This post originally appeared in Northeastern Global News. It was published by Alena Kuzub.

ACCRA, Ghana—Sipho Dlamini, chief executive officer of Universal Music in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, has been passionate about music since childhood. At 15, he used to record songs off the radio onto cassettes and DJ at family parties. 

While studying in the U.K., Dlamini started playing at clubs for the African community that missed music from home. In 2019, he became the first African-based executive included on Billboard's International Music Power list.

“I used to walk past Universal offices, trying to get in to get CDs and vinyls,” he says, “and to be working for the same company 30 years later is amazing.”

Manit Ghogar, a 2017 Northeastern graduate and a Young Global Leader, sat down for a conversation with Dlamini during Northeastern's Global Leadership Summit in Accra, Ghana. They discussed the impact of emerging technology and artificial intelligence on the music industry, and why African artists are reaching a global audience. 

Dlamini's comments were edited for clarity and brevity.

Read more at Northeastern Global News