A new distribution service for independent African artists and labels to reach audiences across the continent and beyond. The Label Services division already has more than 15,000 titles, 50 partner labels and over 100 artists from more than 25 African countries.
Universal Music Group (UMG), the global leader in the music industry, announces the launch of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in Africa.
Virgin Music Label & Artist Services Africa is the newest division of UMG’s global network, set to provide world-class and flexible label and artist services driven by spirit and to the industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs and indie talent around the world Ethos inspired and influenced by the legendary label Virgin Records.
The label will be dedicated to supporting the region’s next wave of artists, labels, influencers and independent entrepreneurs with world-class innovations and services to contribute to the global success of its members and to expand the reach of the continent’s musical culture to the vast African diaspora as well as to new ones fans and viewers around the world.
The division starts with more than 15,000 titles in its catalogue, with more than fifty partner labels from 25 countries, including Kesi Publishing (Panaf), Blue Diamond (Benin), Hope Music Groupe (CMR), Hitlab (Panaf) Hiquest (SNG) , Yaye Boye (Fr) and releases from over 100 top African artists; including Youssou Ndour (SNG), Touré Kunda (SNG), Lokua Kanza (RDC), Magic System (CIV), Werrason, Serge Beynaud (CIV), Innos B (RDC), Debordo (CIV), Sagbohan Danialou (Benin), Cabo Snoop (Angola) and Fanicko (Benin) among others. It will combine support for independent African artists and labels with making historical African music catalogs available in digital form for the first time.
Virgin Music comes to Africa led by Guylaine Clery, current director of international development at Universal Music Africa, and Félix Pea, head of international A&R, who will also be co-directors of the new division, reporting to Franck, effective immediately Kacou, CEO of Universal Music Africa.
On the announcement, Franck Kacou, Managing Director of Universal Music Africa, said: “Our vision for Virgin Music in Africa is based on the observation that African cultural heritage has not yet fully found its place in the digital world and on CSPs around the world . In fact, some of these services are very poorly available in certain areas, so this legacy is unevenly represented. Our goal is to make African music a showcase of all that Africa and its diaspora have to offer to the world!
We intend to breathe new life into forgotten songs, our approach will go as far as digitizing them to make them accessible to as many people as possible anywhere in the world. The creation of this service label will make it possible to preserve, disseminate, structure and promote the African music heritage of yesterday, today and tomorrow, while offering global distribution services to the world’s most promising artists, labels and entrepreneurs. »
Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France, said: “The launch of Virgin Music LAS on the continent is part of our long-term vision, both in terms of our relationships with labels and artists whose talent is shining outside of Africa, and in relation to the Development of our activities in this booming world region. Our expertise and dedicated teams, combined with Virgin’s global network, offer a unique platform and range of opportunities, but most importantly, bespoke support for labels and talent across the continent. »
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