Kalamkaar, the independent label founded by Raftaar and his business partner Ankit Khanna has announced an exclusive one-year recording agreement with popular rapper-lyricist IKKA.
As part of this partnership, Paris-based firm Believe has been roped in to spearhead the digital music distribution and artist services for IKKA’s 12-month independent non-film music releases. The French firm already services the likes of Raftaar, KRSNA, MC Stan, Jassa Dhillon, Gur Sidhu, KARMA, Himmat Sandhu and R Nait as part of their ever-evolving roster.
Ankit Khanna, Co-Founder Kalamkaar states, “Our aim at Kalamkaar is to leverage the next wave of Indian hip-hop talent. Our latest partnership with IKKA and Believe is key in accelerating the development and influence of the independent music movement amongst the South Asian diaspora around the world. Our goal has been to put creativity and collaboration at the heart of every release and with this announcement, we aspire to increase the scale and scope of non-film music in India, launch independent hip-hop and rap into the mainstream and reinvigorate the listening experiences of music enthusiasts.”
Shilpa Sharda, Director – Artists Services, Believe India adds on, “We are witnessing the popularity of hip-hop in India and IKKA has surely made his mark amongst the biggies in the music industry and made his presence felt in Bollywood. I am glad we can service local, independent artists with tools created specifically for keeping their global reach and local needs in mind. Our goal continues to support all artists and labels, at all stages of their career, at the local level by giving them the strategic support as well as digital and tech expertise they need to be successful.”
IKKA expands, “I am super excited to partner with Kalamkaar for a one-year independent non-film music deal and take Indian hip-hop to the next level with a label that has an artist’s interest vested at its’ core. The hip hop scene is gaining a considerable amount of exposure and over the course of the next one year my fans will be entertained with music that marries creative freedom with quality soundscapes.”
Rapper-lyricist IKKA aka Ankit Singh was amongst those, growing in the underground hip-hop space since 2012. Part of multiple crews ranging from Mafia Mundeer to Black Wall Street Desis and Nau Sau Bai, IKKA steadily took on an increasing amount of Bollywood and Punjabi film music work that eventually made him sought after post 2014. A seasoned hip-hop artist, IKKA walked the tightrope of pleasing hip-hop diehards as well as the following he’s accrued from film soundtrack work with his 2020 released album his debut album ‘I’ that featured collaborations with Raftaar, DIVINE, Lil Golu, Sez On The Beat and Sikander Khalon. His Bollywood contributions include films such as Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Tamanchey, Sanam Re, Hindi Medium, Kya Kool Hai Hum 3 and Satyamev Jayate amongst others.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Ankit Khanna of AK Projekts and DNH Artists in association with hip-hop artist and rapper Raftaar in 2018, Kalamkaar is a premier entrepreneurial venture based out of India. The venture will function as an independent record label, multimedia content producer and talent promotion agency. The label’s catalogue includes genres such as hip hop, rap, pop and EDM. Founded in 2018, Kalamkaar has a unique perspective on the music industry as it continues to focus on quality music and to work with artists whose work ethic, craftsmanship, talent and sounds are superior. It has helped launch the careers of new artists and has nurtured the careers of seasoned veterans. With passion and authenticity cemented at its’ foundation, Kalamkaar, meaning writer in Hindi, was formed with a talent roster compromising of promising young artists such as KR$NA, Deep Kalsi, KARMA, Rashmeet Kaur, Mrunal Shankar, Brishav and Yunan.
Believe is one of the world’s leading digital music companies. Believe’s mission is to develop independent artists and labels in the digital world by providing them the solutions they need to grow their audience at each stage of their career and development. Believe’s passionate team of digital music experts around the world leverages the Group’s global technology platform to advise artists and labels, distribute and promote their music. Its 1,370 employees in more than 50 countries aim to support independent artists and labels with a unique digital expertise, respect, fairness and transparency. Believe offers its various solutions through a portfolio of brands including TuneCore, Nuclear Blast, Naïve, Groove Attack and AllPoints. Believe is listed on compartment A of the regulated market of Euronext Paris (Ticker: BLV.PA, ISIN: FR0014003FE9).