Universal Launches New Label, Red Records
Universal Music Group has partnered with travel giant AirAsia Group to launch a new label called Red Records.
The label, which will be based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles, will be led by Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group and a former UMG exec, who will take on the role of CEO of Red Records.
Under the terms of the deal, UMG will handle artist development, distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services, while AirAsia will handle regional and global marketing.
According to a joint press statement, Red Records plans to focus on “discovering and developing talent from Southeast Asia and throughout the wider continent” and forming “a clear and unique sound” that reflects the region’s “diverse and rich musical culture.”
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 revolutionized 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 revolutionize the future of Asian pop culture and give it the world wide stage it deserves in conjunction with Universal Music to launch Red Records.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, added: “I am delighted to announce the launch of Red Records 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 Red Records 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 Red Records, added: “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 signing is Thai singer, songwriter, influencer, gamer and actor Jannine Weigel.