Walter Kolm, whose company WK Entertainment manages Maluma, Wisin, CNCO, Carlos Vives and Silvestre Dangond — perhaps the largest roster of A-list Latin acts in the market — has launched his own record label.
WK Records will be distributed by The Orchard and will serve as an incubator for rising urban talent. It will also serve as the umbrella label for upcoming imprints to be launched in the near future by clients Maluma and Wisin.
By the same token, Wisin, Maluma and WK’s other management artists will remain signed to Sony Music. Sony is also Kolm’s partner in WK Entertainment and will provide added support to the WK roster as well.
“Our management company and within it, our commercial and sponsorship department had grown so much, that we needed more content. Signing and developing our own talent to generate that content is a great solution,” says Kolm.
Kolm will continue to manage his marquee acts — Maluma, Wisin, CNCO, Vives and Dangond — and the management division of his WK Entertainment will step in to manage the artists signed to WK Records.
The label will launch with three artists: Puerto Rican reggaetonero Alex Rose, Colombian urban act Cheo Gallego and Argentine trap act Seven Kayne. WK Records will be headed by general manager Oscar Guitián Jr., who originally signed Rose.
“I’ve a built a team that will be led by Oscar Guitián Jr., and they will have the liberty to discover and sign acts,” says Kolm. “What I bring to the table is expertise, experience and strategic direction.”
“Walter has inspired us and we understand that WK Records is not just another label but a musical movement — dynamic and always progressive — that advances together with its artists,” says Guitián.
In addition to Guitián, the WK Records team, which will be based out of WK Entertainment’s rapidly expanding offices in Miami, boasts an all-female team that includes Pierina Jatem as marketing director, Kearie Reyes as digital marketing manager, Anita Tillero as digital content director and Natali Nagles in PR.
Although WK is not the first Latin management company to have its own record label, it may be the most prominent given the high profile of Kolm’s managed artists. The added clout of co-managing with Sony Music Entertainment is also a distinctive bonus. Last year, Sony acquired 50% of WK Entertainment.
For Kolm, launching a label brings him full circle. He started his career in Argentina by launching indie label Radio Tripoli, whose roster included rock group Los Auténticos Decadentes.
“My career has been primarily as a record executive. Now, after spending 15 years at Universal, plus my years as an independent label executive and eight years as a manager, I’m returning to my first love, which is building a label from scratch,” he says.
When Kolm launched WK Entertainment eight years ago, after a long tenure as president of Universal Music Latino, he sought major acts with very specific points of view who were looking to expand even further. The acts on WK Records will be young and on the rise, but also come with a specific and unique viewpoint and robust social media traction. “We love hit songs, but we are primarily looking to build legacies,” says Kolm.