IDOL signs Afro B and Yemi Alade, hires new international A&R

IDOL partners with Effyzzie Music on Yemi Alade's next album. Afro B signs with IDOL, new singles confirmed for 2023. Former !K7 Senior Label Manager, Christophe Mauberqué appointed as IDOL's Head of International A&R. Reinforces IDOL's long-standing support for African genres via its subsidiary publication PAM.

Paris, 25th July 2023

Independent digital distributor, IDOL has agreed global artist services deals for two key signings that span diverse African genres, whilst Christophe Mauberqué joins to head up the company’s international business development.

New signings include Nigeria’s internationally-acclaimed afropop artist Yemi Alade via her own record company, Effyzzie Music. Alade is working with IDOL on her upcoming seventh studio album, expected to be released later this year.

London-based afrowave pioneer and Capital XTRA DJ Afro B also joins IDOL’s roster. Under the deal, Afro B will release a number of singles this year in the run-up to his fourth album, due out in 2024, which will include features from Stefflon Don,, Pitbull and more.

Each partnership will see IDOL handle worldwide digital distribution for all upcoming releases, working closely with artist teams on strategy, global marketing, international co-ordination, audience development and channel management.

The deals were led by IDOL’s Johannesburg-based Thibaut Mullings (Head of Label Development and A&R, Africa) who has 15 years of experience promoting and distributing Sub-Saharan African artists including Oumou Sangaré, Ballaké Sissoko, Serge Ibaka, Patoranking and more. Mullings also played a key role in IDOL’s development of hotly-tipped hip-hop collective SuperJazzClub, who recently packed out London’s Soho House, with the group planning to put out a new EP at the end of 2023.

IDOL’s new signings further establish its longstanding commitment to championing diverse genres originating from Sub-Saharan Africa – a music market which grew 34.7% in 2022 according to IFPI, making it the fastest-growing region in recorded music revenues.

This support is reinforced by IDOL’s subsidiary publication Pan African Music (PAM) which reports independently on music and culture deriving from the African continent and its diaspora. Founded in 2017, and now with 60 contributors in 16 countries, PAM has evolved to produce visual media, documentaries and live events helping it earn a reputation for high-quality, locally-driven content which is promoted globally.

Thibaut Mullings, Head of Label Development and A&R, Africa at IDOL, said: “We’ve spent half a decade laying the groundwork in Southern Africa; strengthening our position across the territory and exploring the diversity of the Sub-Saharan markets through conferences, festivals, studio sessions, business discussions and new partnerships. We are now reaching a stage where IDOL’s selectivity, local appeal and international reach are producing results for our partners as well as attracting African artists with global ambition.”

In line with IDOL’s recent expansion into key growth markets, Christophe Mauberqué has been appointed as Head of International A&R to continue driving business development in territories outside of Europe. Mauberqué brings 15 years of experience in A&R, distribution and label services following previous roles as Senior Label Manager at !K7 Music as well as A&R and Label Manager for French independent distributor, La Baleine (now known as Bigwax).

Mauberqué commented: “I’ve followed IDOL’s international expansion with great interest in recent years and I’m beyond excited to join the company at such a key moment of its development. By sharing the same ethos of quality over quantity, as well as championing 100% self-funded independence, the team and I will work closely to continue broadening IDOL’s global presence.”

Pascal Bittard, President at IDOL, added: “We are delighted to welcome Afro B and Yemi Alade into our diverse, international roster. IDOL has close ties to the Sub-Saharan region, and we’re glad to be furthering our global reach with the addition of two highly talented artists. I look forward to working closely with the artists and their teams over the coming months, as well as with Christophe as we continue on this exciting period of growth.”


IDOL is a digital distributor that provides world-leading service to some of the most prestigious names in independent music.