TOKO (CelebrityAccess) — Warner Music Japan has launched +809 (pronounced ‘plus eight-oh-nine’) a new urban label for the Japanese market.
The label will be focused on discovering and developing urban artists from Japan’s growing scene, and helping those artists reach a wider audience through the label group’s global footprint.
The first artist signed to the new label is Fleur, a 23-year-old performer from Kyoto. His debut EP dropped in June and quickly ran up to Number 3 on the local iTunes R&B chart and he was chosen as ‘New Artist of the Week’ and were playlisted on Spotify’s ‘Tokyo Rising’
His collaborators include up-and-coming producers such as Monbee of the Japanese hip-hop collective BCDMG and Fleur’s first single “Ding Dong (feat. A.G.O.) via +809 was created with Tokyo-based producer A.G.O. and LA-based hip-hop crew Cirrrcle.
While hip hop might seem like a strange fit for Japan, its roots stretch back to the 80s and the country has produced artists such as Shing02 (Shingo Annen) and the late Jun “Nujabes” Seba.
In recent years, the music has grown in popularity, moving beyond a niche as artists develop unique, homegrown styles, and address issues relevant to their fans.
“I’m incredibly proud we’re launching +809 and believe it’ll help break down barriers and enable Japanese artists to succeed in the global streaming market. I want it to become our country’s leading urban label and showcase the future of Japanese urban music to the world. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to launch the label with a track from such brilliant talents as FLEUR and A.G.O,” said Kaz Kobayashi, President and CEO, Warner Music Japan.