Universal Music Group (UMG), on 29th July’21 announced an exclusive global agreement with Indian Rapper and entrepreneur Badshah.
The multi-year agreement will see Badshah partner exclusively with UMG across all elements of his career, including future recordings, music publishing rights for non-film compositions, brand licensing and partnerships.
Since his debut single, “DJ Waley Babu” which featured Aastha Gill was ranked number 1 on the Indian iTunes charts within 24 hours of the release and crossed a million views on YouTube within 30 hours.
Badshah was also recently acknowledged by music rights data platform Blokur, as the world’s No. 1 songwriter on YouTube in 2020 based on combined annual video views on the platform.
While making the announcement, Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group, Chairman & CEO said,
“UMG has always been a company that has embraced musical pioneers and is deeply committed to supporting artist culture from around the world. We are delighted to partner with Badshah, one of India’s most respected and popular artists, for the next phase of his career, as we put the weight of our global company behind him to introduce his music to new audiences worldwide.”
In July 2019, within 24 hours of posting his video “Paagal” to YouTube, the song had 75 million views in one day, taking over the record set by Korean boy band BTS. Apparently YouTube declined to credit the Indian superstar for unknown reasons.
Talking about the development, an elated Badshah said,
“I am super excited for this new episode in my life. It’s time for Indian music to enter the global soundscape and we are standing at a revolutionary juncture for the entire music scene. Indian culture has music in its blood, from its melodies to its instruments.”
The Delhi-born rapper, singer and music producer is India’s most successful musical artist of his generation, having generated more than fifteen billion streams worldwide, now has the opportunity to collaborate with some of the world’s most influential and popular artists from around the world.
“There are defining moments in the course of music history for every region, when our cultural and social landscape changes forever and for me this is one of them. The greatest popstar that India has ever produced now moves his permanent house to join us at UMG, to help him navigate his next chapter and take him to his next level, and to take on the world and music listeners everywhere. I’m confident that India’s time has come and that Badshah will lead the way for Indian music to reach a highly exciting global streamscape,” voiced Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, Universal Music India & South Asia.
Adding to Sanyal’s thoughts, Vinit Thakkar, COO, Universal Music India said,
“We are extremely delighted to welcome Badshah to the Universal Music family. Badshah has been a trendsetter, who has enthralled Indian audiences with his music for many years. What really excites us is that we will now have an opportunity to work together to elevate his music and brand utilizing UMG’s truly global platform, and for him to entertain new generations of audiences around the world. We cannot wait to get started and to firmly put Indian music on the global map.”
Named as one of India’s most influential people by the likes of GQ and Forbes, Badshah’s 2018 album O.N.E. remains a benchmark for that country’s contemporary pop music.
The recent partnership will be led by the team at Universal Music India, with global priority support and future music to be released by international partner labels including Capitol Records in the U.S. and EMI in the U.K., supported by UMG’s network of labels in 60+ territories, covering 180 markets.
Talking about his immediate plans, Badshah added,
“I want to make music for everybody and bring the vibrance of India to the world with my music and I am happy to partner with the UMI team that shares the same agenda of global representation. I am someone purely driven by the power of dreams and the game plan with the teams at Universal Music is to bring all of them to life.”