Lanre Masha formerly the General Manager of Music for Trace Media, has been appointed as Director, West Africa for The Orchard, a distribution, artist and label services company owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The company is completing plans to expand its operations in Africa.
In his new role at The Orchard, Masha will spearhead the company’s operations in West Africa, offering distribution expertise, release strategies, and regional support to the company’s roster of artists and label clients.
While the Nigerian office will be stationed at Lagos, he will report to Prashant Bahadur, EVP, Head of Strategy, and will collaborate with Ben Oldfield, VP, Market Development for Africa.
His short time with the firm has seen Masha already starting to boost the company’s teams of artists from French-speaking West Africa, Ghana, and also bolstering the Lagos team. Through The Orchard, Masha has already signed Ghanaian hip-hop duo R2Bees which has nearly 432,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Other signees include Nigerian gospel artist Ty Bello, Afro-fusion artist MUIS, Afro-pop sensation YKB, and Melodi from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Prior to his appointment, Masha served an eight-year tenure at Trace Media, where he was the general manager for Music and Editorial, playing a role in supporting and building artist presence locally and internationally.
He also held marketing and sales roles at Pepsico in Chicago. Masha serves as the music curator of Art X Live!, a division of Artx Lagos, and is a founding member of MARS, the home to breakout afro-pop star YKB, who has already received co-signs from Joeboy and Finesse hitmaker Pheelz.
Commenting on his new role, Masha said: “West Africa is no longer a young market. We are leading the global expansion of music from the region, connecting artists with fans worldwide. The Orchard’s cutting-edge technology, vast global network, entrepreneurial spirit, and best-in-class solutions to not only build but sustain a global business, is how we offer unparalleled support to our clients. I look forward to working with the team to bring the rich talent of West Africa to the world.”
Prashant Bahadur, EVP, Head of Strategy at The Orchard, said, “The Orchard has been invested in the musically rich African Diaspora over the last ten years. We continue to foster long-term relationships with our clients in the region as we expand.
“Lanre’s deep immersion in the Nigerian music scene coupled with his global background as a marketer and curator makes him uniquely qualified to grow The Orchard’s value proposition for our clients while offering a tailored approach sensitive to the varied needs of the region.”
The Orchard says it continues to extend its footprint in Africa, participating in music conferences in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Lesotho, and hosting the inaugural ‘Spring Bloom’ event for clients and partners in South Africa, featuring a special visit by The Orchard co-founder Richard Gottehrer.