Warner Music has announced a joint venture with 10K Projects, the US-based music company headed up by Elliot Grainge, son of Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge.
Under the new deal, 10K Projects - which has worked with artists like 6ix9ine, XXXTentacion, Aitch, Surfaces, SXMPRA and Ice Spice - will become a "standalone label within the Warner Music Group ecosystem". Meanwhile, Grainge himself will join the major's global leadership team.
In the past, 10K Projects has mainly worked in partnership with the major music company where there's that family connection. When Grainge launched 10K back in 2016, he had an alliance with Universal Music's Capitol Music Group, and the firm has since worked with the mega-major's Virgin Music division on many releases.
At least one Universal tie-up will remain. Yesterday's announcement stated that Ice Spice will continue to release music via 10K Projects/Capitol Records.
But, on a more general level, there will be one less Grainge involved in the operations of Universal Music. And, instead, a Grainge sitting on the leadership teams of two of the major music companies. I wonder if there's a cousin that Sony Music could recruit?
“Joining Warner Music Group provides us with the backing, the collective expertise and vision to empower our artists and our employees on the next phase of our journey”, says Elliot Grainge of the new deal.
Warner Music chief Robert Kyncl and the major's recorded music boss Max Lousada have, he goes on, "been making all the right moves to position WMG for the future in what I think is one of the most fertile and exciting growth periods for the global music business. They have also shown that they value the kind of independent spirit and commitment to artist development that has made 10K successful so far".
Grainge will continue to run 10K with Co-Presidents Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo, and all three of them - he concludes - are "excited to get started in our new home".
Lousada, meanwhile, states: “Elliot and 10K don't just discover original talent, they understand how to ignite fandom and create fresh impact with each release. It’s a label full of next generation possibilities - with its artists, its leader, and its team. As 10K joins our thriving network of independent music brands, we’re committed to giving it the freedom and backing to reach new heights".