Warner Music Canada and Warner Music India launch the first-of-its-kind joint venture, launching 91 North Records to support artists of South Asian heritage.
Warner Music Canada and Warner Music India unite to launch 91 North Records, a new joint venture aimed at supporting artists of South Asian heritage. Helmed by artist and producer Ikwinder “Ikky” Singh (pictured left) as Creative Director, 91 North Records’ first signings are Karan Aujla (pictured center) and Jonita Gandhi (pictured right.)
Already making waves in the industry, Ikky racked up over two billion worldwide streams with hits like Shubh’s “Baller,” Diljit Dosanjh’s “Chauffeur,” and Sidhu Moose Wala’s “Bambiha Bole.” Ikky launched his own label, 4N Records, in partnership with Warner Music and Coalition Music in 2021.
Canadian-based Punjabi stars Karan Aujla and Jonita Gandhi are the first artists to sign under the newly-formed 91 North Records. Both artists will work closely with Ikky and A&R Director Charlie B.
Over the last five years, Karan has become one of the most prominent artists in the scene, with his first major hit, “Don’t Worry,” in 2018. He’s received nearly three billion views on YouTube and achieved over one billion audio streams with eight million followers across his social media channels. His latest album, “Making Memories,” dropped last Friday.
91 North Records references both countries in its name, with a nod to India’s country code and Canada’s geographical location, with a logo inspired by India’s national flower, the lotus. The label held a launch event at Warner Music Canada’s offices in Toronto on Tuesday, August 22.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the blending of Indian and Western sounds into culturally impactful, innovative music,” says Ikky. “91 North Records exists to elevate artists pursuing this fusion. Punjabi and South Asian music already compete worldwide, and I’m thrilled to collaborate with emerging talents, showcasing and amplifying what they have to offer. This is no experiment; it’s the future.”
“We’re so excited by the launch of 91 North Records. This venture not only celebrates the musical styles of artists with South Asian heritage but also leverages the market potential of uniting two distinct fan bases to bring this music to the global stage,” adds Jay Mehta, Managing Director at Warner Music India. “This is certainly going to be a game-changer initiative for artists who will now have global support from A&R, marketing, collaborations, and more.”
“91 North Records is dedicated to celebrating and amplifying Indian culture. There is an incredible new generation of talent rising, influenced by their South Asian heritage, and we want to make sure these artists are represented both here and around the world,” says Kristen Burke, President of Warner Music Canada. “This new venture allows artists to be truly authentic, and our global network gives us the opportunity to showcase their culture on a global stage.”
Alfonso Perez-Soto, President of Emerging Markets at Warner Music, concludes: “Punjabi music is currently going through a vibrant evolution, having been supported by multicultural Canada, (and) is now transforming from a regional and diaspora-based genre into a global force. This growth is thanks to exceptional production and artistry from the likes of Ikky and the ambition and understanding from Jay, Kristen, and the teams at WM India and WM Canada.
“91 North Records will act as the vital bridge between East and West, uniting talent, cultures, and ideas and cementing a movement that is here to stay. At Warner Music, we will continue to champion initiatives like this for the love of music, artists, and fans alike.”
Almost 2.6 million people of South Asian heritage live in Canada, and a new generation of artists from these communities is starting to significantly impact the music scene in the country and internationally. A robust musical connection exists between the South Asian diaspora in Canada and the subcontinent: three of the Top 10 tracks in India in 2022 were by Punjabi-Canadian artists, according to data from IFPI.