Azadi Records and 4/4 Experiences announce merger

New Delhi-based record label Azadi Records, home to South Asian artists like Ahmer and Prabh Deep, has announced joining forces with Mumbai-based 4/4 Experiences, the events and entertainment consultancy company best known for Control ALT Delete music festival.

The merged entity, 4Z4DI Entertainment, will serve as a one-stop solution for artists and brands looking to cultivate an audience and navigate an industry in flux. The original entities, Azadi Records and 4/4 Experiences, will act as two of the three business units tasked with overseeing operations, along with a new artist management division–4Z4DI Artists. 

While the founders continue to iron out the final details regarding share structures and personnel divisions, the combined leadership organisation was announced earlier this week in a joint press release identifying Mo Joshi and Uday Kapur of Azadi Records and Himanshu Vaswani and Nikhil Udupa of 4/4 as its founders. 

The move belies a culturally aligned relationship, years in the making, and a concerted push by both companies to consolidate their resources and turn them into “ammunition” to “nurture creatives who drive subcultures.” The goal, in other words, is to cover “an end to end spectrum of services from large-scale event production to IP development and brand campaigns, not to mention our continued drive and passion to create a catalogue reflective of the times we live in,” according to Joshi.

With the mission to continue building a scaled, diversified, artist-driven media company, and keeping the pandemic nearly in hindsight, 4/4’s Nikhil Udupa is confident that the entire ecosystem benefits when like-minded instigators mobilise around a common goal. “Combining forces gives us hope that we will get to play a huge role on how the coming generations consume culture and tell their stories,” he said ahead of the launch on February 3, 2021.

Founded in 2017, both Azadi and 4/4 Experiences had been looking to expand on artist management and talks of the merger began around August 2020. As the first order of business, Joshi and Kapur decided to scale up by streamlining their services, in a way that not only allows them to design, create and execute their campaigns, but also enable artists to have an end-to-end experience and feel more comfortable about investing in them. 

By this time, both agencies had grown to become familiar with the other’s portfolios, often working in tandem to the extent that 4/4 would transfer artists over to the record label, while Azadi would find themselves releasing new material for artists on 4/4’s retainer. All this is taken into account while drawing up the blueprint for the business units, each of which is now equipped with key personnel to handle specific tasks.

With the merger, Joshi and Kapur will continue to lead Azadi Records and release music of all the artists on their repertoire, while continuing to grow their portfolio. The events vertical 4/4 Experiences will be led by Udupa and Vaswani. 4Z4DI Artists will be the new artist management division and would subsume all the creators and brands hitherto associated with either company. 

According to the press release, the 4Z4DI Roster currently features 12 of the country’s leading hip-hop, grime, bass and breakbeat producers like Prabh Deep, Seedhe Maut, Swadesi, Tienas, Rak, So Fire, Zero Chill, DJ BLUNT, Kashmiri singer-songwriter Ali Saffudin and rapper Ahmer, and newest signee Graffiti artist Zake. Ahmer’s upcoming record, reportedly unlike his earlier work only more political, is likely the first to release via the 4Z4DI label.