Record company founded on t-shirt sales

How fun would it be to own your own record company? Brian Perera, a kid from Westchester, had a lot of good ideas and built Cleopatra Records from the ground up.

The independent record company was founded in 1992 with money he'd earned selling band t-shirts for merchandise. He started making band t-shirts and was there as heavy metal hit the Sunset Strip. Bands like Guns 'n Roses were still little known. Perera tells the story of Slash working at a newspaper stand and bringing over his band artwork.

Now, Cleopatra licenses, distributes and markets music from all genres. His roster has everything from rap like DMX and Onyx, to Judy Collins, to William Shatner, to B.B. King.

It's about timing too. Vinyl is now very in, and Cleopatra Records has quite a collection. Think back though to a time when everyone had cassettes. When they went out, Perera was there when bands suddenly wanted CDs!

Perera is now into movies. His first, Alleluia, The Devils Carnival.

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