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Akon and Kedar Massenburg launch new label venture

By | Published on Wednesday 5 June 2019


Akon and his manager Kedar Massenburg have launched a new company called the Akonik Label Group. The new business houses no less than four record labels, each of which focuses on a different area of the world.

The Akonik label will work with artists from the US and Europe, while Akonda will focus on the Nigeria-born genre afrobeats, Ke Lo Ke on Latin America, and Jamakon on Caribbean artists. All four labels will be distributed globally by BMG.

“This is an idea I wanted to do in 2010”, Akon tells Billboard. “But at that time, the music business hadn’t matured and diversified the way it [now] has in terms of being open to new genre fusions and not [being] as compartmentalised. We just want to bring a fresh ear and build an artist-driven company where people can be as creative as they wish without someone telling them what they have to do”.

“Music is able to reach a global market with a touch of a button [now]”, adds Massenburg. “It’s ‘global idol’ now versus American Idol. And the public has become the A&R for labels. We’re giving people a chance in other parts of the world that might not be heard. It’s an exciting time as the music industry re-invents itself”.

Massenberg has previous label experience, having been President and CEO of Motown from 1997 to 2004. The new label venture with Akon is set to start releasing music in the next month.

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