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    Universal expands operations in Southeast Asia; signs region’s six best rappers

    Yazid Aji

    Universal Music Group (UMG) launched two new label divisions to mark a significant expansion of its recorded music operations across Southeast Asia on Tuesday.

    Def Jam Southeast Asia will focus on the hip-hop scene within the region, while Astralwerks Asia signifies a label “with a true focus on nurturing talent within Asia across the electronic genre and beyond”.

    Reports said UMG Southeast Asia also announced plans to extend its focus and commitment to local language and domestic repertoire.

    The company launched Ingrooves and Spinnup in the region to extend the range of marketing and distribution services that UMG offers to support independent artistes, labels and talent throughout the region.

    The announcements coincided with the official opening of UMG’s new regional headquarters for Southeast Asia in Singapore.

    The news was announced during a speech by UMG’s Executive Vice President of Market Development Adam Granite. He noted in his speech that the region includes almost 700 million people “and where music is increasingly driven by a young, social and mobile-driven audience”.

    Granite said, “Our goal is simple. To drive domestic growth in countries through strategic investment, artiste 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 artistes from around the world and working with them to reach new fans locally and globally.”

    The opening also saw the inaugural signings of the region’s best rappers to Def Jam South East Asia – Joe Flizzow (Malaysia), Daboyway (Thailand), Yung Raja (Singapore), Fariz Jabba (Singapore), Alif (Singapore) and A Nayaka (Indonesia).

    The region’s six best rappers who signed for Def Jam South East Asia. PHOTO: VARIETY

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