Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced a partnership with Chocolate City, Nigeria’s leading record label to create new opportunities for African talents around the world, as well as global superstars in Africa.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, music from these artists will join Warner Music’s repertoire, and they will receive the support of the company’s wide-ranging global expertise, including distribution and artist services via ADA – WMG’s independent label services division.
The Chocolate City team will continue to develop local artists and support the management of WMG’s global superstars across Sub Saharan Africa, including a strategic, reciprocal marketing agreement with WMG South Africa. WMG will also provide financial support for Chocolate City to help achieve its mission of signing and developing the best local talent in this fast-growing market.
Audu Maikori, Group CEO of Chocolate City noted:“At Chocolate City, we have always been passionate about discovering and developing the best talent across Africa and giving them a platform for global growth. The partnership with Warner Music Group is unique in the sense that our clients get the best of both worlds – curated and bespoke services by a highly experienced team across Africa and a dedicated global team to further push their music and their brands.”
“Our music is truly global and it has long been our vision to create an ecosystem through which the boundless talent in our region can be experienced across the globe. This ground breaking partnership with WMG provides both the access, and capacity to achieve this objective. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities this partnership presents,” Paul Okeugo, Group COO and President of Chocolate City added.
Chocolate City is home to a diverse roster of local talent from various genres including: Femi Kuti, four-time Grammy nominated son of the Afrobeat pioneer Fela; hip-hop artist and record producer M.I. Abaga, Afro beats sensation Dice Ailes, Nosa, ClassiQ, Ruby Gyang and promising new acts Blaqbonez, C Kay and Street Billionaires. In addition, ChocolateCity’s catalogue includes celebrated acts such as Brymo, Ice Prince, and Jesse Jagz.
Sub-Saharan Africa as an exciting emerging market for music companies, has a largely youthful population of some 1.1 billion people with increasing access to streaming services with rising smartphone penetration. Additionally, the popularity of Afrobeat and local hip-hop is surging worldwide, and attracting the attention of international artists and producers.
Alfonso Perez Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Warner Music also expressed his enthusiasm about the project, saying: “The music scene in Nigeria is so rich and diverse that it’s important that we develop bespoke entrepreneurial strategies. We have great affinity with Chocolate City’s creative and ambitious approach and we’re excited about Warner’s role in bringing to life their vision of taking their music worldwide.”
According to Temi Adeniji, Director, International Strategy and Operations, Warner Music, the label will provide valuable insight on best practices in the region, as well as expertise in scouting and developing emerging talent. The partnership, he said, will allow for free exchange of ideas and music that will promote and support local artists.
The event follows the recently announced deal for WMG’s repertoire to be distributed by local streaming service Boomplay.