, music industry maverick Ricky Ilacad proves he is no stranger to risk and innovation.
With decades of experience at the helm of Universal Music Group Philippines and Warner Music, Ilacad was a pioneering force behind alternative, bossa, hip-hop and new wave in the country through the development of artists such as The Dawn, Sitti, Nina, Francis M and Juan Karlos, not to mention launching what is arguably one of the biggest and most lucrative SMP deals in local music history.
Last October 2020, Ilacad’s dream of running his own, independent label finally came into being, well over a decade since the idea first took root. It happened in the midst of a pandemic and when asked why now, Ricky simply figured, why not?
Ilacad shares that Off The Record seeks to harness the chaos and creative energy born in the quarantine.
“The lockdown gave a lot of people time to pause, plan and really think about what they wanted to create,” he elaborates, “Off The Record gives them the platform to do so.” Which goes both ways, it seems, as the team of young and creative digital natives who are bringing his dream to life are themselves representative of the company’s push and passion for the music.
“Our artists are always at the center of what we do,” emphasizes Ricky. “Off The Record isn’t a business, it’s a family. Our goal isn’t to just release music and profit off it; we work to bring our artists’ vision to life and create a community for people to come and celebrate it.”
“Hits Different” is the label’s catch-all and guiding mantra as it seamlessly works around the roadblocks and hiccups in the way of any small, independent team trying to make themselves heard above the noise of now.
With Alexa Ilacad “Love At First Sight” releasing as a Frank Pole remix in February, Jacob Clemente’s cult favorite “Naghihintay” now available digitally for the first time in 15 years, and more singles and artists in development for release over the next few months, it’s safe to say that Ricky’s vision and approach are serving the label well towards their goal of becoming a force to be reckoned with on the local and international music scene.