Universal Music Group announced a collaboration between its Republic Records division and music mogul Wassim “SAL” Slaiby that comprises of the launch of Universal Arabic Music (UAM), a new label that will service the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.
According to Universal, UAM will seek to discover rising artists in the region and help bring them to international audiences, while creating new opportunities for Arabic music with new partners, platforms and brands worldwide.
The Chairman and CEO of UMG, Sir Lucian Grainge, said, “In today’s global music marketplace, we’ve demonstrated time and again that worldwide hits come from anywhere. There is so much talent in this part of the world that with SAL’s incredible experience and intimate knowledge of the MENA region, alongside his track record for helping to break global artists, he will bring a unique vision, strategy and power to Universal Arabic Music.”
As part of the label’s launch, UMG announced the signing of 17-year-old Jordanian singer/songwriter Issam Alnajjar, who has already topped Spotify’s Viral Global and US Charts and Shazam’s Top 200 Global Chart at #1 with his debut single ‘Hadal Ahbek’ after going viral on TikTok with more than 3 billion views on the platform.
SAL also discovered and developed 19-year-old Palestinian-Chilean singer/songwriter Elyanna, who first gained traction after posting covers on Soundcloud. Last year, the singer, who is now based in California, released her self-titled debut EP and breakout hit “Ana Lahale” featuring Massari, which has generated millions of streams to date.
“It’s been my dream to highlight the talent and culture of Arabic music on a global level with partners that I trust and admire,” Slaiby said.