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Walkup Records was conceived during a jam in Brett Smith’s 4th floor walkup apartment, just up the block from the original Fillmore East in NewYork City’s East Village. 

Brett and childhood friend Marc Lawrence first met in kindergarten and had long dreamed of conquering the music business together.  More than two decades into their friendship, they decided to finally make it happen. With a combined twenty-two years of experience in the music industry and a small investment in a recording studio, they joined forces and formed Walkup Records.

In its first year, Walkup secured a worldwide digital distribution deal with The Orchard and signed legendary reggae singer, Bigga Haitian. Walkup has since inked licensing agreements with Rowe/AMI, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal. Brett and Marc produced Bigga Haitian’s latest record Sak Pasé, out now online and on CD. Sak Pasé features an all-star lineup of international reggae musicians as well as some diverse musical surprises.

Walkup Records co-founders Brett Smith (right) and Marc Lawrence at a recording session with P-Funk drummer Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey for Walkup recording artist Bigga Haitian


Bigga’s debut single for Walkup, “Gi Me Da Weed,” was released ahead of Sak Pasé to universally positive reviews. Produced by Brett, Marc, and Yvad (current lead singer of The Wailers), “Gi Me Da Weed” continues to receive strong support in clubs and on radio, achieving airplay on over 80 stations across the United States and Europe, and has generated sales in over 20 countries. On the strength of the single, Walkup has succeeded in raising Bigga’s profile: in 2007 Bigga was invited to share the stage with such reggae luminaries as Buju Banton, Shaggy, Mavado, and Capleton. Bigga also headlined the 2008 Boston Spring Reggae Fest and 2007 Lake Worth Reggae Fest, an event that drew over 10,000 people. Walkup placed two Bigga Haitian songs in the series finale of NBC’s The Philanthropist, including “London Massive (feat. Yvad)” from Sak Pasé.   

The past months have also seen the guys producing recording sessions with the likes of Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey (Parliament/Funkadelic), Black Sheep, Yvad (current lead singer of The Wailers), Clark Gayton (Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Prince, Steel Pulse), Cedric “Im” Brooks (Light of Saba, Skatalites, Bob Marley), Kevin Batchelor (Steel Pulse, Skatalites, Boogie Down Productions), Jerry Johnson (Steel Pulse), Mike “Angel” McLaughlin (Peter Criss), and Mecca a/k/a Grimo (signed to Wyclef Jean’s label). 

Through their diverse experiences, Brett Smith and Marc Lawrence understand the strengths and weaknesses of the major labels yet possess the spirit and flexibility of an independent, and the vision to lead in this challenging time of change for the music industry.  With a commitment to high quality music played by real musicians, and a determination to do things the right way, Walkup Records stands poised to make an impact that will be felt around the globe.

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© 2010 Walkup Records