Creator of “Black-ish” Kenya Barris is expanding his Hollywood profile to the music business with a new entertainment company.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), the famed writer and producer has announced the launch of Khalabo Music — a joint venture with Interscope Records that already has a stacked roster of fresh, talented artists.
As an extension of his production company, Khalabo Ink Society, Barris is looking at new ways he can work his signed artists into other areas of his entertainment hub.
“Kenya touches people in so many different ways and he wants music to be part of that experience, so the conversation is not just about, ‘Let me find this one artist and make the best record,'” Interscope Geffen A&M Records vice chairman Steve Berman told THR. “He wants to find the artists and be able to plug music into his universe in many different ways. It’s the complete picture with him.”
Per Berman’s interview with the outlet — as part of Barris’ latest cover story — the prolific Hollywood star reached out “at all hours” to relay ideas and questions about the best way he can incorporate music into his grand vision.
“We try to seek out creative relationships with people who not only move culture but see where culture is going,” Berman continues.
And according to his recent moves of continuing to expand his Black-focused entertainment empire, Barris is just the person to fulfill that cultural mission.
The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story also shares that Barris’ Interscope venture arrives during a transitional period. After recently walking away from his $100 million multi-year Netflix deal, the showrunner is now focused on helping to create BET Studios — a partnership with BET and its parent company ViacomCBS that will give him more freedom to pursue other business relationships.
In addition to his newly-launched record label, Barris and his team have also quietly negotiated a podcasting deal with Audible, a book deal with Random House as well as a first-look film deal with Paramount that he intends to weave together in the near future.
“Since the beginning, the goal at Khalabo has been to tell stories that reflect our culture with honesty, specificity and from a perspective that feels unique to a singular voice,” Barris told THR. “Similar to how we’ve approached our television and film content, my hope is that Khalabo Music becomes a place where artists are given the space to hone their talent while embracing the specificity and individuality of their voice and sound.”
Barris’ Hollywood takeover has its sights set on the rest of the entertainment industry, and per his newly-revealed vision, he’ll be moving up the ranks making similar moves of folks like Kevin Hart, Charlamagne Tha God and others.