|Parent company||E1 Entertainment|
Universal Music Group (Europe)
|Country of origin||United States|
E1 Music (formerly Koch Records), the primary subsidiary of E1 Entertainment LP, is an independent record label in the United States. It is widely regarded as the top independent record label in the United States, having garnered the most Billboard hits of any independent record label in history. It is also distributed by the Universal Music Group in Europe under the name E1 Universal. On January 22, 2009, Koch Records was officially branded as "E1 Music" by parent company Entertainment One.
E1 Entertainment (AIM: ETO) acquired KOCH Entertainment in June 2005, and renamed the company E1 Music. E1 Entertainment's four primary businesses units, E1 Television, E1 Films, E1 Music and E1 Entertainment Distribution, collectively represent E1 Entertainment in film distribution, television and music production/distribution, kids content, Licensing and Distribution.
Since its inception as KOCH Records, E1 Music has charted over 100 albums on Billboard's Independent Chart, surpassing the number of titles charted by all other U.S. independent labels. E1 Music has been the number one independent label according to Billboard for the last six years and quickly grew to become North America's largest independently owned and distributed record label. E1 Music covers all musical genres from adult-contemporary to rock, urban to country, children's to classical.
E1 Music was formed in May 1999 as "Koch Records" to serve as the North American umbrella for E1 Entertainment's labels (then known as Koch Entertainment). They would sign many country, classical, and rock acts including Ringo Starr, Joan Baez, Chris Brubeck, Bob James, and an exclusive distribution with Suge Knight's embattled Death Row Records. The label soon began to gain ground on the other independent record labels in the United States. In the 2000s, they began to sign more hip hop acts and become one of the biggest hip hop labels in the world. They signed various distribution deals with labels like Open Bar Entertainment, Terror Squad, D-Block Records, and others. In 2004, they were able to sign a deal with Snoop Dogg and his Doggystyle Records along with Mobb Deep. They hired Snoop Dogg on to head up their western spin off Koch West. Koch also added on to their roster, Cam'ron and his Diplomat Records. Diplomat rapper, Jim Jones would rise to prominince on the label through the deal. Koch later signed Yonkers rapper, J-Hood and his label On Da Grind Ent. Koch has also had releases from 2Pac, Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger and Gangsta Advisory. In 2007, when they signed J-Hood they gave him a big position in their Koch East division. J-Hood never released this album and he was booted from D-Block. In 2007, they signed a distribution deal with Foxy Brown and her Black Rose Entertainment, as well as with Ray J and his label Knockout Entertainment. Slim Thug was signed to the label along with his Boss Hoggs label in late 2005. On September 29, 2006 - KOCH Entertainment Distribution announced that have signed an exclusive distribution deal with Los Angeles- based Latin Thug Records, a newly launched label headed by music industry veteran Fred Sherman along with Senen “Sen Dog” Reyes, a founding member of the groundbreaking rap group Cypress Hill. Latin Thug Records was formed by CEO Reyes to build a family business with his brother and acting VP of A&R Mellow Man Ace that would focus on releasing personal projects and developing new talent. The label represents the extended Latin Thug family, including solo projects from Sen and Mellow and collaborations with B Real, Soul Assassins and other members of the extended Cypress Hill family. In March 2008, the company signed neo-soul singer Dwele to their lineup. In October 2008, they signed also pop-jazz singer Basia, and released her comeback album It's That Girl Again a year later.
Koch Records also releases children's music, such as Pokémon, Barney, Sesame Street, The Wiggles, and Fraggle Rock. On May 22, 2008 Koch Records released two albums from the children's show Thomas & Friends.
The label's Nashville, Tennessee branch, which specialized in country music, closed abruptly in late 2005. Among those signed to Koch Nashville at the time were Robert Earl Keen, Dean Miller, Cledus T. Judd, Daryle Singletary, Dale Watson, and The Tractors.
Koch was renamed E1 music in 2009.
All Guttar Music
In 2003, Master P moved his No Limit Records' roster to Koch Records for a chance of better promotion and more creative control. This deal added C-Murder, Shatara, Silkk Tha Shocker, Los, Magic, producer Djuan Edgerton, TRU, and Lil' Romeo to the label. In 2005, Romeo created a label that is to distribute No Limit through Koch, Guttar Music. He would sign Rich Boyz, Lil' D, Money Long Click and others to the label.
In an effort to increase promotion and save money, Koch and Epic Records teamed up on its new signees on joint ventures from 2007. Through these deals, Epic combines its A&R department and label promoters with Koch and they sign, cross-fund, and cross-promote their artists. Through this deal they have signed Chicago rapper Yung Berg and his Yung Boss Records, as well as J. R. Rotem's Beluga Heights, which is home to artist Sean Kingston. Both labels have extended this deal. Epic now distributes all Koch releases, similar to the Tommy Boy Records deal with Warner Bros. Records.
- List of E1 Music artists (list includes artists signed to or distributed by Koch)
- E1 Music discography
- "Universal Music International acquires European recorded music and music publishing operations from the Koch Group". Universal Music Group. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
- Kelly, Brendan (January 22, 2009). "E1 consolidates into buying giant". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- "Koch Entertainment Launches « Koch Vision Classics/ Classiques". CTVM. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
- "N0 Rap Turf War Here" , New York Post, August 12, 2007.
- Official site (Koch Records)
- E1 Music A&R team contact list
- Billboard Magazine Celebrates 20 Years of Koch Entertainment
- Koch artist Ror-Shak interviewed