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30M Records talks ‘This is Tehran?’ and Iranian music’s global potential

Hamburg-based label 30M Records was founded in 2020 by Matthias Koch with the aim of helping Iranian musicians to release their music globally, at a time when economic sanctions mean artists and labels there cannot deal directly with digital music services in the US or Europe.

The label’s first compilation album ‘RAAZ’ came out last year, and this week its second release drops. ‘This is Tehran?’ focuses on current Iranian composers and musicians working across a range of genres, from classical and jazz to electronica.

“I am totally convinced that the overwhelmingly rich musical heritage is a great source and inspiration for contemporary artists, both Iranian and international,” Koch told Music Ally on the eve of the release.

“The instruments, sounds, tonalities are something special on one hand and quite appealing on the other. Streaming services are a great way to get that message out to the world.”

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Universal Music launches a new label focusing on Arabic music

Universal Music Group has been on something of a spree of new label launches in recent times, with a particular emphasis on high-potential markets.

The latest example is Universal Arabic Music (UAM for short) which is going to focus on music from the Middle East and North Africa.

It’s a partnership between UMG and Republic Records on one side, and The Weeknd’s manager Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby, who also founded Salxco and XO Records, and is head of international partnerships at streaming service Anghami.