Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Sony.

Tunji Balogun and Rochelle Balogun attend the Sony Music Entertainment 2020 Post-Grammy Reception.

Def Jam Announces Nigerian Chairman & CEO Tunji Balogun

File this in: Big Moves.

Tunji Balogun will become the CEO & Chairman of Def Jam Recordings, the home of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Big Sean, Justin Bieber and many more.

Universal Music Group announced last week that the Nigerian-born executive will be moving on from his position as Executive Vice President of A&R at RCA Records to start at his new position on January 1, 2022.

"I grew up on Def Jam's music – collecting, listening to and studying their albums and singles – those early moments as a young fan have had a lasting influence on who I am today," Tunji mentions. "Def Jam remains one of music's most iconic brands and has always represented forward-thinking artists and partners that continue to shift ideas and impact culture around the world. I'm honored to lead Def Jam into its next chapter and thank Lucian and Jeff for their support and this incredible opportunity."

Tunji started his career as a marketing intern at Warner Brothers Records, where he was later hired as an assistant. He then became an A&R at Interscope before moving on to RCA as Executive Vice President in 2015.

Throughout that time, Tunji has worked with the likes of Wizkid, Bryson Tiller, H.E.R., Childish Gambino, Goldlink, Khalid, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and many more. In 2018, he launched the record label Keep Cool, who have Normani, Lucky Daye, VanJess, and Freddie Gibbs & Madlib on their roster.

Tunji will be taking over at Def Jam from interim chief Jeff Harleston and past CEO Paul Rosenberg.

"Tunji is part of a new wave of dynamic executives who view today's artists and music through a unique creative lens," says UMG Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. "Not only does he bring a deep understanding and respect for the cultural significance of what Def Jam has created over the past four decades, but he also sees the boundless potential of what Def Jam can be to a new generation of artists and fans."

We wish him all the best in this incredible new position!


Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.

Tems is striking while the iron's hot and sharing her new 5-song EP, If Orange Was A Place.

The new release comes a few days after she dropped its lead single, "Crazy Tings," an addictive and bounce-heavy track produced by Ghanaian beatmaker GuiltyBeatz.

If Orange Was A Place also features a single guest appearance from American singer Brent Faiyaz — who lends his vocals to "Found" — and production from Jonah Christian. It was mixed and mastered by Spax.

The new EP comes alongside the news that Tems has signed to Since '93/RCA Records and been announced as Apple Music's latest Up Next artist.

Tems has been a highly-buzzing name in the last month with her feature on Drake's Certified Lover Boy, in which she appears on the song "Fountains," and for the massive popularity of her single alongside Wizkid, "Essence," which recently got a Justin Bieber remix.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Liya Wants to Stand Out

The rising Nigerian artist, who has been crowned the 'First Lady' of Davido's DMW label, tells us about how her life has changed and details her new Alari EP.