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SIR LUCIAN ANOINTS
CAPITOL CONGRESS

UMG overlord Sir Lucian Grainge appeared at the Arclight podium on 8/8 to address the fifth annual Capitol Congress.

 “It’s quite remarkable to think how much the industry has changed since we brought Capitol into the UMG family,” he recalled. “The response has gone from ‘What in the world were you thinking?’ to ‘Well, isn’t it obvious!’ But those of us who were there in 2011 will never forget what the naysayers were saying. That’s OK; being a contrarian and betting against the odds is second nature for all old talent scouts.”

Grainge praised Capitol as a prime example of UMG’s philosophy, noting, “We don’t build labels by genre. We don’t build them with a predefined notion of what music each label should release. We build them, and you build them, internally by artists. Our barometer for success is not just marketshare, although obviously if it was, we’re doing pretty well.”

Yeah, you could say that.

The Knight of Santa Monica was at pains to note the company’s big growth in hip-hop and related genres, acknowledging the contributions of  Motown topper Ethiopia Habtemariam, CMG EVP No I.D. and Quality Control’s Coach K and Pee, among others. He also saluted Caroline boss Jacqueline Saturn’s doubling of her marketshare, noting, “I’m very proud of that.” Not that we care so much about that sort of thing.

Amid all this innovation, meanwhile, Sir Grainge hailed the Tower’s ability to bring in and earn the trust of giants like Paul McCartney, Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees catalog, Neil Diamond and ABBA.

“For some companies,” he declared, “technology is the highest form of art; for us, the highest form of art is music. Truly it has been and it will always be our highest form of art. So as much as our industry keeps changing, and as much as we have led its transformation, one thing remains completely unchanged: that we are the world’s best partner for artists.”

Grainge concluded by urging the assembled throng to conclude the year in such a way “that we can look back on it and say 2018 was…when we really started to build our company for the next five to 10 years.”

Then Steve Barnett came out and did his human cannonball act, which is always a crowd-pleaser.

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