Warner Music Group Partners with Nigerian Afrobeats Label Chocolate City

WMG continues to make inroads into the growing African music market.

Several weeks ago, Warner Music Group (WMG) made a key deal in the African music market.

The major label group struck a deal with Boomplay, a major African streaming music and download service.  Under the licensing agreement, the African digital music service would distribute WMG’s catalog of over one million songs to users in ten countries – Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Now, the major label group has made another significant move into the local music market.

Partnering with Chocolate City.

Warner Music Group has inked a deal with Nigerian indie label Chocolate City.

The move has the potential to dramatically grow the reach of African artists around the world.  In addition, WMG’s deal will create new opportunities for its artists in the region.

Chocolate City, which primarily specializes in Afrobeats, will continue to be led by cofounders Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo.  Executive Vice President of Imprints Jude Abaga and Executive Vice President of Recorded Music Aibee Abidoye will also continue in their roles.

The indie label’s roster includes Femi Kuti, four-time Grammy-nominated son of the Afrobeat pioneer Fela, hip-hop artist and record producer M.I. Abaga, Dice Ailes, Nosa, ClassiQ, and Ruby Gyang.  Emerging new acts include Blaqbonez, C Kay, and Street Billionaires.

The Lagos-based indie label’s roster also includes Brymo, Ice Prince, and Jesse Jagz.

Under terms of the deal, music from Chocolate City’s roster will join WMG’s repertoire.  Label artists will receive support from the company’s distribution and artist services via ADA, its indie label services division.

Speaking about the deal, Alfonso Soto, WMG’s Executive Vice President of Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said,

The music scene in Nigeria is so rich and diverse that it’s important that we develop bespoke entrepreneurial strategies.

At the same time, we’ll keep in mind the lessons learned from other emerging markets, for instance Latin America, where we successfully broke local artists globally.

Chocolate City Group CEO Audu Maikori added,

“The partnership with Warner Music Group is unique in the sense that our clients get the best of both worlds – curated and bespoke services by a highly experienced team across Africa and a dedicated global team to further push their music and their brands.”