Pop House is a music-focused entertainment company based in Tulsa specializing in artist management, creative content and live events.
Can you tell us how and why you started your business?
Our founder and CEO, Chris Davis, has been involved in the Oklahoma music business for almost 10 years in a variety of capacities, and saw the need to build infrastructure that can help create opportunities and market top talent globally. Chris had some success and formed relationships in the music industry as an executive producer and marketing director for the ‘Fire in Little Africa’ project released by Motown in 2021, and as a founder of the non-profit organization Tulsa Creative Engine, which was built in 2020 to channel resources to artists coming out of the pandemic.
After launching these projects, Chris saw the need for a company that could function as a hybrid between a new-age record label, management and booking agency, and creative content studio. Pop House was created to fill that gap and our intention is to help build more realistic pathways for our state’s top talent to build a sustainable career as a full-time artist without feeling like they need to leave Oklahoma.
What services do you provide within the film/music industry?
On the artist side, we do just about everything, including management, booking, marketing, PR, photo, video, publishing and distribution. We have an ad hoc service model so artists can hire us for exactly what they need.
We also help businesses, organizations and individuals book artists for private performances, special events and other engagements. We have an expansive roster of homegrown talent across all different musical genres and creative specializations; we can fully curate and produce music and art events for clients with audio, lighting, photography and video. We serve as a production and curation partner on several festivals and concert series in Oklahoma and can bring that service to any organization.
Last but not least, we produce in-house video content where artists are interviewed or perform, and that content is used both as a marketing tool for the artists and to build Pop House as an online hub for engaging cultural content.
How has your company grown to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s film and/or music industries over the last 3-5 years?
We are rapidly growing and evolving, both with the massive expansion of young talent from Oklahoma and the rapid shifts happening within the music industry. We started with just artist management, then started working on festivals and concerts curation, and just this year have expanded into in-house video content series and record label services.
We believe in meeting artists where they are and providing a variety of services as a one-stop-shop, and it helps businesses to know there is someone they can reach out to for booking Oklahoma artists that really has their finger on the pulse of culture.
What are the benefits of basing your company’s operations in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is filled with talent, but we have very little music business infrastructure to support that talent and help artists create a pathway to success that doesn’t involve leaving Oklahoma. Those of us that are involved in building a music business in Oklahoma right now are first movers, and we are betting big on the growth of the industry in our state over time. There is a tremendous amount of upside here and we’re focused on building Pop House as a vehicle to connect Oklahoma’s future stars to the major players in the music industry.
What would you consider your business’s greatest accomplishment to date?
We formed a partnership with a company called AWAL to provide distribution services to our artists. This is a major win because AWAL is a part of Sony Music, which means we now have a direct connection between Oklahoma and one of the biggest companies in the music industry. Distributing music digitally through AWAL is also a massive improvement over the distribution services that most artists have to use by default, which should lead to more streams, playlist placements and followers for the artists.
Are there any recent successes your company would like to highlight related to work within the Oklahoma film and music industries?
We’re excited about the in-house creative content we’re producing that highlights Oklahoma artists. We have released some episodes of ‘Sharpside Sessions’ on YouTube and Instagram, which is a barbershop conversation show filmed at Sharpside Barber Shop on Route 66 in Tulsa. We are in production on ‘Parlor Unplugged,’ which is an acoustic performance show filmed at the uniquely decorated home of artist Trueson Daugherty. We are also in pre-production on a really fun video podcast show, which will launch before the end of the year.
Video content is the number one asset artists need right now to build a fanbase online and find new opportunities, and our intention is to use these videos as a tool to promote the artists and the musical culture in Oklahoma on social media. Our videos are already getting thousands of impressions, which also presents a cool way for our businesses to sponsor and support the growth of Oklahoma music in a meaningful way.
What are you working on now/next?
Creating more partnerships nationally and globally that will create impactful opportunities for Oklahoma artists.
What is your goal/vision for the future of your company?
We want Pop House to be a global brand, based in Oklahoma. We want to work with an eclectic and diverse roster of artists that are making significant cultural impact. And we want to fundamentally reshape what it means to be an ‘artist friendly’ business in the music industry.
What advice do you have for others who are considering starting a film or music business in Oklahoma?
Study the landscape, see what’s needed and start contributing. We believe all big things happen through partnership and collaboration, and there should really be no such thing as ‘competition’ at this stage of the growth in the industry in Oklahoma. Find people who are in alignment with your goals and vision and find ways to work together.
What opportunities do you believe await Oklahoma’s film/music industry in the future?
The opportunity can be massive, but it requires a significant investment in the work of Oklahoma artists and the infrastructure they need to be successful. It’ll be worth it though, because music, art and culture is the undercurrent of all economic development, as we are all starting to see with the big things happening in Oklahoma as a direct result of investment in film. We have a similar opportunity now with music, and the way we invest in musical artists right now will have a major impact on the future of our state.
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.