Universal Music Africa

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Universal Music Group Africa
HeadquartersGreen Buro, ,
Area served
Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, South Africa
Key people
Franck Kacou (GM.)
ServicesMusic publishing
OwnerUniversal Music France
ParentUniversal Music Group

Universal Music Africa (UMA) is a multilingual music corporation of the global record label Universal Music Group, covering 25 French, Spanish, and Portuguese-speaking countries, in Africa, with its corporate headquarters located in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Universal Music Africa is known for housing Motown Gospel Africa, Blue Note Records Africa, and Def Jam Recordings Africa.


Universal Music Africa was founded on 11 July 2018,[1] as the largest African division of Universal Music Group, operating in Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Ghana, Seychelles, Togo, and South Africa. In 2018, Universal Music Group, appoints Moussa Soumbounou,[1] as the managing director, and Olivier Nusse,[1] the CEO of Universal Music France, was appointed as the veteran executive, artist manager, and live promoter.

Following the launch, Universal Music Africa (marketed as Universal Music Group Africa), kicked off with Kiff No Beat, DJ Arafat, Toofan, Locko, and Ténor, as its first recording artist.[1] On 11 April 2018, Mr Eazi Banku Music, signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group Africa, in conjunction with Universal Music South Africa, to distribute Life Is Eazi, Vol. 2 - Lagos to London in Africa.[2] On 17 June 2019, Charlotte Dipanda, Mink's, Magasco, Pit Baccardi, and Mimie, joins Universal Music Group Africa artist roaster.[3]

On 30 August 2019, Yemi Alade, released her fourth studio album Woman of Steel, through Universal Music Africa, and Effyzzie Music Group. On September 9, 2019, she signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Africa, in partnership with Universal Music France.[4] On 13 January 2020, Universal Music Group, promotes Franck-Alcide Kacou, as the general manager of Universal Music Group Africa.[5] On 16 May 2020, UMA, host The Africa at Home,[6] virtual concert, with guess performances from Yemi Alade, Magic System, Serge Beynaud, Vegedream, Kiff No Beat, Fally Ipupa, Singuila, Hiro, Toofan, Locko, Didier Awadi, Salif Keita, Angélique Kidjo, and Patience Dabany.[6]

On 4 January 2021, UMG appoints its key Executive in Africa.[7] Sipho Dlamini, and Elouise Kelly was named CEO and COO of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Universal Music South Africa, while Sipho Dlamini continues to report to Adam Granite, UMG's EVP, Market Development, to identify further opportunities for artists signed to Universal Music Africa, and continues to oversee all of UMG's operations within English-speaking Africa countries. Chinedu Okeke was named managing director of Universal Music Group Nigeria. On 7 June 2022, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services launched its flagship in Africa, through UMA as Virgin Music Label & Artist Services Africa (also known as Virgin Music Africa).[8][9]

U-Live Africa[edit]

In 2018, UMA launched U-Live Africa, a flagship of U-Live, and a division of UMG. U-Live Africa is an event promoter, producer, and investor in live entertainment in Africa. On 5 October 2018, Major Lazer "Soundsystem Live tour Africa tour"[10] in Nigeria, was produced by U-Live Africa, at Hard Rock Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos. In 2018, Adekunle Gold’s three-night residency at Terra Kulture, from 13 to 15th December.[11] On 17 July 2020, Fally Ipupa partnered with U-Live Africa.[12] According to Fally Ipupa "this announcement is accompanied by an African tour from November 2020 to January 2021. A dozen dates are planned between Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, and Liberia at the top of the list".[12]

Blue Note Africa[edit]

On 6 April 2022, Blue Note Records, and Universal Music Group Africa, established Blue Note Africa (marketed as Blue Note Records Africa), to sign Jazz artists from across the African continent.[13] According to UMA, CEO, Sipho Dlamini, "The opportunity to create Blue Note Africa and provide a channel for African Jazz talent to have a home in the U.S., with a dedicated and passionate team led by a legend in his own right – Don Was, is very exciting. We can now walk the African Jazz journey, from Cape to Cairo to California".[13]


Boomplay Music[edit]

On 5 November 2018, Universal Music Group announced a multi-year distribution deal with Boomplay, an African music digital download and streaming service, in ten Africa countries.[14] On 17 March 2021, Universal Music Group signed an expanded licensing deal to enable Boomplay Music to stream Universal Music Africa's music catalog.[15]

ONOMO Hotels Group[edit]

On 2 December 2020, ONOMO Hotels Group, signed a strategic partnership with Universal Music Africa, in conjunction with ONOMO Africa's Finest Live, an initiative to promote and support African arts, African music, and African cuisine.[16] Right after the government announced that entertainment, events, exhibitions and cultural shows will resume in line with COVID-19 preventive measures, on 10 December 2020, Onomo hotel launched a new restaurant and lounge called "iJURU", with live music curated by Universal Music Africa.[16]

Tallac Records[edit]

On 13 July 2021, Booba "Tallac Records", signed a strategic partnership with Universal Music Africa.[17] According to Universal Music Africa, the exclusive deal will see Booba's entire catalog, spanning 10 albums and almost two decades, available for the first time across the continent and will also include future releases. The deal also marks the launch of 92i Africa, a new division of Booba "92 I brand", in partnership with Universal Music Africa (UMA) and Universal Music France (UMF).[17]

TBI Publishing S.A.[edit]

On 12 October 2021, Youssou N'Dour "TBI Publishing S.A.", signed a multi-year, exclusive partnership with UMA.[18] According to Franck Kacou, "His incomparable voice is a strong symbol of the direction we have taken over the past couple of years with UMA, establishing the company as a true home for African artists and music, and a bridge to audiences around the world through our network of labels".[18] According to UMG, "The partnership will begin with the surprise release of a new album on November 12th, 2021".[19]


