Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced an exclusive global agreement with Indian music superstar and entrepreneur Badshah, one of the world’s most popular musical artists. 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.
Badshah, a dynamic 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, performed more than 700 live shows and become an ambassador for global brands, thanks to his quirky sense of fashion and luxury style. Badshah is the only Indian artist in history to have achieved fifteen different songs with more than 200 million video views each on YouTube, including: Paani Paani, Genda Phool, She Move It Like, Paagal Kala Chashma, Heartless, DJ Waley Babu, Garmi and Mercy, breaking numerous chart-records along the way.
Based on combined annual video views on the platform, Badshah was recently acknowledged by music rights data platform Blokur, as the world’s No. 1 songwriter on YouTube in 2020.
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. His ability to fuse contemporary production with traditional Indian influences and sounds to create anthemic hit records, has helped Badshah garner popularity, respect and an unparalleled fanbase among artists, producers and fans throughout India and across its vast global diaspora.
UMG will help Badshah reach new levels of success, further elevating Indian music culture to new audiences around the globe. The 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.
The next phase in Badshah’s musical journey, will see him collaborating with some of the world’s most influential and popular artists from around the world, as he continues his artistic journey to bring the next generation of Indian music culture to the masses, with the first tracks to be released later this Summer.
In 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.”
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. 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.”
Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, Universal Music India & South Asia said, “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.”
Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, Universal Music Group said, “Our focus in the last few years, has been to support the growth of non-film music in India, through launching labels and signing artists that reinforce the importance of original artist culture, and reach audiences beyond traditional Bollywood music. Welcoming Badshah to UMG is the natural next step in our ambitious plan to help introduce Indian music to the world, which like reggaeton and K-pop in recent years, has the opportunity to inspire new generations of music fans everywhere.”
Vinit Thakkar, COO, Universal Music India said, “We are extremely delighted to welcome Badshah to the Universal Music family. India has such a rich history and a vibrant culture of music and entertainment, and 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.”