Goon Des Garcons is a Little Rock, Arkansas rapper known for his deeply original genre-bending style. He mixes several different genres, including hip hop and emo rock. He grew up in church, played the saxophone and began writing music in middle school. At 18, he left Arkansas and since then has lived in Baltimore, New York, New Zealand and now L.A. In his music, Goon gravitates toward spacey, deconstructed, melodic beats. Working closely with his longtime collaborator and fellow Arkansas native, Idle Kid, he explores a range that finds him riding beats with punctuated flow, clamoring through vocal distortion, and crooning against sparse, emo rock production.
Which artists inspires you the most?
Ye, P, Cud, FKA TWIGS. I try to make music that can span genres like all of them. They can make sense of anything and everything musically, and still all very much feel like their own style and vibe.
What led you to include the heavy industrial stylings your music is known for having?
Really Idle and Yeezus. I was always on the punk high energy vibe. Then I met Idle doing these super industrial beats that sounded like they were from the future and immediately knew this was the sound I was always running towards. Minimal and futuristic.
How would you best describe your music?
Hmm.. I dunno, that changes everyday really. I’ve honestly never had a proper answer for that but ima just say post-modern. That’s my shit right now haha.
What in real life inspires you the most?
Movies, Clothes, Art… shit, “outside” at this point. Last year was crazy what the f***.
Which artist would you like to collaborate with the most?
Ye, Pharrell, Cud, Twigs. My idols of course! I feel like we could make something crazy, but also just to learn from the greatest would be amazing.
One of your most recent singles is titled A24. Are you a major film buff?
Major haha. I went to vegas while LA was still on lockdown just to go to the movies.
Do you have any details about upcoming projects you’re able to share with us?
SHEESH!, should be out by the time this posts right? All the details anyone needs to know right now is all there 🙂
What’s it like releasing an album with a label as iconic as Def Jam?
Intense lol I love it. being in the same breath as so many of those legends is crazy for me. I’m just trying to get on that level. Inspiring.
Carly Gibert is a 19-year-old house, R&B, and pop music artist, who recently was signed to 10:22PM/Def Jam Recordings. The bi-lingual, Spanish born singer just released her groovy single, “Interstellar,” which reflects on her move from Spain to LA. The disco-inspired bop appears on NOW Volume 79, and can be listened to HERE. Gibert has been making music since the age of four, and her passion for creating is evident in all of her releases. We sat down with the rising house star to speak about the inspiration behind her latest release, her songwriting process, and whats to come next in 2021.
What inspired you to write “Interstellar?”
“Interstellar” is about trying to make someone care for you as much as you care for them. You would do anything for the other person, but they only think about what’s best for them. When I moved to LA from Spain–where I was born and raised–I kind of started a new life, it felt like living in another universe. “Interstellar” actually means “living between stars,” and that is how LA felt to me. It only took me moving to the other side of the planet to realize that I wasn’t taking care of myself. It also references the movie Interstellar (which is one of my favorite movies of all time) with its theme of leaving your life behind and starting over in an entirely different setting.
How would you describe the sound of “Interstellar” in three words?
Futuristic, disco and progress.
What musicians influence your music style the most?
Not specifically for this song, but I grew up with and have always been very inspired by Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Mac Miller and Tyler the Creator. I definitely grew up on house music as well, since my dad would play it at home all the time; and I think you can actually hear that on “Interstellar.” The song has a kind of house vibe to it.
What does your song writing process usually look like? Was this process the same for the writing of “Interstellar”?
I usually start off with one of the 100,000 notes on my phone. I write notes every single day–anywhere, anytime. You never know when the inspiration is going to hit, so this is how I keep track of my thoughts. When I find a lyric idea or a concept that resonates with how I’m feeling, I start writing random lines around it. At first, it honestly doesn’t make any sense and nothing rhymes. At that point, it’s all about placing the right lines in the right places and making them fit into a melody. This was also the writing process of “Interstellar.” I sometimes like to start with the melodies, though, and just build the lyrics based on the melody.
If you could design your dream music festival where you were the headlining act, who would you choose to perform alongside?
If we’re talking about VERY ambitious dreams, I would obviously say Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Kanye. Then, of course, Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, A$AP Rocky, Doja Cat, Audrey Nuna, SZA, BIA, Anderson .Paak, Rosalía, Saint Bodhi, Little Simz, Kali Uchis, Kaytranada, Rico Nasty, Tinashe, Ryan Beatty, Daniel Caesar, Miguel, Jorja Smith…there are too many great artists.
