Def Jam Recordings launches in the UK as 0207 Def Jam

0207 Def Jam
© Olivia Rose
(Left – right) Alec Boateng, Jacqueline Eyewe, Char Grant, Alex Boateng

Brothers Alec and Alex Boateng are heading up the new label.

Universal Music UK has announced the launch of a new Def Jam label wing, named 0207 Def Jam. Brothers Alec Boateng and Alex Boateng have been announced as the label’s Co-Presidents. The pair held recent roles as co-head of A&R at Atlantic Records and President of Urban at Island Records, respectively. Alec also spent over a decade at BBC Radio 1Xtra.

0207 Def Jam takes the first part of its name and inspiration from a telephone code in London. It’s a nod to the “music, culture and art the UK is famed for”. The new imprnt will also be based in London.

A series of other senior appointments have also been confirmed. Char Grant has been named A&R director, following a role as Senior A&R at BMG Music Publishing. 

Alec Boateng says, “Music, art and artists really, really matter. I’m super excited to play a leadership role in this brilliant new space we’re creating for amazing music and talent to live and evolve. A space which will support both our teams and our artists to be the best version of themselves.”

Alex Boateng added, “Especially in these times, this is a real privilege. I’m proud our collective journey now includes partnering a legendary label with a style that only London and the UK can provide. Looking forward to watching and guiding where the music and art takes the journey next.”

A UK label launch helmed by the Boateng brothers has been rumoured for some time, with Music Week reporting on a potential UK-based division back in March in an article on Alex Boateng’s departure from Island Records. The announcement follows the launch of Def Jam Africa earlier this year, another new division based in Johannesburg and Lagos. Def Jam Africa is focused on “hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent” from across the continent.