Haqq Islam, Industry Veteran Behind Dru Hill & Mya, Launches Contra Recordings

Courtesy Photo

Haqq Islam -- whose University Records signed and developed such gold and platinum-selling acts as Sisqo, Dru Hill and Mya -- signals his return with a new label called Contra Worldwide Recordings. The New York-based company's roster includes singer-songwriters Alia Lene and Tina DeCara, and rapper Casey808. All three acts released new singles Friday (Sept. 20), “Morning,” “I’m With Me” and “Bandz,” respectively.    

In addition to Islam, Contra’s executive team includes his business partner and nephew Aaron Eubanks and president Cheryl Marks. Marks’ background includes posts as vp marketing at Sony Music Entertainment and director of marketing at Jive Records.

Explaining the inspiration behind the new label, Islam says, "It’s us against the world, a whole new model. We’re out here going against the grain worldwide. I believe these three talented artists are world-changers that will build on the tradition I began with University."

Through joint venture deals with major labels Interscope, Def Jam, Sony and Warner Bros. (now Warner Records) between the late '90s and early 2000s, Islam’s University Records garnered 10 No. 1 singles and 20 top 10 singles. Those credits include Dru Hill’s “In My Bed,” “Never Make a Promise” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” Mya’s “It’s All About Me” with Sisqo and “Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do),” and Sisqo’s “Thong Song,” plus film music hits “Wild Wild West” with Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Moulin Rouge’s “Lady Marmalade” featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink. 

In addition to launching Contra, Islam is currently in talks for a TV biopic about Dru Hill, who will be spotlighted during an episode of cable network TV One’s popular series Unsung airing later this year. Islam also helms Rucker Park Prep, a youth sports and entertainment organization. Each summer RPP holds a basketball tournament for youths 10-17 years old in the tri-state area at historic Rucker Park in Harlem, New York, where legends such as Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have competed. Among RPP’s sponsors is Def Jam. The organization also offers year-round social, cultural and financial literacy activities to help the players transition into college and beyond.

Alia Lene – “Morning”

Tina DeCara – “I'm With Me”

Casey808 – “Bandz”


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