Rising music manager Elias Gaynor, better known as Maze Rockwell, is the co-founder of GROUPCHAT. Maze Rockwell’s roots stem from hip-hop production after he and music artist Lou From Queens released a song that was picked up by Grammy Award-winning producer Nottz Raw, who has produced for some of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry, including Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, and Scarface. He then created a group called Urban Etiquette, and notable breakthroughs in his music career followed from this experience.
Prior to GROUPCHAT, Maze Rockwell founded Urban Etiquette, the group that produced and released “Theme Song,” which topped the charts in Spotify’s U.S. Viral Top 50 Playlist without any promotional or marketing methods. The unexpected momentum they gained fueled their passion for creating more music.
However, a social issue was brought to Maze Rockwell’s attention surrounding his group’s name, Urban Etiquette. They learned that the term urban has had a negative connotation and has been completely removed as a genre from labels like Republic. Maze Rockwell and his team quickly felt that it was inappropriate to keep the group name as it could offend artists in the music industry. With this in mind and despite having a new song available for digital distribution, the artist-manager canceled their most recent submission.
To start anew, Maze Rockwell helped rebrand the group, which is now known as GROUPCHAT. With the onset of the pandemic and the reality of socializing through group chats, he and his team, based in different parts of the United States, thought the name was best-fitting for them. He now sits as the new group’s artist manager and takes care of the rebranding, publishing, royalties, and collaborations for the team.
This September, they released their first single “Story” featuring Odd Future co-founder, Casey Veggies, and BRYYCE of T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. The song quickly gained popularity, with more than 25,000 streams in less than a week. From 0 monthly listeners, the group’s Spotify platform quickly amassed 20,000 listeners in only a few days.
As GROUPCHAT’s artist manager, Maze Rockwell hopes to use his group’s platform to help aspiring hip-hop artists sharpen their promising talents and kickstart their music career. Through his experience and the connections he has made in the industry, he hopes to equip these future stars with the right tools in building their music brand.
For Maze Rockwell, more and more talented aspirants are moving toward the music industry as the music scene has become more accessible and tangible. While unsigned artists can succeed independently, it comes with overwhelming competition as the market has become saturated. With this in mind, he aims to help talented artists rise above the industry through GROUPCHAT.
The rising artist manager points out that his client’s success dictates his success. Indeed, he takes pride in seeing significant progress in only two months for him and GROUPCHAT. With that, he hopes to inspire people to look for opportunities throughout these trying times. “It can be hard to refocus on positives and opportunities, but they are definitely out there,” says Maze Rockwell.
Learn more about Maze Rockwell and GROUPCHAT by following him on Instagram.