Eshy Gazit, CEO/founder of Gramophone Media and partner at Maverick Management, has announced the launch of a new label venture, Intertwine, in partnership with BMG, he tells Billboard. Monsta X and Wonho, two K-pop acts that Gazit has been instrumental in helping bring over to the States, are the first two artists involved in the partnership.
“Intertwine is designed to take another step forward and support artists from Asia and all over the world to bring their music language to as many people as possible,” says Gazit tells Billboard. “The BMG partnership brings a significant amount of resources, teams of professionals worldwide, and other important assets to really make this music unity dream fulfilled to its full potential.”
Along with Monsta X and the group’s former singer, Wonho, who launched a solo career in 2020, Gazit worked with BTS during that group’s early attempts to break through in North America. Gazit will remain a partner at Maverick, as well as president at Gramophone, an artist and brand development company that was acquired by LiveXLive Media last month.
“Eshy has played a vital role in strategically developing the K-pop subculture as the new mainstream music not only in the US, but around the world,” says Thomas Scherer, BMG executive vp repertoire & marketing, Los Angeles. “His relentless passion, expertise, knowledge, and track record of success speaks volumes. BMG is proud to deliver exciting new K-pop music to fans around the world. Hallyu!.”
Gazit confirms that Monsta X, the six-member pop group whose 2020 English-language album All About Luv reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, will release a new English-language album later this year. Meanwhile, Wonho, who departed Monsta X in 2019, has released a pair of solo EPs over the past year.
BMG has also finalized a separate distribution deal for Monsta X’s two upcoming Korean albums, partnering with South Korea’s Starship Entertainment. Wonho will continue working with Highline Entertainment, a subsidiary of Starship.
“Given BMG’s global reach, we knew this was an extraordinary opportunity to enter into the explosive world of K-pop,” says Dan Gill, BMG executive vp recorded music. “With the Intertwine partnership centered around international superstars Monsta X and Wonho, we intend to not only build, but expand their brands into previously untapped territories.”
Gazit adds, ”In the past six years, working firsthand with artists and labels from Korea, I saw a huge shift in the acceptance of these artists, and specifically a tremendous change in how people accept Kpop and Asian artists in the U.S.” Gazit praises BMG’s “trademark values of fairness, transparency and service,” and says that Intertwine will be “a worldwide initiative to connect people and cultures through music.”