Universal Launches Arabic Music Label With Republic Records

The founders also announced the label’s first signing, 17-year-old Jordanian singer/songwriter Issam Alnajjar.

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Courtesy of UMG

Universal Music Group is thrilled to announce the arrival of Universal Arabic Music (UAM), a newly created label focused on representing the diverse and exciting sounds emerging out of the Middle East & North Africa region to audiences around the world. Republic Records and UMG founded the new label in partnership with music executive Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, whose SalXCo manages the Weeknd, Doja Cat, Brandy, French Montana, Belly, and others.

According to the announcement, the Universal Arabic Music label 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.”

UAM marked the launch during National Arab American Heritage Month with the signing of 17-year-old Jordanian singer/songwriter Issam Alnajjar, who has already topped Spotify’s Viral Global and US Charts and Shazam’s Top 200 Global Chart with his debut single “Hadal Ahbek.” Sal also discovered and developed 19-year-old Palestinian-Chilean singer/songwriter Elyanna, who first gained traction after posting covers on Soundcloud. Purchase “Hadal Ahbek” here.

Issam Alnajjar - Hadal Ahbek (Performance Video)

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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.”

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.”

Issam Alnajjar’s “Hadal Ahbek” is available now and can be purchased here.

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