Gabriel adds, “The music on Real World is very precious to us, so we wanted to find a great home in America. We are delighted to have all our artists welcomed and look forward to building something special together.”
“Like so many, I have a profound admiration for Peter as a musician and artist, as well as a deep respect for the innovative and influential label he started nearly two decades ago,” says John Esposito, President and CEO of WEA Corp., who oversees Warner Music Group’s U.S distribution companies, including Ryko. “Real World’s impressive catalog is a true cultural gem and we will look forward to applying the resources of Ryko and WMG to assure it is treated with the care and dedication it deserves.”
Real World’s first project under the new agreement teams Gabriel and Karl Wallinger (The Waterboys, World Party), who oversaw a new album called Big Blue Ball. The album has been 16 years in the making and began in 1992 during a “Recording Week” at Real World Studios when Gabriel opened its doors for the week to 75 international artists from over 20 countries. The project is filled with several unique and unexpected collaborations.
The first single from the Big Blue Ball project, “Whole Thing,” was released this week exclusively on iTunes. The song features Gabriel on lead vocal and keyboards, Tim Finn (Crowded House) and Andy White (ALT) on backing vocals, Karl Wallinger and Paul Allen Nord on guitar, and Francis Bebey, the legendary cultural icon of Cameroon, on flute.
Real World Records’ current roster includes, Toumast, Sevara Nazarkhan, Daby Touré and others. The catalog includes recordings by international artists the Blind Boys of Alabama, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Joseph Arthur, Ozomatli, Afro Celt Sound System, Papa Wemba, Sheila Chandra, Charlie Musselwhite and Little Axe, among others.
Launched in 1989, Real World Records was founded by Gabriel to provide musicians access to state-of-the-art recording facilities and audiences outside of their native region. With the support of Ryko’s award-winning independent distribution network, Real World Records will continue to push boundaries and unite artists with a passion for music that transcends cultural backgrounds.