For over a decade, multi-hyphenate Roger Gengo has been on the cutting edge of identifying soon-to-be superstar musicians since starting the ever-evolving Masked Gorilla media company at just 17-years-old.
With the tagline “We Did It First,” Masked Gorilla was the first outlet to interview Mac Miller and produce an early interview with Kendrick Lamar that resulted in an exclusive ‘Masked Gorilla Freestyle’ later re-appearing on the artist’s breakthrough project ‘Section.80.’ Gengo continued trend-setting in his defining, early coverage of ‘Soundcloud Rap’ on Masked Gorilla, serving as a catalyst in establishing and popularizing up the now-popular genre, with the New York Times noting, “Masked Gorilla has cataloged this scene since its infancy.”
With Masked Gorilla receiving millions of hits a month, Gengo founded the ‘UNMASKED Concert Series’ producing a bevy of now household names first headlining concerts including Vince Staples, Denzel Curry, $uicideboy$, and many more. Forbes Magazine wrote, “Just like the rappers he books, [Gengo’s] is an ethos of jumping in with whatever you’ve got, thrashing and sweating until that joyful punch lands right on the jaw of your goals.”
With that relentless mindset, Gengo continued his music industry ascent in 2019, founding the joint-venture record label Masked Records in partnership with Warner Records. Warner Records Co-Chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck told Variety, “What he’s done as a young entrepreneur over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing – literally redefining the hip-hop landscape, time and time again identifying groundbreaking artists while they were still way under the radar. Gengo instantly delivered with his first signing 2KBaby and the first song, “Old Streets,” released under the joint-venture being certified gold within a year of release. Gengo has expanded his roster quickly to 4 artists, with tens of millions of streams each and millions upon millions of Tik Tok videos created to their songs.
All the while, Gengo has continued to interview exciting new artists, producing and hosting the Masked Gorilla Podcast to a viewership of millions of fans across podcasting platforms like YouTube and Spotify.
While the pandemic halted Gengo’s Live Nation joint venture ‘UNMASKED Music Festival’ debut, the entrepreneur evolved as always. In the summer of 2020, Masked Gorilla entered into an exclusive partnership with Soundcloud and Twitch to take his interviewing and A&R skills live, with a new bi-weekly show Link & Build w/ Masked Gorilla. Thousands of fans tune in each show for a chance to catch Gengo’s ear with their music and get advice and insight from artists he interviews live on air.
With social unrest and racial inequality coming into the forefront, Gengo used his platform for the greater good, releasing a series of t-shirts with proceeds donated to charities like Black Lives Matter, The Okra Project, ACLU, Color of Change, and more. Gengo continues to use his platform to educate his fans on social justice and encourage them to participate in social change and vote.
Even at his young age, Gengo has persisted through the multiple eras of the ever-evolving music industry and never fails to have his finger on the pulse on what’s next up in music. He’s a tuned-in, versatile entrepreneur making an impact on every artist and fan he comes across.