Move is the latest development in the global music company’s activity in West Africa
Joeboy, the 26-year-old Nigerian singer-songwriter who has generated more than two billion streams in the last five years, has launched Young Legend, his own record label dedicated to giving a platform to the next generation of stars. The new label will partner with Warner Music, which will globally distribute music from the artists on its roster.
The partnership between Warner Music and Young Legend will be cemented over the coming weeks with a series of music camps to be held in Lagos, London and Los Angeles. The aim is to start releasing new music from the Young Legend roster within the next few months.
Joeboy is the stage name of Joseph Akinfenwa-Donus. He will act as the CEO of Young Legend, working with Deola Jaiyesimi, who is Head of Label, and Teniola Akanni, who is Head of Legal.
Akinfenwa-Donus has been a phenomenon in the music industry since he launched his career in 2017, when he was signed to Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa record label. Hits such as ‘Baby’, ‘Beginning’, ‘Call’, ‘Duffel Bag’, ‘Fààjí’ and ‘Sip (Alcohol)’ have each racked up tens of millions of views, while his albums Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic and Body & Soul have received widespread critical acclaim.
Warner Music has been increasingly active in Western Africa, working closely with independent Nigerian label Chocolate City; acquiring leading pan-African music company Africori; and enjoying international success with Nigerian artists such as Burna Boy and CKay.
Joeboy says: “I’ve been blessed in my work so far and I want to give back to the artistic community by scouting, nurturing and promoting the next generation of talent. Music today can quickly connect with fans around the world, so it makes sense to work with a global partner that can help me build my artists’ international careers.”
Temi Adeniji, Managing Director, Warner Music Africa, adds: “Joeboy is an incredible talent who has won over millions of fans. He’s also got a keen ear for talent and is well positioned to build a label that’ll take an innovative and unorthodox approach to discovering and supporting artists. There is going to be a lot of incredible music from Young Legend artists in the next couple of years.”
Alfonso Perez-Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Music, concludes: “I’m delighted Joeboy has agreed to work with us and has a strong vision for taking his artists global from day one. Western Africa is pivotal to Warner Music’s emerging markets growth story. We know the right approach is to work with local partners, such as Joeboy, who have a real feel for the various music scenes and can help us find artists and music that we can export from the continent to the rest of the world.”