Warner Music Group (WMG), the third largest music label in the world going by 2019 estimates, has announced it is investing in Africori, Africa’s leading digital music distribution, music rights management and artist development company.
The deal gives Warner Music’s Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) division access to Africa’s largest catalogue and A&R network, which is the division of a record label responsible for talent scouting and the artistic and commercial development of the recording artist, as well as enabling Warner Music to establish a presence in many African markets for the first time.
As a result of the undisclosed investment, ADA will work closely with Africori to distribute and promote its artists internationally through Warner Music’s global network. It will support Africori’s distribution activities on its existing catalogue, which includes music from emerging and established African artists such as Nyashinski, Anto, Jux, Master KG, Nabila, Sho Madjozi, Kagwe Mungai , Mayonde, Nviiri the Storyteller, Rosa Ree, TNS, Waje and Yanga, as well as having a first option on international licences for all new signings.
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Africori has worked with more than 6,500 artists and 700 labels, and is the largest digital music distribution company in Sub-Saharan Africa, with experience working with both major and independent record labels, as well as a strong track record in brand building, marketing and advertising, and a history of working with partners from the film, digital and mobile sectors.
Alfonso Perez Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Warner Music, says: “I’m delighted that we’ll be working together with Africori – and Yoel Kenan in particular – as they’ve been pioneers, fighting for the interests of artists and the music industry in Africa. We can harness the power of our global network to take their great African music to a truly global audience.”
Yoel Kenan, CEO, Africori, adds: “We work with incredible artists and have some extremely talented A&Rs spotting fresh new talent; it’ll be really exciting to see them tap into Warner Music’s global network. The music market in Africa is starting to really gain traction and this deal means we’re well-positioned to support our artists as new opportunities open up.”
Eliah Seton, President, Independent Music and Creator Services, concludes: “Our global team at ADA is super excited to partner with Africori. There’s so much momentum and incredible music coming out of Africa at the moment. It’s not a question of if, but when we get a new global superstar from the region. So we can’t wait to get to work supporting some of Africa’s most brilliant artists on the global stage.”
This latest deal not just continues to take Africa’s music to the world, but further increases Warner Music’s presence in the continent.
Africori’s Kenyan hip hop and RnB rapper and singer Nyashinski, arguably one of the country’s biggest musical exports, recently released his 12-track debut album ‘Lucky You’ on April 8th.