Universal Music Group has partnered with AirAsia Group to launch RedRecords, a new label which will sign new artists from Asia – with a mission to elevate ‘A-pop’ globally.
RedRecords will be based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles and will combine UMG’s chops in artist development with AirAsia’s regional and global marketing strength.
In addition to A&R, the label will provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services.
Red Records will be lead by Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group and a former UMG exec, who will take on the role of CEO of RedRecords.
AirAsia is a giant in its field: working across air transport, travel and lifestyle services, as well as financial services, it turned over more than $2.5bn last year (10.64bn RM), and has flown more than 600m guests in total.
Red Records was announced at a joint press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. In a press release, the companies said: “RedRecords will focus on discovering and developing talent from Southeast Asia and throughout the wider continent and form a clear and unique sound that reflects the diverse and rich musical culture of the continent.”
Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group said, “This announcement is incredibly important to me. It appears life has come full circle for both myself and my AirAsia brothers, Kamarudin and Nadda, whom I met through our early days in music.
“We have already revolutionised air travel enabling everyone to fly and as we celebrate 18 years of operation for AirAsia, we are focused on transforming the airline into a global digital travel and lifestyle leader. Now we are also heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the world wide stage it deserves in conjunction with Universal Music to launch RedRecords.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group said, “I am delighted to announce the launch of RedRecords with Tony and his team at AirAsia.
“The worldwide success of Latin and K-Pop has demonstrated that in the streaming era there are no barriers to great music regardless of language. Together with the combined strategic marketing reach and resources of AirAsia and UMG, we can provide Asian artists an exciting opportunity to truly go global.”
Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, Universal Music Group said, “We are excited to officially launch RedRecords today with AirAsia. Together we share a commitment to the long-term development and transformation of the music ecosystem within the region. A region filled with new talent that has the potential to reach almost 700 million people across Southeast Asia alone and where music is increasingly driven by a young, social and mobile-driven audience.
“Together we are confident that the team at RedRecords will help introduce A-pop to a new global audience, ready to embrace new talent from throughout Asia.”
Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group and CEO of RedRecords said, “This is an excellent opportunity to leverage of both AirAsia and UMG’s potential in a musical journey. Having worked for both of these incredible companies, witnessing first hand their enormous strengths in their respective industries, I aim to bring the creative forces of both teams together in order to help develop the undoubted music talent that lays here in Asia.”
Red Records’ first marquee signing is Thai star Jannine Weigel (pictured) – a singer, songwriter, influencer, gamer and actor who has released several singles and EPs and amassed a huge following on social media, with more than 600 million views and 3.3 million followers on YouTube, in addition to 3.2 million followers on Facebook, 1.5 million on Instagram and more than 500,000 on TikTok.
On signing to RedRecords, Jannine Weigel said, “I’m so proud to be the first artist to sign to RedRecords and to have the support of this amazing team helping to take my career to even greater heights. My fans are going to love all the incredible experiences that we have in store for them. I cannot wait for you to hear my new music.”
Earlier this year, UMG announced a strategic expansion of operations within the region with the launch of a new regional headquarters in Singapore. UMG says it is committed to growing the entire music ecosystem throughout Southeast Asia, extending its focus and commitment to local language and domestic repertoire.Music Business Worldwide