Welcome to L-Town
Our Mission is to Inspire the World.
IT STARTED WITH -
An endless passion for music, for discovery,
for people, for life. It all started with Love.
“L-Town” is an independent, multi-genre record label headquartered in Laurel, MS. We currently cover R&B, Pop, Country, Hip-Hop, Inspirational, and Alternative music. L-Town is a label run by artists, with an emphasis on diversity and helping others achieve their dreams.
The message of L-Town is one of Unity and Love: despite our many differences, shortcomings, and imperfections, we are still Family. And Family can’t be broken.
At L-Town we create music for the Love of it, with a consciousness of the great power it contains: Music has the power to make you feel happy when you are sad, to lift you up when you’re down, to enlighten and inspire, and to educate and give new insights.
Here at L-Town, we care about the artist–not only for their success on the stage, but also in their lives. L-Town artists regularly participate in workshops and training designed not only to help them become better artists, but to help them have continued success in their lives, long after the music stops. We believe in fair deals. We believe in diversity. We believe that no one should be disqualified because of their flaws or differences, but rather we should embrace those differences, and continue to perfect our imperfections, in a spirit of togetherness. We believe in the potential of all people to help create a better world for our children, and their children.
Our Message is one of Love, in all its many forms, Love for yourself as well as Love for others, regardless of our differences.
Our Mission is to Inspire others to connect, to learn, to encourage people to rise up and take control of their destinies, even in the face of difficulty or adversity. The Diversity is what makes us as a people so powerful.
L-Town is more than just a record label, L-Town is a Movement. Using Music as our medium, we hope to make a Difference. Join us in our Mission to Inspire the World.
IT NEVER ENDS
Passion never dies. It grows
stronger every day.
L-TOWN RECORDS STAFF
Rodney L. Ashford, CEO
Rodney “Brimstone” Ashford is the Chief Executive Officer of L-Town Records. Born in 1976, and originally from Ellisville, MS, his affinity for music, writing, and learning revealed itself early in life. An avid reader, he took up piano at the age of 3. By the time he was 9 he was a full-time musician at a small church In laurel. Over time he learned how to read, write, compose music, as well as improvisation and playing by ear. Like many young black men growing up in the 90’s, he developed a love for rap music. Because of his love for reading and writing, songwriting and lyrics were second nature. It became his life’s dream by the age of 15 to have his own record label. Over the years, he familiarized himself with as many genres of music, as well as instruments, as he possibly could: From guitar to the Hammond organ, he especially fell in love with brass instruments–baritone, tuba, trumpet, with trombone being his favorite.
Trombone would take him through college at Alcorn State University, an HBCU, where he was t-bone section leader of the university’s legendary marching band “Sounds of Dyn-O-mite”. After graduating from Alcorn State with a technology degree in 1998, he briefly moved to Houston, TX, where he was picked up by a record label (Game Tite Records) for his lyrical ability. The CEO of Game Tite was known as “Lil Byrd”. Lil Byrd took him under his wing, dubbed him “The Infamouzz Blazze” and began introducing him to the music scene in Texas and teaching him “the game”. He had regular dealings with rappers like Lil Flip, Fat Pat, (SPM) South Park Mexican, and the entire Swishahouse crew. After a run-in with the law, Rodney decided to come back home to Mississippi. A natural entrepreneur, he began an advertising and marketing firm called “IBG” (Inspired By God) with 3 other young men.
He learned photoshop and became familiar with design and web work. Later, after IBG had dissolved, Rodney, ever the entrepreneur, began selling mixed cds. He affectionately labeled his cds “Poboy Records”, and added on the moniker of “Poboy”. Always doing things on a grand scale, he added clothing and accessories to his mixed cd business, which was currently distributing music in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida (He would later go on to open the first black storefront in downtown Ellisville, MS, called “RockBottoms”, named after his infant son Rokyron (Rocky)). Still armed with the knowledge he had gained in Houston, TX, and using some of the proceeds from his hustle, Rodney invested in studio equipment and took Poboy Records a step further, turning it into a bona fide record label headquartered in Hattiesburg, MS, in the year 2000. Allen “Da Don” Jenkins (current CFO of L-Town) was his first signed artist, and they started off promoting their music on the same mixed cds Poboy was selling around the Southern US.
