Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a significant expansion of operations within Western Africa, with the launch of Universal Music Nigeria.
Notable among the signees announced are Ghana’s Cina Soul and Bhim Nation’s Stonebwoy.
This new strategic division, will operate from a new office in Lagos, under the leadership of seasoned music executive Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has been named General Manager of Universal Music Nigeria.
Eze and his team will support artists from Nigeria, Ghana, and Gambia throughout the continent and beyond, utilizing Universal Music Group’s global networks for wider discovery, marketing, promotion and distribution.
The label has signed a host of Nigerian-born artists including WurlD, Odunsi (the Engine), Tay Iwar, and Ghanaian-born artists Cina Soul and Stonebwoy who is heavily affiliated to Zylofon Music.
In addition, the label has recently signed marquee deals with acclaimed Banku singer and songwriter Mr Eazi for pan-African releases, co-signed Nigerian artist Tekno in conjunction with Island Records UK and Tanzanian singer and songwriter Vanessa Mdee in conjunction with AfroForce1 Records/Universal Music Central Europe/Universal Music South Africa. These two signings mark the first time UMG labels from the two continents have combined to sign and release African artists globally, with other artist partnerships in the pipeline with UMG labels from around the world.
In making the announcement, Dlamini said, “In recent years there has been an increase in visibility of Nigerian and Ghanaian music and its influence on contemporary music around the world. Eze and his team are perfectly placed to support, nurture and help develop artists and musicians from the region, whilst creating opportunities for new talent from the region to reach the widest possible audience.”
Eze commented, “I am delighted to be officially launching Universal Music’s Nigerian division at such an exciting time for African music around the world. The world’s largest music company opening an office within the region is a huge statement of belief in our local music talent. The signings we have already made show our ambition to help our artists reach the widest global audience and we are looking forward to working closely with our UMG label partners around the world to make that happen.”
Is Stonebwoy leaving Zylofon Music?