Femi “Shamz” Obasaju, Head of RHR Department at Ingrooves

Welcome to A2IM’s Featured Executive column, where we highlight executives making moves and supporting the growth of the independent community. To submit yourself or a friend for a potential feature, fill out this form.

 

 

Femi “Shamz” Obasaju has spent his adult life pursuing his passion for music. He has always possessed a deep connection to music of all genres and has spent the last 14 years applying that passion to his career, more specifically in the R&B, Hip-Hop, and Reggae space. 

 

Follow Shamz on Linkedin and Twitter,  

 

 

Tell us about the beginning of Shamz’s Career, how did he get started in music?

 

Shamz’s career began as an intern in Radio via XM Radio’s Spitkicker show. A large part of his career was with the independent media company, Okayplayer, owned by the Hip-Hop band, The Roots. His time at Okayplayer truly opened up his skill set as he held several roles, including running their blog, A&R’ing their record label, producing their video content (Okayplayer TV), booking talent for events, and The Roots’ live shows.

 

After leaving Okayplayer, he joined the now-defunct agency BKLYN 1834 in a role that further expanded his skills as he worked with a strong, cross-functional team. Before moving to LA, he helped BKLYN 1834 land features in The New York Times, Forbes, and The Huffington Post for its innovative approach to the music industry. He served as the agency’s Brand Manager and their A&R. Shamz’s next chapter began in Los Angeles, where he started a company with a business partner called Dux Free. The company’s focus was creating video content and shooting music videos, while Shamz primarily handled PR/Marketing and provided consulting services for several artists and labels.

 

These steps helped mold, develop and prepare Shamz for his current role as the Head of RHR (R&B/Hip-Hop/Reggae) for Ingrooves Music Group. 

 

What does Shamz do in his current position as RHR Department Head at Ingrooves?
 

In his current role, Shamz works directly with labels and artists alongside his team, providing them with specialized services and strategies coming from a team of experts in these genres. Shamz serves as the primary point of contact at Ingrooves for all his labels, working with them on a daily basis to develop their labels, plan and strategize releases, brainstorm marketing initiatives, give creative feedback on their music, and work every angle possible to provide their music as much visibility as possible. 

 

I am proud of going the indie route for most of my career. The work has always felt extremely rewarding going this route – seeing the direct impact of my collaboration with independent artists and labels has been incredible,”

– Shamz 

What are some career highlights for Shamz?
 
 Shamz is a founding member of Ingrooves’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. He also helped launch and co-leads Ingrooves Music Marketing and Partners subcommittee, whose mission is to help highlight and amplify labels & artists from marginalized backgrounds. A career highlight for Shamz was the launch of the Ingrooves MMP (Music Marketing and Partners) DEI sub-committee. Through the MMP, he and his team worked with an artist named Dave B. Dave B. had just released a song called “Worthy” shortly after the killing of George Floyd. It is a song about “black joy” as well as just a reminder for black people to know and understand their worth in a world that tells them otherwise. It’s a powerful message, and Shamz was happy to work alongside his co-workers to highlight the song and help it attain placements the artist had not seen yet at that point in his career. It also enabled the team to work with partners and open up discussions on how to make a difference and make the music space more equitable.
 
As part of UMG’s UPLIFT program, he mentors younger UMG employees and helps with career development. He is currently managing an HBC summer intern and is taking a direct/hands-on approach to ensure she develops as much as possible during her internship program.
 
Shamz is proud of the opportunity to work with such important artists as Gang Starr, Kelly Rowland, G Herbo, MadeinTYO, Morray, SpotemGottem, Young M.A, The Marley family, Talib Kweli, Casey Veggies, and more. 
 
 

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About A2IM: 

A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

 

Learn more about A2IM here, and contact our team at [email protected] to join now