HITS Daily Double


Fireboy DML, center, celebrates the success of “Peru” with, from left, Alexander Okeke, Oluwaseun Fasehun and
EMPIRE’s Stephanie Adamu and Jay Jules.

EMPIRE has claimed one of the best-selling songs of 2022 in the U.K., Fireboy DML f/Ed Sheeran’s “Peru,” which, as London-based Jay Jules tells us, is just the start of the company’s ambitions in the market.

At last count, “Peru” sat at #2 on the Official Charts list of best-selling songs year to date. The track—released via YBNL Nation & EMPIRE and Island in the U.K.—has tallied nearly 1.2b streams globally in its various versions (including the feature with Sheeran and a remix with 21 Savage).

Contributing to the success of "Peru" in the U.K. are EMPIRE Head of International Marketing Jules and Marketing Manager Stephanie Adamu. “We were perfectly set up for it in the U.K., having two African-diaspora marketing specialists on the ground,” Jules said. “We were able to plug into the cultural tastemakers in the U.K. and across key European markets.”

After a steady build following its release in July 2021, Sheeran's hopping on the song at the end of the year added the jet fuel needed to take the record to #2 in January. The late Jamal Edwards was hugely instrumental in making this happen. “He introduced Ed to Fireboy's music and told Ed that Fire was keen to get him on the song," said Jules.

DML's triumph is just part of EMPIRE’s story with African music in the U.K.; this year, the company enjoyed a number of sold-out gigs, including performances by Kizz Daniel, Black Sherif, BNXN and Asake, who moved 15k tickets in a single day for his three December dates at O2 Academy Brixton. DML, meanwhile, recently sold out the 12.5k-capacity OVO Arena Wembley.

The plan for EMPIRE is to continue to grow the team and open its first official U.K./international base in London. “We want to keep building our domestic roster across the U.K. and Europe and have some exciting projects lined up for Q1 and beyond,” said Jules.

Photo: Michael Tubes Creations