Sondela Recordings has become independent from parent company Defected Records.
The label, which launched in January 2021, will now be managed solely by founder and A&R Louie Dunmore (pictured) as an independent entity.
Since inception with the backing of Defected Records, Sondela has championed emerging artists as well as established names in Afro house. It was nominated for Breakthrough Label by DJ Mag in 2022 and has been supported by the scene’s key tastemakers.
Effective from June 2023, all label operations will be overseen by Louie Dunmore. DJ and A&R Sef Kombo will continue with his work as a global champion for the sound.
Defected’s CEO Wez Saunders said: “We are very proud to have backed Sondela from inception and to have had a hand in the growth that Louie and his label have made in a few short years. We wish Louie all the very best as he takes Sondela to its next stage of development, and thank Sef (who we continue to work with at Defected) for his remarkable work thus far. I look forward to continuing in my role on the board of Bridges For Music, nurturing and giving young South African talent a global music platform.”
The exponential growth of African-influenced dance music is undeniable
Support from Defected for Bridges For Music, a non-profit organisation which runs initiatives such as The Bridges Academy in Langa, South Africa, will continue, with Saunders’ position on the board leading to further link-ups and fundraising.
“The exponential growth of African-influenced dance music is both undeniable and meritable,” said Louie Dunmore, Sondela founder & A&R. “I felt the time was right for Sondela to leave its comfort zone and learn from the first-hand, direct experience brought about by independence. We have a core roster of production and vocal talent, a 12-month release schedule mapped out, and a team with an insatiable appetite to learn.
“Being hands-on day-to-day will not only help our development but enhance our knowledge on how to succeed as an independent music company. We will continue to be activists for the African sound with an innovative approach and aim to be pillars of this forward-thinking musical style. I would like to sincerely thank Sef Kombo and everyone at Defected Records for their help and support in taking Sondela to this stage so far.”