Mass Appeal, the urban culture-focused entertainment company, and Universal Music Group (UMG) has recently announced the launch of Mass Appeal India – an innovative new label which has previously included partners such as CNN, VICE, Netflix, HBO, Google and more.
The deal resulted in a multi-channel partnership between the two, with operations based within Universal Music India’s (UMI) headquarters in Mumbai.
While Mass Appeal will lead release strategy within the U.S. and Canada, it will leveraging on UMI’s marketing and promotion teams in India which will see its content distributed exclusively via UMG network of over 60 territories worldwide.
“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,” said Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, Universal Music Group.
To coincide with its launch, the label has announced the marquee signing of India’s most popular and acclaimed rapper DIVINE with hit singles including ‘Meri Gully Mein’, ‘Jungli Sher’ and ‘Kaam 25’.
DIVINE’s story and rise of the Indian hip-hop scene inspired Bollywood director Zoya Akhtar’s 2019 acclaimed feature film Gully Boy. The film featured DIVINE in action on five tracks. His single ‘Jungli Sher’ was the first Indian single that Apple Music released worldwide
“It’s an honour to be associated with a legend like Nas. I grew up listening to his music. For him to recognise not just me, but the whole Indian hip-hop scene is a big win for hip-hop, and for hip-hop in India,” said DIVINE.
“I will be working with Mass Appeal India not just in a personal capacity, but also in my capacity as founder of Gully Gang Entertainment…to help Mass Appeal India build a thriving ecosystem for urban music and culture in the sub-continent,” he added.
“Hip-hop has been a key area of this focus and we have found the natural partner in Mass Appeal, Nas & Peter to help realise our dream of breaking Indian hip-hop in the region, as well as to the rest of the world together,” said Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO of UMG, India & South Asia.
“…we are beyond thrilled to announce the global expansion of our brand in partnership with UMI and with DIVINE as our first superstar talent signing. This new venture is an incredibly exciting extension of Mass Appeal’s strategy to progress the conversation and landscape of hip hop by taking our brand to the most exciting global markets,” commented Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal.