Name: SinceThe80s (Barry “Hefner” Johnson, Kei Henderson, and Zeke Nicholson)
Occupation: Record label and publishing company
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
How We Know Them: How much talent they got? A LOT. The coolest kids on the block, these three are behind acts like 21 Savage, EarthGang, and J.I.D.
Why We Chose Them: Hip-Hop’s cultural savants created their own landscape, successfully merging label/talent management and a publishing company and made it look seamless.
What’s Next: The team is always chasing one thing; success.
Indie Record Label “Since the 80’s” making noise in Hip Hop
SinceThe80s is a management and label firm shaking up the industry and doing things their way, the efficient way. Housed under Capitol/Motown The Founders Barry “Hefner” Johnson, Kei Henderson, and Zeke Nicholson describe their brand similar to sampling.
the transformation of old ethos learned from the past with present-day perspective
SinceThe80s’ founders were all born in the 80s and their names pay tribute to what that decade gave music as a whole.”Revolution. Innovation. The glow of a new dawn.
“SinceThe80s aims to bare new torches, light new fire, but never forgetting the era that showed them the way.
KeiSaundra ‘Kei Opens Doors’ Henderson holds the title of ‘Founder & SVP of Marketing’. Henderson was born in Cleveland Ohio before being raised in Alpharetta Georgia where her love for hip hop began. Kei began her journey into entertainment management working promotions, indie showcases, and freelance lifestyle blogging as 1/3rd of Lavish Life Social Club, a company she started. This lead Kei to meeting & managing the late old fourth ward legend Grip Playz. Grip would mark the first artist to request Kei as manager. Soon after Kei started Governed By Loyalty (d.b.a. King Me Collective) where she would Grip along with others until mid-2010. During that time Kei expanded and joined advertising sales assistant for Complex Media where she became the first Complex employee to access and operate as head of their social media channels where she increased their social channels by over 400%. During this time Kei picked up Atlanta group Two9 and when member Key! decided to leave they stayed on board managing him. Through Key! she was introduced to Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, aka 21 Savage, during the annual A3C festival in October 2014.
After amazing success with 21 Savage, Kei decided to grow her business even more, that’s when she teamed up with current business partners Barry “Hefner” Johnson (Founder & CEO) and his protégé Zeke Nicholson (Founder & SVP of A&R) to combine their companies―Governed By Loyalty & Fab 5 Management―to create SinceThe80s: a joint venture label management, and publishing company under Motown and Capitol Records. Fab 5 Management is where Barry met Zeke and managed their first artist Scolla.
After a series of promising prospects, uncoachable clients, and unavoidable pitfalls,10 years of perseverance paid off after returning back to Atlanta and discovering native rappers J.I.D and EarthGang in 2014.
Under Barry & Zeke’s co-management both acts signed a deal with J. Cole’s Dreamville label and Interscope.
The combination of Kei’s, Barry’s & Zeke veteran expertise has made SinceThe80s a disruptor in the space of hip hop entertainment. After several cross country tours, international tours, a successful Dreamville compilation album, gold & platinum plaques, packed panels giving game back to up & coming creatives, magazine covers, well-received projects SinceThe80s refuses to claim success. “To say I’m successful now is to limit myself,” says Zeke Nicholson. “It’s more about being happy with what you’re doing.”
Their Current Roster is STRONG:
ONLY ONE FELIPE – MGMT | PUBLISHER
HARDO – MGMT
MALIK – MGMT | LABEL | PUBLISHER
J.I.D. – MGMT
NJOMZA – MGMT | LABEL
TOOLY – MGMT | LABEL | PUBLISHER
“Check out the other honorees on iOne Digital’s The Creative Class.”