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Def Jam Africa Launches With Nadia Nakai, Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C & More African Artists
Today, May 26, Def Jam Recordings and Universal Music Group announced their newest division, Def Jam Africa. The new label will have offices in two major music hotspots in Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, but will recruit artists from across the continent.
Def Jam Africa launches with nine powerhouse rappers and singers from South Africa and Nigeria, several of whom were already signed to UMG: Nadia Nakai, Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Tshego, Ricky Tyler, Vector and Tellaman.
It will have dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital support from the UMG teams based in Nigeria and South Africa, led by Sipho Dlamini, Managing Director of Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa.
"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. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, [Ludacris' label] Disturbing tha Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide," Dlamini said in a statement.
"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."
In the coming months, fans can expect Def Jam Africa to drop singles from Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Nyovest and Tshego. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Nasty C will be releasing his third studio album, Zulu Man With Some Power, in the States this summer via Def Jam Recordings.
"Def Jam is a globally recognized brand, synonymous with excellence in hip-hop, and we enthusiastically welcome the launch of Def Jam Africa as an opportunity for audiences worldwide to discover the incredibly talented hip-hop artists emerging from across the continent," Jeff Harleston, the interim Chairman & CEO of Def Jam Recordings, added.