6 Dec – Celebrating its 18th year in the aviation industry this year, low-cost carrier AirAsia is now definitely old enough ("an adult," as CEO Tony Fernandes said) to spread its wings to other areas, fulfilling its ambition to become a lifestyle brand.
After recently opening the first ever airline food restaurant, Santan, the next big reveal from the airlines was a partnership with Universal Music Group for a brand new record label.
RedRecords (as named by Hassan Choudhury, Head of Music for AirAsia Group and CEO of RedRecords) was launched earlier today in Kuala Lumpur. As Calvin Wong, CEO South East Asia and Senior Vice President, Asia - Universal Music Group, stated, that marked not only the Malaysian launch of the new record label but also its global launch; attended by not only local Malaysian media but also regional ones such as Thai and Indonesian.
For Tony Fernandes, RedRecords is a return to his musical roots.
"This announcement is incredibly important to me. It appears life has come full circle for both myself and my AirAsia brothers, Kamarudin and Nadda, whom I met through our early days in music. We have already revolutionised air travel enabling everyone to fly and as we celebrate 18 years of operation for AirAsia - we are focused on transforming the airline into a global digital travel and lifestyle leader.
"Now we are also heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the worldwide stage it deserves in conjunction with Universal Music to launch RedRecords."
The label aims to elevate 'A-pop' music to a global audience, similar to what K-pop and J-pop have successfully done.
When asked what does A-pop stand for, Fernandes said that it could be described as "ASEAN pop", as the label is looking to sign and promote regional artists to the rest of the world.
The first artist to be signed to the label is Thai-German sensation Jannine Weigel, also known as Ploychompoo, who has been active in the Thai entertainment industry for almost a decade as a singer, songwriter, actress and model.
"I'm so proud," she said as she choked up with emotions, shedding a tear as she took the stage when introduced by Choudhury. She continued teary-eyed, saying that she can't wait for her fans to hear her new music.
A set debut date was not mentioned as the label is still in the search for good songs and good producers for the singer.
RedRecords will be based in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles. In addition to artist development and A&R, the label will provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services.