Tunji Balogun named Def Jam Recordings Chairman and CEO


Tunji Balogun is the Chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings.

The role comes into force on 01/01/2022.

Balogun will be based in Los Angeles and report to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.

Balogun is a successful creative executive and has worked with artists such as Bryson Tiller, Childish Gambino, Goldlink, Khalid and Wizkid during his 17 year career.

Balogun joins Def Jam from RCA Records, where he has been Executive Vice President of A&R since 2018.

His appointment marks a return to UMG for Balogun, where he was an A&R Executive at Interscope Records from 2007 to 2015.

Jeffrey Harleston, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at UMG, has been the interim Chairman and CEO of Def Jam since Paul Rosenberg left in 2020.

Harleston will continue to lead the label until Balogun takes over his new role.

“Tunji is part of a new wave of dynamic leaders.”

Sir Lucian Grainge

Sir Lucian Grainge said, “Tunji is part of a new wave of dynamic leaders who view today’s artists and music through a unique creative lens.

“Not only does he bring a deep understanding and respect for the cultural significance of what Def Jam has created over the past four decades, but he also sees the limitless potential of what Def Jam can be for a new generation of artists and fans . “

“I grew up listening to Def Jam’s music.”

Tunji Balogun

Tunji Balogun, said, “I grew up listening to Def Jam’s music – collecting, listening and studying their albums and singles – those early moments as a young fan had a lasting impact on who I am today.

“Def Jam remains one of the most iconic brands in music and has always represented forward-thinking artists and partners who continue to change ideas and influence culture around the world.

“I am honored to lead Def Jam into the next chapter and thank Lucian and Jeff for their support and this incredible opportunity.”

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to lead and develop Def Jam over the past two years.”

Jeffrey Harleston

Jeffrey Harleston added, “It has been an honor and a pleasure to lead and develop Def Jam for the past two years.

“Having had the privilege of working with Tunji for more than a decade, I couldn’t be happier to hand over the reins to him.

“Tunji has all the tools to take the Def Jam brand and artists to a new level of success.

“He has the vision. He has a track record in recruiting the best and brightest new talent who are ‘culture moving’ around the world and has always been an incredible advocate for artists. “Music business worldwide

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