Mr Thela signs with Universal Music Group

Written by on 15 February, 2024

Gird your loins, arm all doors and cross check because Cape Town DJ and South African Music Awards nominee, Mr Thela has announced he has inked a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG). On Wednesday, 14 February, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the music maestro and pioneer of Cape Town Gqom joined the label representatives at UMG headquarters in Johannesburg to announce his next move.

This comes months after the release of his critically acclaimed follow up solo album ‘Tronics Land Series 2’ which debuted at no. 4 on Apple Music and No.5 on Spotify with overall +4 million streams in less than a month, with no music video or record label behind him. Speaking at the gathering the producer and DJ said

 “I’m very excited about this new journey I’m about to take with Universal Music Group. The one leading up to this moment wasn’t easy for me. I’ve had to navigate the industry with no knowledge but a pocket full of dreams. My team and I have worked very hard to get this brand and vision to where it needs to be. Signing with Universal Music Group will elevate the brand more and the music will reach a wider and greater audience. This benefits both my brand and UMG as a stable. I can’t wait to release more music for my supporters”.


Speaking on behalf of Universal Music Group, Managing Director, Manusha Sarawan “We are extremely delighted to have Mr Thela as part of our stable. The Gqom genre continues to have staying power and remains a part of our dance music culture.

Mr Thela first burst into the scenes in 2020 at the height of lockdown with his record-breaking joint album ‘Make Cape Town Great Again’ which was certified platinum and nominated for ‘Best Gqom’ album at the 2021 South African Music Awards. The lead single ‘iParty’ was picked up by streaming giant, Netflix, for the original movie ‘JIVA’. Born and raised in Samora Machel, Phillipi, where only the brave survive and a few make it out, he tributes his musical ear to his church upbringing as a pastor’s kid who grew up playing the keyboard at his parents’ congregation.

2023 marked a significant growth for the DJ & Producer, he took Gqom music to world stages with his first international booking in South Korea. Just when fans and supporters were proud of his new territories and reaching new heights, he followed it up with a trip to the United Kingdom where he recorded his first international live mix with SKYY Vodka, shot at Dalston Roofpark in London, available on his YouTube channel.


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