LOS ANGELES, CA – July 7, 2023: Protect the Culture, a new label founded by respected music industry veteran and entrepreneur Marc Byers, has entered into a worldwide joint venture with Warner Records. Byers will also serve as an A&R consultant for Warner Records, focusing on the vibrant African music scene. He will work closely with Steve Carless, President of A&R and Karen Kwak, EVP/Head of A&R. Grammy®-nominated artist Lord Afrixana makes his debut on the newly minted label venture with the powerful new single “No Dey Tire.” The propulsive track offers a peek into the Ghana-born Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter’s upcoming solo project arriving later this year. Listen to “No Dey Tire” HERE https://
“Marc has already proven to be an invaluable A&R resource with the signings of breakout Nigerian artist Pheelz and afro-fusion rising star Lord Afrixana. We’re confident it’s just the beginning of what’s to come from Marc and Protect the Culture. Aaron (Bay-Schuck), Tom (Corson), and the team are excited to be championing such inspiring young talent from the electrifying African and world music scenes with passionate entrepreneurs, and we’re looking forward to all we can accomplish together,” said Steven “Steve-O” Carless, President of A&R, Warner Records and Karen Kwak, EVP/Head of A&R, Warner Records.
“I’m excited to bring Protect The Culture to Warner Records. I have a passion for this genre and feel it will be the Pop music of the world. Lord Afrixana is our first artist on the label and he’s incredibly talented. PTC wants to introduce more than just sounds coming out of Africa because Afrobeats is universal and incredibly diverse. I’d like to thank Aaron, Tom, Steve, and Karen for their trust in my vision,” said Marc Byers, Protect the Culture.
On “No Dey Tire” Lord Afrixana stakes his claim as a culture- and genre-bending master, blending thunderous bass, pulsating beats, and his swaggering flow into a moody manifesto that demands nothing but respect. “Don’t look at me, shine your eyes on yourself,” he commands, repeating this catch phrase with an intimidating edge to his voice. “They don’t have no respect, so I came to break their neck,” he adds. “They left us all for dead, so forgive but don’t forget.” Built on dynamic rhythms, the song is moody and ominous yet full of vigor.
Following last year’s hard-hitting “Touchdown,” featured on the EA Sports Madden NFL soundtrack, “No Dey Tire” largely reflects – and speaks to – the African and Caribbean communities of Afrixana’s adopted hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, where he’s lived since the age of nine. After years spent perfecting his craft, he began his professional songwriting career in 2015. Four years later he was writing songs with Beyoncé – with whom he co-wrote two songs for The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack – which would earn him three Grammy nominations. Since then, he’s had star-studded collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams, Bebe Rexha, Tiwa Savage, and has been featured on the season 2 soundtrack of the Epix original series Godfather of Harlem alongside DDG with “No Favors” and the season 3 soundtrack with “Bad Guy.” He also co-wrote the smash hit summer anthem “Showing Off Her Body” by DaBaby & Davido.
Most recently (2021), Byers was general manager of Motown Records, where he oversaw the label’s day-to-day operations and worked closely with label CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam. Over the course of his 25 year career, Byers has worked with Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Eve, Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx, Raven-Symoné, and breakout afrobeats artist Pheelz as well as producers Dre and Vidal, Rodney Jerkins, and Idris Elba. From 2009 through 2011, Byers was instrumental in the formation of Philly360.com through his consultation agreement with Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), steering the organization’s sponsorship of the annual event The Roots Picnic. He also produced the 2012 feature film Black November, starring Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Vivica A. Fox, Wyclef Jean, and Akon. Earlier in his career, he was an A&R Director at Atlantic Records, working with Intro, Monie Love, and The Braxton Sisters.
Warner Music Group