Record Labels

Universal Music U.K. Launches 0207 Def Jam Label

Alec and Alex Boateng

First Motown, now the U.K. has a frontline Def Jam label. On Wednesday (Nov. 25), Universal Music U.K. unveiled 0207 Def Jam, the new British label home of Def Jam Recordings.

Leading the iconic hip-hop brand are Ghanaian London-born twin brothers, Alec and Alex Boateng as co-presidents.

Alex is elevated to the top job after a decade at Universal Music U.K., most recently as president of Island Records’ first Urban Division, where he oversaw domestic campaigns for Drake, Tiwa Savage, Buju Banton, Nav, Giggs, Unknown T, Ray BLK, M Huncho and more.

Meanwhile, Alec joins the company after seven years at Warner Music, most recently serving as co-head of A&R at Atlantic. At Atlantic, he played a role in the rise of such acts as Jess Glynne, Stormzy, Burna Boy and more.

The 0207 in its title is a nod to the telephone code for central London, and recognition of “the culture and art the U.K. is famed for,” a statement reads.

The siblings report to Universal Music U.K. chairman & CEO David Joseph. “Bringing the Boateng brothers together at 0207 Def Jam is an important moment in British culture,” Joseph comments. “Alec and Alex have always done things their own way with success always quick to follow. They have already assembled an exceptionally talented top team with a clear vision for this exciting new chapter in the history of one of the world’s most famous labels”.

The team at 0207 Def Jam takes shape with Universal Music veteran Amy Tettey coming on board as managing director.  Until now, Tettey served as finance director at Island Records.

Also, Jacqueline Eyewe, previously senior marketing manager at Atlantic, is named marketing director; and Char Grant, formerly with BMG Music Publishing, becomes A&R director.

“It is a perfect fit having Alex and Alec at the helm of 0207 Def Jam,” comments Jeff Harleston, interim chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings. “Their creativity, artist relationships, and connection with culture are all key elements that have made Def Jam such an important label for over 35 years. I have no doubt that Alex, Alec and their team will only make the label and the brand even stronger.”

The new frontline label and its executive team are unveiled two months after the launch of Motown Records U.K., which has its own dedicated team and resources, and is led by Rob Pascoe.