In what seems to be an eventful move since the pandemic brought the live industry to a standstill globally, independent hip hop music label Azadi Records, and events and management company 4/4 Experiences proudly announce their merger – 4Z4DI Entertainment. On January 31st, both companies put out posts on social media announcing this handshake, along with the first edition of their gig series Outliers, which took place at one of Mumbai’s best live event venues antiSOCIAL.
Outliers – The Gig Series’ First Edition
Let’s just say this was one amazing show. With limited public gigs, this show had almost the entire 4Z4DI Artist roster performing for two hours non-stop! It started with newly signed producer Zero Chill, followed by DJ Blunt and the legendary DJ Uri. Azadi Records co-founder Mo Joshi then introduced each artist individually, and emcees kept taking turns on the mic, dropping bars relentlessly till closing time! There were so many amazing moments, that we decided to compile this little video to give you a recap!
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A tale of two companies
4Z4DI Entertainment can now be seen as a holistic service and management company, as the divisions within the company segregate and allow for their smooth operation in each area of expertise. The merging of the companies means a few things. 4Z4DI Entertainment is now sub-divided into three units – Azadi Records, which is the independent hip hop label, 4/4 Experiences who are the event, content production and IP Development leg, and 4Z4DI Artists, to manage all artists between the two companies.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Azadi Records is run by Mo Joshi and Uday Kapur, whereas 4/4 Experiences is run by Nikhil Udupa and Himanshu Vaswani. Mo brought his seasoning from years of understanding the industry outside India and teamed up with Uday to form the label, holding no bars back at highlighting pertinent stories that are often left ignored by the mainstream media. They’ve published some of the country’s most valued conscious poets and rappers, making a solid mark over their four years of existence. Just a few months before Azadi Records was formed, the then-4/4 Entertainment was taking shape with live event and management experts Nikhil Udupa and Himanshu Vaswani. Their collective experience working at some of India’s biggest media and management agencies and festivals make their individual skill sets particularly compatible. With a shared vision between the two companies, this was only a matter of time before making the decision to work together.
I’ve had the good fortune of working with both of them over the past three years extensively as an employee, so out of personal experience, I can safely say they are some of the best in the industry in all their respective lines of work and specializations.
The Roster under 4Z4DI Artists
Both Azadi Records and 4/4 Experiences function like they used to, with the addition of the artist division for smoother management. Azadi Records’ management was already home to Prabh Deep, Seedhe Maut, Ahmer, Tienas, Rak, SoFire, DJ Blunt, DJ Uri, Zero Chill, Ali Saffudin, BamBoy, with the addition of Swadesi and graffiti genius Zake who were on 4/4 Experiences’ artist roster.
The 4Z4DI Artists catalog now comprises over 250 songs, with over 60 million streams of the catalog, including 300+ events under their belt collectively, 4 IPs and 2 million followers across 9 languages! In the past year itself, Azadi Records put out 87 songs through 26 releases by 20 artists, and they are not stopping anytime soon!
When asked about if the label is looking to recruit more artists, Nikhil Udupa said, “We are definitely looking for more artists to be in the roster. The idea is to get in creators who shape culture – not just music. So you will definitely see some non-music signings in the coming months. Musically speaking, our priority is to sign up artists that will bring a gender balance on our roster.” The last female artist on the roster was Bengaluru rapper Siri who parted ways in 2019, and 4Z4DI is now looking for more. Speaking of non-music signings, the eventual aim of having this wide roster is also to encourage cross-pollination. “We’ve already had Zake work on the Elements compilation album. Very soon, you will see him involved in designing and curating aesthetics for our gigs, album artwork and IPs.” Nikhil added.
When asked about future plans and projects in the pipeline, Nikhil said, “We will be launching a food and music based IP soon. Artist-led IPs like Swadesi’s Aamhi Kon is a direction we are keen on. We will be launching Zake’s Graffiti Experience AND – another IP that looks to bring in graffiti into mainstream consciousness and make it accessible to a lot more people.” After a tough year, they aim to revive all the branded projects they’d spent time on over the past two years, and they are optimistic about the live situation kicking off once again.
We wish 4Z4DI Entertainment all the very best and support them in all their future endeavors. We live for live, and it’s good to share the sentiment with like-minded groups of people in different parts of the world. To many more!