UK rap star KSI has launched his own label, Music Week can reveal.
The Online Takeover has been established in partnership with KSI’s manager and owner of Proper Loud Music, Mams Taylor.
KSI was the biggest breakthrough artist of 2020 with his debut album Dissimulation (BMG), which has sales to date of 88,209 according to the Official Charts Company. The UK rapper and YouTuber (real name Olajide ‘JJ’ Olatunji) has scored a run of hits, including the recent Craig David collaboration Really Love (No.3 peak, 299,688 sales) and his current Top 10 single with Anne-Marie and Digital Farm Animals, Don’t Play (No.2 peak, 125,313 sales)
The Online Takeover label is set to confirm its streaming distribution partner, while much of the work will be done in-house, drawing on the Proper Loud management set-up.
KSI announced the label in the new monthly edition of Music Week, in which he’s the subject of the inaugural Music Week Interview.
“I feel that people are praying for my downfall – that’s one of the reasons to create this label,” he told Music Week – a reference to his origins as a YouTube personality.
In today’s announcement about the label, KSI said: “TOT. The online takeover. Ya boy has created his own music label. Looking at my résumé, I’ve always been about making sure the people around me are eating good. So, I am proud to announce that Aiyana Lee is the first of the TOT gang and will be returning with another banger very soon.”
The first artist signed to the label is 19-year-old singer-songwriter Aiyana Lee, niece of David Ruffin from The Temptations and granddaughter of Motown legend Jimmy Ruffin. Aiyana-Lee has co-written and recorded with the likes of Swagg R’Celious, Jeff Gitty, Rio Jefferson and Prince Charlez. She appeared on KSI’s debut album, singing the hook of Killa Killa.
Aiyana Lee said: “Being the first artist on KSI’s label is so incredible and exciting, especially when he’s such a down to earth human being and inspiration to so many people including myself. Getting to work with someone like that, after years of also being a fan, is so much fun and extremely creative. I’ve been making music I’ve always wanted to make and exploring the inner depths of my sound. The new single on The Online Takeover is going to really showcase what I want to say through my music and set the tone for what I’m about artistically.
“We’ve crafted a world sonically, a place for me to really have the space to be able to sing and say what I’m feeling. I think this brings a new chapter for all of us and it’s a journey I’m extremely excited to be embarking on!”
Mams Taylor said: “I am honoured to be working so closely with someone I respect so much and have genuine love for. JJ has been an amazing client and I consider him family. We have a very honest and authentic relationship. We bounce ideas off each other all the time and brainstorm effectively, so it feels like a natural progressive step for us to unite our strengths together in merging this partnership. It's really cool and fun to successfully work with someone you really like as a human being and makes the victories taste that much sweeter. We have some great things in the works, and I can't wait for our ideas to come to fruition.”
He added: “Aiyana Lee is a global superstar and it's a matter of when and not if for her success as a chart-topping artist. We are really excited to have such a genuine talent to be our first signing. Big things are in the works for her and I can't wait for us to reveal our plans for her soon.”
To read the Music Week Interview with KSI, subscribers can click here.