Warner Records forms joint venture with music industry veteran Marc Byers’ label, Protect the Culture

Warner Records has formed a worldwide joint venture with Protect the Culture, a label founded by music industry veteran Marc Byers. 

As part of the collaboration, Byers will also serve as an A&R consultant for Warner Records, with a focus on the African music scene.

The first artist on the label is Lord Afrixana

Byers, who previously served as the general manager of Motown Records, brings a wealth of experience to the joint venture. He also serves as a strategic advisor at AMP Technologies.

Throughout his career, he has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx, Raven-Symoné, and producers Dre and Vidal, Rodney Jerkins, and Idris Elba. He also played a key role in the success of breakout afrobeats artist Pheelz.

Under the new venture, Byers will work closely with Steve Carless, President of A&R and Karen Kwak, EVP/Head of A&R.

“Marc has already proven to be an invaluable A&R resource with the signings of breakout Nigerian artist Pheelz and afro-fusion rising star Lord Afrixana. We’re confident it’s just the beginning of what’s to come from Marc and Protect the Culture,” said Carless.

“Aaron (Bay-Schuck), Tom (Corson), and the team are excited to be championing such inspiring young talent from the electrifying African and world music scenes with passionate entrepreneurs, and we’re looking forward to all we can accomplish together.”

Byers has also played a role in the establishment of Philly360.com from 2009 to 2011 through his consulting agreement with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). Byers guided the organization’s sponsorship of the annual event, The Roots Picnic.

In addition to his accomplishments in the music industry, Byers expanded his endeavors into the world of film production. He produced the 2012 feature film Black November, featuring actors such as Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Vivica A. Fox, Wyclef Jean, and Akon. 

To mark the launch of Protect the Culture’s joint venture with Warner Records, the companies will release Lord Afrixana’s afro-fusion single No Dey Tire, accompanied by a music video on Protect The Culture/Warner Records.

Lord Afrixana has co-written two songs for Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack, which earned him three Grammy nominations.

He has also collaborated with artists like Pharrell Williams, Bebe Rexha, Tiwa Savage, and has been featured on the season 2 soundtrack of the Epix original series Godfather of Harlem alongside DDG with No Favors and the season 3 soundtrack with Bad Guy. He also co-wrote the hit Showing Off Her Body by DaBaby & Davido.

The joint venture marks Warner Records’ latest following joint ventures with the likes of independent record label, Brownswood Recordings, and Second Estate Records, a label founded by A&R veteran and entrepreneur Mel Carter.

“I’m excited to bring Protect The Culture to Warner Records. I have a passion for this genre and feel it will be the Pop music of the world.”

Marc Byers, Protect the Culture

“I’m excited to bring Protect The Culture to Warner Records. I have a passion for this genre and feel it will be the Pop music of the world. Lord Afrixana is our first artist on the label and he’s incredibly talented,” Marc Byers, Protect the Culture.

“PTC wants to introduce more than just sounds coming out of Africa because Afrobeats is universal and incredibly diverse. I’d like to thank Aaron, Tom, Steve, and Karen for their trust in my vision.”Music Business Worldwide

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