MALAYSIA. AirAsia Group, whose business interests include the Malaysian low cost airline AirAsia and online retailer OurShop, has joined forces with Universal Music Group (UMG) to launch a new music label, RedRecords.

The partners said the new label will be focused on signing, developing and breaking new Asian artists and elevating ‘A-pop’ globally to new audiences. Its mission is to “form a clear and unique sound that reflects the diverse and rich musical culture” of Southeast Asia.

At the record label launch, left to right, are (third from left) Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group and CEO of RedRecords; Calvin Wong, CEO South East Asia and Senior Vice President, Asia – Universal Music Group; Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group; pop star Jannine Weigel; Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group; Kenny Ong, Managing Director of Universal Music Malaysia; and Nadda Buranasiri, CEO of AirAsia X Group

RedRecords will be based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles and will combine California-headquartered UMG’s considerable track record in artist development with AirAsia’s regional and global marketing strength to promote Asian music.

The label will also provide distribution and marketing, in addition to management and agency services.

“We are heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the worldwide stage it deserves.” – Tony Fernandes, CEO, AirAsia Group

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said: “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.”

He added: “Now we are also heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the worldwide stage it deserves in conjunction with Universal Music to launch RedRecords.”

Earlier this year, UMG announced a strategic expansion of operations within the Southeast Asia region with the opening of a new regional headquarters in Singapore.

First signing: Thai pop artist Jannine Weigel will be the first act to be promoted by RedRecords

Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said: “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 an exciting opportunity to truly go global.”

The label will be led by Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group, who takes on the role of CEO of RedRecords. He said the new venture is an “excellent opportunity to leverage of both AirAsia and UMG’s potential in a musical journey”.

He added: “Having worked for both of these incredible companies, witnessing first hand their enormous strengths in their respective industries, I aim to bring the creative forces of both teams together in order to help develop the undoubted music talent that lays here in Asia.”

At the launch, it was announced that RedRecords’ first signing is Thai pop artist and influencer Jannine Weigel. She a singer, songwriter, gamer and actor who has amassed more than 600 million views and 3.3 million followers on YouTube.