Recent years has seen the African music scene make waves on a global scale; a trajectory that looks set to continue following a major announcement made by Universal.
For, the industry giant has formally unveiled Def Jam Africa.
The freshly revealed division will serve as a for base Hip-Hop, Afrobeats and Trap talent in Africa.
It’s the latest expansion of Def Jam Records, which – for more than 35 years – has been at the forefront of Urban music in the US and beyond.
Def Jam Africa will dually reside in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa, but will take a holistic approach to spotlight and champions from across the entire continent.
Inaugural talent signed to Def Jam Africa include 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).
Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa said in a statement:
“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.
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.”