RCA A&R Tunji Balogun has launched a JV label titled Keep Cool under the Sony imprint while being promoted to EVP of A&R.
Keep Cool was co-founded by Balogun alongside Right Hand Music Group founder Courtney Stewart, A&R Jon Tanners and marketing exec Jared Sherman.
As well as signing and developing artists under the new venture, Balogun will continue to sign and develop artists for RCA, where he was previously SVP of A&R.
He remains in the company’s West Coast office.
Artists Balogun has been instrumental in developing at RCA include Brockhampton, Khalid, SZA, Bryson Tiller, GoldLink, H.E.R. and Wizkid.
Normani, who Balogun first signed to RCA as part of her former group Fifth Harmony, is the first artist signing to Keep Cool (pictured).
“This is a natural progression for Tunji whose passion for music and dedication to his artists has led him to become a force and a leader in the music world.”
peter edge, rca records
RCA Chairman & CEO, Peter Edge said: “This is a natural progression for Tunji whose passion for music and dedication to his artists has led him to become a force and a leader in the music world.
“Tunji has an innate ability to identify an artist’s musical genius and understands the potential of their cultural impact.
“This is a well-deserved promotion and I am excited to see how Keep Cool will further enrich the musical culture at RCA at such an exciting time in the label’s journey.”
“Tunji has been ablaze since his first day at RCA. His hot streak has been nothing short of phenomenal. I can’t wait to watch him continue to shift pop culture in unexpected ways up ahead.”
keith naftaly, rca records
RCA’s Head of A&R, Keith Naftaly added: “Tunji has been ablaze since his first day at RCA. His hot streak has been nothing short of phenomenal.
“Factor in his impeccable taste, humble nature, and low-key finesse, and what you’ve got epitomizes the definition of a modern A&R star.
“I can’t wait to watch Tunji continue to shift pop culture in unexpected ways up ahead.”
Balogun commented: “RCA is a company that prioritizes artistry, creativity and long-term vision. I’m honored to be able to continue that legacy with the launch of Keep Cool.
“RCA is a company that prioritizes artistry, creativity and long-term vision. I’m honored to be able to continue that legacy with the launch of Keep Cool.”
“My passion is discovering and working with artists that are slightly left-of-center, and finding meaningful ways to organically build culture around them.
“Keep Cool will be a safe-haven for artists and creatives who want to do things differently.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to Peter Edge and Keith Naftaly for their guidance, and to the world-class staff at RCA for their support.
“I also must acknowledge all of the amazing artists and their teams for constantly inspiring me to work harder and dream bigger. I can’t wait to see what else we can do in the future.”
Prior to joining RCA Records in 2015, Balogun held A&R positions at Interscope Records, where he worked closely on and contributed to projects from Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, The Game, Keyshia Cole and OneRepublic.
While there, he worked with many artists signed through Interscope’s partnerships with Bad Boy Entertainment and Shady Records.
He also signed Atlanta rapper K Camp and brought LA rapper Cozz to J. Cole’s Dreamville joint venture.
Balogun began his career as a marketing intern at Warner Bros. Records, where he was hired as an assistant after graduating from Pomona College in 2004.
Pictured L-R: RCA Records’ co-president John Fleckenstein and exec. VP/head of A&R Keith Naftaly, Keep Cool’s Jared Sherman and Tunji Balogun, Normani, RCA chairman/CEO Peter Edge, Keep Cool’s Courtney Stewart and Jon Tanners; Normani manager Brandon Silverstein, founder/president of S10 Entertainment and RCA’s co-president Joe Riccitelli and senior VP/marketing Carolyn Williams Music Business Worldwide