RASHEED SHITTU, Founder and CEO of Azalas Records Ltd
Originally born in Nigeria, Rasheed Shittu has always been passionate about underground music from a young age. After moving to the UK as a teenager, the idea of creating a record label first came to mind following the burst of African influence on the UK music scene. In addition, the increasing number of young Nigerian artists both locally and abroad provided further validation that an investment in the talent emerging from West Africa would be worthwhile. However, with the lack of opportunities available to young people in Nigeria, Rasheed decided to begin by investing in the Nigerian community through regular donations made directly to young people and their families with intent to better their everyday lives.
At the same time back in Nigeria, Rasheed’s younger brother (Ramon) had begun to write and produce music of his own. After Ramon was approached by several labels, Rasheed decided it was time for Azalas Records to made a reality. He directed the bulk of his investment into Ramon for the next 6 years - making Ramon the focus of the label and the first officially signed artist.
To date, Rasheed successfully runs multiple businesses in both the fashion and sales industry, yet he remains committed to an extensive work of philanthropy both in the UK and Nigeria. Aside from his involvement with a number of international charities, Rasheed works with troubled and disadvantaged youth on a weekly basis in Essex, UK and is investing to build a large agricultural farm in Nigeria to create job opportunities for the local community. Within five years, Rasheed intends to create a charity focused on supporting young, disadvantaged adults in Nigeria.