Ghazi Shami

EMPIRE Artists

EMPIRE is the brainchild of Ghazi Shami, former urban director at INgrooves who launched the company in 2010. “Labels and so-called distributors have umbilical cords to other labels or distributors; there isn’t any autonomy,” he says. “The concept was to build the modern music company that didn’t have to rely on anybody else for its success.” That philosophy has paid off well for “All the Way Up,” which peaked at No. 27 on the Hot 100 in June and became Fat Joe’s highest-charting song in a decade. And now it’s working again for “Broccoli,” D.R.A.M.’s second hit with EMPIRE after his 2015 song “Cha Cha” went viral on Instagram, prompting Beyoncé to post a video of herself dancing along.The success comes after years spent building relationships with veteran rappers, younger artists looking for a foot in the door,& rising labels like Lamar’s Top Dawg Entertainment and .Paak’s Steel Wool Records. Shami built his own distribution network that allowed artists & managers to track royalties.

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