In a significant boost for the domestic music industry, Universal Music South Africa has acquired longstanding independent talent management agency, G Management. Formed in 2017, under the guidance of several of the country’s top booking agents and record label executives, UMG Live is rapidly positioning itself as one of South Africa’s leading entertainment facilitation companies.
This new division of Universal Music is based in Johannesburg and will serve as the touring and live facility for all artists currently in a 360 deal with the record company. However, in keeping with G Management’s historic, wide-ranging offerings, UMG Live will also service many different artists outside Universal Music. This currently includes many of South Africa’s most talented and active artists including Swing City, The Muses and Okmalumkoolat. In 2016, G Management, in collaboration with Universal Music, acquired the exclusive booking agency rights for the talent signed to The Voice SA, adding another exciting element to its offerings.
UMG Live has tapped Morgan Ross, director at G Management, to head up the newly-formed division. “I’m so grateful to be part of Universal’s worldwide family,” says Ross.
“It’s exciting to see our existing artists flourish outside of South Africa’s borders with the backing of a major label, and to be working with those artists signed to Universal Music. I’ve been a huge fan of so many of these and being able to work side-by-side with them is very rewarding. G Management has always been one of South Africa’s most active indie agencies and seeing it expand in this way is like seeing my child graduate from college.”
“We are delighted to welcome G Management to the Universal Music family,” says Sipho Dlamini, Universal Music South Africa’s Managing Director. “In the changing environment in which we do business, it is important that we give our artists and business partners the best suite of offerings possible – and UMG Live will play a very important part in that.”
“G Management has long had a reputation for excellence in artist management and the live arena,” adds Pino Di Benedetto, director at Universal Music South Africa. “I can think of no better agency to team up with to create what, I believe, will become the country’s leading entertainment facilitation company.”
As part of its business offering, UMG Live is also offering preferential rates for non-exclusive entertainers right across South Africa – confirming its commitment to representing, and working with, as broad a range of creative talent as possible. The agency already has a varied roster of genres, from rock to classical, hip hop to gospel, and is set-up to cater for an audience of one or a festival of thousands.
One of UMG Live’s main service offerings is to corporate clients. The agency offers a one-stop-shop entertainment solution for blue-chip clients for year-end and company and other events. The most competitive rates for staging, lighting, PA and backline from world-class technical suppliers are also part of UMG Live’s business mix. “We also offer business affairs and the procurement of international artists,” adds Ross. “In recent years we have worked closely with SAB Miller (Castle Lite) to bring out international acts DRAKE (2011) and WALE (2013).”Other blue-chip clients include BMW, Vodacom, MTN, Nedbank, Investec, Standard BANK, Edcon and many more.
2018 sees the inclusion of Nasty C, Lady Zamar, KO, Ard Matthews. Craig Lucas (Winner of The Voice SA S2) and more to the growing roster of talent.
With sister companies based in Western Europe, Kenya and Nigeria, UMG Live represents the pinnacle of entertainment in many different territories – all with the backing of parent company Universal Music.