Mr Bongo started life in 1989 as a small record shop underneath Daddy Kool’s Reggae Store on Berwick Street in London. We were the first shop to sell vinyl releases from independent hip hop labels such as Def Jam, Rawkus, Nervous and Big Beat outside of the USA. We also became an established bearer for hard-to-find, classic Latin music, particularly Brazilian, outside of the Americas.
Over the following years Mr Bongo moved three times within Soho and opened in Shibuya, Japan. We moved our first office to Brighton in 1999 and closed all the shops in 2003.
Our recording roster featuring some of the finest Brazilian, Latin, reggae, African and Jazz artists including Ebo Taylor, Hollie Cook, The Skints, Jorge Ben, Joyce, Seu Jorge, Prince Fatty, Incredible Bongo Band, Terry Callier, Arthur Verocai and Marcos Valle amongst many, many others.
In 2004 we moved into world cinema, a venture that has grown to compliment the music. In keeping with the record label philosophy, we carefully select and source films from around the world and our catalogue now includes works by esteemed directors including Scorsese, Coppola, Has, Bertolucci, Rocha and Dovzhenko amongst others. We aim to unearth iconic, stylish, hard-to-find gems and cult classics and make them readily available to cinema lovers.
We also have a publishing arm with an in-house team that produces and licenses music for use by third parties. Our clients include advertising, film and TV companies around the world; brands such as Bacardi, Nike, Adidas, Fosters, Nissan and Guinness have used our music. We also deal with worldwide royalty collection for artists and organisations.
At the end of 2016 we opened a new store in Brighton beneath our new offices. We have hosted many brilliant in-store events including Nick The Record, Geology, Sassy J, DJ Format and others, as well as been able to meet so many people that buy our records.