Def Jam has announced the opening of 2 new divisions in Africa, one in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the other in Lagos, Nigeria.
Universal Music Group, the owners of Def Jam, announced the launch today, stating that the new label is dedicated to representing “the best hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa, and will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label,” one of the most important hip-hop/R&B companies in history.
The new divisions would be based in Lagos and Johannesburg, but would be able to sign artists from all over Africa. The label announced a flagship roster of artists, which 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).
The music label is the first label under the Universal Music Group, to exist as a stand-alone label. Previously, everything had been released under “UMG Africa”.
Sipho Dlamini, Universal Music Group, Sub Saharan Africa/South Africa Chief, said “Def Jam has also been a mark of quality in hip-hop and so it was a natural fit.”
“This way, you have a team that is solely working these artists, so that they understand the DNA of the label, and the importance of developing a quality and authenticity of sound, that has a focused roster of talent that reflects those values.” Sipho stated on the launch of Def Jam Africa.
“Whilst it looks to Def Jam’s historical blueprint for artist development, cultural impact and hopefully global success, the Def Jam Africa identity and sound will come from Africa.” Dlamini further added.
Africa is steady growing into an entertainment power house, especially in the music industry, with Afrobeats looking to take over the world, and bringing the world to Africa.
By Muyiwa Aguda