British rapper Stormzy has become the first signee to Universal Music Group UK’s new frontline label 0207 Def Jam.
Born in London, Ghanaian brothers Alec and Alex Boateng serve as co-presidents of 0207 Def Jam, launched on November 25. Alex comes to the label from Island Records where he served as president of their first Urban Division. Similarly, Alec makes the move from Warner Music where he was co-head of A&R at Atlantic Records.
While at Atlantic Records, Alec was a key player in the success of acts like Rita Ora, Burna Boy, and 0207 Def Jam’s own Stormzy.
Since his debut in the early 2010s, Stormzy has become one of England’s most critically acclaimed artists. A six-time BRIT Award-nominee, the grime rapper was awarded British Male Solo Artist in both 2020 and 2018 and took home a British Album trophy for Gang Signs & Prayer in 2018.
STORMZY || A ONCE IN A GENERATION ARTIST || WELCOME TO THE 0207 & UNIVERSAL MUSIC FAMILY 🖤
— Universal Music UK (@UMusicuk) November 30, 2020
Stormzy’s latest album Heavy Is The Head was released in December 2019. It featured collaborations with Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, H.E.R., Yebba, Tiana Major9, Headie One, and Aitch. The album debuted at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart before reaching No. 1 in January 2020.
Heavy Is The Head featured singles “Wiley Flow,” “Own It,” “Crown,” and “Vossi Bop.” It was also shortlisted for the Mercury Prize 2020, the second of Stormzy’s albums to receive the accolade.
The Boateng Brothers’ involvement in 0207 Def Jam, named from a London telephone code as a nod to the UK’s cultural influence on music and art, is an “important moment in British culture,” says Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph. With Stormzy as the label’s first signee, the duo are setting the stage to uphold their honoring of this cultural impact.
“Music, art, and artists really, really matter. I’m super excited to play a leadership role in this brilliant new space we’re creating for amazing music and talent to live and evolve,” said Alec Boateng.
“Especially in these times, this is a real privilege. I’m proud our collective journey now includes partnering a legendary label with a style that only London and the UK can provide,” Alex added.