Darius Van Arman is the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Secretly Group.
He launched independent label Jagjaguwar (now part of Secretly Group) in 1996 and joined Secretly Group in 1999.
Darius Van Arman: Career so far
Darius Van Arman launched independent label Jagjaguwar in 1996, after previous experiences in the music industry directing a local radio station and promoting shows.
In January 1996, Van Arman was stranded for several nights at his job in an adult-care facility due to a snowstorm. The overtime pay funded the label’s first release: The Curious Digit’s Bombay Aloo.
Three years later, in 1999, he joined Secretly Group in Indiana after striking up a friendship with fellow Co-Founder Chris Swanson.
Jagjaguwar’s artist partners include Bon Iver, Angel Olsen, Jamila Woods, Dinosaur Jr., Sharon Van Etten, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, while Secretly Group includes the Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar labels, Dead Oceans and The Numero Group. Together these labels have represented The War on Drugs, Anohni, Major Lazer, Syl Johnson, and more.
Van Arman currently serves on the board of directors of Merlin, SoundExchange, and A2IM, advocating for independent labels and artists throughout the world. In 2014, he testified about music licensing reform in front of U.S. Congress and co-authored the Worldwide Independent Network’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration.
In 2018, Van Arman wrote a blog for MBW about ‘safe harbor’ laws protecting services like YouTube. He said: “Viewed initially as a compromise between copyright owners and service providers, to enable the growth of internet-based service providers’ platforms free of the constant threat of litigation, the DMCA and its international analogs are now viewed as naïve and anachronistic.
“The authors of the DMCA didn’t foresee the extent to which digital platforms such as YouTube and Soundcloud would take advantage of safe harbors to build businesses on the backs of, and at the expense of copyright owners.”Music Business Worldwide