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News January 24, 2023

Valve Sounds Reborn Through Mushroom Group Partnership

Senior Journalist, B2B
Valve Sounds Reborn Through Mushroom Group Partnership

Valve Sounds, the alt-R&B, hip-hop and soul label, relaunches this month in partnership with Mushroom Group, TMN can reveal.

Founded by Sasha Chifura and Shelley Liu and based in Melbourne, Valve Sounds reawakens after a years-long slumber.

The indie label is dedicated to “carving a space for young artists to thrive,” and to “help create groundwork for a wave of Australian artists to make an impact in the scene on an international stage,” reads a statement.

With those ambitions in mind, Valve unveils three signings in the pipeline.

First up, the Sydney R&B multi-hyphenate Maina Doe; Nigeria-born, Melbourne-based producer, vocalist, and performer IJALE; and dynamic Brisbane indie/R&B newcomer King Ivy.

Valve is the right fit for Mushroom Group, execs say.

“We have been looking for the right hip-hop/R&B partner for some time now to complement our other labels,” Mushroom Labels COO Chris Maund tells TMN.

”Valve, Shelley and Sasha stood out because they are entrenched in that scene and have a clear vision to break fresh hip-hop/RnB artists globally.”

IJALE, Maina Doe and King Ivy (Photo credit James J.Robinson)

Maund points to Doe as a significant early breakthrough.

“Valve are signing culturally diverse artists whose sound is both authentic and borderless, giving them real opportunity to cut-through and deliver internationally,” he notes.

There’s “no better example of that than the recent Maina Doe single (‘Primal Design’) we just serviced landing a load of global playlists. That, will be the start of many.”

Following the new arrangement, Valve Sounds will drop “WYA” (Where You At) next Thursday (Feb. 2), a collaborative track that’s said to be a “smooth slice” that blends the talents of the three labelmates.

Chifura and Liu are scene-builders with runs on the board.

Chifura founded and is the current director of management and artist development company Foreign Echo (Tkay Maidza and Skin On Skin), while Shelley Liu has enjoyed success managing Foreign Echo artists jamesjamesjames, Pretty Girl and CLYPSO, booking for Skin On Skin, CRUSH3d and Surusinghe, and juggling event programming and tour managing — efforts that landed her on TMN’s 30 Under 30 list for 2021.

“Shelley and I have shared a passion to see alternative Australian artists challenge the status quo on the international stage,” comments Chifura, in a joint-statement.

“We have somewhat achieved this over our nearing decade-long partnership across bookings and management. We are now thrilled to collaborate with Mushroom Group and use our combined experiences to replicate similar successes as we re-launch the label.”

Valve Sounds now sits among the 25-plus companies that operate within the Mushroom Group, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The group is led by Mushroom Group CEO, Matt Gudinski, son of the late founder and chairman Michael Gudinski, and himself a hip-hop authority, having kicked goals with Illusive and RNB Fridays Live and more.

Chifura and Liu’s “clear vision for the label and expertise in the R&B and hip-hop scene excels them as key industry leaders of the future,” says Gudinski.

“It’s with great pleasure we welcome them to the family and look forward to a longstanding relationship.”


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