Owner and President
HitPlay Records was formed in 2008 by gold record producer and major label recording artist Phil Girlando.
Since the 1970’s Phil Girlando has ridden the roller coaster ride that is the music business. Over the years, he has proven himself a gifted multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music producer. He was a pioneer in the use of electric violin on rock music recordings, bringing his skills to many major label recording sessions. For over 20 years, Phil wrote, performed on and produced many national TV commercials for a variety of major brands. Phil is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Musicians Union 802 of New York. Currently, as Owner and President of HitPlay Records, his mission is to introduce talented, hard-working musicians to the public, and help grow their reputations and connections to both fans and music consumers.
Phil Girlando started out in a New Jersey band named Truth. He performed 6 nights a week and got used to the stage being his home. His musical prowess earned him the respect by many musicians and industry executives and opportunities soon opened up for him. Inevitably, Phil was signed to major labels including Roulette Records, Radio Atlantic, and then to the pinnacle of labels, Ahmet Ertegun’s, Atlantic Records.
The Truth album, released through Roulette Records, was recorded at Electric Ladyland and was produced by the legendary music producer and recording engineer, Ed Kramer, who is renowned for his work with Jimi Hendrix, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. Truth eventually broke apart and Phil was offered a solo deal and created his professional stage name of Phil Garland. His last full-length release on Atlantic Records was recorded at the Power Station and was produced by Steve Burgh who is known for his work with Billy Joel, Steve Forbert, and David Bromberg. Phil was being marketed as a combination of Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar (Mellencamp) and Bryan Adams and was seemingly on his way up. Unfortunately, due to key personnel changes at the top of these record labels, Phil never received the proper support necessary to break out as expected.
Phil was not discouraged and took advantage of his connections by venturing out on his own. He created KEE Management, a management and production company where he was the Music Supervisor. Through KEE, Phil assisted and guided the careers of many major label bands it represented. Phil became a known as an International Music Producer, working closely with bands from Europe including the 1st band from a Communist country (Poland) to get signed to a major label named, Lady Pank. It was through this company that Phil helped to launch the career of famed music business executive Tom Carrabba who became Executive Vice President and General Manager of Jive/Zomba Music Group (N SYNC, Britney Spears, R. Kelley, and Justin Timberlake).
Phil has shared the stage with Clarence Clemons, Vassar Clements, Papa John Creach, and Phoebe Snow. Throughout his gigging years with Truth and as a solo artist he was billed with several well known musicians and bands including Bob Seger, Weather Report, Renaissance, Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band and even KISS.
Phil Girlando is a “Musicians’ Musician” as he has the talent, respect and understanding of what it takes to make it in the music business. He learned early in his career to capitalize on his strengths in order to create the numerous opportunities that opened up for him. Phil intends to continue on his musical journey as a musician in his daughter’s band, The Elisa Girlando Band, and also as a co-writer and producer of “Family Roots Musician,” with Bobby Beetcut. As a music producer and as record label president, Phil wants to create avenues of opportunities for musicians to achieve success through his well-earned knowledge, guidance and support.