|Headquarters||London, France, Spain|
Number of locations
|Services||Music, publishing,films, Tv shows and live events|
Dice Recordings is a British multi-award-winning independent record label based in London with offices in France and Spain. It was founded in 1999 and is known for releasing Hip Hop, Uk Garage, and Grime music. The label gained prominence in the early 2000s for releasing multiple singles from Skepta and Grime producer p.jam, later on signing Big Narstie.
In 2012, Dice Recordings scored an international hit and won its first 2012 Urban Music Award (UMAs) for Big Narstie’s EP #Pain. Dice Recordings continued to have success after that and signed several other music artists including Izzie Gibbs, Scouse Tremz, and Sarkodie. It became the first label to put on an all-Grime tour, ‘BDL Tour’ with multiple performances from a diverse range of artists. Since its inception, the record label has signed with multiple up-and-coming artists such as Skepta, Big Narstie, Armz Korleone, and KS LDN to name a few.
Later, Dice became a two-prong establishment comprising the Dice Recordings record label and the television production division, Dice Productions Entertainment. The Dice Productions roster includes Stevo The Madman production company “Digestives”, Man Like Haks, and Christopher Savage. The company has grown exponentially to become one of the leading record labels and production houses in the country supporting budding artists and spreading the music scene, especially Grime Music globally.
1999 - 2004
Dice Recordings was established in 1999 by Obi Kevin Legend Akudike, Nathan Brown, and Christopher Alvis in London. The inception of this record label was inspired by the story of Russel Simmons and Def Jam Music.
Within two years, the founders acquired a fully equipped studio in Bethnal Green, East London, and signed their first artist Lil T, in 2001. The debut release from Dice Recordings happened that year - Wha Blow, a single by Lil T. Soon after that, the label partnered with Pirate Station Heat FM 96.6, which resulted in them signing more up-and-coming artists. In 2003, Dice signed P.Jam, a music producer, followed by Skepta, a music artist. In the same year, they released DTI, an EP by Skepta with a music video, making it one of the first-ever grime music videos.
In the following years, Dice Recordings released multiple singles from p.jam and Skepta. The label also released a compilation, which was the first Grime compilation in history, with features from D Double E, JME, Lethal B, Skepta, Demon, and several other artists. The compilation spawned singles such as Thuggish Ruggish by JME and D Double E. and I Wake Up by Skepta.
Dice, after the success of its compilation, began distributing their own Records on a sale or return basis to Record shops in London and surrounding areas. Within a year, the label managed to secure a distribution deal and its music was made available in multiple record shops across the country. The record label also hosted some of the first early Grime events such as Heated, Sex In The Castle in 2004, to celebrate the release of the Dice Compilation.
2004 - 2007
In 2004 Dice signed a hip hop group - Alpha Omega and released two mixtapes. A few years later Skepta and Dice parted ways , but simultaneously the record label signed Mc Lady Shystie and released her mixtape - Grand Theft Audio In the same year. Dice also hooked up with Luke Hyams and produced Dubplate Drama starring Lady Shystie.
In 2006 Dice Recordings signed Mc Narstie, then changed his name to Big Narstie and dropped his first single - Spun A Web. The label also got Big Narstie to appear in Dubplate Drama alongside label mate Lady Shystie. In 2007 Dice Recordings produced their first independent film - London State Of Mind, which showcased a soundtrack featuring Dice artists.
In 2007 Dice released Big Narstie's second single Brush Man, which became an underground banger, and was named RWD Magazine song of the year. Later that year, Big Narstie’s first mixtape titled “I’m better than you” was released which resulted in him appearing on N Dubz's debut album - Uncle B in 2008.
2008 - 2013
Over the next few years, Dice released multiple mixtapes by Big Narstie such as The mind of a fat guy, Drugs, and Chicken, What’s the story Brixton Glory Vol 1,, Fat and Proud, The Big Man Returns, Hey Is That Fat Guy, Pain Therapy, Pain overload, and Pain Is Love. These Mixtapes pushed Big Narstie to the top of the underground Grime scene and set him up for the release of his first E.P. - #Pain in 2012. The E.P received great reviews and entered the iTunes chart at number 5, helping Big Narstie and Dice Recordings receive and win their first nomination and award at the Urban music awards (UMA’S) for best Grime act.
In June 2013 Big Narstie’s second E.P - Don’t Fuck Up The Base was released Entering the iTunes Chart at number 1. It became another big release and also won him another Urban Music Award for Best Grime act. A year later, Big Narstie started his first music tour with dates in Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Leeds, London, Bristol, Northampton, and Brighton, which got sold out. Big Narstie also got his first Mobo nomination for best Grime act and won his 3rd Urban Music Award in a row for best Grime act. Eventually, the success of his songs Gas pipe and Hello Hi won Big Narstie his 4th consecutive Urban Music Award for Best Grime act.
