UK rapper Central Cee has signed with Columbia Records as part of a joint venture with Sony Music UK.
Central Cee is performing at the upcoming Glastonbury Festival, the largest live music festival in the country. According to reports, the deal was led by Columbia Executive Vice President Bu Thiam with Central Cee’s manager, Bello. Terms of the deal were not announced publicly, but the joint venture nature suggests the Cench will retain ownership of his recordings.
The rapper has around 25 million monthly listeners on Spotify and his collab “Sprinter” with Dave is at the top of the UK singles chart for the third consecutive week. The duo racked up over nine million streams in a single week, beating out J Hus and Drake’s “Who Told You” and Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s “Miracle.” He’s also the first British rapper to hit the one billion streams achievement on Spotify, doing so in just a single year.
XXL unveiled its 2023 Freshman Class, of which Central Cee was a ‘central’ figure. A peek at the list of 12 rappers this year includes Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, Sleazy World Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine, DC The Don, Pi’erre Bourne (Producer).
The Cench was born Oakley Neil Caesar-Su and is only 25. He released his first tracks in 2014 with several EPs and singles dropped over the next handful of years. His first fill mixtape dropped in 2021 and was dubbed Wild West, quickly earning him the title of top-selling British debut project that year.
His 2022 single “Doja” has earned more than 450 million streams on Spotify. He’s also the recipient of three Brit Award noms including Best New Artist, best Song, and Best British Hip Hop, Rap, Grime Act. His first headlining North American tour got underway last fall, quickly followed by a profile from the New Yorker.