OSA operated for over 50 years from its headquarters in Birmingham, UK.
With a catalogue of over 18,000 songs, concerts, and video recordings, the label played a key role in the development of the UK Bhangra.
The label’s largest contribution to global culture may well be its signing of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the early 1980s.
OSA was founded in 1966 by Muhammad Ayyub and his brothers, who had migrated from Pakistan to the UK’s West Midlands in 1961. The business began by importing records from India and Pakistan to the Birmingham area, which at that time was seeing a large number of South Asian settlers who had little in the way of South Asian entertainment in the area.
In 1969, OSA began producing records, signing its first two acts, Anari Sangeet Party and Bhujangy Party, which both performed traditional Punjabi songs and gained popularity within the UK’s South Asian community. Bhujangy Party’s first major hit, Bhabiye Akh Larr Gayee, was notable for being among the first tracks to combine traditional Asian sounds with modern Western musical instruments.
Other highlights in OSA’s catalogue include Malkit Singh, whom the Guinness Book of Records named the world’s biggest-selling Bhangra artist in 2005, as well as record producer and DJ Bally Sagoo and musician Attaullah Khan.
“THIS ACQUISITION OF A HUGELY SUCCESSFUL AND ICONIC BRITISH-ASIAN LABEL SPECIALIZING IN SOUTH ASIAN MUSIC WILL FURTHER INCREASE UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP’S EXPOSURE TO, AND PARTICIPATION IN, A FAST GROWING AND RAPIDLY CHANGING MARKET.” – ADAM GRANITE (VP of Market Development, UMG)
Mohammed Twaseen, Director of OSA, said: “This is a momentous day for OSA and all our artists. Becoming part of the UMG family will turbo-charge our South Asian music, helping it to get in front of more music fans across the world. The past decade has seen a true global explosion of music from the region, and now, under UMG’s stewardship, the next decade promises to be even more exciting.”
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