Warner Music Group (WMG) has partnered with Pakistani company Giraffe, one of South Asia’s leading music and audio production companies, which was co-founded by Xulfi, the stage name of celebrated artist Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, and CEO Muhammad Ibrahim.
Pakistan is a fast-growing recorded music market of some 250 million people, and a source of repertoire that particularly resonates with the 90 million Punjabi and Urdu speakers outside the country.
This deal will help Warner Music establish a new A&R source in Pakistan through the experts behind some of South Asia’s most compelling music platforms and global hits, such as ‘Pasoori’ by Shae Gill and Ali Sethi. Warner Music and Giraffe now will come together for the next season of Coke Studio Season 15.
Giraffe was established in 2017 in Pakistan and has a rich history producing some of South Asia’s most coveted music shows, including Drummers of Pakistan, Nescafé Basement and Red Bull Music Sound Clash, as well as non-music content such as Dhak Dhak Goal and Shan Kitchen. More recently, it has spearheaded the production of Coke Studio – Pakistan’s biggest cultural export and a show acclaimed for promoting multiculturalism, dialogue and multi genre collaboration.
Co-founder Xulfi was the composer, guitarist and producer for the bands Entity Paradigm and Call, which both enjoyed commercial and critical success. He has also been a producer and songwriter on a number of epic Bollywood projects.
CEO Muhammad Ibrahim started his career in accountancy after graduating from the University of Bristol. He moved into the media industry in 2012 and since has worked on projects such as Nescafé Basement, where his achievements included the formation of the first all-girl band in Pakistan.
Xulfi says: “I believe it’s going to be a beautiful and adventurous journey. Our aim has always been to use art to build bridges for conversing with the world. Warner Music, while leveraging its immense global influence, will also help support the artists and their artistry in Pakistan. Artists in Pakistan are diverse and talented with an innate ability to surprise. Together with Warner Music, we will endeavor to scout stories that can catalyze transformative change, in the pursuit of nurturing a vibrant music ecosystem for the future, and present a greater narrative of love from Pakistan to the world.”
Muhammad Ibrahim adds: “For us at Giraffe, this partnership is exciting on many levels and is, in a way, a testament to Giraffe’s long-standing commitment to fostering a conducive environment, ultimately benefiting both existing performers and a new wave of Pakistani artists. We look forward to signing and developing our talent by delivering the best-in-class service, as well as continuing to produce innovative content.”
Alfonso Perez Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Music, comments: “Pakistan has a rich music scene that offers huge opportunities for a global music company. Through the powerhouse that is Coke Studio, Xulfi and Ibrahim have proven to be phenomenal A&Rs that will be invaluable in Warner Music’s growth in the region. Together, we will discover and develop artists that have the potential to connect with fans all around the world.”
Simon Robson, President, International, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group, concludes: “This is a landmark moment for Warner Music as we work with Giraffe to establish a presence in Pakistan. The combination of its local A&R experience and our global network will mean we can offer talented artists from Pakistan a chance to shine on an international stage.”