Warner Music Group has formed a joint venture with 10K Projects, the Los Angeles-based label founded in 2016 by Elliot Grainge.
10K Projects becomes an independent label within the WMG ecosystem and brings its squad and team into the WMG group.
The deal is expected to give Warner just over a 50% stake in 10K Projects, with Grainge retaining almost half of the company.
MBW ranks this among WMG’s most significant frontline acquisitions since the company fully acquired 300 Entertainment for $400 million in cash, as confirmed in December 2021.
According to a press release announcing the deal, “As 10K Projects continues to grow, the label and its artists will benefit from WMG’s investment, expertise and global infrastructure, including through the support of ADA.”
Grainge remains CEO of 10K Projects, leading the company alongside co-presidents Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo.
Grainge will also join WMG’s global leadership team.
10K Projects is home to stars like Trippie Redd, who according to WMG “has released eight top five albums and mixtapes in just five years”; Iann Dior, who spent eight weeks at number 1 with the hit Mood; and Internet Money, which went multi-platinum lemonade has more than a billion Spotify streams and charts in over 25 countries.
10K Projects also launched the career of hip-hop star Ice Spice, who has been confirmed to continue recording for 10K Projects/Capitol Records (hence this artist deal is outside of the WMG deal).
The 10K Projects artist roster includes established superstars and fast-rising names, from rap star 6ix9ine to viral pop duo Surfaces, as well as talent like Aitch, YTB Fatt, SXMPRA, COIN and more.
Grainge was also behind the signing of XXXTENTACION in 2016. WMG notes in the announcement that “10K Projects’ team of experienced digital marketers has been behind countless commercial and cultural hits, including over 30 platinum-selling singles, in just seven years.” .
In 2022, Grainge struck a deal to bring Homemade Projects – the label behind Gen Z talent like Surfaces, COIN and Salem Ilese – on board.
Homemade also includes an influencer management firm with 20 clients including Jake Shane, Larray and others, and a merchandise operation with clients including Crime Junkie, Ali Wong, Emergency Intercom, Lala Kent, 100 gecs, Young the Giant and others.
As part of the Homemade acquisition, company co-founders Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo came on board as co-presidents of 10K Projects, overseeing the label’s A&R, marketing, advertising and creativity.
“Joining Warner Music Group provides us with the support, collective expertise and vision to empower our artists and staff on the next phase of our journey.”
Elliot Grainge, 10km
“Joining Warner Music Group provides us with the support, collective expertise and vision to support our artists and staff on the next phase of our journey,” said Elliot Grainge, Founder and CEO of 10K.
“Max and Robert have taken the right steps to position WMG in what I believe will be one of the most fruitful and exciting periods of growth for the global music business going forward.
“They have also shown they appreciate the independent spirit and commitment to artist development that has made 10K successful to date. I know I speak on behalf of Zach, Tony and the entire team when I say how excited we are to get started in our new home.”
“Elliot and 10K not only discover original talent, they also know how to ignite the fan base and create new impact with each release.”
Max Lousada, WMG
Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, WMG added, “Not only do Elliot and 10K discover original talent, they also know how to spark fan bases and create new 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 him the freedom and support to reach new heights.”
“We welcome the extraordinary artists of 10K, its talented founder Elliot and his team of entrepreneurs to WMG.”
Robert Kyncl, WMG
Robert Kyncl, CEO of WMG, said: “We welcome 10K’s extraordinary artists, its talented founder Elliot and his team of entrepreneurs to WMG. Together we will increase our investments in art and accelerate the pace of our innovations.”music business worldwide
https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/warner-music-group-strikes-joint-venture-with-elliot-grainges-10k-projects12/ Elliot Grainge joins Warner Music Group while 10K Projects forms a joint venture with WMG