What has it been like being signed and working with 10:22PM/DefJam?
If someone told me 3 years ago that I would be working with the people I’m working with today, I wouldn’t believe them. The people I’ve met and am surrounded by are some of the people I look up to the most, and I’m so grateful for everyone who made it possible. I have a very close relationship with everyone on my team. I speak to my A&R literally every day, and I’m so lucky to be able to talk directly to the label if I ever need something. I’m super involved in all aspects of my career, so having a direct relationship with the label is very reassuring.
What is something about you or your music that fans might not expect?
I would definitely say singing in Spanish. It’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m so excited to do it. I don’t have any full songs in Spanish at the moment, but I do have some verses here and there. The next song I’m releasing actually includes Spanish verses. Growing up, I was very insecure about singing in Spanish because I thought my accent was weird. It didn’t flow as naturally as English did, even though Spanish is my first language. Through the years, I’ve been practicing improving my diction and I feel a lot more comfortable now. I guess I just had to make it my own and embrace the “Spanish person who can’t articulate Spanish” aspect of myself.
What is next to come from you in 2021?
I have two more songs that I really love coming out in the next couple of months. Hopefully an EP by the end of the year? (Nobody confirmed that—I just made it up—but I’m putting it out in the world). To be honest, all I want to do this year is release all the music I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. These songs are so special to me, and I can’t wait for everyone to listen to what I have to say.
Camino, an Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, is an inspirational, soulful pop and R&B powerhouse with his debut EP, Burning Fire, to be released on April 23. Burning Fireregales the tale of Camino’s past– both painful and joyous–as he struggled with homelessness after his move from Mississippi to Atlanta, followed his tenacious passion for music, and eventually landed an impressive record deal with Def Jam Recordings. Camino’s music is authentic, invigorating, and raw. Here at 360 Magazine, we sat down with Camino to discuss how he found inspiration to pursue music in his darkest moments, dream music collaborations, and the upcoming release of his full-length album.
1. What response are you anticipating when your EP, Burning Fire,drops?
Honestly, I don’t know. I obviously hope the response is amazing, but I honestly don’t know. I just hope people like it and find a way to connect to it.
2. How would you describe the sound of Burning Firein three words?
Cinematic, anthemic and vulnerable
3. Who was your biggest musical inspiration in writing Burning Fire?
My aunt and uncle inspired the song, and it is about them and their story. But musically, Imagine Dragons and Adele, most definitely.
4. What kept you going to pursue music when it may have felt like the odds were stacked against you?
God and faith. I know I’m meant to do music. It’s the only thing I’m good at and it’s the only thing that makes me truly happy–like truly to my core happy.
5. Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
Billie Eilish, Adele, Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi are all incredible. I’d love to collaborate with any of them.
6. Did your move from Mississippi to Atlanta influence the music you were listening to and drawing inspiration from?
Yes, absolutely. Coming from a small city like Jackson, Mississippi compared to Atlanta, Georgia was such a huge leap for me. It gave me more confidence to write the songs I wrote and instilled the passion in me to create the songs I did.
7. How are you feeling about already being signed such a notable label as Def Jam Recordings?Incredible. God is the greatest. Def Jam is home. They are incredible and provide every resource I need. Shoutout to my team I LOVE Y’ALL!
8. Looking ahead, do you have more plans for releasing any other music in 2021?
Yes, full-length album coming. That is my true masterpiece. Just stay tuned–I’m so excited to share with the world.
The Detroit Pistons announced hip-hop icon and Detroit-native Big Sean will become the organization’s Creative Director of Innovation. In this role, Big Sean will provide creative counsel and strategic guidance on a variety of Pistons off-the-court initiatives, including team merchandise design, in-game experience, co-branded community, and social responsibility activation, and more.
To kick off the partnership, Big Sean has added his Don Life logo to the Pistons practice jersey. Photos of the jerseys are attached.
“Sean is an accomplished artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Having spent time with him and his family I know how deeply he cares about the city of Detroit,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “We share a common desire to use the power of sports and entertainment to improve our community and make a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m excited to see what we can do working together.”
