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David Robkin: Orchestrating Success - Unveiling the Visionary Story Behind Nashville's Latest Record Label Ventures in a Captivating New Interview

Sitting down with the iconic David Hooper for a exclusive Lightening 100 interview, one of Music City's newest label execs David Robkin shares his dynamic story of success.

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In the bustling heart of Nashville's music scene, where creativity and commerce intertwine, David Robkin stands as a testament to the fusion of business acumen and artistic passion. With a background in finance and a love for music, Robkin's journey from CPA to the CEO of a Nashville indie country label and beyond reflects a unique convergence of two seemingly disparate worlds.

Robkin's foray into the music industry began unexpectedly, as he partnered with a young manager in Philadelphia, venturing into artist management for renowned acts such as Cinderella, Breaking Benjamin, and the Roots. This initial step ignited his passion for the music business, leading him to explore diverse avenues within the industry.

In 2011, Robkin was beckoned to Nashville to helm Bigger Picture, an indie country label and publisher. Guiding projects for artists like Zac Brown, Chris Janson, and Craig Campbell, Robkin immersed himself in the vibrant Nashville music scene, embracing the essence of country music culture.

Despite his success, Robkin felt the pull of his roots and returned to Philadelphia in 2014, where he co-founded honeygrow, a rapidly expanding fast-casual restaurant chain. Yet, his love for Nashville's music scene lingered, prompting him to establish Deluge Music in 2015, an indie publishing company rooted in Nashville's creative landscape.

Robkin's entrepreneurial spirit and astute observation of industry trends led him to pivot towards record label ventures in response to the evolving music landscape. Recognizing the challenges posed by streaming platforms and the diminishing role of major labels in artist development, Robkin saw an opportunity to carve a niche for independent labels that prioritize artist empowerment and creative freedom.

Thus, Deluge Records Nashville (DRN) and East Music Row Records (EMRR) were born, with Robkin at the helm alongside his creative partners Sam Grow, Brad Austin, Johnny Gates, and Austin Luther. With a focus on nurturing young talent and fostering a symbiotic relationship between creativity and business savvy, these labels aim to redefine the traditional record label model.

DRN's inaugural signing, Blake Wood, and EMRR's signings, Johnny Gates and Felicity, underscore Robkin's commitment to supporting emerging artists while championing a holistic approach to music business management. By marrying his financial expertise with a deep appreciation for artistic expression, Robkin endeavors to empower creatives to navigate the complex terrain of the music industry successfully.

In Robkin's journey from CPA to record label entrepreneur, the dichotomy between rationality and creativity fades, giving way to a harmonious blend of both. As he continues to shape Nashville's music landscape, Robkin's vision serves as a beacon of innovation and collaboration, bridging the gap between business pragmatism and artistic passion in the Music City.


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