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Universal allies with Nigeria-based Aristokrat Group

By | Published on Tuesday 12 May 2020

L-R - Jean-Charles MARIANI, Chief Digital Officer, Universal Music France / Bertil DAVID, MD, Universal Music Publishing France / Eneibimo APULU, Chief Operating Officer, The Aristokrat Group / Tinu ADESUGBA, EVP Content & Communications, The Aristokrat Group / Piriye ISOKRARI, CEO, The Aristokrat Group / KEL-P, Producer / Olivier NUSSE, CEO, Universal Music France / Steve JERVIER, A&R Consultant, The Aristokrat Group.

Universal Music, through its French division, has announced a strategic partnership with the Lagos-based Aristokrat Group via which the two companies say they will “discover and develop exciting new African talent”, and then seek to help those artists find a global audience “with support from Universal Music Group companies around the world”.

The Aristokrat Group works in various strands of the music industry in its home country of Nigeria, including recordings, publishing, live and brand partnerships. It is perhaps best known for developing the career of Burna Boy, who now works with Warner on his recordings, but Universal on exploiting his song rights.

The new joint venture will work with artists on both their recordings and songs, with initial signings including Kel P, the producer who worked with Burna Boy on his 2019 album ‘African Giant’. Universal’s label services unit Caroline will handle the distribution on all the releases put out by the new joint venture business.

Confirming the deal, Universal Music France CEO Olivier Nusse said: “I am very proud that Aristokrat Group has chosen Universal Music France as its strategic partner to reach a global audience. We are convinced that Aristokrat represents the sound of New Africa and we look forward to working with our UMG labels globally to ensure that people around the world, can discover and dance to this sound”.

Meanwhile, The Aristokrat Group’s founder and MD Piriye Isokrari added: “This is an exciting time for African musicians, producers and companies such as ours. Over the last decade we’ve been at the forefront of cultivating this sound and building sustainable structures locally, and we are happy to be able to bring our music and culture to the global market through this partnership with the Universal Music Group”.