Sony and Tencent’s ‘East meets West’ label, Liquid State, ramps up A&R with R3HAB signing, new projects

Tencent Music Entertainment (and its majority parent, Tencent Holdings) has generated so many music industry headlines of late, it’s sometimes easy to forget that – thanks to a joint venture partnership with Sony Music – it’s also running a successful new record label.

TME and Sony have just celebrated the first 18 months of their JV record company, Liquid State, at the annual Music Matters conference in Singapore. Said celebration covered the announcement of a major new artist signing, as well as a fresh Asia-focused collaboration… and a smash hit which has surpassed the magic billion-stream milestone.

Active A&R at Hong Kong-headquartered Liquid State, it seems, is really starting to ramp up.

The big announcement from the label in Singapore this week was that it has signed Dutch-Moroccan DJ/producer R3HAB, and will work with the artist across the whole of Asia.

As a part of the new deal, R3HAB – real name Fadil El Ghoul – will be releasing a host of exclusive new tracks through Liquid State that focus on the Asia market, while licensing his 190 plus strong CYB3RPVNK track catalogue to the label for Mainland China.

“It is very special that R3HAB, who has already achieved so much as an artist, is joining Liquid State so that we can work together to capitalise on the amazing opportunities that are available throughout the Asia region.”

Denis Handlin, Sony Music

R3HAB has racked up more than 170m streams on Spotify so far, according to Kworb. (The artist, who has to date has released his music independently via Kobalt’s AWAL, has also just signed a label deal with Virgin Records Germany / Universal for the UK and Europe.)

Denis Handlin AO, Chairman and CEO of Australia and New Zealand and President of Asia, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “We are thrilled to welcome R3HAB to the Liquid State family.

“It is very special that R3HAB, who has already achieved so much as an artist, is joining Liquid State so that we can work together to capitalise on the amazing opportunities that are available throughout the Asia region. We look forward to continuing to build his career in this exciting part of the world.”

Andy Ng, Group Vice President, Tencent Music Entertainment, also said: “I’ve had the pleasure of seeing R3HAB come to China to perform on numerous occasions in the last year and he is an artist that fully appreciates and truly understands the Asian music landscape.

“Liquid State is committed to making R3HAB not only one of the biggest artists in China, but also across the whole Asia continent.”

Andy Ng, Tencent Music Entertainment

“Liquid State is committed to making R3HAB not only one of the biggest artists in China, but also across the whole Asia continent, and we already have some incredible projects in the works for him.”

R3HAB, who founded his own label, CYB3RPVNK, in 2016, has consistently ranked among the top names in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll year on year, placing at No.12 in the 2018 edition.


Liquid State also welcomed a number of other artists to Music Matters, including internationally-acclaimed singer, actor and TV personality, Nicholas Tse, plus the label’s very own regional artists, CORSAK, WUKONG and MISO.

The label was additionally represented at the event by multi-platinum selling Sony Music artist and Liquid State ‘ambassador’, Alan Walker.

Gunnar Greve, Managing Director of Liquid State said: “This is only the beginning for Liquid State and we are very pleased with the success of the label in such a short amount of time.

“There is still such an incredible amount of untapped talent across China and the Asia continent as a whole, who we hope to find, develop and take to the world. Looking ahead, expect more music, more artists joining the team and some really fun collaborations.”

“There is still such an incredible amount of untapped talent across China and the Asia continent as a whole, who we hope to find, develop and take to the world. Looking ahead, expect more music, more artists joining the team and some really fun collaborations.”

Gunnar Greve, Liquid State

Alan Walker and Nicholas Tse announced that they are working on a brand new collaboration that will fuse elements of electronic music with Tse’s rock background, and will be released later this year.

Alan Walker said, “Nicholas and I have been talking about a collaboration for nearly a year now, so we are delighted to announce that we are close to finishing something magic that brings together our two different music styles and cultures.”

Nicholas Tse added, “I am so excited to be able to collaborate with Alan on our upcoming music. This project combines influences from both of our rock and electronic backgrounds, and I am confident it is going to surprise a lot of people.”

Alan Walker has already released numerous collaborations on Liquid State with Chinese superstar, Lay Zhang, as well as with Norway-native K-391.

The Tse partnership, says Sony, is a further example of Walker being able to adapt his productions for Liquid State’s ‘East Meets West’ philosophy.


MISO, one of South Korea’s most promising DJs from DCTOM Entertainment, also arrived on stage with the news of a partnership that will see DCTOM and Liquid State team up on new releases and offline events for the Asia region.

Meanwhile, Liquid State artist, CORSAK, who was one of the first artists to be signed to and developed by the label, was presented with a plaque to commemorate 1 billion streams of his debut single, ‘Reverse’.

Released in July 2018, the single went viral earlier this year, peaking at #7 on QQ Music’s ‘Hot Chart’ as well as hitting the #1 spot on Douyin’s Viral Chart.

“To be able to say I have now achieved one billion streams on my first ever track is crazy.”

CORSAK

“To be able to say I have now achieved one billion streams on my first ever track is crazy. ‘Reverse’ is a song that will forever be close to my heart, and I want to thank my team at Liquid State for helping to take the song to the world,” said CORSAK.

Following last year’s sold-out event at Singapore’s Zouk, Liquid State’s offline event, Liquid Nights, returned on Wednesday evening (September 18) and featured performances from Alan Walker, R3HAB, CORSAK, WUKONG and MISO to a sold-out audience.

[Pictured, main, L-R: DJ MISO, Alan Walker, Nicholas Tse, Andy Ng (TME VP), R3HAB, Andrew Chan (Managing Director, Sony Music Entertainment China), CORSAK, WUKONG]Music Business Worldwide

Related Posts