Warner Music Entertainment will be U.K. home of mainstream stars like Bette Midler and British TV personality Alexander Armstrong.
Warner Music U.K. is beefing up its A&R team as part of a major reorganization of front line label East West Records that will effectively see the imprint split in two.
Led by East West president Dan Chalmers, the restructure sees the launch of a new specialist imprint for mainstream artists and TV stars called Warner Music Entertainment that sits within the East West stable.
Focusing exclusively on established acts with adult fan bases, its roster includes Bette Midler, Cliff Richard, veteran pop group Boyzone, and British TV personalities Alexander Armstrong and Sheridan Smith — all of whom were previously signed to East West in the U.K.
That leaves East West to focus on developing new talent with Paul Samuels appointed to oversee A&R — in addition to his continuing responsibilities as vice president of A&R at sister label Atlantic Records U.K. His first signing to East West is hotly-tipped Irish singer-songwriter Áine Cahill, who has toured with JP Cooper and Kodaline.
Other artists already signed to the label – and will remain part of its roster — include Robert Plant, Lindsey Buckingham, pop duo Dusky Grey and Mumbai-born Nikhil D’Souza.
“Paul’s appointment and the launch of Warner Music Entertainment are a sign of our intent for East West,” said Chalmers — who also heads Rhino and ADA UK – in a statement.
“We’re determined to grow the label’s reputation as a home for artists with the power to move pop culture and the talent to become household names, whatever the genre,” he went on to say, promising increased investment in A&R to nurture “a new generation of stars.”
Meanwhile, Warner Music Entertainment will deliver “an industry-leading service to mainstream stars,” said Chalmers, who has been at the helm of East West since it was revived by Warner Music Group CEO of recorded music/Warner U.K. CEO Max Lousada in 2014.
“East West has always been known for extraordinary artists like Áine Cahill and I can’t wait to introduce even more quality new voices to the mix,” said Samuels, who started his career working for Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman as label manager of Big Beat Records.
In his new post as VP A&R Atlantic & East West Records U.K., Samuels will work alongside East West general manager Angie Somerside in building the label’s roster and market share.
“East West is synonymous with nurturing acts — and we have developed an exceptional, passionate team at the label who are all working towards helping to break some great new pop stars,” said Somerside, calling the restructure “an exciting new era for East West Records and Warner Music Entertainment.”