Idris Elba, award winning actor, writer, producer and DJ, can now add record label owner to his list of accomplishments. For over a decade the British actor has been casually making moves in the hip-hop and dancehall genres of music both on the mic and on the turntables.
On Tuesday, Elba announced the launch of his new record label, 7Wallace Music, and his first signed artist, #JamesBKS.
James is an underground French artist most recognized for producing records for American hip-hop icons Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Talib Kweli and more. He currently runs the Parisian creative house, Grown Kid, which has created music to promote high-end fashion brands such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Prada and Giorgio Armani. Throughout his musical career, James began to develop a unique sound influenced by his father, legendary Afro-jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango, and his newfound appreciation for African music.
⠀“James is a rare find,” Elba told Billboard. “His hip-hop sensibilities transfer to the other music he makes, he’s a nice person to work with and is gonna be a strong artist in the future. It’s a huge move for 7Wallace, a small indie label.”
James’ single “Kwlele” will be released July 13, featuring Dibango, Mai Lan and Allan Kingdom. Fans can expect a distinct blend of hip-hop, pop and African music, while James also pays tribute to his Cameroonian roots.⠀⠀⠀⠀
“I want people to get to know my journey,” James added in a statement. “The song is the musical answer to my inner questions. Finally I can be proud of my roots and say this music is fully me.”