Warner buys indie hip-hop label Monsp Records in Finland

Warner Music Group has made a significant acquisition in the Nordics, buying one of Finland’s largest indie labels, Monsp Records.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, comes in a two-year period which has seen WMG buy Netherlands-based Spinnin’ Records in a $100m-plus deal (in September 2017), as well as European online retailer EMP for $180m (in October 2018).

In another major international indie label coup, WMG inked a partnership with Nigeria’s Chocolate City earlier this year.

Helsinki-based Monsp, which specializes in rap and hip-hop, was founded in 1997 and has been home to successful domestic artists including chart-topping duo JVG (pictured), rap band Gasellit, rapper Pyhimys ‘The Saint,’ and rap-fusion band Atomirotta.

The label has also recorded Reino Nordin, Notkea Rotta, Ruger Hauer, Teflon Brothers, Seksikäs-Suklaa, Ruudolf, Karri Koira, Steen1, and others.

Following the WMG buyout, Monsp founder Keijo Kiiskinen will continue in his role as CEO and will work closely with the team at Warner Music Finland to grow and develop the label’s roster of artists.

In 2011, Monsp Records was honoured by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for its substantial contribution to the arts and culture of the country.

Mark Fry, Managing Director, Warner Music Finland, said: “Over the past two decades, Monsp has released some of the most important and influential music on the Finnish scene.

“We’re all looking forward to working with Keijo and his team to build on the strong foundation that they’ve laid, and we’re happy to welcome Monsp and their incredible artists into Warner Music’s global family.”

Jonas Siljemark, Warner Music’s long-time President of the Nordics, is believed to have okay’d the Monsp acquisition.

Keijo Kiiskinen said: “Warner Music Finland is the perfect partner for this exciting new chapter in Monsp Records’ story. I’ve long admired Warner’s passionate support for original and innovative talent, and this relationship will allow us to achieve more than ever before for our artists. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Monsp’s related businesses and partner companies include: labels Lihamyrsky, Katakombi, and Överdog; music retailer Katin Tavara; booking agency All Day; and digital music distributor Musiikindigitaalinenjakelu.fi. These are not part of the Recorded Music deal with Warner Music Finland.Music Business Worldwide

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