In 1982 Champion hired its first employee, an 18 year old named Paul Oakenfold who had been working as messenger boy in New York. Champion Records aimed at releasing underground club tunes, Hip Hop, Rare Grooves, Jazz & Soul tracks as well as uplifting House tunes on 12” vinyl originally found and licensed from the USA. Tunes like Spank ‘Oh Baby’, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince ‘Girls Ain’t Nothin’ But Trouble’, Salt ‘N Pepa ‘Push it’ & Rene & Angela ‘Secret Rendezvous’.
As musical taste evolved Champion aligned itself with the early house and garage movement. It produced iconic tracks including Raze’s ‘Break 4 Love’, Robin S ‘Show Me Love’, Sandy B ‘Make The World Go Round’, Kristine W ‘Feel What You Want’ & Sybil ‘Don’t Make me Over’. These then turned into some of the most famous & credible artists in the world along with DJ’s like Todd Terry, Kerri Chandler, Junior Vasquez and Stonebridge.
In 1993 a new label was started named Cheeky Records. The Cheeky name was quickly established by Mel & Rollo Armstrong as they pioneered the formation of Faithless and the making of their best selling album, “Reverence”. This paved the way for credible albums by other Cheeky artists including Rob Dougan, Skinny and Dido’s album “No Angel” which became the world’s biggest selling album of 2001. Cheeky soon became one of the most successful independent labels of the last decade. The label was eventually sold to Sony BMG when it reached epic proportions.
Today Champion Records operates 3 successful imprints in MadTech Records, Madhouse Records and Rogue Industries whilst also welcoming a new musical direction for it’s main label. 2013 promises to see a new vision for the label with an emphasis on releasing credible and exceptional music from some of the most forward-thinking artists of today.