2014 - Present
In late 2014 Dice Recordings signed Northampton artist Izzie Gibbs. A year later, the label released Izzie’s debut EP Project X. In 2016 Izzie Gibbs’ second EP - Jitsu was related. The EP received great reviews and Izzie Gibbs went on to win the best newcomer award at the Urban Music Award. In the same year, the label also signed Liverpool artist Scouse Tremz and partnered with Insanity Records and speaker box for When the bassline drops by Big Narstie and Craig David. The song was a top ten and went gold and then went on to be certified platinum, doing multiple millions of streams. Big Narstie took home his 5th Urban Music Award in a row that year for best Grime act for his BDL Anthem.
In 2017, Dice signed with Scouse Tremz and released a 13 track mixtape titled Lifestyle Of A Pirate. Izzie Gibbs’ Third EP was released in the same year with features from label mate Big Narstie, Donae’o, and Young T and Bugsey. Dice Recordings also signed a one-album deal with African superstar rapper Sarkodie and released his album The Highest in September. The album was a huge success and was featured in USA billboard charts #86 and USA billboard rap charts at #5. In this same year Dice Recordings had all 3 of their main artists, Big Narstie, Izzie Gibbs & Scouse Tremz booked to perform at 2017 Glastonbury.
Dice Recordings released Big Narstie's debut album BDL Bipolar in 2018. Soon after that Dice Production Entertainment was launched, which later became a multi-award-winning production house. In the same year, the first episode of The Big Narstie show was aired. DPE went on to produce alongside BBC studio’s Big Narstie Big Adventure for Channel 4, and Let’s Settle This for BBC 3. Dice Recordings signed south London rapper Still Greedy and KS LDN in 2019. In that year, the French arm of the label was launched to support upcoming French music artists.
In September 2020 Dice Recordings took on management of Jack The Plugg, and they went on to release De Aqui Pa Ya with Lacrim and Morad( huge French and Spanish artists), the release was followed up by, Curvy featuring jay1 and blue face, then Goyard Batman with American rapper lil pump and Manchester rapper Aitch.
In September 2021 Dice Productions began producing the Big Narstie Big Night Out show for BBC 1 Xtra, airing on every Sunday morning at 1 am, Making Big Narstie one of the few people in UK Entertainment history with a nation wide tv and radio show airing in the same week.
- 1. Since its inception, Dice Recordings has been involved in many charitable works and has organized visits for their artists to give inspirational talks at prisons, referral units, and universities, including Pentonville prison, Oxford University, Sheffield Hallam University, and Eton.
Awards and nominations
Dice Recordings/Productions Entertainment have been behind multiple awards in tv and music, making it one of a few black owned independent Companies to receive awards in both.
- 2012 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Grime Act (Won)
- 2013 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Grime Act (Won)
- 2014 Mobo Award Best Grime Act (Nomination)
- 2014 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Grime Act (Won)
- 2015 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Grime Act (Won)
- 2016 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best newcomer Act (Won)
- 2016 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Grime Act (Won)
- 2018 Urban Music Award (UMAs) Best Album (Won)
- 2018 MVISA – Best TV Presenter – The Big Narstie Show (Won)
- 2018 NRT Awards – Best Entertainment Show for The Big Narstie Show (Won)
- 2019 RTS Awards – Best Entertainment Performance for The Big Narstie Show (Won)
- 2019 BAFTA – Best Comedy Entertainment Show – The Big Narstie Show (Nomination)
- 2020 Edinburgh TV Awards - Best TV Presenter - The Big Narstie Show (Won)
- 2021 RTS Awards - Best Comedy - The Big Narstie Show (Nomination)
- 2021 RTS Awards - Best Entertainment Performance for The Big Narstie Show (Won)
- 2021 BAFTA - Best Comedy Entertainment Show – The Big Narstie Show (Won)
In the media
- "Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan accept their award for Entertainment Performance". Royal Television Society. 16 March 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Big Narstie show wins at the NRTA's". farmgroup.tv. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Justin Bieber, Big Narstie Get 'White Boy Wasted'". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Big Narstie's Big Adventure: Jamaica, 11:05pm on Channel 4". tv24.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Sarkodie's Highest is best bilingual album yet, with little effort". grungecake.com. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Scouse Tremz". en-gb.facebook.com. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "BBC Three - Let's Settle This: Big Narstie Will See You Now". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "News: Edinburgh TV Awards For Feel Good, Big Narstie & Mo Gilligan". Beyond The Joke. 18 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "THE BIG NARSTIE SHOW - COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME". www.bafta.org. 28 April 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.