LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Warner Records has entered into a joint venture with Masked Records, a new label formed by hip-hop entrepreneur Roger Gengo, founder of the highly influential Masked Gorilla website and UNMASKED concert series.
Gengo, who is credited with founding and incubating “Soundcloud Rap,” established Masked Gorilla when he was just 17 years old. It quickly became one of the preeminent hip-hop taste-making sites and a go-to sources for introducing underground artists, and was one of the first media outlets to cover the likes of Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, Lil Yachty, Lil Peep, $uicideboy$, and YBN Nahmir, and numerous others.
Commenting on the partnership, Warner Records Co-Chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck said: “We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Roger to launch Masked Records. What he’s done as a young entrepreneur over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing – literally redefining the hip-hop landscape, time and time again identifying groundbreaking artists while they were still way under the radar. And that’s what real A&R is all about – great ears, impeccable taste, and the discovery and nurturing of original talent. We’re looking forward to giving Roger and Masked the platform and resources to grow organically and create culture-shifting music.”
Gengo added: “For the past 10 years I’ve dedicated my life to discovering and sharing new artists through Masked Gorilla and UNMASKED. Over the years I’ve been able to establish incredible relationships with artists by not asking how I could benefit, but instead asking how I could be of service. As my insight grew, my drive to help and influence artists’ careers in a more major way grew as well. It’s always been my dream to not only service these artists in a more major way with a record label, but to do it in partnership with a company that has the vision, integrity, and progressive environment to best serve the artists who have trusted us with their music. And I know I’ve found that with Aaron, Max Lousada, Tom Corson, Jeff Sosnow and the whole team at Warner. They truly believe in me as much as I believe in these artists, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The label’s first signing is breakout artist 2KBABY, who has garnered over 2.5 million streams for his debut track, “Old Streets.”