Warner Music Inks JV Deal With Elliot Grainge’s 10K Projects Amid ‘One of the Most Fertile and Exciting Growth Periods for the Global Music Business’

10k projects
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10k projects
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10K Projects founder Elliot Grainge, whose label has finalized a JV agreement with Warner Music. Photo Credit: WMG

Warner Music Group has officially rolled out a joint venture with Elliot Grainge-founded 10K Projects, which is now billed as “a standalone label within the WMG ecosystem.”

The Big Three label and seven-year-old 10K Projects formally unveiled their tie-up (and the addition of Grainge to WMG’s executive roster) today. Previously distributed via Universal Music Group’s Virgin – of course, Elliot Grainge’s father heads the overarching UMG – 10K has helped popularize acts including Trippie Redd, 6ix9ine, and Ice Spice.

Notwithstanding the newly inked JV pact, the latter rapper is poised to keep releasing projects via 10K and UMG’s Capitol, Warner Music made clear. But the rest of 10K’s “superstar roster,” including Iann Dior, Natalie Jane, and the Peach Tree Rascals, is set to become part of “the WMG fold.”

On the executive side, the aforementioned 29-year-old Grainge will remain 10K’s CEO, the involved parties indicated, with Homemade Projects co-founders Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo staying aboard as 10K co-presidents.

Addressing the union, WMG recorded music CEO Max Lousada said that his company intends to give 10K “the freedom and backing to reach new heights,” while WMG head Robert Kyncl communicated that the agreement will enable his business to “grow our investment in artistry and accelerate the pace of our innovation.”

And in remarks of his own, the younger Grainge expressed the belief that support from the ADA parent Warner Music will enable 10K to enter “the next phase of our journey.”

“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,” the Lionel Richie in-law Grainge proceeded in part. “They have also shown that they value the kind of independent spirit and commitment to artist development that has made 10K successful so far.”

Today’s 10K Projects deal represents the latest in a series of JV agreements for Warner Music, which in July partnered with former Motown exec Marc Byers to debut via Warner Records an Africa-focused label called Protect the Culture. Then, August saw Warner Records and its A&R president, Steve Carless, detail the arrival of their Defiant Records joint venture.

When the market closed today, shares in Warner Music Group (which posted relatively positive Q2 2023 financials) were worth $33.36 apiece, reflecting a roughly six percent falloff since the year’s start but an almost 25 percent hike from early September of 2022.