After 43 years covering the world and culture of cannabis, High Times is expanding into music, joining with independent record stores nationwide on Black Friday to drop its first release—a 12-song compilation called Smoke Signals: Songs from the Mother Plant.
“Countless musical artists start their careers while working at a record store. We are a safe place to work while they sort out their music,” said Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day, which represents indie music retailers. “It’s exciting to partner with High Times and the artists featured on Smoke Signals. We’re looking forward to joining with High Times for special in-store events that will bring that connection full circle.”
The first High Times Records release in conjunction with Amped Distribution, Smoke Signals, features artists such as Damian Marley (with Stephen Marley), Big Gigantic (with Waka Flocka Flame) and Action Bronson; it will hit stores this Record Store Day on Black Friday.
Backing the compilation is High Times’ substantial media muscle, including more than 250,000 readers of the physical magazine, over 15 million impressions across online platforms and an upcoming IPO that will provide significant new financial resources. The magazine has announced planned investments across traditional entertainment, from music to video and beyond into lifestyle, event, e-commerce and related sectors.
Smoke Signals will be the publication’s first notable venture into recorded music, with another compilation coming soon.
“High Times has always been an advocate for the world of cannabis, in its broadest definition,” said Adam Levin, CEO of High Times. “That world often overlaps with music. Given vinyl’s resurgence and the importance of record stores to popular culture, this Black Friday partnership with Record Store Day is a natural fit.”
The multi-release partnership will continue into next year with planned major promotions including the artists who are featured on the compilations.
“We’re viewing this as an opportunity to create new and engaging content uniquely focused on our audience,” said High Times Records producer John Babbit. “We’re opening our doors to artists of all types, from superstars to independents. And we look forward to reminding the world of the cultural importance of record stores.”
Bryan Burkert, a Record Store Day partner, was recently on hand at High Times’ latest event, the 2017 SoCal Harvest Cup, where he got the chance to talk vinyl and cannabis with connoisseurs of both.
Check out the video below, and make sure to peep Smoke Signals at your local record store this Friday.