Def Jam Announces Nigerian Chairman & CEO Tunji Balogun
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!