Tunji Balogun may not be a name that most people recognize, but he’s a very big deal behind the scenes in the music industry. He is one of the most well-known A&Rs in the industry and he has worked with some of the biggest labels. For the last several years, he has been a vice president of RCA Records, but now he’s decided to move on to another opportunity. It was recently announced that Tunji was hired as the CEO of Def Jam records. This major move is well deserved and lots of people are looking forward to seeing what Tunji does with his new position. With a legacy that is already among the best, there’s no doubt he still has lots of cool things to accomplish. Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about Tunji Balogun.
1. He’s From The Bay Area
As someone who has spent his entire career behind the scenes, it’s probably not too surprising that Tunji is the type of person who doesn’t like to spend much time in the spotlight or share much about himself. As a result, we don’t have much information about his upbringing but we do know that he grew up in the Bay Area although his family is originally from Nigeria.
2. He Went To Prep School
Even though we don’t know much about his family, we do know that Tunji comes from a family that holds education in high regard. Tunji attended Deerfield Academy which is a prep school in Massachusetts. After high school, Tunji went on to study at Pomona College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in media studies and sociology.
3. He’s Low-Key On Social Media
Most people in the music industry are really into building a strong social media presence. However, that doesn’t seem to be at the top of Tunji’s priority list. Although he has accounts on Instagram and Twitter, he doesn’t seem to spend a lot of time on either platform. In fact, his Instagram account currently doesn’t have any posts. He’s a bit more active on Twitter, but he primarily retweets things.
4. He Used To Make Music
Tunji may be behind the scenes these days, but there was a point in time where he was focused on making music. During an interview with Frannie and Ali, Tunji said, “…when I was in college, I was making music. I was an artist. I was rapping, and I had a radio show on our local college station.”
5. He Speaks Three Languages
If you’ve ever tried learning another language, you know just how challenging it is. According to his LinkedIn profile, Tunji speaks Yoruba, English, and Spanish. Being able to speak multiple languages is a very useful skill to have, especially in an international industry like music.
6. He Hopes To Inspire The Next Generation
Music has always played an important role in Tunji’s life, and he’s thankful to have grown up at the time when he did. Now that he is in the business, he hopes to be able to be a part of inspiring the next generation of music fans and artists. He hopes to be able to use his position to continue to promote diversity.
7. He Has Helped Discover Some Major Artists
Even if you’ve never heard of Tunji, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of most of the artists that he’s worked with. He has helped several artists get signed including H.E.R, SZA, Khalid, and Bryson Tiller. I think it’s safe to say that modern R&B music would sound a lot different if it weren’t for him.
8. He Likes Creating Opportunities For Others
One of the best parts of Tunji’s job is that he gets to put other people on. While talking to Frannie and Ali, Tunji said, “I’m trying to pull up more people with me, on both sides, the artist side, executive side. Trying to create opportunities for as many talented creatives as I can. I feel like that’s my role. There was a reason why I didn’t end up becoming an artist. It was so that I could go into the system and clear a path for more people. ”
9. He Started His Career As An Intern
Over the years internships have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation. Lots of companies have started using internships as a way to get cheap labor and not a way to invest in potential future employees. However, being an intern worked out quite nicely for Tunji. He started his career as an intern with Warner Brothers and he has been in the industry ever since.
10. He’s Always Looking For Ways To Innovate
There are lots of people out there who prefer when things stay the same, but Tunji is a firm believer that that isn’t the right approach to take when it comes to music. He believes that artists and fans should constantly be looking for ways to innovate and introduce new concepts and sounds.