Universal Music Group Makes its Mark on the Middle East

With Issam Alnajjar snagging his first record deal

by

We predicted it, it was just a matter of time before 17-year-old Jordanian singer Issam Alnajjar landed his first record deal. Following the historic success of his hit ‘Hadal Ahbek’, which was the first Arabic song to hit number one globally topping both Shazam and Spotify charts, the news comes as no surprise. 

Naturally, his historic milestone didn’t escape the attention of leading music company Universal Music Group (UMG) which is launching the Universal Arabic Music (UAM) label, with Alnajjar as the very first signed artist. 

The new project is founded in partnership with Republic Records (a division of UMG) and Wassim ‘SAL’ Slaiby, Lebanese-Canadian music guru and manager of The Weeknd. It will be dedicated to unearthing, promoting and helping the new wave of artists from the region reach international success. But most importantly, giving Arabic music the global exposure it deserves.

“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,” Republic Records Founder and CEO Monte Lipman said in a statement.

“The cultural importance of music from the MENA region crossing boundaries and reaching all corners of the world is long overdue,” he added.

Like ‘Hadal Ahbek’ has proven, Arabic music holds the power to connect with fans from across the globe and SAL has long been an expert of the genre. Alongside being the founder and CEO of the UAM, he also operates as Head of International Partnerships at music streaming platform Anghami and is the man who discovered and promoted 19-year-old Palestinian singer Elyanna.

“It’s been my dream to highlight the talent and culture of Arabic music on a global level with partners that I trust and admire,” said the music manager.

Share this article