Recording artists, and producers, signed to Universal Music Africa includes:

Selected discography[edit]


`List of singles released by artists signed to Universal Music Africa
Artist Title Year Album Release date
Locko "Hein Hein Hein" 2018 Cloud Nine 31 May 2019
Ténor "ONPP" Non-album single
"Kaba Ngondo"
"Do Le Dab"
"Bad Things"
"Alain parfait (A L'imparfait) On finit 7 August 2019
DJ Arafat "Dosabado" Renaissance 28 December 2018
"Pandou Koule" Non-album single
Toofan "Money" Conquistadors 31 August 2018
Locko "Let Go" 2019 Cloud Nine 31 May 2019
Ténor "Besoin de sourire" Non-album single
"J'aime pas"
"C'est bon"
DJ Arafat "Lékilé"
"Moto Moto"
Singuila "La femme de quelqu'un" Docteur Love 12 February 2021
Mimie "Ten Ten" TBA
Sauti Sol Extravaganza Non-album single
Toofan "Panenka"
"Ye Mama" 2020
Locko "Mêmes mêmes choses" Locked Up 22 May 2020
"Au mariage de ma go" TBA
Ténor "Ils ne savent pas"
"Ce que je veux"
"Immortalité (Hommage à Dj Arafat)"
"Comme d'habitude"
"Vitres teintées"
Singuila "Belle" Docteur Love 12 February 2021
"Les gars"
"Dans la cage du rossignol (Episode 9: La voisine)" Nono-album single
DJ Arafat "Kong" TBA
"Péter les plombs (Remix)"
Yemi Alade "Boyz" Empress 20 November 2020
"True Love"
Charlotte Dipanda "Quand tu n'es pas là" CD 26 February 2021
"Coeur en cage"
DJ Arafat "Péter les plombs" 2021 TBA
Mimie "Faya"
Locko "Voyage" Era 17 December 2021
"Indécis ( NDC )"
"Hein Hein Hein (Kimbo Remix)" Non-album single
Singuila "Les étoiles sont alignées" TBA
Toofan "Gbokirigbo"
"Goumin Fracas"
Booba "Mona Lisa" ULTRA 5 March 2021
"Kayna" TBA
"Plaza Athénée"
"Leo Messi"
Mimie "Petite Soeur" 2022
Ténor "Mami Wata"
Singuila "Dans ma bulle"
Youssou N'Dour "Le grand bal"
Booba "Pablo"

Albums & EPs[edit]

Incomplete list of album and ep released by Universal Music Africa
Year Title Artist(s) Details Certifications
2018 Un jour dans ma vie Charlotte Dipanda 2018
The Bridge Locko 16 February 2018
Nnom Ngui Ténor 18 May 2018
Mixtape Made In Bled Kiff No Beat 3 August 2018
Conquistadors Toofan 31 August 2018
Life Is Eazi, Vol. 2 - Lagos to London Mr Eazi 9 November 2018
Renaissance DJ Arafat 28 December 2018
2019 Cloud Nine Locko 31 May 2019
Bledard Is The New Fresh Kiff No Beat 13 June 2019
Woman of Steel Yemi Alade 30 August 2019
2020 Locked Up Locko 22 May 2020
2021 Docteur Love Singuila 12 February 2021
CD Charlotte Dipanda 26 February 2021
MBALAX Youssou N'Dour 12 November 2021
Era Locko 17 December 2021


  1. ^ a b c d "Universal Music Group Expands Presence, Operations in Africa". Variety. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Mr Eazi's record label seals deal with Universal Music Africa". TheCable Lifestyle. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Charlotte Dipanda, Mink's, Magasco, Pit Baccardi et Mimie rejoignent la team Universal Music Africa". Culturebene (in French). 17 June 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Yemi Alade seals deal with Universal Music Africa". P.M. News. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Franck Alcide Kacou (Black Kent) promu Directeur Général d'Universal Music Africa". Life Magazine (in French). Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Big acts unite for Africa at Home COVID-19 virtual concert". Music In Africa. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  7. ^ Variety Staff (4 January 2021). "Universal Music Unveils Key Executive Appointments in Africa". Variety. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Virgin Music launches in Africa". Virgin.com.
  9. ^ Webb, Max (7 June 2022). "VIRGIN MUSIC LABEL AND ARTIST SERVICES LAUNCHES IN AFRICA". UMG. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Major Lazer set to perform in Lagos for tour at Hard Rock Beach". The NATIVE. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  11. ^ Idowu, Oluwamayowa (21 November 2018). "Adekunle Gold announces 3 day Terra Kulture Residency". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014.). Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Fally Ipupa a déposé ses valises chez Ulive Africa". Culturebene (in French). 17 July 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Blue Note Records and Universal Music Group Africa Announce the Creation of a New Imprint Blue Note Africa". The Guardian Nigeria News. 7 April 2022. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  14. ^ Variety Staff (5 November 2018). "Boomplay and Universal Music Group Strike Distribution Partnership in Africa". Variety. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  15. ^ Eggertsen, Chris (17 March 2021). "UMG Signs Expanded Licensing Deal with African Streaming Service Boomplay". Billboard. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b "FEATURED: Onomo Hotel targets merrymaking festive market". The New Times Rwanda. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Universal Music Africa signs strategic partnership with French rapper Booba and Tallac Records". Music Week. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  18. ^ a b Cirisano, Tatiana (12 October 2021). "Universal Music and Senegalese Legend Youssou NDour Strike Multi-Year Pact". Billboard. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Universal Music Africa and African music icon Youssou NDour announce new global partnership". UMG. 12 October 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2022.