Universal Music Group has announced today that it’s launching Universal Arabic Music (UAM) in partnership with Republic Records and The Weeknd’s manager Wassim “SAL” Slaiby.
The newly created label will be dedicated to discovering, introducing and championing the artists, sounds and rich musical culture of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region to audiences around the world. The new label was launched today (April 6) by Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG; Republic Records Founder and CEO Monte Lipman; and Founder and CEO of SALXCO and XO RECORDS Wassim “SAL” Slaiby, who will serve as Founder and CEO of Universal Arabic Music.
According to the press release, “UAM will focus on elevating Arabic music and artists to the forefront of popular music culture and help shine a global spotlight on the next wave of artists and talent from the region to break through, while creating new opportunities to introduce Arabic music and culture to new partners, platforms and brands worldwide.”
The label marked the launch during National Arab American Heritage Month with the signing of 17-year-old Jordanian singer/songwriter Issam Alnajjar. Issam topped Spotify’s Viral Global and US Charts and Shazam’s Top 200 Global Chart at #1 with his debut single ‘Hadal Ahbek’. SAL also discovered and developed 19-year-old Palestinian-Chilean singer/songwriter Elyanna, who first gained traction after posting covers on Soundcloud.
Grainge said, “In today’s global music marketplace, we’ve demonstrated time and again that worldwide hits come from anywhere. There is so much talent in this part of the world that with SAL’s incredible experience and intimate knowledge of the MENA region, alongside his track record for helping to break global artists, he will bring a unique vision, strategy and power to Universal Arabic Music.”
Republic Records Founder and CEO Monte Lipman added, “SAL’s clear vision and blueprint for Universal Arabic Music will become a catalyst for Arabic music in the marketplace. His ability to identify, curate and deliver talent globally remains a force of nature. The cultural importance of music from the MENA region crossing boundaries and reaching all corners of the world is long overdue.”
Wassim “SAL” Slaiby, Founder and CEO, Universal Arabic Music said, “It’s been my dream to highlight the talent and culture of Arabic music on a global level with partners that I trust and admire.”