By the time Interscope executive vp urban operations Nicole Wyskoarko and executive vp Joie Manda met him, DaBaby had five mixtapes out and breakout song “21” on the way (which has since garnered 5.4 million on-demand U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music). “His energy was infectious,” says Wyskoarko. “It matched the music and the visuals.” And though Wyskoarko “always had the feeling” there was growing major label interest in him, and she knew DaBaby was taking other meetings, she insists signing him “just made sense for us,” and wasn’t merely a strike at competitors.
Wyskoarko hired 24-year-old Caroline “Baroline” Diaz as DaBaby’s day-to-day A&R rep. “She has a young, infectious energy, too -- it’s a great fit,” she says. DaBaby already has his follow-up to 2018’s Blank Blank recorded and will attend the NBA’s All-Star Weekend (Feb. 15-17) in his hometown. “He can be a multihyphenate,” says Wyskoarko. “He’s very focused on his craft, from a creative and business perspective. He’s someone we’re very excited to be in business with.”
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 9 issue of Billboard.