SoundCloud Announces JV Label With Kei Henderson’s Third & Hayden ‘Creative Incubation Hub,’ Reveals Initial Signings

Third & Hayden founder Kei Henderson, whose company has finalized a JV agreement with SoundCloud. Photo Credit: SoundCloud

Nearly 10 months after inking a talent-discovery deal with Solid Foundation Management, SoundCloud has officially formed a joint-venture label with Kei Henderson’s Third & Hayden “to develop the next generation of artists.”

Berlin-headquartered SoundCloud unveiled its partnership with Atlanta-based Third & Hayden (and specifically the label arm of the “creative incubation hub,” once again) today, via a formal release that was emailed to DMN.

Former 21 Savage manager Kei Henderson founded Third & Hayden (previously Governed By Loyalty) back in 2007, according to her LinkedIn profile, and is a co-founder of SinceThe80s, a joint venture with Universal Music’s Motown.

But after departing SinceThe80s in 2021, Henderson that same year established Third & Hayden as the previously noted “creative incubation hub,” per SoundCloud’s announcement message. And SoundCloud, which rolled out an artist platform in October, is now expected to provide “robust resources” including A&R, marketing, distribution, and PR for the label component of Third & Hayden.

Also under the tie-up, SoundCloud and Third & Hayden are poised “to develop the next generation of artists,” according to the involved parties, while simultaneously enabling the music professionals at hand “to remain fully independent and keep ownership of their own masters.”

Moving forward, Third & Hayden (seemingly referring to the namesake label as well as the entity’s publishing division and management firm) is set to operate out of BNDWTH Studios. The latter is described on its website as “a private music facility in Atlanta that houses 3 recording studios, a content studio and event space.”

Lastly, regarding the multifaceted pact’s details, Third & Hayden’s label has revealed Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jordan Hawkins and Atlanta-based rapper Key! as its first signings. Meanwhile, the management side of the operation currently counts as clients Ben Reilly, Asiahn, Kenneth Whalum, Annahstasia, and Nutso Thugn.

Addressing the SoundCloud JV in a statement, Kei Henderson (who’s a consultant and strategic advisor for beatBread) made clear her goal of helping indie artists record significant professional accomplishments in the approaching years. 

“We want artists to find success as independents to set the foundation for long-term careers and move through their careers with leverage, and creative control,” Henderson said in part. “SoundCloud is typically one of the first touch points for indie artists and I feel a great part of my career has been brand building with artists from day zero – for this reason they’re the best partner for what we’re building. We’re being intentional on ground up development.”

Back in May, SoundCloud acquired AI-powered Musiio “to identify what’s next in music trends and talent,” and October saw the music-sharing service announce a partnership with credits and collaboration platform Session.