Universal Music Group Officially Launches ‘0207 Def Jam’

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London, England. Photo Credit: Benjamin Davies

Universal Music Group has officially launched 0207 Def Jam, a “new frontline label” that will also function as the UK home for the namesake Def Jam Records.

Universal Music Group higher-ups unveiled the 0207 Def Jam rollout this morning, in a formal release that was shared with Digital Music News. The “0207” portion of the label’s name represents the telephone area code in central London, “as a nod to the music, culture and art the UK is famed for,” this announcement message notes at the outset.

London-born Ghanaian twins Alex and Alec Boateng are set to serve as co-presidents at 0207 Def Jam, with 11-year Island Records veteran Amy Tettey becoming the 0207 team’s managing director. Having joined Universal Music UK in 2010, Alex Boateng most recently led Island’s first urban division. Alec, for his part, held executive positions at Warner Music Group – including co-head of A&R at Atlantic Records – for seven years prior to joining his brother at 0207 Def Jam.

Addressing the debut and team of 0207 Def Jam in a statement, Def Jam Records interim President and CEO Jeff Harleston said: “It is a perfect fit having Alex and Alec at the helm of 0207 Def Jam. Their creativity, artist relationships, and connection with culture are all key elements that have made Def Jam such an important label for over 35 years.”

Additionally, Universal Music UK Chairman and CEO David Joseph said: “Bringing the Boateng brothers together at 0207 Def Jam is an important moment in British culture. Alec and Alex have always done things their own way with success always quick to follow.”

Back in May, Universal Music Group continued its years-running expansion into the African market with Def Jam Africa. Headquartered in both Johannesburg, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria, the Def Jam division will work to sign and develop acts from throughout the continent, UMG emphasized. June saw the Big Three label set up shop in North Africa, with offices in Casablanca, Morocco, as well as a Middle Eastern branch in Tel Aviv, Israel.

More broadly, 2020 has proven a big year for other major labels’ international-expansion plans despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Warner Music in March launched an India branch, following the move by establishing a presence in Vietnam and inking an investment deal with African music company Africori.

Finally, Sony Music opened a seven-story, 86,000-square-foot megaplex (and European headquarters) in Berlin, Germany, last month. The sprawling establishment houses all of Germany’s Sony Music Group employees and is just a nine-minute drive from the Sony Complex and the Sony Germany headquarters.