Popular British actor and DJ Idris Elba has launched his own record label called 7Wallace Music.
Aside from his endeavors in film and television, Elba is also heavily involved in music, mainly focusing on the genres of dance and hip-hop. For his record label, he'll likely showcase a diverse range of styles.
Along with the label announcement, Elba has revealed his first signing, a French hip-hop producer named James BKS who has worked with Diddy, Talib Kweli and others in the States, according to Billboard. James now lives in Paris and runs the Grown Kid creative house that has produced music for fashion brand commercials for Yves Saint-Laurent, Prada and Giorgio Armani. Grown Kid has also scored French films including La Taularde and Le Gang Des Antillais.
In more recent years, James has found a deep connection his Cameroonian roots after linking with his biological father, legendary Afro-jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango. Now he's fusing elements of African music into his own material.
Speaking with Billboard, Elba expressed his excitement for signing James BKS to 7Wallace Music: "James is a rare find. His hip-hop sensibilities transfer to the other music he makes, he's a nice person to work with and is going to be a strong artist in the future. It's a huge move for 7Wallace, a small indie label."
James BKS will release his single 'Kwlele' on July 13, which is a collaboration with Dibango and Allan Kingdom. It's material that showcases his African roots while fusing elements of hip-hop and pop.
James touched on the inspiration behind the music and how it pays tribute to the Kwele ethnic group of Gabon, Republic of Congo and Cameroon: "I want people to get to know my journey. The song is the musical answer to my inner questions. Finally I can be proud of my roots and say this music is fully me."
Idris Elba was recently in London to perform for Mixmag's The Lab LDN during the Creamfields takeover. Watch his house-focused DJ set below.