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STORMZY MAKES ATLANTIC CROSSING

Last year’s independent breakout star in Blighty, Stormzy, has signed a deal with Atlantic Records U.K. for himself as an artist as well as acts on his own #MERKY imprint.

Stormzy’s debut, Gang Signs & Prayer, was distributed by Warner’s ADA last year and hit #1 on the charts in February. The set is nominated at the BRITs for Album of the Year, while Stormzy is also up for British Male Solo Artist.

Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, WMG and Chairman & CEO, WMUK, said, “Stormzy and #MERKY are a cultural force whose music makes everyone listen. Talent, truth, energy and relevance—they represent music at its most powerful.”

The deal is similar to the agreement between Universal U.K. and rising grime artist Stefflon Don, who last year signed her label V-IV London to Universal Records, and then signed herself. 

Atlantic Records President Ben Cook noted, “We’ve been friends with Stormzy and [manager] Tobe for a while now, it’s been exciting to see the extraordinary impact Stormzy’s music has had and the iconic figure he has become. #MERKY are now key players, and we’re thrilled to join forces. Together we’re going to take Stormzy global, and fill the #MERKY roster with fresh new talent.”

Tobe Onwuka  manages Stormzy and Warner/Chappell handles his publishing.

Atlantic U.K. A&R Director Alec Boateng,  an integral part of his album-making process,  introduced Stormzy to Fraser T Smith (Adele, Sam Smith) who executive produced Gang Signs and Prayer. Boeteng said, “You get into A&R to work with the best of the best and you hope you end up with special talent. Stormzy is that special talent.”

 

RIC OCASEK,
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