According to a statement from RCA CEO Peter Edge to Variety Monday, the deal—a partnership between RCA and Glover's agency/label Wolf + Rothstein—will give rise to the "next phase" of Gambino. "It was a necessary change of pace," Glover said. While Variety reports new Gambino music is expected at some point this year, a source close to the situation clarified to Complex that Glover's 2018 schedule is still being locked down, and with other projects currently in play, new music may not come until 2019 at the earliest.
The announcement arrives amid the massive ongoing success of Gambino's 2016 album Awaken, My Love! The album is up for Album of the Year at this week's Grammy Awards. "Redbone," the Get Out-featured smash single, is also up for Record of the Year and Best R&B Song.
"Being malleable is important to us, and that’s what this partnership allows. Also, it was about that time," Fam Rothstein of Wolf + Rothstein added.
Previous comments from Glover on the future of Gambino suggested the moniker was close to being retired, though Monday's RCA deal announcement seemingly puts such talk to bed. In a BBC Radio 1 interview back in August, Glover said fans still had "a lot more time" left to call him Gambino. However, during an interview with the Huffington Post just two months earlier, Glover expressed his fear that the continuation of Gambino alongside his FX series Atlanta "wouldn't be punk."
News of Gambino's "next phase" comes less than two months ahead of the long-awaited return of Glover's FX series Atlanta.
The Emmy-winning show kicks off its second season Mar. 1.