Emblem3 signs album deal with Columbia

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News and news sources

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Sequim-born Emblem3 has signed a record deal with Columbia Records, Laraine Claire, manager of the three-person band and mother of two-thirds of the trio, confirmed Wednesday.

“It really was the best deal we could have hoped for,” Claire said in a phone interview from Huntington Beach.

The announcement came earlier that morning directly from Columbia Records, though Claire said that she and the trio — Wesley Stromberg, 19, and Keaton Stromberg, 16, brothers and Claire's sons; and longtime friend Drew Chadwick, 20 — knew the band had been signed Dec. 21, after Fox's music competition show “The X Factor” ended.

“It was very difficult to not make it public over the holidays and celebrate,” acording to Claire.

Viewers voted Emblem3 out of contention on “The X Factor” during semi-finals after they had performed renditions of “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Hey Jude.”

Despite not winning “The X Factor's” top spot, the trio was happy just to have the exposure the show gave it, Claire said.

The band now has a worldwide following, Claire said, with their biggest fanbase in Brazil.

The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday that “The X Factor” judge and Emblem3 mentor Simon Cowell had signed the trio to Syco Music, his label, via Columbia Records.

Claire confirmed the Cowell connection, saying Cowell will receive a percentage of Emblem3's earnings through the deal.

Sony Music Entertainment owns both Columbia Records and Syco Music, Claire added.

The three Sequim natives began work on their first studio album as soon as they were signed in December, Claire said, though an album drop date has not yet been determined.

The producer of the as-yet-untitled album is Savan Kotecha, who has worked with Maroon 5, Usher and One Direction, and who served as vocal coach to many “X Factor” acts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The trio has been in the studio recording to the wee hours of the morning most days, Claire said, with its recording scheduled slated to wrap up at the end of January.

Claire said a world tour is in the works in connection with the eventual release of the group's album this year, though no dates have been set.

“Their tour schedule is being routed now,” Claire said.

When asked about a possible trip to Sequim, Claire said no date has been set but affirmed the trio's desire to get back to its roots at some point.

Any trip home will have to wait until at least the album recording is finished, Claire added.

“They're thinking coming back to Sequim will be a safe haven for them,” Claire said.

“[But] there's no date on the calendar yet.”

After growing up together in Sequim, the three members of the band moved to California to be closer to the industry, as well as to indulge passions for surfing, skating and snowboarding.

Prior to “X Factor,” Emblem3 performed at such Hollywood venues as the Roxy, Whisky a Go Go, the House of Blues and Hard Rock Cafe, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Managing Editor Leah Leach contributed to this report.

Last modified: January 09. 2013 6:05PM
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