“Poboy” would produce, record, mix and master most of the music himself, and as young, energetic, and enthusiastic men with an understanding of business and a lust for success, they dropped several projects and sold them worldwide. PoBoy Records quickly became popular and was known in more than 80 countries. It was at this time that Poboy was approached by Joseph Foreman, better known as Afroman. “Fro” featured on several releases with the label, including “Reel Pimps the Freestyle Album: We Flow Hard”, and “Chasin our Paper”. After one of Afroman’s songs went platinum (“Because I Got High”), Joseph, who had been signed to Universal Records, started his own label “Hungry Hustler Records”, and wanted to sign PoBoy because of his wordplay. At this time, “PoBoy the Purple Poet” was born, and became known as Afroman’s producer/sidekick. They began to tour together, performing in every state in America—sometimes doing shows in 5 states in a week, and life seemed good for a while.
He put out several projects with HH, including “Introducing PoBoy the Purple Poet”, the self-produced sequel: “Purple Dioxide (PO2)”, and features with a plethora of artists on and off the label. Rodney was living his dream, or so he thought, making more money than he could count, gaining fans around the world, doing shows, attending parties and basically living the life of a rock star. Then he got introduced to drugs—cocaine in particular—and everything fell apart. He ended up losing his record deal, his own record label, his home, his wife, his son—pretty much everything. He made all manner of bad decisions during his 10-year struggle with addiction, until one of those bad decisions eventually landed him in a prison cell and he became the property of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
For Rodney, the music has stopped, literally, and he found himself in a cycle of relapses and revolving door trips to the state penitentiary because of probation violations and his inability to kick the habit. It was during his 3rd stint at the infamous Parchman prison that he almost lost his life in a gang fight (he had joined a gang while in prison—the Almighty Black P Stones—and now went by the name “Bigg Stone”). It was after this brush with death that he decided enough was enough. Spending his last few months of incarceration in solitary confinement, the only thing he had to keep him company was his pen and pad, along with a prison issue Bible. If he wasn’t writing raps or poetry, he would study his Bible, sometimes for 8-10 hours a day. During this time he had a lucid dream filled with prophecies and strange music, and woke up with yet another name: “Brimstone”. Forever changed and now cocaine-free, after being released from prison he spent his first day of freedom locked in a friend’s studio, and eventually would drop his latest self-produced (from the same music he had dreamt of in prison) solo album, “The Seventh Seal”, in 2016. He, along with his friend and business partner Rodney Evans (current head of production for L-Town) began a gospel record label known as Lords Name Entertainment.
The Lords Name label was short-lived however—it was proving an impossible task for Brimstone to get past his past, and most of the people in his community weren’t willing to accept the changes in his life and continuously condemned him for all his past transgressions. It was during this time that he became more familiar with a camera, (he had previously started a business shooting videos—a successful YouTube channel known as “PraiseGodTV”), and, after LNE, he started Ashford Photography & Films in 2017, right before marrying his wife Nikki, whom he had met 6 months prior. He spent most of his time learning how to be the best photographer he could be, and APF thrived. Winning several awards, being featured in several magazines including “People” and “Better Homes and Gardens” and ultimately building a 6-figure per year business, Rodney, the man of many hats as well as names, had finally found his niche. After totally resetting his life in an effort to escape his sordid past, and after being 7 years addiction-free, he used the proceeds from the photography business to start a brand new label with a brand new message: L-Town Records. Above all he wants to prevent other artists from going down the path he traveled, the one that leads to death, and, with L-Town, he hopes to be an example for the world that regardless of where you come from or the mistakes you may have made in the past, it is never too late to start over and get it right.
