France-based independent digital distro IDOL has entered into global artist services deals with Nigerian singer Yemi Alade and British-Ivorian DJ Afro B.
Yemi Alade, through her Effyzzie Music Group, has partnered with IDOL for her upcoming seventh studio album slated for release later this year. Afro B, meanwhile, secured a deal that will result in the release of a number of singles this year leading up to his fourth album scheduled for 2024. The album will feature collaborations with Stefflon Don, Will.i.am, Pitbull, and others.
Each partnership will see IDOL overseeing worldwide digital distribution for all upcoming releases, working closely with the artists’ teams to strategise, handle global marketing, coordinate international efforts, develop audiences and manage channels effectively.
The deals were facilitated by IDOL’s head of label development and A&R for Africa, Thibaut Mullings, based in Johannesburg.
“We’ve spent half a decade laying the groundwork in Southern Africa, strengthening our position across the territory and exploring the diversity of the sub-Saharan markets through conferences, festivals, studio sessions, business discussions and new partnerships,” Mullings said. “We are now reaching a stage where IDOL’s selectivity, local appeal and international reach are producing results for our partners as well as attracting African artists with global ambition.”
With 15 years of experience in promoting and distributing sub-Saharan African artists like Oumou Sangaré, Ballaké Sissoko, Serge Ibaka, and Patoranking, among others, Mullings has played a pivotal role in IDOL’s success. He was instrumental in the development of the Ghanaian hip hop collective SuperJazzClub that recently performed to a packed audience at London’s Soho House. The group is set to release a new EP by the end of 2023.
IDOL says its latest signings further exemplify its strong commitment to promoting diverse genres originating from sub-Saharan Africa, whose music market experienced remarkable growth of 34.7% in 2022, as reported by IFPI, making it the fastest-growing area in recorded music revenues.
Meanwhile, IDOL has named Christophe Mauberqué as head of international A&R to continue driving business development in territories outside of Europe. Mauberqué brings 15 years of experience in A&R, distribution and label services following previous roles as senior label manager at !K7 Music as well as A&R and label manager for French independent distributor La Baleine (now known as Bigwax).
“I’ve followed IDOL’s international expansion with great interest in recent years and I’m beyond excited to join the company at such a key moment of its development,” Mauberqué said. “By sharing the same ethos of quality over quantity, as well as championing 100% self-funded independence, the team and I will work closely to continue broadening IDOL’s global presence.”
IDOL president Pascal Bittard added: “We are delighted to welcome Afro B and Yemi Alade into our diverse, international roster. IDOL has close ties to the sub-Saharan region, and we’re glad to be furthering our global reach with the addition of two highly talented artists. I look forward to working closely with the artists and their teams over the coming months, as well as with Christophe as we continue on this exciting period of growth.”
Source: MUSIC IN AFRICA