Universal Launches Def Jam India, Signing Fotty Seven & Dino James

Universal Music Group (UMG) has expanded the Def Jam brand into India and South Asia, with the launch of Def Jam India. The new label division is dedicated to representing what UMG says is “the best hip-hop and rap talent from the region”.

The first flagship artist signings to join Def Jam India are desi hip hop staples Fotty Seven and Dino James. UMG says that Def Jam India will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which, it adds, “has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years”.

Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director and CEO, Universal Music India & South Asia, said: “The launch of Def Jam India could not come at a better time for music in India. 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.

The launch of Def Jam India follows the creation of Def Jam South East Asia in September 2019, followed by the launch of Def Jam Vietnam in September 2020 to support Vietnamese hip-hop and rap talent. Universal also launched Def Jam Africa in 2020 to identify and sign hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent from across the entire continent.

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