Universal Music Group has partnered with AirAsia Group on a new record label.
The travel and lifestyle company and major have teamed up for RedRecords, which will focus on signing, developing and breaking new Asian artists and promoting ‘A-pop’ globally to new audiences throughout the region and around the world.
The two companies announced the partnership at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
RedRecords will focus on discovering and developing talent from Southeast Asia and throughout the wider continent. It will be based in Kuala Lumpur.
In addition to artist development and A&R, the label will provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services. RedRecords will be lead by Hassan Choudhury, head of music for AirAsia Group, who will take on the role of CEO of RedRecords.
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.”
Choudhury 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.”
At the press conference, the label announced the signing of Thai pop-artist and influencer Jannine Weigel as its first artist. Weigel has more than 600 million views and 3.3m followers on YouTube, in addition to 3.2m followers on Facebook, 1.5m on Instagram and more than 500,000 on TikTok.
Earlier this year, UMG announced a strategic expansion of operations within the region with the launch of a new regional headquarters in Singapore.