Sony Music Entertainment Joins Forces with LA-Based Record Label D36 to Propel South Asian Music Globally

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Sony Music Entertainment (SME) announces a global joint venture with Los Angeles-based record label D36. D36 is a Los Angeles-based company formed in 2021 that provides a platform to aspiring musicians from South Asia and its diaspora. Most recently, D36 released a remix of Pakistani indie act AUR’s breakout hit “Tu Hai Kahan” (feat. ZAYN), which now has over 400 million plays and counting across all streaming platforms between the original song and remix.

Abhi Kanakadandila (CEO of D36), Abdullah Ahmad (Co-founder of D36)

The global joint venture will allow SME and D36 to combine the strengths of both companies, fostering collaborations between artists, expanding the reach of South Asian artists in the US as well as help break South Asian diaspora artists in key markets outside the US. The new partnership will enable acts of South Asian heritage to cultivate a worldwide fanbase, better connect diasporic audiences with talent in South Asia and accelerate the community’s visibility in international markets, including in America.

“Our collaboration with D36 goes beyond showcasing South Asian artists globally. We’re forging a new path in cultural exchange, fostering a deeper connection between artists and their heritage,” says Shridhar Subramaniam, President of Sony Music Entertainment Asia and Middle East. “The South Asian music scene is experiencing a surge in global recognition, fueled by a rising demand for diverse musical experiences. D36 boasts a proven track record of identifying and nurturing exceptional South Asian talent and by partnering with them, we can serve as a crucial bridge, connecting these talented artists with the global opportunities they deserve, further enriching the tapestry of international music.”

“Our community – globally – is home to some of the most unique, exciting, and innovative music in the world” shares Abhi Kanakadandila, CEO of D36. “This new partnership with Sony Music Entertainment allows us to meaningfully support artistry agnostic of geography and provide an infrastructure that can operate seamlessly across borders. The talent & fandom that exists across the several new waves of South Asian music is enormous. Our goal here is to lay the foundation for the same success that we’ve seen with music from other territories on the global landscape.”

Kanakadandila’s leadership of the new venture will be aided by D36’s general manager and co-founder Abdullah Ahmad, whose expertise involves shepherding the careers of Young Thug to Kevin Gates and Jelani Aryeh prior to his tenure at D36. Ahmad has been critical to realizing D36’s key successes to date and will work hand in hand with Kanakadandila to expand upon those by utilizing the new infrastructure that this partnership affords.

Vinit Thakkar, Managing Director of Sony Music Entertainment India, adds, “The South Asian music market is fast establishing itself as a powerhouse within the global music industry. With our deep understanding of the local music landscape and our market strength, this partnership positions us to not only empower local artists but also bridge the gap between their exceptional talent and a worldwide audience.”