Drake has risen to become one of the most influential figures in hip-hop. His first three albums played a huge role in establishing him as an international star, but his follow-ups were no slouches either.
Naturally, he’s had some help along the way, and he’s probably even been passed around by a couple of labels, right? Right.
So, let’s look at Drake’s history, as well as who he’s signed to now.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
Who Is Drake Signed To?
Drake is signed to OVO Sound. OVO Sound is a Canadian independent record label, and it was founded in 2012 by Drake himself alongside manager Oliver El-Khatib and producer Noah “40” Shebib.
In addition to Drake, OVO represents acts like Roy Woods, Majid Jordan, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Baka Not Nice, Smiley, and Naomi Sharon, among others.
OVO Sound is distributed via Foundation Media, LLC, and Drake via Republic Records.
What Is OVO Sound?
OVO Sound is a Canadian independent record label located in Toronto, Ontario. Their musical focus tends toward hip-hop, trap, R&B, and dancehall styles.
In 2006, Drake released his first official mixtape, Room for Improvement. The mixtape was released under an unofficial record label called All Things Fresh. All Things Fresh would eventually become October’s Very Own (with OVO being the corresponding acronym). Thus, OVO Sound.
Drake would help raise the profile of the label’s name by promoting OVO merchandise, and by dropping the name in his lyrics, both on stage and in recordings.
The label was founded officially in 2012 after the success of Drake’s second album, Take Care. Drake would also sign a partnership deal with Warner Records.
Does Drake Have His Own Record Label?
Yes, the rumors are true. Drake is a co-founder of OVO Sound, which was founded in 2012. Also see above.
Who Is Signed To OVO Sound?
OVO Sound’s current artist roster is as follows:
Canadian R&B singer and record producer PARTYNEXTDOOR was the first to be signed to OVO Sound in 2013. He released his first self-titled EP later in 2013, following it up with multiple releases in 2014 and 2016.
PARTYNEXTDOOR is also a successful songwriter – he wrote Rihanna’s “Work,” which rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Dvsn is a Canadian R&B duo made up of producer Nineteen85 and singer Daniel Daley. The duo initially found success with the singles “The Line” and “With Me” in 2015.
Having followed up their first two singles with several more songs, they announced the release of their debut studio album, Sept. 5th, in 2016.
Dvsn has maintained a steady release schedule ever since.
Majid Jordan is a Canadian R&B duo comprised of producer Jordan Ullman and singer Majid Al Maskati. The duo has been active since 2011, and they signed with OVO Sound in short order.
Majid Jordan would go on to produce Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” which became Drake’s most successful charting single in numerous countries, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
Majid Jordan would release their first official single and EP in 2014. They’ve had a steady release schedule ever since.
Canadian singer and rapper Roy Woods (Denzel Spencer) has been active as an OVO Sound artist since 2014. Roy Woods is also the founder of a collective called Unlock The Underground (a branch of OVO Sound) as well.
Roy Woods has released many singles, several EPs, and several albums.
Jamaican singer Popcaan initially found success with his international hit, “Clarks” with Kartel. Departing from Music Empire, Popcaan signed with Mixpak Records, releasing Where We Come From, in 2013. In 2016, he would find his way to OVO Sound.
Popcaan has collaborated with the likes of Jamie xx, Pusha T, Giggs, Matoma, Wale, Gorillaz, Davido, and of course, Drake.
Baka Not Nice
Canadian rapper Baka Not Nice was originally part of Drake’s security team. He would go on to contribute backing vocals on Drake’s “From Time,” and he was given several more opportunities to shine as a backing vocalist on tunes like “Gyalchester.”
On June 27, 2017, Baka Not Nice signed with OVO Sound and Warner Records. His first single, “Live Up to My Name,” would be released three days later. It was co-written with Drake.
So far, Baka Not Nice’s contribution to music has been limited, but no doubt we’ll start to see more from him as he’s called upon.
Not to be confused with the singer of the same name, Canadian rapper Smiley is known best for his 2021 hit, “Over The Top,” a collaboration with Drake.
