Def Jam Strikes Partnership With Native Records
Global record label Def Jam recordings have entered into an exclusive joint venture partnership with Lagos, Nigeria and UK-based Native Records
Def Jam Chairman/CEO Tunji Balogun made this announcement alongside Seni “Chubbz” Saraki and Teni “Teezee” Zaccheaus, co-presidents and co-founders of Native Networks.
Native Records is the music division of Native Networks, a black-owned and managed multi-platform, multi-disciplinary media and content company. The label is dedicated to finding and managing young African artists and youth culture through its print and digital magazine Native Mag, Nativeland festivals and much more. Saraki and Zaccheaus founded Native Networks in 2016 alongside Shola Fagbemi, Addy Edgal and Suleiman Shittu and since then have remained a driving force in the Afrobeats movement.
Balogun said, “As we build a culture here at Def Jam that connects the best in global black music diaspora – from hip hop, R&B, reggae, Afrobeats and more – clearly some of the best, most vital, interesting and cutting-edge new artists and sounds in music today are coming out of the continent.”
“Seni, Teni and the Native crew have their fingers on the pulse of what’s truly happening in the scene, as an engine for discovery and as a hub for creators and artists. I’ve been a fan of their platform and have been connected to the guys for some time. Our partnership feels authentic and natural, and I believe we’re going to discover and develop some amazing talent together.”
Saraki and Zaccheaus said, “We’ve known Tunji for quite a while now, and his ear & track record for breaking black artists from all over the world to a global audience is second to none.”
“We are honoured to be invited into his new home and to be the first joint venture deal with an African company in Def Jam’s legendary history. We truly believe that for music, the continent is the most exciting place in the world right now. We want Native Records to be about artistic freedom, and as a company, we’ve always been passionate about discovering and working with artists that don’t quite colour within the lines and helping them to express themselves and build community. Africa is not a monophonic continent, and we believe this partnership will prove just that.”