Leading Malaysian indie label KRU Music has formed a strategic alliance with Warner Music and its independent artist and label service, ADA, to market and distribute its artists’ music across South East Asia and worldwide.
The label was founded in 1996 by the singer-songwriters from the band KRU and is the longest lasting and most successful artist-owned indie in Malaysia. KRU Music’s parent company is also home to a leading music publisher and talent management agency.
KRU Music has a diverse roster of artists, who perform in both English and Malay, including the likes of Fitri Hakim, Forteen, Hazury, Iqwan Alif, Jaclyn Victor, Mojo and Wings.
At a media conference to announce the deal, KRU Music also unveiled the latest additions to its roster including Dian Hashim, Fai Ramli, Fateh and Timur. The label said it intends to concentrate on dance, hip-hop, pop and R&B going forward, with other genres being catered for by new sub-labels.
Dato’ Norman Abdul Halim, president and CEO of KRU Music, said: “With video and music streaming contributing to the bulk of a music label’s income, independent labels’ and artists’ DIY model of self-distribution is not necessarily ideal. With this collaboration, KRU Music and our artists can leverage Warner’s size and strength to ensure our music will be more visible on hundreds of streaming platforms aiding its discovery by their users. This will give us more time and energy to focus on other aspects such as the songs, the videos and engaging with our fans.”
Chee Meng Tan, MD, ADA Asia, added: “I’m so excited to be partnering with Norman and the team at KRU. The label has consistently pushed boundaries in Malaysia and I know we can help its amazing artists connect with audiences across the region and around the world. There’s some great music in the pipeline and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
Darren Choy (pictured), MD of Warner Music Malaysia, said: “KRU Music is an iconic label helmed by a very visionary entrepreneur in Dato’ Norman Abdul Halim. I’ve witnessed how it has revolutionized the music industry with its innovative and significant releases from incredible acts. With the digitization of our business, our partnership has immense potential to reshape the Malaysian music industry. Our collaboration will go beyond just supporting releases to include many other projects and initiatives.”
ADA Asia launched in September 2020 as part of ADA Worldwide’s global expansion strategy. It recently inked a deal with DPM – Indonesia’s largest music company.
Last month, ADA Asia also announced the appointments of Chiou Rei Min as head of Greater China, Jin Hwang as head of Korea and Tan Wei Keng as director, business operations.