Universal Music Group is stepping up its efforts to sign Indian artists and help them break globally. It is launching Def Jam India, an imprint focusing on hip-hop and rap both within India and in south Asia more widely. It already has two signings under its belt: Dino James and Fotty Seven, who’ll release tracks through the label this month.
“Our domestic hip-hop and rap artists are rapidly growing into some of the most exciting talents in the region, taking their rightful space alongside mainstream national & regional pop, and what better home for those artists than Def Jam, the pioneering global home of hip-hop,” said Universal Music India & South Asia boss Devraj Sanyal.
It’s the latest global expansion for Def Jam, following Def Jam Africa and 0207 Def Jam in the UK, both in 2020. It’s not UMG’s first hip-hop venture in India though: in 2019 it launched Mass Appeal India as a joint venture with rapper Nas’s label, making Indian star Divine its first signing.