IT STARTS WITH
AN ENDLESS PASSION FOR MUSIC, DISCOVERY, PEOPLE AND LIFE.
KeyQaad is an African independent recording label and company which is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The founders, Valentine ‘Valo’ Ngaji and Marshall Onaemo—childhood friends who attended the university of Port Harcourt together—started out helping artistes under the company name “Baller Music”. Though the company was unregistered at the time, they had a passion for music. This is no surprise, as both founders each headed Music programs in different broadcasting media in Africa. Valo worked at Cool FM in Port Harcourt, and after joining Soundcity Lagos, became the Soundcity Head of Programs and Music across Africa. Marshall, on the other hand, headed Programs and Music at Cool FM, Wazobia FM and Nigerian Info. It was not until 2017 that the duo joined forces and their pool of knowledge to officially found and register the label company as “KeyQaad”. Coined from the word ‘Keycard’, the label is one established for the purpose of giving the world access to timeless music
Today, KeyQaad has signed some of the most talented Afrobeats artistes, one of which is Omah Lay. It signed the singer in 2019, making him the first talent officially signed to the label that became a rave in the industry. In 2021, the label went on to sign Kaestyle, another sensational Nigerian talent. These two artists have gone on to create beautiful sounds for themselves, release amazing records, and are looking to take on the global space in a few years to come.
The growing label is still taking on exceptional up-and-coming African musicians; as talent, character, sociability, willingness to learn, and star-power are the qualities that it seeks in these new acts. The genres of music focused on by the label are limitless; it focuses on timeless and great music irrespective of the genre
As a company, KeyQaad places at its forefront her mission, which is to rewrite the African story one song at a time. It has not failed in achieving this: since its launch in 2017, the record label has gone on to win several awards, both locally and internationally, and is also set to unveil a new talent soon.
The label keeps growing, as it recently launched its publishing arm, KeyQaad Music Publishing. A force to be looked out for, KeyQaad has only just started. The label is taking not just Africa, but the world by a storm, one song at a time