SANTA MONICA/LAGOS, July 17, 2018 – Universal Music Group announced that they are expanding their footprint in Northwestern Africa with the launch of Universal Music Nigeria.
The new strategic unit will operate from a newly-opened office in Lagos and will be overseen by industry veteran Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has been named General Manager of Universal Music Nigeria.
Eze, has previously held roles at Channel O Television, Empire Mates Entertainment (Banky W & WizKid) and was a founder of Pan-African creative companies, Republic 54, Alore Group, and Duma Collective. He will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The new division’s purview includes support artists from Nigeria, Ghana, and Gambia both regionally, and internationally. UMG’s new Nigerian until will also collab with other UMG operations in Africa, including Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco, as well as English-speaking markets in the region, such as South Africa.
The Nigerian team will also look for opportunities to collaborate with Vivendi as the conglomerate seeks to expand its live entertainment business in the region, the company said.
As part of the company’s launch in Nigeria, UMG is also developing plans to open a recording studio in Lagos to support developing talent in the region. It will become UMG’s second fully purposed studio within Africa, alongside the existing facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.
UMG’s roster currently includes several Nigerian-born artists, including WurlD, Odunsi (the Engine), Tay Iwar, and Ghanaian-born artists Cina Soul and Stonebwoy.
In addition, the label has recently signed deals with noted Banku singer and songwriter Mr Eazi for pan-African releases, co-signed Nigerian artist Tekno in conjunction with Island Records UK and Tanzanian singer and songwriter Vanessa Mdee in conjunction with AfroForce1 Records/Universal Music Central Europe/Universal Music South Africa.