African music is growing globally and many investors are finally taken notice of this diverse and rich market. Universal Music Group, has announced the launch of Def Jam Africa.
Def Jam Africa is a new record label which will be committed to supporting Africa’s brightest hip-hop talent and culture across the motherland.
Def Jam Recordings has been at the center of the very best in American hip-hop and urban music for over 35 years. Hopefully, this latest African division will live up to it’s name.
The company will be intially based in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa. 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) are the artists currently on Def Jam Africa’s roster.
In making the announcement, Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa said, “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.”
He continues, “For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, Disturbing the Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide. 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.”