Central to the partnership, the Pistons and the Sean Anderson Foundation will work together and engage Detroiters through future community initiatives and programming. The six-time Grammy nominee will also curate music for Pistons in-game entertainment, including halftime performances and DJ playlists. Additionally, Big Sean will participate in creative sessions and spearhead collaborations with the Pistons design team to launch custom merchandise line extensions.
“It’s a dream come true and a real honor to get to work with the iconic Detroit Pistons,” said Big Sean. “I grew up in the city, which naturally made me a fan of the Bad Boys. I would later have a Grant Hill poster on my wall and then, against all odds, would watch the ’04 Pistons go on to win the Championship, inspiring the whole city of Detroit. I look forward to creatively finding new ways to contribute to their legacy and continue their dedication to the community through sports, art, and, of course, music.”
Detroit Pistons Chief Business Officer Mike Zavodsky lauded the addition of Big Sean and sees the partnership as a natural fit for the Pistons and their newly launched D-Up brand campaign.
“Big Sean embodies everything the Pistons organization and our D-Up campaign is about – creativity, hard work, and the people of Detroit,” said Zavodsky. “Big Sean and the Pistons are both a part of the fabric of Detroit, and we look forward to this partnership reflecting the culture of the city we both call home.”
Def Jam Recordings and Marvel Comics – two iconic brands who have left an indelible stamp on popular culture the world over – today announce a special collaboration designed to integrate the voices of young Black creatives with one of the most transformative characters and storylines in graphic arts history: Black Panther. Three of Def Jam’s rising stars – Saint Bodhi, Bobby Sessions, and Kaash Paige – will each contribute character-driven short stories in Black Panther #23, #24, and #25, the last three issues of the “Intergalactic Empire” saga from the acclaimed creative team featuring writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Daniel Acuna.
Black PIn celebration of Black History Month, arriving February 24th, Black Panther #23 will see buzzing South-Central-LA singer/songwriter Saint Bodhi share her take on Storm for an emotional story grounded in tragedy and acceptance. One month later in issue #24, Dallas-native, revolutionary rapper Bobby Sessions will tell a story about the King of Wakanda Black Panther himself. And in the series finale issue #25 in April, “Toxic R&B” breakout star Kaash Paige will forge a tale about Wakandan Princess Shuri and the power of knowledge. Aligned with the Def Jam Forward initiative to promote social, economic, and educational equality, each three-page story will also feature an exclusive one-page Def Jam artist profile.
“Bringing these two logos together was a dream,” said Def Jam partnerships consultant Jonathan Rheingold. “There was a mutual desire to unite these two great brands for a mission and a cause — leveraging Def Jam’s rising stars and the legendary Marvel characters to tell powerful stories that would make an emotional connection with fans of both cultures.”
Bodhi, Sessions and Paige are stepping into comics for the first time within these highly anticipated issues, but each of the Def Jam artists have a long-standing passion for Marvel and the world of comics and graphic arts in general. And like the inspirations behind their latest albums, the challenges faced by Marvel’s heroes are not so far removed from their own. “My album Mad World is a raw, honest, and very personal journey into my life and upbringing in South Central L.A.,” Saint Bodhi writes. “I grew up with a not-so-normal past. I say the things people are afraid to say. I let you experience the ‘mad world’ that is my life.”
Similarly, “Teenage Fever is my debut album and it was important for me to capture my last year of being a teen through my music,” says 20-year old Kaash. “This chapter of my life is coming to an end so I wanted to put all my experiences into a document that will live forever.”
“My album Manifest is a guide for people to transform into the greatest version of themselves,” Sessions concludes. “A body of work that will lead people to find their inner super hero!”
Bodhi, Sessions, and Paige will bring their short stories to life alongside some of Marvel’s most talented comic book writers and artists. Kicking off with her Storm story in Black Panther #23, Bodhi will be joined by co-writer Danny Lore, artist Alitha Martinez, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. Don’t miss this iconic new issue of Black Panther and Bodhi’s Marvel Comics debut, on stands in comic shops everywhere February 24th! As a bonus, Bodhi’s debut story will also be included in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1, a celebration of Black voices and artists, on sale the same day.
Over the next week, fans can tune in to Marvel’s podcasts on SiriusXM including This Week in Marvel, Women of Marvel, and Marvel’s Pull List to hear from these artists making their Marvel debuts. More information about Sessions and Paige’s stories will be released in the coming weeks.
