It’s a busy time for major labels.
With some 24,000 new tracks being uploaded to subscription streaming services each day, the biggest rights-holders in the land are having to widen their nets to give them the best chance of nabbing the best talent.
We saw it earlier this month at Warner, whose New York office is now home to a new frontline label operation, Elektra Music Group, under Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel.
And today, we see it at Sony Music UK, which has just launched a new label affiliated with the major’s RCA label group in London – and hired two respected British executives to run it.
The new label, Since ’93, will be run by co-Presidents Glyn Aikins and Riki Bleau, and it’s already signed West London rapper Fredo, grime artist Loski, and fast-rising Manchester MC, Aitch.
Since ’93 represents the latest A&R-focused move from Sony Music UK boss Jason Iley who, over the past few years, has added the likes of Black Butter, Ministry Of Sound and Insanity to Sony’s London-based label family, while hiring Ferdy Unger-Hamilton to run Columbia Records UK.
Aikins and Bleau report to David Dollimore, President of RCA.
The duo have professional history together: according to Companies House, Aikins and Bleau are the joint owners in FFMOH Ltd, which they jointly founded last year.
The arrival of Since ’93 at Sony was reported in UK trade paper Music Week today (June 25).
Aikins was until recently A&R Director at Universal Music UK’s Virgin EMI.
His career in the music industry started in 1998 when he joined Shabs Jobanputra’s Media Village PR before becoming an A&R exec at Relentless Records.
Aikins signed ‘Rewind’ by Artful Dodger feat Craig David at Relentless, and later signed So Solid Crew.
In 2003 he joined Virgin Records in A&R signing Roll Deep, Lethal Bizzle, and Naughty Boy who introduced him to Emeli Sandé.
Aikins then signed Sandé signed as a solo artist in 2012 – before her debut LP, Our Version Of Events, racked up multi-platinum sales.
Aikins also signed Professor Green and Krept & Konan to Virgin EMI.
Riki Bleau started his career in 2002 as Head Of Music & Promotions at UK music TV station ‘Channel U’, which largely focused on UK hip hop and grime.
In 2007 Bleau entered into a publishing/management venture where his first signing was Labrinth.
Naughty Boy introduced Bleau to both Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith, both of whom Bleau signed to the publishing venture – part of the Stellar Songs/Sony ATV family.
Bleau has managed Naughty Boy since 2008 at Bleau’s own venture – Avantgarde Music.
Bleau’s management roster also includes British producer team Mojam, in addition to London rap duo Krept & Konan.
[Pictured: Sony Music UK Chairman/CEO Jason Iley, Glyn Aikins, Riki Bleau, RCA President David Dollimore]Music Business Worldwide