Kenya Barris is looking to infiltrate the music world with Khalabo Music, the TV and film producer’s new record label, launched in partnership with Interscope Records. Khalabo Music, an extension of Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society, will develop and cultivate fresh musical talent while also incorporating its acts and music into other arms of Barris’ creative empire. Having built a reputation as one of the most innovative minds in the entertainment industry, the black-ish creator is ready to make an impact on the music side of things with his new joint venture.
“Since the beginning, the goal at Khalabo has been to tell stories that reflect our culture with honesty, specificity and from a perspective that feels unique to a singular voice,” Barris explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “Similar to how we’ve approached our television and film content, my hope is that Khalabo Music becomes a place where artists are given the space to hone their talent while embracing the specificity and individuality of their voice and sound. I cannot think of a better partner than Interscope for this next chapter of Khalabo’s creative journey and am beyond excited to see what we are able to build together.”
Steve Berman, Vice Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, spoke on teaming up with Barris to help jumpstart Khalabo Music, as well as Interscope’s plans to assist Barris and his team in bringing their ideas to life. “At Interscope, we are interested in teaming up with creators who move culture and Kenya has created a body of work that is virtually unparalleled in that regard,” Berman said in a statement. “We are thrilled that he has chosen to partner with us on the musical expression of his vision through his Khalabo Music label and are excited to collaborate with him and his team to introduce new artists and soundtrack projects to the world.”
Barris, who upped his public profile with his starring role in the Netflix series #BlackAF, has been one busy man. Recently parting ways with Netflix, Barris has joined forces with BET and ViacomCBS to build BET Studios, a partnership with stipulations that allow him to pursue business opportunities outside of the ViacomCBS umbrella. In addition, Barris has signed on with Audible for a podcasting deal, has a book deal with Random House, and recently inked a first-look film agreement with Paramount, which will all be cross-pollinated as Barris looks to utilize all sections of his business and brand. Working alongside Barris at Khalabo Music will be Director of Development and Operations Gabe Hilfer, a frequent collaborator and independent music supervisor who’s worked on films like If Beale Street Could Talk, Creed, and Crazy Rich Asians, and General Manager Nicole Plantin, the former Senior VP of Rostrum Records.