Universal Music Group has launched Def Jam Africa. While UMG has opened at least 7 offices on the continent, these haven’t had as much freedom to shape their brand identities. The new division aims to change that as it will “focus on discovering and representing the best hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa.”
Africa State of Mind
Def Jam Africa will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label. The label has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years. The label will initially be based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria. However, it will identify and sign artist talent from across the entire continent. It will be supported by dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital teams from the UMG teams in both Nigeria and South Africa and will report to Sipho Dlamini.
Def Jam Africa Flagship Roster
The label launches with a flagship roster, that includes some of the most influential, successful and followed African talents. This includes Boity, Cassper Nyovest, Nadia Nakai, Nasty C, Tshego, Tellaman, Ricky Tyler, Larry Gaaga and Vector.
Earlier this year it was announced that Nasty C will release his forthcoming album Zulu Man with Some Power in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., during Summer, 2020. Other forthcoming releases on the new label include singles from Ricky Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Cassper Nyovest and Tshego.