J. Cole Explains Explains Why He Signed His Dreamville Label with Interscope

Following up the announcement that he signed a deal for his Dreamville imprint with Interscope on his 29th birthday on January 28, J. Cole talked to Billboard about this decision, sharing that Joie Manda -- Interscope president of urban music -- wanted him to become “a Dre to his Jimmy Iovine.“

“We’ve been dreaming about a label situation for years,” Cole told Billboard over the phone a few days after the announcement. “The deal’s been official since late December, and we’d been working on it for a while before that, but it felt too important to just go out and yell it right when it happened. It needed a more grand announcement. “I thought he wanted me to produce someone over there and I was excited about that, but then he told me that he really believed in me as an executive, a label CEO and a producer. A Dr. Dre to his Jimmy Iovine. He had the vision.

They had a monster two years — I’m coming in at the right time. It’s a well-oiled machine,” Cole said. “When they believe in something, they show it. They pull out all the stops. Every artist wants that kind of power, and if I can utilize that, it’s game over. Jimmy Iovine told me that no one turns a spark into a flame like Interscope, and that’s what made me choose them.”

Dreamville currently encompass Omen, K-Quick and Bas with him being the only one who has been officially signed with Interscope yet, and who will release the first official project Last Winter on March 6.