Formed in 1992 by producers Dallas Austin and L.A. Reid, Rowdy was initially distributed through Arista Records. At the time, Austin had gained notoriety for writing and producing hits for acts like Monica, Another Bad Creation, Boyz II Men, Joi, For Real, Da King & I and TLC. Reid, meanwhile, was also running the fledging LaFace Records. In 1993, Reid stepped down to continue focusing his energies on LaFace, leaving Dallas to run the Atlanta-based company on his own.
Rowdy shot to success in 1995 with the release of the triple platinum debut album from fourteen-year-old R&B singer Monica entitled Miss Thang. Other acts on the label included: Y’all So Stupid, Illegal, For Real, Fishbone and Caron Wheeler. The label also released the soundtrack to the motion-picture Fled.
In spite of the labels strong buzz in the industry (mainly due to Austin’s name being attached to it), by 1997 Rowdy began to flounder, as Monica’s debut album had been its biggest release to date—and arguably the company’s only success. Creative differences with Arista subsequently caused Rowdy to vacate its fold, while Monica (its most notable star) remained at Arista. Without a major distributor, Rowdy briefly went the independent route before stalling completely. Austin’s career, meanwhile, continued to thrive as he remained a highly sought after producer, which led to him stepping down as CEO. In 1998, Rowdy closed its doors. He then started the short-lived record label Freeworld Entertainment after the dissolution of Rowdy.
In 2005, when a fledgling Decatur, Georgia based hip-hop group called Da BackWudz caught Austin’s attention, he decided to reactivate Rowdy (after seven years of dormancy) in order to sign them. Upon its reactivation, Rowdy took up distribution with Motown Records.
Follow The Nomad is a hip, magical journey that consists of music producer Dallas Austin and his compadre Naz Tokio. The gypsy-style, traveling music band is based on good energy and positive vibes. The first single, ‘Beat and Path’ is the story of how one laugh changed the course of a bad day. #FOLLOWTHENOMAD
Da BackWudz, also known by the name Labratz, was a rap duo from Decatur, Georgia consisting of Marcus “Big Marc” Thomas and James “Sho Nuff” Redding. The duo released one album, Wood Work, in 2006 and the album reached the position of 94 on the Billboard 200. They were signed to Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Records and they released their first single, “You Gonna Love Me”, in 2005. Da BackWudz has performed in multiple tours, including BET’s 2005 Black College Tour and MTV’s Sucker Free Sunday Tour. Thomas and Redding later renamed themselves Labratz, joined together with Heavy Slim and G Wiz, and released one album, Atlantis Rising, before disbanding.
Monica Denise Brown, simply known as Monica, is an American singer, producer, and actress. Born and raised in College Park, Georgia, she began performing as a child and became part of a traveling gospel choir at the age of ten. Guided and developed by record producers Dallas Austin and Tim & Bob, Monica signed with Arista at age thirteen and released her debut album Miss Thang in 1995. It sold 1.5 million in the US, while its first two singles “Don’t Take It Personal” and “Before You Walk Out of My Life” made her the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart. She also released her fourth Top 10 hit from the album titled, “Why I Love You So Much”.