Universal Music Group (UMG) South Africa has found themselves in a pole position to sign Liberia’s fast-rising Afrobeat artist, STUNNA.
Although they are in pole position, UMG South Africa is still facing competition from Temple Music, which is home to Iyana, one of Africa’s biggest stars, for the “Baby Oh” singer’s signature.
The only difference that puts UMG South ahead of Temple Music, according to a source knowledgeable about the deal, is their monetary strength and platform. However, the source added, it is possible that if UMG South Africa does not act fast, Temple Music, which has now begun to leverage its relations with STUNNA, will get the deal done.
The six-year deal on the table by UMG South Africa, the source noted, is worth US$1.5 million, unlike Temple Music which is not close to that.
“Negotiation is currently ongoing and so far, STUNNA management team has agreed on the terms of the deal but not advance payment of the US$1.5 million,” the source continued. “Right now, UMG is willing to pay half a million US dollars but the artist’s management team is demanding US$600,000 or above since the deal includes his image rights, publishing, and right to previously released songs. It is only the disagreement about an advance monetary payment that is dragging negotiations.
The reported deal, if it does come to pass, will represent — for many Liberian music pundits — the breaking of a glass ceiling not only for the artist but the entire industry.
The singer currently regarded as the best young artist right now in Liberia, has a huge crossover potential for success both in Africa and the world at large, thereby making him a good investment. If such a deal is realized, it will make STUNNA the first Liberian artist to be signed by UMG South Africa, a subsidiary of UMG based in the US.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Tmark Korpu, who is part of the artist’s management team, did not deny nor confirm the report.
“Such a deal comes with immense benefits and it is something that we have been hoping for a long time. It is an opportunity to boost his talent and image and increase his market value. However, I cannot answer your question whether such a deal is in the pipeline or not. What I can tell you is that something big is about to happen. Really big,” Tmark said.
The 20-year-old, who made his musical debut in 2016 with WCW as a collaborative single with rapper A-Raw, is a gifted singer who possesses a powerful voice that is soulful and silky.
With over five hit singles to his name, including the widely acclaimed “Baby O” and “Balance” (featuring Iyanya), STUNNA has now built a reputation as a young hit-maker and one of the only few under 20 artists to have had over three successful smashes hit singles.