New York, March 14, 2022—PopArabia, the leading music publisher and independent music company in the Middle East and North Africa, in conjunction with Reservoir Media, Inc. (NASDAQ: RSVR), an award-winning independent music company, has signed Moroccan hip-hop star 7liwa (pronounced Ha-Lee-Wa) to a worldwide recording and publishing deal. The deal includes 7liwa’s current and future works, including new single “Hallelujah,” which was released March 10th.
Based in Morocco, Ihab Ikbal, p.k.a 7liwa, has been an active artist for over a decade, establishing himself as a major influence on the region’s emerging and now thriving rap and trap scene. In fact, since beginning his career in 2011, 7liwa has become one of the Top 10 streamed artists in Morocco, with his indie self-releases amassing nearly 250 million combined streams on YouTube.
To date, 7liwa has released three albums and numerous singles, and has collaborated with many influential Middle Eastern artists, including Lartiste, LBenj, and Shayfeen, among others. He first rose to prominence in 2013 with his breakout hit “Da7k T9ada,” followed by his 2014 mixtape, Ktabi Baki. By 2016, 7liwa began gaining recognition for his massively popular releases on YouTube. His single “Mimi” has racked up over 20 million views, while “Gonzales,” a collaboration with Lartiste, has accumulated over 28 million views, and “Yema,” a 2018 single with Balti, boasts over 51 million views. On the heels of these successes, 7liwa released his most recent album, Weld Fatima II, last year, followed by 2021 singles “Marfoud” and “”Ca tourne dans ma tete”. With exciting new music to come in 2022, 7liwa has maintained his impressive popularity in the MENA region and continues to be one of its leading voices in hip-hop.
On the new deal with PopArabia, 7liwa said, “This is a project close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to sharing this album across the world with PopArabia.”
PopArabia founder and Reservoir EVP of International and Emerging Markets Spek added, “7liwa is an incredible talent, who we’re excited to bring to PopArabia. Over his career, he has built a truly impressive fanbase while helping define hip-hop for the MENA region. We look forward to introducing his talent to new audiences, identifying additional opportunities for him, and supporting his successes on a global scale.”
PopArabia was founded in 2011 by former Canadian hip-hop artist, music executive and entrepreneur Spek, in partnership and with ongoing support from twofour54 Abu Dhabi – the media zone that is home to the region’s entertainment industry. As a sub publisher, PopArabia represents the world’s leading music catalogues across the MENA territories and has pioneered music licensing in the region for over a decade. In 2020, PopArabia announced a partnership and joint venture with New York-headquartered Reservoir to sign and develop Arabic talent to export around the world.
Reservoir is an independent music company based in New York City and with offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto, London, and Abu Dhabi. Reservoir is the first U.S.-based publicly traded independent music company and the first female founded and led publicly traded music company in the U.S. Founded as a family-owned music publisher in 2007, Reservoir has grown to represent over 140,000 copyrights and 36,000 master recordings with titles dating as far back as 1900 and hundreds of #1 releases worldwide. Reservoir holds a regular Top 10 U.S. Market Share according to Billboard’s Publishers Quarterly, was twice named Publisher of the Year by Music Business Worldwide’s The A&R Awards and won Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2020 Music Week Awards.
Reservoir also represents a multitude of recorded music through Chrysalis Records, Tommy Boy Records, and Philly Groove Records and manages artists through its ventures with Blue Raincoat Music and Big Life Management.
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Source: Reservoir Media, Inc.