UMG Launches Ambitious Def Jam Africa
Universal Music Group has launched Def Jam Africa, an ambitious new label division to service artists from the the vast continent’s burgeoning hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap scenes.
The label will initially be based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, but will look to identify and sign artists from across the continent. Def Jam Africa will be supported with dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital teams from UMG’s already established operations in Nigeria and South Africa.
The new division will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa.
“Many of us in Africa grew up on music from legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records, the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more. For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, Disturbing tha Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide,” said UMG’s Sipho Dlamini
“It is a historic achievement that we’re now able to bring this iconic label to Africa, to create an authentic and trusted home for those who aspire to be the best in hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap. Together, we will build a new community of artists, that will push the boundaries of hip-hop from Africa, to reach new audiences globally,” Dlamini added.
Def Jam Africa launches with a roster that includes Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector (Nigeria).
As well, South African rapper Nasty C will release his previously announced yet still forthcoming album Zulu Man with Some Power in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., at some point this summer. Other upcoming releases include new singles from Ricky Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Cassper Nyovest and Tshego.
during Summer, 2020. Other forthcoming releases on Def Jam Africa include singles from: Ricky Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Cassper Nyovest and Tshego.