Universal Music Group, along with Mass Appeal and Nas, is launching a hip-hop label in India, showing again that the genre has no bounds.
Mass Appeal India will launch under Mass Appeal and UMG to bring India’s hip-hop artists to the forefront. The new label will be based at Universal Music India’s headquarters in Mumbai. The label will sign and work with artists from the area as well as brands and content creators. The goal is to bring these talented creatives to audiences across the globe. All releases from Mass Appeal India will be distributed exclusively via UMG worldwide, with additional support across its network of more than 60 territories for select artists and projects.
The label has announced its first big signee–Hindi rapper DIVINE who is a major part of the country’s “gully rap” movement. His own music stems from the ups and downs of his life as well as the streets of Mumbai. DIVINE’s biggest singles so far include “Meri Gully Mein,” “Jungli Sher,” and “Kaam 25.”
DIVINE’s music has impressed quite a few so far, including the legendary Nas. “I was first introduced to DIVINE’s music through the brilliant film ‘Gully Boy.’ I’m proud to announce the launch of Mass Appeal India with DIVINE as the first artist on our roster,” Nas shared in a statement. “Hip-hop is the world’s most influential culture – it’s only right to share what we do at Mass Appeal on a global level. We’re excited about joining forces with the team at UMG India to help further spark a movement that is constantly in the making.”
Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, Universal Music Group, also expressed his excitement about the label. “For many years hip-hop, regardless of local language, has been growing rapidly around the world as the authentic sound of the streets,” Granite stated. “We are excited to work together with Nas, Peter, DIVINE, Devraj and the UMI team to launch Mass Appeal India, which we believe will become India’s premier dedicated hip-hop brand. The emergence of Mass Appeal India and the signing of Divine will only fuel the next wave of Indian hip-hop and rap talent and help accelerate the growth and reach of the genre in India, the subcontinent and beyond.”