Whether you are an already established artist or one on the rise, Imagen Records stands out from the over-crowded pack of independent labels. “We are an artist-centric label, that was founded by a musician, and musicians hold most management roles at Imagen,” explains the label’s owner, Bob Winegard. “We understand the artist and his/her creative needs, and let the artist create their vision.” Based in Washington, DC, and founded in April 2007, Imagen is fast building an impressive roster of artists based in either active rock or alternative rock, including Arnel Pineda, Separations, Jela Cello, Framing Hanley, New Medicine, 3 Years Hollow, Candlelight Red. It is all the more impressive that Imagen has enjoyed success, in an era in the music business when there is uncertainty and upheaval. “It is challenging these days to be a label,” admits Winegard, “Investing a large amount of money into an artist, hoping that other people show an interest by wanting to hear them on the radio, come to shows and buy music and merch, so that the band can afford to tour and have a life.” “People really don’t understand the hardships that a perceived ‘successful’ band goes through. It is difficult for artists and labels these days. We see ourselves as partners with the artists and our contracts bear that out. Our goal is to create a working partnership with each band and get up every day to drive for success.” As Winegard stated, artists can expect a partnership with the label, rather than a division between the two. “As a partnership, we are devoted to each band we sign – we work best when the whole team is functioning as an extension of each other. Everybody pitches in – there’s no ‘That’s not my job’ from anybody.” Lastly, Winegard explains that Imagen’s future plans are simple. “Our goal is to break bands and/or make any band we sign bigger. We strive to win and want our bands to sell lots of records and headline big shows. I would love to have well respected bands/artists that can make a difference in today’s music.” Judging from what they have accomplished in less than a ten-year span, Imagen Records is well on their way to becoming one of the leading indie labels, that put the artist’s priorities at the top of the list.