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Freeme Digital boss, Ugwu, ranked in 2021 Indie Power Players


As Naija music and showbiz continue to attain global prominence, Chief Executive Officer of Freeme Digital, Michael Ugwu, is one name that is standing out.

In another historic run, the music executive has now been named among the Billboard’s 2021 Indie Power Players, a feat bound to attract great acclaim to Naija ‘musicdom’.

The Billboard’s Indie Power Players ranking is a recognition given to industry gurus who are making a mark within the ‘musicscape’ while still heading independent labels or distribution outlets.

According to Billboard, “Ugwu developed the Freeme Space, a creative hub, that over the past year has seen nearly 100 videos recorded by artistes, including Burna Boy, and multinational brands such as Budweiser and Hennessy Cognac.”


Ugwu, who began his impressive industry run in 2010 after several stints as an investment banker and an ‘agropreneur’, has successfully drawn several acclaims to his name. Shortly after debuting Freeme Space, the media mogul was named Pioneer General Manager for Sony Music Entertainment West Africa in 2014, and has been instrumental to the success of notable deals such as the Davido and Columbia Records deal, Wizkid and RCA records deal, as well as the MTN licensing deal with Sony Music West Africa.

Also, Ugwu sits as the first black board member at Merlin, a top-tier digital rights and music licensing company, representing Africa at a global level.

“Some of my key strategies have been to be consistent and resilient, especially within a country like Nigeria. It is also crucial to be abreast of unit economics. Keep your eyes on the prize and be patient. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying,” the CEO said while revealing the motivations behind his success.

Like many passionate music executives, Ugwu hinted of his dream to help “artistes get their content on many commercially viable platforms as possible.”

“We also help artistes develop their careers, as well as identify specific artistes we want to work with and back them up with resources to drive their careers,” he said.


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