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UNIVERSAL U.K.: ANNIE CHRISTENSEN
11/27/18

A&R Director, Island U.K.

Annie Christensen has worked her way up the ranks since joining Island U.K. as an intern in 2004, and was named A&R Director last year. The promotion arrived after success with co-signs Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard and Hozier, alongside newly named Island President Louis Bloom. Deals she’s secured alone include Spring King and Sigrid. When announcing her promotion, Bloom praised Christensen’s “great A&R, amazing taste and genuine passion for music.”

Working with Sigrid on all her releases and upcoming album “has been a fantastic experience,” says Christensen of her work this year. “She is such an amazing talent, it’s been very inspiring and rewarding to be part of her story.” In addition, Howard’s third album arrived earlier this year and hit #4 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart—an artist who “has such an uninhibited and unique approach to music-making,” she adds. The developing acts Christensen is excited about going into next year include pop artist Oli Fox and Norwegian producer Askjell.

The biggest challenge she faces in A&R today is dealing with reticence from artists who aren’t initially keen on joining a frontline record label, and persuading them to sign on the dotted line. “In these instances, I think it’s important to build trust with artists and managers, grow the relationship, educate them in the ways in which labels add value and hopefully do a deal at the right time,” she says, adding: “Developing new artists is always challenging and rewarding in equal measures. I think finding a sound and seeking out the best-suited collaborators for an act early on is a big part of the initial process.”

According to Christensen, the most exciting thing about British music right now is the urban scene. “When you see a fantastic talent like Dave shoot to #1, it’s incredible. The way he galvanised the scene was such a joy to watch.” The key to continued success for the U.K. music industry? To “produce culture-defining artists whose music has tons of character and personality,” she replies.