Head of A&R
Latoria Heard is Head A&R for L-Town Records. Born in 1981, and a native of Shubuta, Ms, her love for music was instilled in her by her father. He was a music major at Lane college in Jackson, TN, and could play just about any kind of instrument you could name. He had a particular love for piano, keyboard, bass guitar, and drums. For several years, until his health declined, he was the lead singer in an old school blues band composed of him and his brothers. He also served as the choir director and gave music lessons to several people in the community. Growing up watching different people coming in and out of their home for lessons left an impression on Latoria, and she took a liking to the drums. Her father would let her sit in on the lessons with his clients, and eventually she started playing for their church. In the 5th grade she tried out for the band and ended up in the percussion section—she enjoyed snare because she was the only girl in that section. She would play snare from until 9th grade and then switched to brass where she played trombone until she graduated. She graduated from Quitman High School in May of 1999, with honors, and from there she enlisted into the National Guard, until she was released with an Honorable discharge in 2006, due to an injury.
On May 19, 2007, Latoria had her 1st and only child, Z’Yon JaNae Slater. Z’Yon was her lifeline and changed her life forever. She was a smart, lovable, and energetic child who also had a passion for music as well as dance. In 2008, Latoria became a travel agent and later switched careers to become Manager of Ardyss International in 2014. On Easter Sunday in 2017, Latoria was involved in a tragic car accident that resulted in the death of her daughter Z’Yon. That experience left Latoria scarred for life. With no thought or purpose remaining in her life, Latoria had to fight through depression and anxiety.
She continued to push through, and finally found a reason to bring her passion for music back, as well as to have something to remember her daughter by. In June of 2021, she met Rodney Ashford, the CEO of recently birthed L-Town Records, and their passions aligned. They became fast friends, and Latoria brought Breanna Miller to audition. “Bre Mill” became L-Town’s first artist, and Latoria became Head A&R.
Latoria is very traditional and has vision when it comes to finding talent, and uses her gut instinct when it comes to picking artists. Latoria communicates with the artists and their managers to assist them in whatever area is needed.
Rodney A. Evans, Head of Production
Rodney “Blunote” Evans, born in 1978, from Laurel, MS, is the Head of Production for L-Town Records. A third generation musician, born into a musical family, music was always second nature to him. He has been producing music for more than twenty years. As a teenager, he started off in gospel and southern soul, playing piano for several churches and professional groups. In the year 2000, he began performing and touring with Paul Porter (The Christianaires). Paul was a big influence on his musical career, learning from his experience and getting pointers as he went along. Even more so was the education he received from Aaron Lindsey, who had produced for Fred Hammond, Israel Newbreed, Marvin Sapp and more. Meeting Aaron helped him understand music production better and how to put sounds together. Afterwards, he was motivated to take his musical career even further.
His first break occurred in 2007, when he landed a gig producing jingles for a commercial tv company. He then expanded into different genres of music, including R&B, Hip-Hop and Trap as well. He loves producing every genre of music, but as an artist he prefers Pop and Country, releasing his first single as “BluNote Evans”—a country tune called “Cried it Away” in 2020.
In 2016, he served as COO and Head of Production for Lords Name Entertainment with his friend (and L-Town CEO) Rodney “Brimstone” Ashford. He currently produces for Rashad the Blues Kid, JWonn (producing the hit song “Move On” in 2021), and Ju Evans. Artists Tucker (“Pretty Girl” in 2017) and Keith Sweat (“Feel Me” in 2018) have also featured on his productions.
As Head of Production for L-Town, he along with CEO Brimstone create music for all the different artists, regardless of their genres, and also serves as a studio engineer, helping to produce the musical experience that makes L-Town so unique.
Kellie Lin Westrom, Administrative Asst, Marketing
Kellie Lin Westrom was born in 1991 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. She is administrative assistant for L-Town and takes care of whatever needs to be taken care of. Kellie began music at an early age, first experiencing freedom through music. As Kellie was entering the first stages of life, her mother and father split. As life progressed her mother became increasingly strict trying to “protect” her from the world. Kellie learned about rebellion at an early age by watching her older sister sneak out, covering for her with only music to aid the escape. Little did she know this was Kellie’s first true taste of freedom from her strict mother and newly found father. With a desire to be independent early in life she began a paper route at age 12 in search of more freedom to pursue the things she desired. Yet again rules and regulations came. Chastised for using her money on simple things: shoes, gas to hang-out with friends, anything that was not being saved for a future of financial stability.
