The management team of deejay Mavado is tight-lipped on alleged negotiations with US record label Def Jam.
“If and when negotiations are complete we will make an announcement,” stated a source who declined to be named for fear of jeopardising possible negotiations. “We talk to many labels…and as a businessman I cannot comment on that.”
The source called the allegations “mere rumours” but at the same time would not deny that Mavado is exploring options for a new label.
Def Jam, ultimately owned by major label Universal Music Group, has greater marketing and reach than Mavado’s current independent reggae label VP Records. It would also allow Mavado to maximise his record sales in the US (which is the world’s largest music market) as his performance income was hurt following the revocation of his US Visa earlier this year.
Mavado described as the Gully God has a loyal following and the best Billboard chart performance among locally based hardcore deejays. His 2009 album Mr Brooks topped the reggae charts and his 2006 single Weh Dem A Do peaked at 20 on the rap songs chart.
Def Jam artistes include Jay Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Nas and others, but has no major reggae artiste under its roster. However the current number one reggae album on Billboard, Distant Relatives by reggae artiste Damian Marley (Tuff Gong) and US rapper Nas (Def Jam) was released jointly on Universal Republic and Def Jam Recordings. Additionally, Elephant Man has released singles under Def Jam UK. The label was founded by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.