Just last week, Universal Music Group announced plans to expand operations in Francophone West Africa. Now the entertainment group is announcing even more West Africa expansion plans with the launch of Universal Music Nigeria.
Universal Music Nigeria will look after operations in Nigeria (of course) as well as Ghana, and Gambia. The team will be led by seasoned music executive Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has been named general manager and will be based in Lagos. He will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
“I am delighted to be officially launching Universal Music’s Nigerian division at such an exciting time for African music around the world,” Eze said. “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.”
For it’s part, Universal Music Nigeria already has a strong roster with recent signees including Mr Eazi and Tekno in conjunction with Island Records UK. Other notable signees include Nigerian-born artists including WurlD, Odunsi (the Engine), Tay Iwar, and Ghanaian-born artists Cina Soul and Stonebwoy.
“In recent years there has been an increase in visibility of Nigerian and Ghanaian music and its influence on contemporary music around the world,” Dlamini said. “Eze and his team are perfectly placed to support, nurture and help develop artists and musicians from the region, whilst creating opportunities for new talent from the region to reach the widest possible audience.”
Rifumo Mdaka is a Johannesburg-based music writer who champions South African queer artists. When I’m bored, I watch iPhone keynotes and commercials. Read my website FDBQ Music and follow me on Twitter, @rifvmo