In later years, the strictness only increased as her mother and stepfather decided to send her to a Private School. Although she felt yet again pushed down by over-bearing people in her life, she again found solace in music. She first learned Clarinet, and fell in love with band, continuing to play for 4 years, until she discovered Choir. A voice apart from the sea of uniforms tailored to the private school allowed a spark of individuality, and a daily expression of passion in an otherwise stuffy world, and choir continued into college. As she entered college, she found she had been prepared extraordinarily little for the truth of the world; where she was sheltered, she was now hurt by those around her, and given no help or advice from those she had cared for so dearly. The summer after her freshman year at Western Oregon University, she was in a terrible car crash that left her unable to return to school the following year, leaving her a college drop-out with 20,000$ debt.
Kellie, a born rebel, ended up finding a job in Idaho as an administrative assistant for a local Vape Shop, where she learned skills in the back end of running a business, which still helps her to this day. In 2014, her father took his own life in a lonely motel room, leaving no reason or rhyme, only a scar. All the searching she had done seemed to be washed away with the single loss of one person. After years of her mother saying she was just like her absent father, he was now gone. She would never be able to see if she truly was like him. In 2017, her marriage plunged into chaos. With no solace to be found in work, relationships, or even friends, she once again drew inspiration and the simple will to go on from Music. Over the years she realized that music was the one constant in her life that made everything feel better, no matter how bad it really was. She soon after filed for a divorce and decided again to soul search. After months of soul-searching, she fell madly in love with a Door-to-Door salesman named Andy, who introduced her to a different part of life: Selling yourself. She found the Key to Life through this job, which was to find what makes you, and to market that–honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and above all things, Loyalty. In door-to-door sales you only had one chance to make a great first impression and this is best done with honesty.
The world finally led Kellie to Laurel, Mississippi. Knocking doors the whole way and helping a man chase his dreams something finally happened. All the years of doing reports and singing in the shower finally came full circle as everything fell together, and she was given the opportunity to mix her passions and her talents. Currently Kellie is the Administrative Assistant to the CEO, and over the Marketing Dept at L-Town Records handling merchandising and other accounts.
Devin Duplessis ,Head of Arts
Devin Duplessis was born in 1994 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is the Head of Arts for L-Town Records. A multi-talented creator of digital art and music that began when he was eight years old. As an adolescent Devin’s passions were drawing, music, and graphic design.
In 2007, Devin along with his brother and some neighborhood friends created a Hip-Hop group which was where he began to hone in on his talent. Creating a catalog of videos, cover art, websites, and more. It wasn’t long before many others took notice of his incredible skills and began to reach out to Devin for his services not only in music, but for his creativity with Digital art and Graphic Design.
As he began to evolve further into his career, he turned his freelance passive income stream into a profitable business (Sovex Studio). With a portfolio which includes cover art, video production, commercials, animation, websites, billboards, and more.
Creativity in the Arts is where Devin thrives. He has vision and a phenomenal imagination when it comes to executing the end result of any project. As head of Arts, Devin is responsible for the visual style and imagery of the artist, website, social media visuals, billboards, and more.
Ilyina Galina, Graphic Design & Retouch, Art Dept
Ilyina Galina was born in 1985, in the city of Rivne in western Ukraine. In school she distinguished herself by drawing and singing, participating in competitions and writing poetry. After graduating from school in 2003, she entered the Computer Academy Step in the field of design and graphics. After a year of study, she got a job in 2004 in a photo studio where she designed photo books and albums. In 2007 she opened a photo studio of her own in the city center. Working a lot as a designer and photographer, she developed and expanded her range of clients. But in 2010 she left the business to be able to spend more time with her two year-old daughter.
In 2012, Ilyina began volunteering at a local animal welfare organization. She still volunteers there to this day. She is a sweet, open, honest and sincere person who loves to help, and in her free time she enjoys drawing and preparing delicious dishes and sweets. She also helps her parents who are disabled. “When my mother was admitted to the intensive care unit in 2019 due to illness, I spent my life savings to help save her. I am happy that my mother is still alive. So 2020 was a huge test for me. But in 2021 I met Mr. Ashford, and I am happy to work with his team of talented people. “
As an artist in the Art Department, Ilyina edits artist photos and does design work as well. Each photo is done with love and from the love embedded in the soul. Retouching/editing for her is not just a vocation but something she genuinely loves and enjoys doing.