Tunji Balogun Headed To Def Jam As New CEO

RCA’s executive vice president of A&R, Tunji Balogun, is headed to Def Jam Records as chairman and CEO, the label announced Tuesday.

In 2018, Balogun co-founded the label Keep Cool, a joint venture with RCA, alongside Courtney Stewart, Jon Tanners and Jared Sherman. He was elevated to EVP that same year, GoldLink, Khalid, Wizkid, and H.E.R, with many more like Jayla Darden and Tems still under development.

At RCA, which Balogun joined in 2015 following seven-and-a-half years at Interscope, the A&R exec was involved in signing Khalid, Brockhampton, Normani (via Syco), Bryson Tiller.

He was also instrumental in the Black Panther OST. He introduced Jorja Smith to Kendrick Lamar.

Over the past 10 years, Balogun has been instrumental in getting TDE and RCA to do a deal for SZA, equally for Dreamville and Sony to do a deal for Cozz, an American rapper of Nigerian descent.

Def Jam had been run by interim Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Harleston, who also serves as general counsel and executive VP of business and legal affairs at Universal Music Group.

Founded 35 years ago, Def Jam is home to Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Big Sean, YG, Alessia Cara and Logic, among other artists.

Balogun’s hiring comes on the heels of Def Jam naming promotion veteran Nicki Farag executive vice president and general manager. Also joining the Def Jam team is rapper Snoop Dogg, who serves as executive creative and strategic consultant, it was announced in June.