The label, called RedRecords, ultimately wants to elevate Asian pop (A-pop) throughout the region and globally by focusing on discovering and developing talent from South East Asia and throughout the wider continent to form a clear and unique sound that reflects the diverse and rich musical culture of the continent.
It will be based in both Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles and will combine UMG’s artist development with the low-cost airline's marketing capabilities to expand A-pop’s reach beyond national borders and languages to reach audiences around the world.
In addition to artist development and A&R (artists and repertoire), the label will provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services. RedRecords will be lead by Hassan Choudhury, head of music for AirAsia, who will take on the role of chief executive of RedRecords.
“This announcement is incredibly important to me. It appears life has come full circle for both myself and my AirAsia brothers, Kamarudin and Nadda, whom I met through our early days in music. We have already revolutionised air travel enabling everyone to fly and as we celebrate 18 years of operation for AirAsia - we are focused on transforming the airline into a global digital travel and lifestyle leader,” said Tony Fernandes, the chief executive of AirAsia.
“Now we are also heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the world wide stage it deserves in conjunction with Universal Music to launch RedRecords."
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group added: “I am delighted to announce the launch of RedRecords with Tony and his team at AirAsia. The worldwide success of Latin and K-Pop has demonstrated that in the streaming era there are no barriers to great music regardless of language.”
“Together with the combined strategic marketing reach and resources of AirAsia and UMG, we can provide Asian artists with an exciting opportunity to truly go global.”
This move by AirAsia is part of its efforts to become a one-stop platform for lifestyle and travel needs. It previously announced it will now allow rival airlines to advertise their prices on its platform.