Universal Music Group today announced what it calls a significant expansion of its recorded music operations across South East Asia with the launch of two new label divisions: Def Jam South East Asia, to focus on the hip-hop scene within the region, and Astralwerks Asia, a label “with a true focus on nurturing talent within Asia across the electronic genre and beyond,” the announcement says.
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. 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.” Other UMG speakers during Granite’s keynote included UMG SEA CEO Calvin Wong, Astralwerks GM Toby Andrews, Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback and Spinnup GM Nina Usher.
“Our goal is simple,” Granite said. “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.”
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.