Top Three Participants to Win 2-year EMPIRE Developmental Recording Contract, Brand New SUV and More as Pepsi Music Academy Launches

Posted on November 24, 2023

Pepsi Nigeria, a leading cola carbonated soft drink beverage at the forefront of driving contemporary pop culture, in partnership with leading independent record label and global music industry giant, EMPIRE, has announced the launch of the Pepsi Music Academy (PMA) to bolster the development of the music industry  in Nigeria.

The announcement was made yesterday by the GM. Marketing, Seven-Up Bottling Company, Segun Ogunleye, at the press conference held in Lagos. According to him, PMA is designed to cater for the discovery and incubation of talents across various facets of the music industry and to further support and enable the entire music ecosystem.

Ogunleye explained that the music artistry component of the academy will expose participants to intense industry education from a carefully selected faculty of music business leaders who have contributed immensely to the global growth of Afrobeats and the Nigerian music ecosystem. He also disclosed that three finalists from the academy will receive brand new SUVs, a living allowance for 2 years, have the opportunity to be a Pepsi Influencer, get their music produced by grammy award winning producers Sarz, Masterkraft, Blaisebeatz and P.Prime, a music video production sponsored by the brand and a 2-year developmental recording deal with EMPIRE.

“Pepsi has been one of the most prominent promoters of Afrobeats, and we are keen to sustain and expand the current success recorded by enabling a structure that would maintain the global dominance of Afrobeats. Afrobeats which is now exported globally, has become more unaffordable for the average Nigerian and with PMA, we will be raising the next set of industry talents to grow Afrobeats and continue to make fun moments more accessible to our consumers. This is the reason we have partnered with a global music entity, EMPIRE to birth the Pepsi Music Academy (PMA).

“The Pepsi Music Academy will be a gamechanger for the music industry because it will not just be a platform to discover, nurture and empower music talents, it will also provide a rounded education for young individuals who are interested in other aspects of music such as A&R., legal, public relations and marketing, sound engineering among others.

“Our faculty will include seasoned producers such as Masterkraft, Sarz, Blaisebeatz, P.Priime among other notable industry heads who are globally recognized for their contributions to the dominance of Afrobeats and music business,” Ogunleye added.

EMPIRE’s Regional Head of West Africa, Mobolaji Kareem, affirmed that the partnership with Pepsi is a landmark project for the next generation of talents in the music industry who will further expand Afrobeats dominance globally.

“We are happy to partner with Pepsi to continue to foster talent and develop the music ecosystem in Nigeria” he said. “Together, we ensure that music talents from the country are able to actualize their dreams and become global superstars”.

“At EMPIRE, our underlying goal is to empower the entertainment ecosystem in Nigeria and fortify the value chain from beginning to end. This aligns perfectly with Pepsi’s actions and initiatives, and the DNA that flows through the company,” added Ezegozie Eze, EMPIRE’s VP of Strategy & Market Development for Africa.

To join the PMA, interested participants can scan a bottle of Pepsi to access the PMA website at and submit their entries. Participants will have a period of 8 weeks to submit their entries to be a part of the Academy.

Pepsi is a leading soft drink brand in Nigeria franchised by the Seven-Up Bottling Company who also manufacture 7Up, Mirinda, Teem, Mountain Dew, Lipton Ice Tea, Supa Komando Energy Drink and Aquafina premium drinking water, D’vybe flavoured carbonated soft drink and Hydr8100 carbonated isotonic drink. It stands tall as one of the most supportive brands behind the global rise of Afrobeats with notable projects such as the Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged Show, Turn Up Friday with Pepsi, Pepsi Confam Gbedu at the AMVCA, The UCL Pepsi Kickoff Show among others.

Founded in 2010 by Bay Area native Ghazi, EMPIRE is currently leading through its innovative and progressive approach to the digital music era across its label, distribution and publishing arms.

With its focus on early-stage artist development, the San Francisco based company has been instrumental in identifying future icons and launching the careers of both Multi-platinum and Grammy Award winning artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Fireboy DML, Yung Bleu, Migos, Asake, XXXtentacion, and Anderson .Paak to name a few. After this early success, EMPIRE was quickly regarded as a tastemaker in the industry and premier independent record label.

More than a decade in, EMPIRE continues to grow – expanding the Publishing division with a partnership with superproducer Hit-Boy and his Surf Club collective and acquiring Dirtybird Records in 2022 to amplify the Dance arm. EMPIRE has expanded the team throughout the globe on the African continent, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. With the company and roster excelling at a breakneck pace, EMPIRE has effectively disrupted a stale business model by bringing its energy, expertise, and acumen to its artists and labels.

Through crafting bespoke deals that are always in favor of the artist, EMPIRE is able to form a true partnership with each artist and label on its roster. Coupled with their unique software for analytics, recoupment, and royalties, which is available to every partner, the company offers a level of transparency unprecedented in the music industry.

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