10K Projects will become a standalone label within the WMG ecosystem, bringing its roster and team into the WMG fold.
It is understood that Warner will own slightly north of 50% of 10K Projects as a result of the deal, with Grainge maintaining nearly half of the company.
According to a press release announcing the deal, “as 10K Projects continues to grow, the label and its artists will benefit from WMG’s investment, expertise, and global infrastructure, including via support from ADA”.
Grainge will remain CEO of 10K Projects, leading the company along with Co-Presidents Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo.
Grainge will also join WMG’s global leadership team.
10K Projects is home to stars such as Trippie Redd, who WMG notes has, “in just five years has scored eight Top 5 albums and mixtapes”; Iann Dior, who spent eight weeks at No. 1 with the hit Mood; and Internet Money, whose multi-platinum Lemonade boasts more than one billion Spotify streams and charted in over 25 countries.
10K Projects also launched the career of hip-hop star Ice Spice, who it is confirmed will continue to record for 10K Projects/Capitol Records (therefore that artist agreement is outside of the WMG deal).
10K Projects’ artist roster includes established superstars and fast-rising names, from rap star 6ix9ine to viral pop duo Surfaces, as well as talent like Aitch, YTB Fatt, SXMPRA, COIN, and more.
Grainge was also behind the signing of XXXTENTACION in 2016. WMG notes in the announcement that “In just seven years, 10K Projects’ team of expert digital marketers has been behind countless commercial and cultural hits, including over 30 platinum-certified singles”.
In 2022, Grainge struck a deal to bring Homemade Projects – the label behind Gen Z talent including Surfaces, COIN, and Salem Ilese – into the fold.
Homemade also encompasses an influencer management company with a roster of 20 clients including Jake Shane, Larray and others, and a merchandise operation with clients, including Crime Junkie, Ali Wong, Emergency Intercom, Lala Kent, 100 gecs, Young the Giant, and others.
As part of the Homemade acquisition, the company’s co-founders Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo came on board as Co-Presidents of 10K Projects, overseeing A&R, marketing, publicity, and creative for the label.
“Joining Warner Music Group provides us with the backing, the collective expertise and vision to empower our artists and our employees on the next phase of our journey.”
Elliot Grainge, 10K
“Joining Warner Music Group provides us with the backing, the collective expertise and vision to empower our artists and our employees on the next phase of our journey,” said Elliot Grainge, Founder & CEO, 10K.
“Max and Robert have been making all the right moves to position WMG for the future in what I think is one of the most fertile and exciting growth periods for the global music business.
“They have also shown that they value the kind of independent spirit and commitment to artist development that has made 10K successful so far. I know I speak for Zach, Tony and the entire team when I say how excited we are to get started in our new home.”
“Elliot and 10K don’t just discover original talent, they understand how to ignite fandom and create fresh impact with each release.”
Max Lousada, WMG
Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, WMG, added: “Elliot and 10K don’t just discover original talent, they understand how to ignite fandom and create fresh impact with each release.
“It’s a label full of next generation possibilities – with its artists, its leader, and its team. As 10K joins our thriving network of independent music brands, we’re committed to giving it the freedom and backing to reach new heights.”
“We welcome 10K’s extraordinary artists, its talented founder Elliot, and his entrepreneurial team to WMG.”
Robert Kyncl, WMG
Robert Kyncl, CEO, WMG, said: “We welcome 10K’s extraordinary artists, its talented founder Elliot, and his entrepreneurial team to WMG. Together, we’ll grow our investment in artistry and accelerate the pace of our innovation.”Music Business Worldwide