AS PART OF EMPIRE’S NEW AFRICA COMPILATION ALBUM WHERE WE COME FROM (VOL. 1)
Afrofusion legend and Nigerian singer, producer and songwriter Wande Coal drops a new single and visual titled, ‘Umbrella.’ Co-written by grammy-nominated producer Sak Pase, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Sean Kingston and Wande Coal, the single comes as the first visual offering and second single from EMPIRE’s new compilation album Where We Come From (VOL. 1). “Umbrella is meant to celebrate love and how protective, special, and full of life it makes you feel,” Wande says.
In the video directed by Austin McCracken, Wande is first seen playing the piano and singing at a wedding. After the couple marries, Wande shows shows his emotion by dancing in the rain and sings the song’s
chorus, “I’m in the rain like umbrella.” The visual cuts back to the wedding reception and shows guests dancing and enjoying the festivities. “I like for my music to tell a story and paint a picture of what I’m going through and experiencing,” Wande said regarding the visual direction. “When people listen to this, I want them to think of happier times with people they love to be around.”
Wande’s ‘Umbrella,’ in celebration of the explosion of African music into mainstream airwaves. EMPIRE is the top label in Nigeria and this compilation project is a body of work set to highlight the rising talent from their ever-growing roster in the continent. The first single from the project, ‘Cough,’ by Kizz Daniel dropped on 10/14 and is currently #2 on the Global Shazam chart and #1 across every DSP platform in Nigeria.
The album was created during the writing camp at EMPIRE’s headquarters in San Francisco directly following their first showcase “The New Africa” during the second night of SXSW. During the writing camp, the crowd saw performances by BNXN FKA Buju, Cheque, Fireboy DML, June Freedom, L.A.X. Wande Coal, and other trail blazers signed to the label. Artists set to be spotlighted on the upcoming project include Fireboy DML, Olamide, BXNX fka BUJU, Black Sherif, Kizz Daniel, L.A.X, and more.
Tina Davis, EMPIRE’s Senior Vice President of A&R, signed Wande Coal to EMPIRE and is excited to share his latest project. “It was an honor to sign a legend like Wande Coal. As a forefather of the Afro-Fusion genre we wanted to make sure we highlighted him on this project,” she said. “Outside of him being an amazing person, he approaches this record from a pure place of love.”
EMPIRE globalized their existing success in America by further highlighting the accomplishments of Nigerian artists like Fireboy DML, Olamide and Asake. Named as the top label in Nigeria after only one year of its creation, EMPIRE holds the title by market share and as the top music company with the most collective No. 1’s in Nigeria by TurnTable Charts, the Billboard equivalent in Africa. Furthermore, artists across EMPIRE’s roster dominate the Top 35 songs on Apple Music’s ‘Nigeria Top Songs’ chart and held the #1 Top Single for over 17 weeks on TurnTable Charts. The artist division has seen much success with Fireboy DML becoming the first African artist to perform at the 2022 BET Awards, Kizz Daniel breaking records as most streamed artist on Boomplay, KiDi going platinum in India for his hot single “Touch It” featuring multi-platinum recording artist Tyga, and Black Sheriff gaining 75+ million audio streams for “Kwaku the Traveller” in just one month.
“The artists from Africa really transcend where music is today,” Ghazi, EMPIRE CEO and Founder said. “This is a legendary moment for EMPIRE to be able to share incredible African music with the world, much of which we were fortunate enough to record at our studio here in San Francisco.”
ABOUT WANDE COAL:
Wande Coal, born Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe in Lagos, is one of the most revered, influential and multifaceted African recording artists of the modern era, with over 200 million global streams to his credit. A singer, songwriter and producer, he’s the voice behind afropop essentials “Iskaba” (2017), “So Mi So” (2018) and the Patoranking collaboration, “My Woman, My Everything” (2015).
Coal’s music journey began in church, where he learned to sing and play the piano, helping him develop what would become his trademark soulful sound. In 2007, he joined Mo’ Hits — then Nigeria’s premier record label — after principals Don Jazzy and D’Banj noticed him as a dancer in music videos. Quickly becoming an indispensable part of the label’s writing and production stable, hepenned some of its most notable releases including D’Banj’s landmark “Oliver Twist,” the Kanye-endorsed big bang which birthed today’s afrobeats explosion.
ABOUT EMPIRE: Founded in 2010 by Bay Area native Ghazi Shami, EMPIRE is currently leading through its innovative approach to the digital music era across its label, distribution and publishing arms. Ghazi has been recognized for his work in Billboard’s 2021 Indie Power Players list, Billboard’s 2021 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players, as well as Billboard’s 2022 Power List