ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire (CelebrityAccess) — Universal Music Group announced it is expanding the footprint of its Def Jam Africa division into three new markets within French-speaking Africa; Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon, effective immediately.
As part of the expansion, Def Jam Africa will add A&R, marketing and digital resources, to within UMG’s offices in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Dakar (Senegal) and Douala (Cameroon) and will operate under the leadership of Franck Kacou, Directeur Général, Universal Music Africa.
Kacou will collaborate with Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa and Def Jam Africa teams that are currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.
The first signings from the expanded French-speaking African office include rappers; Tenor (Cameroon), Suspect 95 (Côte d’Ivoire), & Omzo Dollar (Senegal). The trio join a roster that already features Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Nadia Nakai, Tellaman, Tshego, Ricky Tyler & Vector.
First launched in May 2020, Def Jam Africa will focus on signing hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap artists in the region and takes a page for the original Def Jam label, which played a key role in the development of hip-hop.
“We are excited to launch Def Jam Africa in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon with three of Africa’s most exciting hip-hop artists; Tenor, Suspect 95 and Omzo Dollar. 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 Sipho to expand our community of artists across the continent, and to help elevate hip-hop from Africa to new heights,” Franck Kacou said.