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About Us

Redtone Records is a collective of independent artists promoting cultural and community preservation in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are a nonprofit arts organization that prioritizes support for Black diasporic artists in the face of ongoing displacement and health disparities which compromise the sustainability of Black communities and Black lives throughout the region. 

Public Health research suggests that generational trauma (i.e. the ongoing outcomes of colonization, enslavement and other forms of state-sanctioned violence) expresses itself physiologically through cellular degradation and premature aging, which make those most impacted susceptible to chronic disease and early death.

However, recent genetic studies involving Black Bay Area residents demonstrate that a wide range of risk factors can be mitigated, and cellular degradation even reversed, through African ancestral healing modalities rooted in culture, consciousness and community (Watson & Marie, 2022). Our work centers these practices.

As rapid gentrification continues to displace Black residents and communities, sustaining cultural strongholds is not only a social priority but a public health imperative, and the Redtone collective is one of those strongholds. 

Recognizing the history of Black musical innovation amidst systematic exploitation, we also play the role of an independent record label committed to equity and empowerment, ensuring that our artists retain ownership of their works, and providing them with access to resources that might not otherwise be available. 

As a nonprofit our financial support for artists is not wholly dependent on sales revenue. At a time when music sales (both physical and digital) have dropped by 80% in the last two decades, innovative models for sustaining a vibrant arts and culture scene are needed, and Redtone is one of those models. 

"Redtone" is a term we coined to describe the gritty sound achieved by overdriving audio signals on vintage recording equipment. Pushing the volume into the red creates a unique tonal quality and feel that can only be achieved with analog circuitry. That sound is a connection to the musical roots that have shaped us. It's an organic sound, a contrast to the purely digital, auto-tuned, commercial feel of so much current music. The red also symbolizes the musical bloodline we aim to honor and preserve.

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