In a bid to boost its West African operations, Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced the launch of Universal Music Nigeria. The new division will operate from Lagos and will be headed by a seasoned music executive Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has been named General Manager of Universal Music Nigeria.
Eze and his team will support artistes from Nigeria, Ghana, and Gambia throughout the continent and beyond, utilizing Universal Music Group’s global networks for wider discovery, marketing, promotion and distribution. Eze, has previously held roles at Channel O Television, Empire Mates Entertainment (Banky W & WizKid) and was a founder of Pan-African creative companies, Republic 54, Alore Group, and Duma Collective. He will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Universal Music Group has signed Nigerian-born artistes including WurlD, Odunsi (the Engine), Tay Iwar, and Ghanaian-born artistes Cina Soul and Stonebwoy. 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.
Eze further 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.”
This new division will work in collaboration with existing UMG operations throughout the continent including Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and alongside key markets across English-speaking Africa to offer artists comprehensive opportunities throughout the region and provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success.