EMPIRE, the American distribution and record label that launched operations in Africa 8 months ago, has signed renowned Ghanaian popstar Kuami Eugene.
NAIROBI, KENYA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Ghanaian popstar Kuami Eugene, whose full name is Eugene Kwame Marfo, has joined the American record label EMPIRE, just eight months after the company launched its African operations.
- In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Kuami Eugene, a singer and producer signed to Accra-based Lynx Entertainment, called EMPIRE his “new family.” The company, founded by Ghazi Shami, opened its African operation in February after opening a division in the US in 2021 that focuses on West Asia and North Africa.
- With Kuami Eugene, EMPIRE has added to its growing list of African artists, including fellow Ghanaians KiDi and Yaw Tog, Nigerians Olamide, Fireboy DML, and Kizz Daniel. According to TurnTable, Nigerian Billboard’s equivalent, EMPIRE finished 2021 with the highest distribution numbers in Nigeria.
- To date, Kuami Eugene has released two albums, Rockstar (2018) and Son of Africa (2020), and rose to prominence after competing in the MTN Hitmaker music reality show.
- Besides his Ghanaian solo success, Kuami Eugene has also worked with CKay on the remix of ‘Love Nwantiti’, which was recently honored by UK-based performance rights organization BMI.
On Wednesday, Kuami Eugene, an Accra-based singer and producer who was previously signed to Lynx Entertainment, confirmed the news on Twitter, describing the company as “my new family.”
My New Family @EMPIRE @EMPIREAfrica 🤝🏾
— Kuami Eugene (@KuamiEugene) October 19, 2022
The EMPIRE founded by Ghazi Shami opened an African division in February following the opening of a US division for West Asia and North Africa in 2021.
EMPIRE has expanded its African artist roster with the addition of Kuami Eugene, who joins fellow Ghanaians KiDi and Yaw Tog, along with Olamide, Fireboy DML and Kizz Daniel from Nigeria. The Nigerian Billboard equivalent TurnTable reported that EMPIRE closed out in 2021 with the highest distribution numbers.
Furthermore, EMPIRE Records, a San Francisco-based independent distributor, has released the albums of prominent industry figures such as Snoop Dogg, Young Dolph, Robin Thicke, and Iggy Azalea, as well as worked with acts like XXXTentacion (late), T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, and Cardi B.
EMPIRE’s regional head for West Africa, Kareem Mobolaji, spoke to Forbes about the development in the region.
“Don’t forget the rate of streaming music in the States is not the rate of streaming music in Nigeria,” EMPIRE’s regional head for West Africa said.
“If 10 people are streaming you in the U.S., that’s equivalent to having 60 people streaming you in Nigeria.”
Eugene Kuami is going global
As of today, Kuami Eugene has released two albums, Rockstar (2018) and Son of Africa (2020). He became a household name after participating in the local reality show MTN Hitmaker.
Kuami Eugene has not only been successful as a solo act, but also scored notable international collaborations, including CKay’s remix of “Love Nwantiti” honoured by BMI, an organization dedicated to performing rights.
Kuami Eugene won Artist of the Year at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards in 2020 and released the EP Afro Highlife, which uniquely blended Afropop and highlife sounds.
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