Warner Music Czech Republic has renewed its partnership and invested in local hip-hop label, Mike Roft.
Local music stars Calin and D-Kop, and video director and graphic designer Radim Zboril, are shareholders in the company and will continue to lead Mike Roft as an independent label.
The new deal will see Warner Music become the sole distributor for all of Mike Roft’s roster, which includes Calin – described as “one of the biggest artists” in the Czech market.
Founded in 2018, Mike Roft has developed what WMG calls a “core roster of six culturally important and commercially successful artists”.
WMG says the label has also built a strong merch operation and has a growing presence in live event promotion.
Calin is currently seeing success in the Czech and Slovak charts thanks to a surprise collaboration album with the markets’ No.1 artist Viktor Sheen (whose last three albums were also distributed by Warner Music).
The album topped both territories’ charts and became the most streamed week one album ever in the Czech Republic, while the single Safir became the most streamed song in a single day on Spotify in the Czech Republic.
Calin previously broke Czech IFPI chart records when his single Hannah Montana spent 31 weeks at No.1, as well as spending 20 weeks at No.1 in Slovakia. His album Popstar also spent 16 weeks at the top of the Czech charts.
Mike Roft is also home to artists including Conspira, KOJO, Indigo, Metyou, Lajfr as well as STEIN27, who spent five weeks at No.1 in the Czech Republic with his album Teorie padu, and three weeks at No.1 with his single Habibi.
“I’m glad that we formed this partnership and now we can take our collaboration to a whole other level.”
D-Kop, Mike Roft
D-Kop, of Mike Roft said: “I’m glad that we formed this partnership and now we can take our collaboration to a whole other level.”
“By partnering with them, we’re tapping into their expertise, while giving their artists the opportunity to reach an audience on a global scale.”
Vladimir Kočandrle, Warner Music Czech Republic
Vladimir Kočandrle, Managing Director of Warner Music Czech Republic, added: “Mike Roft has built a culturally significant and respected brand, with a roster of artists who are leading the way in hip-hop in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“By partnering with them, we’re tapping into their expertise, while giving their artists the opportunity to reach an audience on a global scale. We’ve already enjoyed huge recent success with Calin and Viktor Sheen’s ground-breaking album and I’m looking forward to replicating such results as we move forward.”
“The Eastern European market continues to be a priority for us and by partnering with Mike Roft we are putting ourselves in pole position across the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”
Alfonso Perez-Soto, WMG
Alfonso Perez-Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Recorded Music, WMG, said: “The Eastern European market continues to be a priority for us and by partnering with Mike Roft we are putting ourselves in pole position across the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“Not only are we partnering with incredible artists, but we’ll also be able to benefit from Mike Roft’s strong merch infrastructure and live events operations.”
This partnership is Warner Music’s latest move in Eastern Europe, which has grown its presence in the region with the appointment of Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska as General Manager of Warner Music South East Europe.
WMG has also acquired a stake in Serbian record label Mascom Records and Polish promoter Big Idea, partnered with Poland’s Step Records, as well as acquired Polskie Nagrania and Solvakia’s Opus Records.
Bartosz Szwoch was hired as CFO of Warner Music Eastern Europe in 2021.