About Def Jam Recordings
Founded in 1984, Def Jam Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City’s vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and the inimitable Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam’s music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand – synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity – encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like West, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Logic, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, Jeremih, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Dave East, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Today, Def Jam has reaffirmed its passion for and commitment to hip-hop culture, and has expanded its global brand reach to become the most-followed major label on all major social media platforms.
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.
Def Jam Forward is a task force committed to fostering a community that values, promotes and demands respect, freedom, equal opportunity and justice for Black lives.
Our goal is social, economic and educational equality for every Black person in our community, starting with our own artists, staff and colleagues. Our commitment to equality means we will examine and amend our internal practices, as well as support organizations on the frontlines of the fight for change.
As a company, we are uniquely positioned to be a thought leader within the music industry and the world at large. As members of this task force, and ambassadors of its message, it is imperative that we embody and implement a roadmap to lasting and meaningful change.
DaniLeigh drops fierce new single “Monique” from her upcoming album Movie via Def Jam Recordings. This hit single will also be featured in Finish Line’s new #SHOESOFRESH campaign. Listen to “Monique” HERE.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT DANILEIGH
“DaniLeigh Wants to Get You Out of Your Feelings and Onto the Dance Floor.” – Complex
“This is a fly girl who knows without a doubt that she’s fly, but doesn’t care if you agree.” – Refinery29
“She’s got the laid-back cool of an It Girl and the swagger of a rap star on stage, and her dance moves please crowds.” – Bazaar
“DaniLeigh represents a generation of talent who’s successfully harnessed the power, breadth and access that the Internet can offer.” – Flaunt
“Between Dani’s gift for lilting, swaggering raps and catchy, hypnotic hooks, The Plan is exactly the sort of project that becomes easy to revisit and repeat over and over.” – UPROXX
DaniLeigh is one of the most forward-thinking artists in the game” – HIGHSNOBIETY
With over 3 million Instagram followers and over 1 million YouTube subscribers, 25-year old Rolling Stone Breakthrough Artist DaniLeigh (born Danielle Curiel in Miami to Dominican parents) proves with every new release that she is a musical force to be reckoned with. She rose to prominence at age 18, when she was chosen by Prince to direct the video for “Breakfast Can Wait,” which led him to become her mentor. After signing with Def Jam in 2017, she released “Can’t Relate (featuring YBN, Nahmir, and YG). DaniLeigh’s debut EP Summer With Friends, (September 2017) contained “Lurkin’” (heard on Season 2 of the HBO series Insecure); and “All I Know” featuring Kes. Her Shiggy-created version of Drake’s #InMyFeelingsdance challenge went viral, raking in over 10 million Instagram views. Following her 2018 album, The Plan, DaniLeigh was on her way to over 1 billion combined global streams for her RIAA platinum smash singles “Lil Bebe” remix featuring Lil Baby (which marked her debut television performance on Seth Myers), and “Easy” remix featuring Chris Brown, which earned a 2019 BET Soul Train Award nomination for Best Dance Performance. After the October 2019 release of “Cravin'” featuring G-Eazy, DaniLeigh began to set her sights on the release of her second album. In the midst of the pandemic came two late-spring smash collabos, “Levi High” featuring Da Baby, followed quickly by the sizzling “Dominican Mami” featuring Fivio Foreign. DaniLeigh is a proud endorser of Foot Locker, Levi’s, PUMA, and Savage x Fenty.
Global multi-platinum rapper, Nasty C, releases the high energy track and hot visual, “PALM TREES,” the latest single from his forthcoming and highly anticipated album, “ZULU MAN WITH SOME POWER” to be released via Def Jam Recordings on August 28. “ZULU MAN WITH SOME POWER” is available for fans to pre-save now.
Quoted by Billboard as “South Africa’s best bet for a mainstream crossover,” Nasty C has been delivering hit after hit with “PALM TREES” being the next single solidifying him as a global sensation.
In July, Nasty C teamed up with DJ Whoo Kid to put together a mixtape for fans around the world. The musical masterpiece titled, “ZULU” features the hit track, “They Don’t” includes his first-ever collaboration with Tip “T.I.” Harris for “They Don’t,” a powerful track created by the rappers in the wake of global unrest over rampant police brutality and racial injustice. On June 23, Nasty C and T.I. joined Late Night with Seth Meyers for a virtual performance of the protest anthem.
