The label reveals plans to open UK offices...

DEF JAM, home of artists such as DMX, JAY-Z, LL COOL J and METHOD MAN, are set to open DEF JAM/DEF SOUL UK offices at the beginning of the New Year, in a bid to break new talent on this side of the Atlantic.

Company president, Lyor Cohen, officially announced the news this week during a visit to London.

The news follows similar expansions into Germany and Japan in the year just gone.

Jaha Johnson, responsible for the worldwide success of Sisqo, will move to London in January 2001 to take up the role of Vice-President of the venture. Based initially in the Mercury Records London headquarters, the label looks set for its official launch sometime in late spring. Def Jam told NME.COM they believe the UK has a hardcore hip hop scene with its own identity.

Def Jam UK also announced its first official signing is Aaron Soul.

“We want to use the experience that we have gained working the US repertoire from Def Jam and Def Soul and actually intensify what we are doing, while making ourselves the obvious home for any UK urban act,” Howard Berman, Mercury Managing Director told industry magazine Music Week.