Smiley began rapping in 2014. His 2015 track, “9 on Me,” ended up attracting the attention of record producer Boi-1da. His first interaction with Drake was in 2017.
Naomi Sharon is the first lady to be signed to OVO Sound. Drake was excited to make the announcement on Instagram, and Sharon was flattered by it too.
So far, she has released two songs – “Another Life” and “Celestial.” As the latest addition to the OVO crew, her career is still very young, but no doubt we can expect to see an EP or full album from her in the next year or so.
Is Drake Still Signed To Young Money?
Drake was signed to Republic Records through Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records for nine years. His 2018 release, Scorpion, would be his last with Young Money and Cash Money.
Is Drake Still Signed To Cash Money?
Also see above. 2018’s Scorpion would be Drake’s final project with Young Money and Cash Money.
Republic? Universal? Young Money? Cash Money? OVO Sound? I’m Confused
We understand your confusion.
Multiple things are going on here, though not all of them will be applicable here.
The first is that the “Big Three” (Universal, Sony, and Warner) own large swaths of so-called independent record labels.
The second is that record contracts or deals aren’t always as straightforward as they appear. An artist may be signed to one label, distributed by another, joint ventured with yet another, and so on.
Just about the only thing you need to know about Drake is that he’s currently signed to OVO Sound, though he may be making deals with other labels on behalf of himself or other OVO artists.
What Is Drake Known For?
Some sources have it that Drake is responsible for bringing R&B sensibilities and singing to hip-hop. This is a kind way of putting it. What Drake is really known for is what many of us have come to refer to as “mumble rap.”
Either way, Drake originally found some success as the starring character Jimmy Brooks in the CTV teen drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation, between 2001 and 2008.
He began pursuing a recording career in 2006 when he released his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He followed up his debut release with two more mixtapes – Comeback Session in 2007, and So Far Gone in 2009. It was around this time he signed with Young Money Entertainment.
Drake’s first three albums – 2010’s Thank Me Later, 2011’s Take Care, and 2013’s Nothing Was the Same would put him front and center in the world of hip-hop.
If that’s all he ever did, Drake would have been remembered well as an influential figure in popular music. But his 2016 release, the dancehall-influenced Views, was even more explosive, reaching the top of the Billboard 200 charts and staying there for 13 weeks.
The album spawned two international hits – “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance.”
In 2018, Drake released the double album Scorpion, which spawned the chart-topping singles, “In My Feelings,” “God’s Plan,” and “Nice for What.”
His sixth album, Certified Lover Boy (2021) would land him nine Hot 100 hits.
In 2022, Drake would release the house-inspired Honestly, Nevermind, and in 2023, he would follow it up with For All the Dogs, which landed him two chart-topping hit songs – “First Person Shooter,” and “Slime You Out.”
These feats set Drake over the top – he tied Michael Jackson for the most number-one singles by a male solo artist.
Drake is one of the world’s best-selling music artists and has sold over 170 million records. He has won multiple Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Brit Awards, and Juno Awards.
With that kind of track record, it’s no surprise that you’ve heard of Drake!
Who Influenced Drake?
Drake’s hip-hop influences are far-reaching. He has credited the likes of MF Doom, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West as key influences. Drake was also inspired by R&B, however, and has been influenced by the likes of Usher and Aaliyah.
Additionally, Drake has had some dancehall influences, like Vybz Kartel.
Is Drake Canadian?
Yes, Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 24, 1986.
Drake’s father, Dennis Graham, was musically inclined, having performed with country star Jerry Lee Lewis as a drummer.
His mother, Sandra “Sandi” Graham worked as a florist and English teacher.
Drake’s parents divorced when he was five, and Drake remained with his mother in Toronto.
Drake Record Label, Final Thoughts
Drake has blazed an impressive trail of success, something we expect will continue well into the future, especially as he guides and mentors a new era of artists through OVO Sound. So, keep an eye on OVO Sound developments, you won’t want to miss out!