Universal Music Expands to Southeast Asia, Signing 6 Top Local Rappers
Universal Music Group is pushing further into Asia, with a new Southeast Asia headquarters here that will feature hubs for Def Jam and Astralwerks, and a plan to pump up local assets in Vietnam and other countries in the fast-growing music region, Billboard reported.
According to Masses.com.my , focusing on hip hop, pop, and urban music, Def Jam distributes Kanye’s GOOD Music label, Listen Up Forever Records, and includes a star studded roster from the likes of BTS, Logic, Big Sean, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, YG, Jeremih, Q-Tip, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Desiigner and Jhene Aiko. It’s practically the go to label for hip-hop bar none.
In addition, UMG South East Asia has announced plans to extend its focus and commitment to local language and domestic repertoire. The company announced the launch of Ingrooves and Spinnup in the region to extend the range of marketing and distribution services that UMG offers to support independent artists, labels and talent throughout the region.
These announcements coincided with the official opening of UMG’s new regional headquarters for South East Asia in Singapore.
The news was announced during a keynote speech today by Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP of market development — and one of Variety‘s 2019 International Music Power Players — at the “All That Matters ’19” conference in Singapore.
“Our goal is simple,” Granite said as quoted by Variety “To drive domestic growth in countries around the world through strategic investment, artist development, business innovation and most of all, great music. This investment involves building infrastructure, resources and hiring the best local employees, but first and foremost, it’s about identifying and developing the best artists from around the world and working with them to reach new fans locally and globally.”
UMG feels confident expanding into Southeast Asia because the region has a young, digital savvy population where streaming is growing dramatically, along with smart-phone penetration and a healthy digital wallet system that facilitates streaming payments. “All the right ingredients are in place,” Granite said.
Granite wrapped by welcoming to the stage Joe Flizzow (Malaysia), Daboyway (Thailand), Yung Raja (Singapore), Fariz Jabba (Singapore), ALIF (Singapore) & A.Nayaka (Indonesia), six popular rappers from the region, who were announced as the inaugural signings to Def Jam South East Asia. They performed an unannounced freestyle cypher together to close the event.