Benoni Tagoe, president of musical label Issa Raes amplifies black voices
MORE THAN A MUSIC LABEL: RAEDIO IS CHANGING THE INDUSTRY WITH A NEW MULTIFORMAT APPROACH
Raedio is a company that is more than just a label. The Audio Everywhere company, which launched in 2019, boasts award-winning talent, critically-acclaimed and highly anticipated TV shows, podcasts and more across multiple platforms.
The partnership, founded by Issa Rae and led by his business partner Benoni Tagoe, aimed to build a reputation in the music industry by developing a hybrid label / music supervision company. The brand now boasts four signed artists, an expanding podcast set, including the two-time award-winning series Webby. Finding LaToya and over 100 syncs in some of today’s most popular shows, including Sweet Life: Los Angeles, P Valley, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, and the eagerly awaited And just like that to restart.
The 34-year-old Las Vegas native has previously worked with Uninterrupted (LeBron James’ sports platform), beauty entrepreneur Peakmill and financial expert Tonya Rapley. For his management and consulting firm, The Bizz Plan, he was named “Modern Man” in Black Enterprise in 2018.
Tagoe started his career as an assistant to the Jonas Brothers before becoming president of Raedio. He studied music business at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California. Through his efforts, he quickly rose through the ranks of the group’s day-to-day management team, developing a strong sense of entrepreneurship. The multi-faceted executive has created content for television and news media that has received over 20 million views.
He first met Rae in 2011, while she was filming his web series The Misadventures of the Clumsy Black Girl. Tagoe believed in his vision despite the fact that she couldn’t afford to pay for it at the time. From a business marketing and social media perspective, he still believed he could add value to the initiative.
“We discussed the launch of the label even during the Awkward black girl days. We would make soundtracks from music that would be featured in the shows. People started talking about the music included in Unsafe just as the characters and storylines after the series became popular. Tagoe continues, “The record companies recognized that it was like hitting the holy grail when an artist got a placement on the series, which resulted in more flow and more money. We realized we were on to something. At that time, we saw an opportunity to collaborate in the development of our label, Raedio, by combining his artistic expertise with my background in the music industry.
They didn’t want to be labeled. “We wanted to market ourselves as an audio content company because we want to exist wherever there is audio. Tagoe notes. By developing a streamlined business model, the company was able to differentiate itself from its competitors by giving its artists ownership of their masters. During the first year of operation, Raedio released the Unsafe soundtrack, hosted the inaugural Biden + Harris playlist, and signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Viacom CBS to provide library access and music oversight to its lineup.
At their Raedio & Friends dinner, sponsored by Gray Goose, on October 22, the company celebrated a string of recent successes, including an ever-growing range of emerging talent, including singer TeaMarrr, rapper and poet NCognita, the writers and entertainment figures Kid Fury and Crissle collectively known as The Read, and most recent signer, singer, songwriter and actor Josh Levi.
“We’re proud of the roster of talent we’ve been able to muster so far, and we’ll continue to collaborate with them and other artists in a concerted effort to share their gifts with the rest of the world,” Tagoe shares.
Raedio will be releasing the soundtrack for the final season of Unsafe, as well as other projects under embargo, on December 3. Their ultimate goal was to produce a sound that represented each of the five seasons. While each season has its own distinct sound, it was essential that they included artists from all seasons to capture the essence of the whole series.
Tagoe comments: “I’m really excited about a song by Josh Levi that Nick Hakim produced.” Hakim, a regular on the series, worked as an artist and producer on the series. He collaborated with newcomer Levi on the song “What’s The Use”. Artist TeaMarrr, who appeared on the show several times last season, has a song on the soundtrack called “Pipe Dreams” which Tagoe describes as amazing.
The first track released was by Nnena, a Nigerian-American rapper and singer based in Cleveland. “It’s perfect,” Tagoe adds, “because we want to support the next generation of artists. She’s really an amazing artist. This year we had a few writing camps, and she attended them all. ” His music stood out after being presented by a teammate who believed in his talent. Rae praised his skills after hearing and admiring his music many times. “Fun” was chosen as the first single, and it marked a turning point in the series. “It’s sultry, but it also tells a story we all live when it comes to relationships and determining whether or not something is right for us,” Tagoe says.
Tagoe intends to expand his music supervision company globally. Raedio 2.0 will integrate elements far beyond music. According to him, the next step will be devoted to programming. “We want to be the company that programs the music for your favorite TV show while you watch it.” If you hear music in the elevator, it will probably be us. If you go to Spotify and listen to your favorite songs, we want these artists signed to our label. We would like to be able to customize your phone sounds, such as alarms and ringtones. Then we would like to program the sounds for your car.
With the company’s expansion on the horizon, Tagoe hopes to improve Raedio’s reach. “Even though we are based in the United States, why can’t we be in Canada? Why can’t we be in UK? We just want to be the best in class, the best label, the best publisher, and the biggest music oversight company possible.
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