Pugh Launches EPM
Although, he’s now one of gospel music’s Top Ten artists, Earnest Pugh, was largely unknown when he stepped out in faith and opened his own EPM Music label in April 2005. He knew that he had a vocal talent but he was either rejected by major record labels or insulted by the deals they offered. His late mother, Ms. Lillie Pearl Whitmore, had often suggested that Pugh open his own label and he finally heeded her advice to launch EPM Music.
He partnered with songwriter Keith Williams and they consolidated their resources (savings, investments and a few credit cards) to fund Pugh’s first live CD recording, “A Worshipper’s Perspective,” in 2006. It was released nationally via a joint venture deal with Crystal Rose Records where it earned two gospel radio hits with the songs “Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up” and “Just For Who You Are.”
After EPM’s distribution deal with Crystal Rose ended, the firm partnered with Blacksmoke Music Worldwide to release the CD, “Live: Rain On Us.” Produced by Michael Bereal, the CD featured gospel greats Richard Smallwood and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The CD debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and the title song pushed Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” out of the top slot on the Hot Gospel Songs chart and held the position for six weeks. The CD ranked #6 on Billboard’s 2010 Year-End Chart and led to high-profile performances for Pugh on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” and TBN’s “Praise The Lord” programs.
In 2011, EPM enjoyed new heights of success as EPM’s third CD release, “Earnestly Yours,” debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and produced the chart topping radio smash, “I Need Your Glory.” The label’s biggest CD yet, it led to Pugh’s first ever Stellar Award nominations and a jam packed concert calendar. “I have always had a passion for helping people get where they need to be in whatever way I can,” Pugh says. “When I see unsigned artists struggle to get their music/ministry exposed, my heart goes out to them. It reminds me of all that I endured to get to where I am as an artist. To me it’s all about getting the word out because in bad times people need good news.”
EPM General Manager, Scott Cameron, says, “Pugh’s label is posed to take the industry by storm. His cuttingedge staff and roster is unique, diverse and completely artist-centric.” EPM is an artist-centric entertainment company that will embrace new technologies and business models while serving up the best content to the Gospel community. Our goal is to be the vehicle for artists to reach fans, churches and the community at large with their message.