Label Focus: Jagjaguwar

Rough Trade Records

March 1st, 2024

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Jagjaguwar’s twenty year history has been filled with collaboration and a familial sense of community between their extensive catalogue of artists.

The independent label was conjured up using a Dungeons & Dragons character-name-generator computer program by Darius Van Armen during his college days at UVA. During this time Van Armen signed his friends bands to the small label and soon became met Secretly Canadian founder Chris Swanson. Their friendship became a monumental partnership that would one day become the start of Secretly Group.

(L-R) Darius Van Arman, Chris Swanson, Ben Swanson and Jonathan Cargill

In the early 2000s Jagjaguwar signed Eau Claire, Wisconsin project Bon Iver whose initial pressing of debut album For Emma, Forever Ago sold out within the first few weeks. During Bon Iver’s Grammy’s speech in February 2012 for Bon Iver, Justin Vernon thanked Jagjaguwar “for having transparency and friendship.”

Soon, more artists signed with the label including Sharon Van Etten, Small Black, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Women, Preoccupations, and Angel Olsen.

Jagjaguwar is synonymous with bringing together a family of artists and curating a sought after catalogue of up-and-coming musicians across the globe.


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