For nearly a decade, Nasty C (Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo) has had a singular focus: to push the boundaries of his own potential. He has been pursuing his hip-hop dreams since childhood when, legend has it, he began rapping and learning to lay down tracks at age nine under the tutelage of his older brother. At just fifteen years of age, Nasty released his debut mixtape, One Kid, A Thousand Coffins (2012). He shot to stardom in 2014, with his boundary-breaking second mixtape, Price City, and “Juice Back,” a continent-wide instant classic smash. The “Juice Back” remix featured Nigerian muso, Davido and South African rapper Cassper Nyovest. This early success won Nasty C the Best Freshman prize at the highly competitive South African Hip-Hop Awards.
Nasty C’s popularity detonated with his 2016 debut album Bad Hair, which hit #1 on the iTunes local chart and was the country’s most-streamed album within 24 hours of release. Its re-release, Bad Hair Extensions featured French Montana. The seminal album earned him Nasty C four Metro FM Music Awards, a South African Music Award and a BET Awards nomination. The momentum surged with Strings And Bling in 2018, named one of South Africa’s greatest hip-hop albums by such influential local outlets as TimesLive and IOL. Nasty C was the only South African nominated for a BET Hip- Hop Award in the Best International Flow category in 2019, and was also nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award that year. Strings and Bling won him two South African Music Awards and two AFRIMMAs (All African Muzik Magazine Awards).
2 Chainz, the multi-platinum, Grammy Award®-winning MC returns with “Money Maker” feat. Lil Wayne, the first new single from his forthcoming sixth studio album via Def Jam Recordings. The song samples Louisiana’s HBCU Southern University world-renowned marching band, Human Jukebox, which are also featured in the artwork. 2 Chainz previewed the song last night during his Verzuz battle with Rick Ross where the King’s of the South celebrated their legacies and iconic catalogs. “Money Maker”is the first new music from 2 Chainz since his January single + video “Dead Man Walking” featuring Future.
2 Chainz’ most recent Def Jam album, Rap Or Go To The League (released March 2019), was described as his most personal, most lyrical, most soulful record to date. It challenged the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player. The album flipped that trope, celebrating themes of black excellence, the power of education, and entrepreneurship. A&R’d by LeBron James, Rap Or Go To The League spun off two smashes: the MTV VMA-nominated “Rule The World” featuring Ariana Grande, which boasts nearly 22 million YouTube views to date; and the RIAA platinum “Bigger Than You” featuring Drake and Quavo which has amassed over 62 million combined YouTube views to date.
Rap Or Go To The League was 2 Chainz’ first new studio album since Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, his RIAA gold #1 release of 2017. That LP netted over 2 billion streams after racking up three consecutive RIAA multi-platinum hits: “4 AM”featuring Travis Scott; “It’s A Vibe” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and Jhené Aiko; and “Good Drank” featuring Quavo and Gucci Mane.
In addition to music, his wildly popular tv show Most Expensivest on VICELAND wrapped up its third season in 2019 with 20 new episodes; view the series trailerHERE. His “Chain Reaction” sneaker collaboration with Versace hit stores in the spring 2018, and was their most popular shoe of the year. His cannabis brand, GAS Cannabis Co. is available throughout California HERE. And he starred with Adam Scott in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII Expensify tv spot, “the world’s first Super Bowl commercial you can expense.”
Following his run as a founding member of Def Jam duo Playaz Circle from his native Atlanta, 2 Chainz’ name was on everyone’s lips in 2012, when he stole a verse on “Mercy,” fellow Def Jam artist Kanye West/G.O.O.D. Music’s RIAA triple-platinum #1 R&B/#1 Rap hit (from Cruel Summer). In August 2012, Chainz arrived as a Def Jam solo artist with Based On A T.R.U. Story, his debut album. B.O.A.T.S. entered Soundscan at #1 and was certified RIAA gold. Its success was fueled by the RIAA platinum #1 “No Lie” featuring Drake, the double-platinum “Birthday Song” featuring Kanye West, and double-platinum “I’m Different.”“Mercy” was subsequently a Grammy® nominee for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, while B.O.A.T.S. was nominated for Best Rap Album. Chainz’ dominance was extended when the sequel, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Timeentered the Soundscan hip-hop chart at #1 in September 2013, and spun off the RIAA gold single, “Feds Watching” featuring Pharrell.
