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Def Jam Africa extends into three new markets

By | Published on Monday 27 July 2020

Def Jam Africa

Universal Music has announced it is already extending its recently launched Def Jam Africa division, with operations being set up in three more countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon.

Part of the global music industry’s increased interest in the African market, Universal launched its Def Jam brand on the continent back in May with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria. The new expansion sees the label push into French speaking African countries, seeking to work with hip hop talent based in those places. It already has a signing in each of the new countries: Suspect 95 from Côte d’Ivoire, Omzo Dollar from Senegal and Tenor from Cameroon.

Universal Music Africa’s Franck Kacou, who will oversee the new offices, says: “There is a wealth of domestic hip hop talent here and in the surrounding countries that has the potential to transcend language and geographical boundaries to appeal to audiences throughout Africa, France and beyond. I look forward to working alongside [my UMG colleagues] to expand our community of artists across the continent, and to help elevate hip-hop from Africa to new heights”.

Back in the US, Jeff Harleston, the interim CEO of Def Jam Recordings, adds: “The reaction to the recent launch of Def Jam Africa showed the weight and respect that the Def Jam name and brand carries globally. We are excited to welcome these new markets to the Def Jam family. It provides an important opportunity for audiences worldwide to discover the incredibly talented hip hop artists emerging throughout the [African] continent”.