Relativity Buys Stake in Gnarls Barkley, Mos Def Label Downtown Records

Relativity Media has acquired a stake in Downtown Records, the label home of Gnarls Barkley, Mos Def, Cold War Kids and other artists.

Pact is designed to provide a capital influx to Downtown and access its talent and catalogue for other Relativity activities. Relativity COO Happy Walters, who runs the Relativity Music division, will oversee the investment.

“Relativity is a content engine that has the unique ability to help other entertainment companies reach the next level,” said Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh in announcing the deal. “In just eight years, Josh Deutsch and Terence Lam have built a cutting edge music business, and we are excited to provide new opportunities for their incredible talent as Relativity continues to grow.”

Gotham-based Downtown was founded in 2006 by Deutsch and Lam, both exec vets of major labels. Company has had success with Gnarls Barkley, the outfit that launched Cee-Lo Green’s career, and rockers Cold War Kids (pictured). Its roster also includes artists Mike Snow, Chet Faker and Santigold and a catalog of 5,000 songs.

Downtown has a distribution pact with Sony Music’s RED arm.

“Leveraging Relativity’s broad platform, Downtown will generate innovative new opportunities for artists, composers and music fans alike,” said Deutsch, Downtown’s chairman-CEO. “We are excited to work with Ryan, Happy, Tucker and the entire Relativity team to grow Downtown Records’ recorded music, music publishing and live events divisions and to contribute our premium content and music services to Relativity’s global media business.”

 

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