In 2016, Chainz brought it back to his essence with a series of mixtapes that dominated the streets: Felt Like Cappin, Daniel Son; Necklace Don, and Hibachi For Lunch. Also in 2016, he released the lauded collaborative album ColleGrove with New Orleans hip-hop luminary Lil Wayne. Critics agreed that 2 Chainz conquered 2016, with the New York Times proclaiming “all hail our greatest punch line rapper, 2 Chainz.” The year was capped off with his first Grammy Award, Best Rap Performance for his verse on Chance The Rapper’s hit song “No Problem.”
With momentum on his side, 2 Chainz released his first solo album since 2013: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (June 2017) was accompanied by a 35-city tour of North America through September. Chainz’ TV appearances included visits with Jimmy Kimmel (HERE), Jimmy Fallon (HERE), and Trevor Noah (HERE). 2018 brought the EP releases The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It(February, with the RIAA gold “Proud” featuring YG and Offset), and Hot Wings Are A Girl’s Best Friend (November), pointing to the March 2019 release of Chainz’ fourth solo album, Rap Or Go To The League. Chainz’ impact on popular culture encompasses not only music but his Most Expensivest cable tv series on VICELAND, his “Chain Reaction” sneaker collaboration with Versace, his GAS Cannabis Co. brand, and his 2019 Super Bowl LIII Expensify tv spot with Adam Scott. TheRinger.comwas inspired to write: “Forget Mount Rushmore – 2 Chainz deserves his own national monument. This year dude is top five humans of all time.”
Egomeli Hormeku – an experienced and innovative brand and content strategist – has been appointed Senior Vice President & Creative Director, Def Jam Recordings, it was announced today by Rich Isaacson, Executive Vice President/General Manager. In his new role, Mr. Hormeku will provide creative oversight in content creation, digital and social strategies, and brand identity and partnerships. Based in New York, he will report directly to Mr. Isaacson.
“A successful mover and shaker in the ultra-competitive New York City branding community for the past decade, Ego has built a portfolio and network that are second to none,” said Mr. Isaacson. “As Def Jam continues its fourth decade as the world’s number one destination for hip-hop culture, Ego will have a broad palette with which to work his magic. We’re excited to welcome him aboard.”
“There’s no better time than now,” said Mr. Hormeku, “to redefine what Def Jam means to music, cement what the label means to black culture, and ultimately swell the brand’s influence on a global scale. It’s simple. I’m at Def Jam because I owe Def Jam. It raised me. Not only is it the soundtrack to years that have molded my life and love for music, but its impact is the foundation for my creativity throughout my career.
“It’s an exciting time at the label, and with new leadership from Jeff Harleston and Rich Isaacson, there’s a renewed sense of creativity, tenacity, strategy and responsibility,” he continues. “This is why Def Jam is so important. If there was a duty to uphold the integrity of black culture, the label is uniquely positioned to do so. You know what else is important? Breonna Taylor’s killers have still not been arrested.”
Mr. Hormeku comes to Def Jam after serving as CEO of the company he founded in 2015, Magic Creative Agency, which designed and executed the creation and strategic planning of brands and celebrities from a digital and physical lens. Overlapping with the first two years of Magic, he was Digital Strategist/Lead Social Community Manager for Nike, where he led digital strategy and social community management for Nike East (New York, Boston, DC, Atlanta, Miami) while spearheading individual category digital strategies. He later spent a year as Senior Producer, Content Development at Columbia Records, bridging strategic and creative needs by developing digital storytelling content, and liaising cross-functionally with the Digital team, Business and Legal Affairs, Marketing, Video Production, A&R, and so on to help drive a project home and deliver a finished product.
Prior to these ventures, he founded The Hormeku Group, which functioned as an umbrella for the Nothing Nice New York clothing line, the original Steel Rosé wine brand, the luxury Vida chocolate cigar line. The Group also handled a self-help book, Hope this Helps, that was a spin-off of The Nerdy McFly Manifesto, a book he wrote with friends that contained 101 rules for young men on how to create a balance between smart and cool.
Mr. Hormeku was raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2008, with a Political Science and Physiological Sciences double major in Africana Studies and English Minor, while a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Between studies, he honed his craft as a DJ at campus parties. Mr. Hormeku is also a graduate of the Cornell Business Strategy Exec Program.