UAM WILL CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO ADVANCE ARABIC MUSIC AND CULTURE WITH GLOBAL PARTNERS, PLATFORMS AND BRANDS
FIRST SIGNING ISSAM ALNAJJAR’S DEBUT SINGLE “HADAL AHBEK”
IS FIRST ARABIC SONG IN HISTORY TO HIT #1 ON SHAZAM GLOBAL AND
SPOTIFY VIRAL GLOBAL CHARTS
SANTA MONICA, CA (April 6th, 2021) – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world
leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the launch of Universal
Arabic Music (UAM), a newly created label dedicated to discovering, introducing
and championing the artists, sounds and rich musical culture of the Middle East &
North Africa (MENA) region to audiences around the world. Republic Records and
its parent company UMG founded the new label in partnership with respected
music mogul Wassim “SAL” Slaiby.
The new label was unveiled today by: Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of
UMG; Republic Records Founder and CEO Monte Lipman; and Founder and CEO
of SALXCO and XO RECORDS Wassim “SAL” Slaiby, who will serve as Founder and
CEO of Universal Arabic Music, effective immediately.
As the first dedicated global label of its kind, UAM will focus on elevating Arabic
music and artists to the forefront of popular music culture and help shine a global
spotlight on the next wave of artists and talent from the region to break through,
while creating new opportunities to introduce Arabic music and culture to new
partners, platforms and brands worldwide.
Grainge said, “In today’s global music marketplace, we’ve demonstrated time and
again that worldwide hits come from anywhere. There is so much talent in this
part of the world that with SAL’s incredible experience and intimate knowledge of
the MENA region, alongside his track record for helping to break global artists, he
will bring a unique vision, strategy and power to Universal Arabic Music.”
Republic Records Founder and CEO Monte Lipman added, “SAL’s clear vision and
blueprint for Universal Arabic Music will become a catalyst for Arabic music in the
marketplace. His ability to identify, curate and deliver talent globally remains a
force of nature. The cultural importance of music from the MENA region crossing
boundaries and reaching all corners of the world is long overdue.”
Wassim “SAL” Slaiby, Founder and CEO, Universal Arabic Music said, “It’s been my
dream to highlight the talent and culture of Arabic music on a global level with
partners that I trust and admire.”
The global audience for Arabic music is rapidly growing, in part due to its rising
popularity across social media channels and among the large Arabic diasporas
around the world, and also due to its appeal to music fans of all backgrounds.
Social media is helping build awareness of new Arabic artists and songs in
countries such as the U.S., Brazil, France, Turkey and across Latin America, where
there are large Arabic communities.
Setting the tone for the label’s ambitions, UAM marked the launch during
National Arab American Heritage Month with the signing of globally recognized
artist, 17-year-old Jordanian singer/songwriter Issam Alnajjar. Issam has already
topped Spotify’s Viral Global and US Charts and Shazam’s Top 200 Global Chart at
#1 with his debut single ‘Hadal Ahbek’ - which exploded after the singer posted
the track on TikTok, amassing over 3 billion views on the platform. To date, the
performance video has garnered over 60 million views. SAL also discovered and
developed 19-year-old Palestinian-Chilean singer/songwriter Elyanna, who first
gained traction after posting covers on Soundcloud. Last year, the now California-
based songstress released her self-titled debut EP and breakout hit “Ana Lahale”
featuring Massari, which has amassed millions of streams to date. Additional
marquee artist signings will be announced very soon.
UAM is building a team of experts who speak Arabic and have a deep
understanding of Arabic music and culture. This team will be dedicated to Arabic
music and will work alongside UMG’s labels in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, France,
Germany, Australia, Mexico—as well as UMG’s existing operations in the MENA
region—to discover, sign and promote global artists of Middle Eastern and North
African descent and bring them to fans worldwide.
More news on UAM signings and forthcoming releases will be announced soon.
UAM: INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TIKTOK
ABOUT WASSIM “SAL” SLAIBY
Wassim “SAL” Slaiby is the Founder and CEO of SALXCO and XO RECORDS. He
manages international superstar The Weeknd along with an impressive roster of
45 plus artists, producers and songwriters, including Doja Cat, Swedish House
Mafia, French Montana, Bebe Rexha, Metro Boomin, Belly, Ty Dolla Sign, M.I.A,
Bryson Tiller, Brandy, Ali Gatie and numerous others. SAL was named manager of
the year in 2020 by Variety Magazine and graced the covers for the February 2021
inaugural Billboard Change Agents issue and April 2021 Forbes Middle East issue.
SAL sits as Head of International Partnerships at Anghami (Middle East and North
Africa’s #1 music streaming service) and joined the Board of Advisors at Global
Citizen in 2017 to lend his energy and resources to the organization dedicated to
ending world hunger by 2030. SAL raised more than $1.3 million in less than 10
days with the Global Aid to Lebanon campaign after the tragic August 4th
explosion that occurred in Beirut.
SAL currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Rima Fakih Slaiby (the first
Arab/Immigrant Miss USA) and their three beautiful children.
ABOUT UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment,
with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing,
merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the
most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre,
UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most
critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to
artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of
services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and
commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans.
Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.
ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, Republic
Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends
and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the
Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay,
Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne,
Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post
Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more.
Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also
comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings,
Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records,
XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing
strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G).
In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for
Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the
Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television
franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content,
Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series
powered by the label's catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas
Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.