Universal Music France (UMF), a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group (UMG), has initiated a partnership with Aristokrat Group, Burna Boy’s breakout label.
According to Billboard, Aristokrat Group, credited for discovering Burna Boy, partnered UMG in both a label and publishing contract through the Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).
As stated in the deal, both entertainment companies will work together towards discovering and developing new African singers and songwriters in a bid to launch them into the global market.
It would also see Aristokrat Records artistes get signed and distributed in partnership with Caroline France, a record label under UMG’s French subsidiary, thereby penetrating West African showbiz.
“What most of our competitors started to do is to sign some artists in this region. The first thing they promise is an international success in the US, UK, or France,” Olivier Nusse, UMF CEO, said.
“That is totally different from the way that we are talking to the artists and developing our business there. We really want to develop first a market in Western Africa.
“Partnership with Aristokrat so far is the best way to have a real team there, that knows the country, the culture, and is developing projects, but is not trying to imitate U.S. production.”
The deal between both brands comes on the heels of UMG’s growing presence in Africa evidenced in its 2018 expansion into Nigeria alongside its acquisition of major stakes in Kenya’s AI Records.
Founded in 2009, Aristokrat’s initial signings include Kel P, a producer who worked with Burna Boy on his Grammy-nominated album ‘African Giant’, and with Wizkid on his ‘SoundMan’ EP.
Having first focused on working out the self-acclaimed African giant’s incursion into the music scene, Burna Boy would later exit Aristokrat in 2014 to form Spaceship Entertainment, his own label.