Universal Music Group has launched its operations in Nigeria, following the opening of its new office in Lagos.
The first set of Nigerian artistes on the label’s roster include Mr Eazi, Tekno, WurlD, Odunsi (the Engine) and Tay Iwar.
Ghanaian artistes Cina Soul and Stonebwoy, as well as Tanzanian singer and songwriter Vanessa Mdee, are among the new signees of UMG.
The label will support the artistes by exposing them to its global networks for wider discovery, marketing, promotion and distribution.
Commenting on the development, Ezegozie Eze, general manager of UMG Nigeria, said: “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.”
Eze has previously worked at Channel O and the Banky W-owned Empire Mates Entertainment (EME).
Sipho Dlamini, managing director, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, will oversee the affairs of the Nigerian operations.
“In recent years there has been an increase in visibility of Nigerian and Ghanaian music and its influence on contemporary music around the world,” said Dlamini.
“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.”
UMG Nigeria is expected to work in partnership with existing UMG operations in Africa “to offer artistes comprehensive opportunities throughout the region and provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success”.
The record label has also announced plans to open a recording studio in Lagos.