Warner Music Czech Republic has renewed its partnership and invested in local hip-hop label Mike Roft.
The new deal will see Warner Music become the sole distributor for all of Mike Roft’s roster, which includes Calin, one of the biggest artists in the Czech market.
Founded in 2018, Mike Roft has developed a core roster of six key artists. It has also built a merch operation and has a growing presence in live event promotion.
Calin and fellow artist D-Kop, alongside video director and graphic designer Radim Zboril, are shareholders in the company and will continue to lead Mike Roft as an independent label.
This partnership is Warner Music’s latest move in Eastern Europe. Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska was last year appointed general manager of Warner Music South East Europe, following the hiring of Bartosz Szwoch as CFO of Warner Music Eastern Europe.
The major has invested in Serbian record label Mascom Records and Polish promoter Big Idea, secured a partnership with Poland’s Step Records, and acquired Polskie Nagrania and Solvakia’s Opus Records.
Calin is currently riding high in the Czech and Slovak charts thanks to a surprise collaboration album with the markets’ leading artist, Viktor Sheen, whose last three albums were also distributed by Warner Music.
The album topped both territories’ charts and became the most streamed week one album ever in the Czech Republic, while the single Safir became the most streamed song in a single day on Spotify in the Czech Republic.
Calin previously broke Czech IFPI chart records when his single Hannah Montana spent 31 weeks at No.1, as well as spending 20 weeks at No.1 in Slovakia. His album Popstar also spent 16 weeks at the top of the Czech charts.
Mike Roft is also home to artists including Conspira, Kojo, Indigo, Metyou and Lajfr, as well as Stein27, who spent five weeks at No.1 in the Czech Republic with his album Teorie Padu.
D-Kop, of Mike Roft, said: “I’m glad that we formed this partnership and now we can take our collaboration to a whole other level.”
Vladimir Kocandrle, MD of Warner Music Czech Republic, added: “Mike Roft has built a culturally significant and respected brand, with a roster of artists who are leading the way in hip-hop in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. By partnering with them, we’re tapping into their expertise, while giving their artists the opportunity to reach an audience on a global scale. We’ve already enjoyed huge recent success with Calin and Viktor Sheen’s groundbreaking album and I’m looking forward to replicating such results as we move forward.”
Alfonso Perez-Soto, president, emerging markets, Recorded Music, WMG, said: “The Eastern European market continues to be a priority for us and by partnering with Mike Roft we are putting ourselves in pole position across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Not only are we partnering with incredible artists, but we’ll also be able to benefit from Mike Roft’s strong merch infrastructure and live events operations.”