Last Triumph is an indie record label in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But they’re not just like any other record label. In fact, Last Triumph is the world’s first B Corp record label. What does that mean, exactly? Well, I was able to find out more in my telephone interview with the label’s founder, JR Hadaway.
Thanks, JR, for chatting with me! So you have founded an indie label in Minneapolis, called Last Triumph. How long ago did this label originate?
Good to connect with you, Alex! Last Triumph was founded 5 years ago in 2011. It’s been a fun ride so far. Honored to be creating and working with music in some way, everyday.
When you sign someone onto your label, are you looking for artists that help sustain and maintain your B Corp purpose?
Yeah, totally! That is definitely a factor in adding new artists or staff. Supporting the practices of B Corp in community, transparency, sustainability, and environmentally typically isn’t what people are used to or trained to do. Once you get the hang of it and have the knowledge, it feels right and it is! It’s naturally what we should all be practicing. And we learn things everyday from other B Corps. It’s a great community to be apart of.
Can you briefly explain what it means to be a certified B Corp?
It means to operate a movement of something good. Dealing with money in a ethical way. Putting people and the environment before profits. All B Corps are tested and certified by B Lab, a non-profit B Corporation. The B Corp logo is a stamp of approval for the public. When a customer sees the B Corp logo, they know immediately that the business is legit. You cannot put the B Corp logo on your products unless you’ve successfully completed all of the testing, and the documents are verified and certified by B Lab. From how much water and electricity you use, annual waste, volunteer hours, percent of revenues to charity…they hold you accountable for everything. And everything about the business is transparent. B Lab is a group of real people that care about your business. They give you education on how to make your business better, and it’s awesome! This really opened our way of thinking and doing business on many levels.
Read more about Last Triumph’s B Score here.
Absolutely! That’s great!
In St. Paul you have a recording studio for youth to come in and record their music for free… that’s amazing! Do you get a lot of kids coming in to utilize that?
You got it! Yes there are a good number of kids using it, the number always fluctuates. Arlington Hills Community Center, it’s a great place that’s been doing awesome things.
That’s amazing! Is it used often?
It’s used every week day. It becomes more popular as more people in the community find out about it. It’s free! Become a member, learn to operate the studio, and record music.
Lastly, what notable artists are on your label, and have any played before at Summer Camp?
On Last Triumph we currently have 6 artists. They are Marah in the Mainsail, New Sound Underground, BadNraD, Sassan, Blinds, and Good Morning Bedlam. None have appeared at Summer Camp (yet! ), but all would definitely be a great fit for the Summer Camp lineup. Marah in the Mainsail has had a great year performing at festivals and shows, has new vinyl record out, “Thaumatrope” and new music video out “Wendigo” https://youtu.be/EY0pif0UJw8. New Sound Underground has really been making a name for themselves in the jam scene in the Midwest – they were named City Pages Best Jam Band of 2015. And we are really pleased with the progress of BadNraD, who would be a great artist to play at Summer Camp! He does an electronic style of music that grasps the ’80’s/’90’s dance nostalgia, and puts on a really dope live show with him also playing keytar and guitar.