Bio : Vitamin String Quartet
About Vitamin String Quartet
Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) is a creative team specializing in cutting-edge interpretations of popular music. VSQ features world-class string musicians, producers and arrangers, working in collaboration with the CMH Label Group, an independent record company based in Los Angeles.
VSQ has a passionate online following, achieving over 500 million streams and 3.8 million downloads, to date. Recordings by VSQ have appeared on multiple Billboard charts and are regularly featured in hit TV shows (HBO’s Westworld, Shameless, Modern Family). In addition to continued studio releases, VSQ perform special live events, including sold-out shows at LA’s The Troubadour and New York City’s City Winery.
Leo Flynn – VSQ Creative Director - CMH Label Group
CMH Label Group Brand Manager Leo Flynn draws on his experience as a musician to help guide marquee label series Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ).
Since joining CMH Label Group in 2006, Leo has helped oversee A&R, production, branding, and marketing for Vitamin String Quartet. While maintaining the prolific studio output that put VSQ on the map, he and the team brought the series to life on stage for the very first time in 2011—accompanying Thirty Seconds to Mars during their MTV Unplugged set. Other notable appearances have followed since, including Gossip Girl and at Spotify House at SxSW.
Leo proved instrumental to VSQ’s triumphant Troubadour show recalling, “We had to figure out how a string quartet could hold its own in such a historic rock setting. It was a daunting creative challenge. Ultimately, the night was a success. The performances and the response from the fans, who packed the room, were amazing.”
By 2017, VSQ’s influence has extended throughout music, film, and television, achieving sales of 3.8 million downloads, 1 million physical CDs, and averaging over 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. VSQ has garnered many high-profile syncs from HBO’s Westworld to ABC’s Modern Family. Along the way, Leo has spoken with the Los Angeles Times, Consequence of Sound, and more about the evolution of VSQ.
“What we do with VSQ has a long tradition in music history. Music evolves by mixing genres, instrumentation, and even audiences. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of that constant experimentation.”
As a musician, his perspective proves invaluable to CMH Label Group. Growing up in Southern New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia, some of Leo’s earliest memories include sitting on his dad’s bass amp during his dad’s band rehearsals. Leo picked up bass himself in the early 90’s, inspired by the likes of U2, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He also grew interested in composing and production, eventually gaining admission to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. Upon graduation, Leo headed west and took an internship working for composer Yuval Ron on the Academy® Award-winning short film West Bank Story. By 2006, he formally kicked off his career at CMH Label Group, working in sales.
Leo also contributes to another key CMH series, Rockabye Baby!, as an arranger and producer. He’s produced Rockabye Baby! lullaby tributes to Queen, Kanye West, Van Halen, and The Doors. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was included in Rockabye Baby’s Starbucks compilation which debuted at #111 on the Billboard Top 200.
“When I first got to Berklee, I noticed they posted the Billboard Top 200 and highlighted alumni who landed on the chart each week,” he recalls. “When the Starbucks Rockabye Baby! album charted, it was a proud, if not surreal, moment for me.”
Ultimately, Leo’s dedication to music is at the heart of each Vitamin String Quartet release. “We hope our music offers people an escape from their everyday, a chance to lose themselves in something beautiful and moving.”
These days, Leo resides in New Jersey with his wife and children, working remotely with the team and making periodic trips out west.
James Curtiss – VSQ Creative Director - CMH Label Group
CMH Label Group A&R and Project Director James Curtiss’ creative vision and deep knowledge of the musical landscape has helped shape the prolific Vitamin String Quartet series. James has led the charge on hundreds of VSQ album projects, curated Billboard-charting Record Store Day releases, played a vital role in live and on-screen performances, and helped implement VSQ’s signature line of sheet music. He even gave the project Vitamin String Quartet its name. VSQ Brand Manager Leo Flynn has said, “He’s a huge asset to VSQ. He informs it greatly because of his expansive knowledge of music, both historically and what’s going on today.”
Bringing Vitamin String Quartet to the stage for the first time, he helped shepherd the project’s live debut accompanying Thirty Seconds to Mars during their 2011 MTV Unplugged set. He also worked on the repertoire and on-screen appearance for VSQ in the fan-favorite Blair’s Wedding episode of Gossip Girl. He also helped develop crucial VSQ performances at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles and at The Spotify House at SxSW.
James has also facilitated the production of hundreds of other albums from genesis to release for the label, including some of the biggest successes for CMH’s successful series ROCKABYE BABY! and Pickin’ On Series. He was a leading part of the team that transitioned CMH Label Group’s catalog online in 2007. He also orchestrated a Violent Femmes cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and directed the output of heavy metal imprint Dwell Records.
Empowered by CMH Label Group’s diverse and dynamic aesthetic, he strived to deliver on all fronts. “There’s literally every genre at this company,” he says. “It galvanized me to look around and go, ‘You can do anything here.’”
The Southern California native grew up “a proud music geek” with tastes running the gamut from Metallica and Faith No More to musical theater. After graduating high school, he went from serving as a production assistant on a handful of independent films and TV series to becoming a buyer for an independent record store in his hometown of Whittier, CA.
“I decided I should completely invest myself in the music industry at that point,” he recalls. “Movies and music were my first and second loves, respectively. I was already working in music at that point, so I decided to take the next step.”
That next step brought him to CMH Label Group in June 2005 as an Online Marketing & Customer Service Representative. He spent three years at the label before a two-year stint at Southern Lord Records. Returning to CMH Label Group during 2010, he remains an integral component of the company’s DNA.
James still resides in Whittier. In addition to his work at CMH, he is a freelance writer for outlets like BlankTV and Blumhouse, and is the co-host and co-creator of the podcast At the Cheap Seats.