Ultra International Music Publishing has announced an expansion of its growing Afrobeat operations and a new creative hub in Nigeria.
To mark the launch of this new initiative, Ultra hosted a writing camp in the country’s capital, Lagos, in partnership with Estlon Music. The camp saw over 20 young producers, writers, artists and audiovisual designers coming together to collaborate over a period of three days.
The camp featured experienced producers such as Burna Boy's producers Chopstiix and Leriq, alongside up-and-coming writers and artists such as Bloody Civilian (Def Jam), Amexin (Ultra Publishing) and Shorae Moore; and songwriters such as Naya Akanji (Aristokat) and guitarist Effeh Jazz. The music written at the camp will contribute to a showcase mixtape under the title Sonic Rares.
Ultra is an independent publisher of hip-hop, pop, electronic dance music, jazz and reggae. This new initiative builds on Ultra’s activity in the Afrobeat genre, which has been overseen to date by Andreas Rizek, head of North America A&R for the company.
The company’s signings include Tejiri Akpoghene, who joined the roster under a global co-publishing deal with Revels Management. Akpoghene just won a Grammy for Best Melodic Rap Performance, having co-produced Future's Wait For U feat. Drake & Tems.
Ultra has also signed rising star Maesu via a co-publishing agreement with LA-based company Sturdy, who provide creative direction, live production design and stagecraft.
Also unveiled as a new addition to the company’s roster is Amexin, who has been supporting Wizkid on tour and is tipped to become one of Nigeria's breakout stars of 2023.
Lagos will be a key focus for our creative team moving forward
Patrick Moxey, founder and CEO of Ultra Music Publishing, said: “We have been involved in the signing and development of African songwriters and producers for some time and this new announcement of a creative hub in Lagos, where we can help nurture the incredible talent coming out of West Africa, will be a key focus for our creative team moving forward.”
Ultra has appointed its London-based A&R manager Harold Serero to oversee the development of its African operations.
“It is incredibly inspiring to get the chance to work with such uniquely talented, ambitious songwriters and artists that will shape the sound of Africa, and hopefully the world in 2023 and beyond,” said Serero. “This is the future.”
PHOTO: (L-R) Harold Serero (A&R manager, Ultra), Kekay (founder, Estlon Music), Kolawale Hassan Jr (Monarch & Stroud)