UMG forms strategic partnership with Italian indie Sugar

UMG forms strategic partnership with Italian indie Sugar

Universal Music Group has formed a strategic global partnership with leading Italian music company Sugar.

This worldwide agreement will provide Sugar with resources for their recorded music and film soundtrack catalogues, alongside global support for the label’s contemporary artist roster.

The deal extends a 25-year relationship between the two companies. UMG and Sugar have a working partnership across various projects with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

The partnership marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration between the two companies, with UMG distributing the entirety of Sugar’s catalogues from throughout the label’s 88-year history.

With over 2,000 original soundtracks, it documents the sound of Italian cinema created by 400 music maestros such as Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Luis Bacalov, Riz Ortolani, Piero Piccioni, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Umiliani, Stelvio Cipriani, Fiorenzo Carpi, Philippe Sarde, and more.

As part of the agreement, UMG label Decca Records and Sugar will work closely together to explore this largely untapped collection of music, in order to reach a new generation of music and film lovers around the world.

Sugar Music is also renowned for its wide-ranging contemporary roster of leading Italian artists, whose music will now be distributed via UMG Italy. Andrea Bocelli (signed to the label in 1992) is now the number one Italian artist in the world.

Future recordings from Sugar’s frontline roster of artists will now be distributed domestically via UMG Italy, with support from UMG’s global network of labels to reach new audiences around the world. 

Sugar’s roster includes established artists such as Negramaro, Italy’s biggest pop-rock stadium act; eclectic pop star Malika Ayane; pop-jazz artist Raphael Gualazzi; and indie rocker Motta.

The greatest opportunity for an independent label is to develop its artists and repertoire globally

Filippo Sugar

Sugar Music Group is led today by third generation music executive, president and CEO, Filippo Sugar (pictured).

“I believe that in today's marketplace, the greatest opportunity for an independent label is to develop its artists and repertoire globally,” he said. “Having one, truly unique, worldwide distribution solution for the entire breadth of Sugar recordings is a very important step, as we look to grow our reach and visibility into new territories. 

“Having worked with Universal on various projects for over 20 years, I felt this was the right time to turn the page and write a new chapter. As soon as I had the opportunity to lay out my vision with Lucian, in a matter of minutes, the ball started rolling. I wish to thank Lucian for having always been there for me, and very much look forward to working with the many talented Executives within the UMG family, to bring to life some new innovative projects from Italy. We have some great new music on the way.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said: “We are thrilled to expand our long-standing relationship with Filippo and Sugar Music, and to provide support for their artists and rich catalogues worldwide. A true family business, Sugar has helped introduce the world to Italian music culture throughout its eighty-year history. Over the years, they have been a great partner to us for Andrea Bocelli, and we look forward to many more successes together in the future.” 

Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group, added: “We are delighted begin a new partnership with Sugar Music after 25 years of long-standing collaboration. It is a privilege to work with Filippo Sugar, his incredible roster of contemporary Italian artists, and the historic Sugar film catalogue which includes some of the most iconic scores ever written. We look forward to sharing this remarkable music with the world.”

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