Sony Music Entertainment announced on Wednesday a new label in partnership with Tencent Music, the music arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent. The label, dubbed Liquid State, will focus on discovering and amplifying electronic and dance music artists across Asia and elsewhere, the companies said.
The label’s initial roster includes Chinese DJ Lizzy and Korean duo Junkilla. Chinese American musician Zhu, signed to Sony’s Columbia, and Dubai duo Hollaphonic are also set to release music through the label this year, and Norwegian DJ Alan Walker signaled his involvement as a running collaborator with Liquid State artists.
“I’m convinced that Liquid State will grow to play a significant role in breaking new artists from Asia on a global scale, as well as enabling international artistes to unleash the huge potential that lies within the Asian market,” Walker said in a statement.
Tencent Music runs three major music services in Asia, Q Music, KuGou and Kuwo, and is credited with helping to unlock China’s potential in streaming, as well as chip away at the market’s problem with piracy. Tencent has licensing deals with all three majors, and in December announced it would buy a minority stake in Spotify in order to expand its reach globally.
Like Spotify, Tencent Music is expected to seek an initial public offering later this year.
“With the formation of Liquid State, our goal is to create an unmatched culture exchange between the East and the West through the power of electronic dance music,” said Cussion Pang, CEO of Tencent Music.
Sony Music’s Asia president Denis Handlin called these “exciting times” for the music industry and hailed his company’s partnership with Tencent. “Together we will make Liquid State the destination for a wide range of highly talented new and established global and local artistes,” he said.