New tracks from Suspect 95 (left) - 鈥楳erc*On鈥; Tenor (middle) 鈥 鈥楥e Que Je Veux鈥 and Omzo Dollar - 鈥楧ictature 1鈥 were released on 23 July on Def Jam Africa/Photo: Def Jam Africa

Universal Music signs Tenor, Suspect 95 and Omzo Dollar as it expands into French-speaking Africa

Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, has announced the further expansion of its Def Jam Africa division into three new markets within French-speaking Africa; C么te d鈥橧voire, Senegal and Cameroon, effective immediately.

Def Jam Africa launched in May 2020, as the first label dedicated to representing the best hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa, and follows the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years.

Def Jam Africa will now have additional A&R, marketing and digital resources based within UMG鈥檚 offices in Abidjan (C么te d鈥橧voire), Dakar (Senegal) and Douala (Cameroon), dedicated to discovering hip-hop talent across all French-speaking African markets and will operate under the leadership of Franck Kacou, Directeur G茅n茅ral, Universal Music Africa.

Kacou will work closely with Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa and Def Jam Africa teams in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, to ensure the Def Jam Africa continues to identify and sign the best artist talent from across the entire continent.

The first flagship artist signings to join Def Jam Africa from these countries are highly respected and hugely popular rappers;聽Tenor聽(Cameroon),聽Suspect 95聽(C么te d鈥橧voire), &聽Omzo Dollar聽(Senegal), The trio joins some of Africa鈥檚 most influential artists and MC鈥檚 already on the label including: Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Nadia Nakai, Tellaman, Tshego, Ricky Tyler & Vector.

In making the announcement, Franck Kacou said,聽鈥淲e are excited to launch Def Jam Africa in聽C么te d鈥橧voire, Senegal and Cameroon with three of Africa鈥檚 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.

Olivier Nusse, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music France said, 鈥African hip-hop is one of the most exciting movements in music today. In recent years we have seen an increase in its popularity in France, but the appetite for African hip-hop continues to grow amongst audiences around the world. We are excited to further expand Def Jam Africa into Cameroon, Senegal and C么te d鈥橧voire, and for these incredible artists to help build Def Jam Africa into the authentic and collaborative home of hip-hop across all of Africa.鈥

READ ALSO: The new champions of Afrobeats (1)

About Def Jam Recordings

Founded in 1984,聽Def聽Jam聽Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City鈥檚 vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades,聽Def聽Jam聽established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and the inimitable Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade,聽Def聽Jam鈥檚 music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand 鈥 synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity 鈥 encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like West, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Logic, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, Jeremih, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Dave East, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Today, Def Jam has reaffirmed its passion for and commitment to hip-hop culture and has expanded its global brand reach to become聽the聽most-followed major label on all major social media platforms.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at:聽

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