LAGUNA RECORDS & GREENHOUSE STUDIO was established in 2002 by music producer, Jeffrey Little, who had formed this company initially for the purpose of releasing an album for his band Prana. Prana, initially started as band in the ‘Underground’ scene, later surfaced to the mainstream when they signed and released their debut album under New Southern Records (NSR) in 2001. Having experienced how a major record label works, Jeffrey set off with a plan to start his own record label. Laguna Records’ first release was Prana’s sophomore album titled, Greenhouse Effect, in 2003. The album also enabled Laguna to secure a long-term distribution & publishing deal with Universal Music Malaysia. This album made it to the radio waves eventually achieving 3 number 1 hit singles.
In 2004, SevenCollar T-Shirt, a popular band at the time with already a successful album under their name, signed to Laguna Records and successively released their second album, Drones. One of Malaysia’s most decorated producers, Roslan Aziz, got involved with the production on the album. Drones brought SevenCollar t-shirt to new heights with their hit single, Faith, making it to the number one charts all over the country. SevenCollar T-Shirt’s success, earned them and Laguna Records a nomination in Malaysia’s Music Awards [AIM] in 2005, for the Best English Album category. That same year, Laguna Records then released their third album, Prana’s Disc 03. This album hit the airwaves, once again earning them more recognition in the growing Malaysian Music industry.
In 2006, Jeffrey had teamed up with his younger brother, Jeremy Little, also a founding member of the band Prana. They decided to take a step back from concentration on the band to growing and expanding the business. Together reorganised the company and they defined their roles in the business. Jeremy took control of the management of the record label, while Jeffrey concentrated on the production of the music with his recording studio, they set forth to make a change in the Malaysian music industry and by March 2007, Laguna records was incorporated into a Private Limited Company and renamed to LAGUNA MUSIC.
Throughout 2007, Jeffrey had been busy producing Laguna Music’s latest signing, indie folk-jazz band, Estrella. Estrella initially started on the production of their album as an acoustic duo but were eventually transformed into a 5-piece band under Jeffrey’s advice. Laguna Music eventually released Estrella’s self-titled debut album at the end of the year. With the release of this album, Laguna Music ventured into setting up it’s own distribution division, with the idea of not only having more control of the sales of their albums, but with the long term goal of signing more indie bands to the label for the marketing & distribution of their albums. Laguna Music ended its distribution deal with Universal Music, but maintained its publishing deal with the major. Around the same time, Laguna Music signed an exclusive Digital Distribution deal with EMI Malaysia, for the digital distribution of Laguna Music’s back catalogue.
In 2008, Laguna Music signed roots reggae band, PureVibracion. This signing had brought additional variety to Laguna’s repertoire. Laguna’s three signed bands grew together, and had even been invited to play many of the same stages together.
2008 ended on a high note for Laguna Music’s artists after earning a total of 16 nominations at the inaugural Voize Independent Music Awards, which were held in the beginning of 2009. Estrella headed the list after being nominated for 8 different categories for their album and song, Stay, and PureVibracion earning 5 nominations for their hit single, Mi Gal. Both Estrella & PureVibracion’s songs were in the list of nominees for Best Song of the Year category.
Laguna Music have slowly grown and expanded to become one of the most respected independent record labels in Malaysia. Much more can be expected to come out from this label as they don’t seem to be slowing down.