Reservoir Media, headquartered in New York, has secured two new deals in Egypt in collaboration with PopArabia, a music publisher and independent music company based in the Middle East and North Africa.
Reservoir and PopArabia acquired Egyptian label 100COPIES and also formed a joint venture with the company to sign and develop Egyptian talent.
Separately, Reservoir and PopArabia have signed Egyptian rapper and singer Mohamed Ramadan to a worldwide publishing deal which, according to a press release, “includes hits from his catalog and upcoming releases.”
PopArabia was founded in 2011 by former Canadian hip-hop artist and music director Spek, in partnership and with the continued support of twofour54 Abu Dhabi.
In 2020, Reservoir entered into a partnership and joint venture with PopArabia to sign and develop Arab talent.
PopArabia also serves as a sub-publisher for global music catalogs in MENA territories.
Reservoir and other recent PopArabia signings include Lebanese star Zeid Hamdan, Moroccan superstar 7liwa and artist collective ARXP Cartel.
Ramadan has amassed over 4.65 billion views on YouTube to date, including hits Ensay with Saad Lamjarred and Ya Habibi with French artist Gims.
He also has over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify and over 20 million followers on Instagram.
Reservoir says 100COPIES is an early champion of the Mahraganat, an Egyptian music genre that emerged in 2011.
The label was founded in 2006 by Cairo producer Mahmoud Refaat.
Reservoir notes that 100COPIES made early investments in the Mahraganat genre, “inspired by young musicians mixing Arabic rap with electronic music and traditional Egyptian elements”. Among these musicians is the breakout duo, El Sawareekh, whose track Laa has generated over 100 million views on YouTube.
Reservoir’s acquisition of 100COPIES comes three months after Reservoir founder and CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi announced that the company plans to “deploy more than $200 million in strategic mergers and acquisitions in our first year as as an open society”.
Reservoir entered NASDAQ via a merger with a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) in July 2021.
“I am very happy to conclude this new contract with Reservoir and PopArabia.”
Commenting on the deal, Ramadan said, “I am very happy to enter into this new agreement with Reservoir and PopArabia.
“I look forward to reaching the next levels together.”
“We look forward to further solidifying Reservoir as an influential player in these markets and simultaneously fulfilling our commitment to facilitating the movement and cultural impact of talent from East to West.”
Reservoir Founder and CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi said, “The MENA region was the fastest growing region in the world in 2021, with revenue growth of 35%, according to the recent IFPI report.
“We are proud to have created a strong market presence ahead of this growth through our work with PopArabia.”
Khosrowshahi added, “We look forward to further solidifying Reservoir as an influential player in these markets and simultaneously fulfilling our commitment to facilitating the movement and cultural impact of Eastern talent in the West.”
“It’s truly gratifying to see the goals of our Reservoir and PopArabia partnership continue to come to fruition through these new deals with regional talent.”
Spek, PopArabia and Reservoir
Spek, Founder of PopArabia and Reservoir Executive Vice President for International and Emerging Markets, said, “It is truly gratifying to see the goals of our partnership between Reservoir and PopArabia continue to come to fruition through these new regional talent deals. .
“In particular, Egyptian artists have long been a driving force in popular Arab music; the agreements with Mohamed and 100COPIES offer significant opportunities for PopArabia.
“We will continue to execute its regional strategy by establishing our footprint as a major player in Arabic music, investing in catalogs and talent, and bringing this music to every corner of the world.”The music industry around the world