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THE BIG NINE IN 2014
How the Labels Fared This Year; Sixth in a Series

 
It didn’t hurt that the formidable team surrounding the new boss—including Vice Chairman Steve Berman, Urban Division President Joie Manda and multitasking exec Dennis Dennehy— was on the same page as Janick. That team was further strengthened this fall with the arrival of Aaron Bay-Schuck as President A&R; Bay-Schuck, who signed Bruno Mars during his 10 years at Atlantic, had worked closely with Janick on that project and others before the latter jumped to IGA.

When Janick arrived at IGA in the fall of 2012, he immediately made his mark with the breakthroughs of the recently signed acts Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons, while shepherding OneRepublic to the biggest album by far of the band’s career. All three projects have proven to be unusually enduring, moving millions of album units while throwing off one hit single after another. During 2014, they were joined in the winners’ circle by Eminem, Maroon 5 and Lana Del Rey, while Interscope has made solid progress in the development of ScHoolboy Q, Aloe Blacc, The 1975, Disclosure and Rixton. In other 2014 highlights, U2 drew massive attention to themselves when Songs of Innocence was gifted to half a billion iTunes customers; Lady Gaga became the RIAA’s first Digital Diamond Award recipient this year for 2009’s “Bad Romance,” which surpassed 10m sales and streams; and Lamar did a mind-blowing live take of his latest single “i” on SNL this month.

Janick has continued the Iovine strategy of making deals and/or closely collaborating with talented creative entrepreneurs, and these ventures are paying off. Top Dawg Entertainment brought in Lamar and ScHoolboy Q; Alex Da Kid’s KidinaKorner is responsible for Imagine Dragons; Rixton was signed by Scooter Braun and Denny Blanco; and IGA has potentially fruitful deals on the urban side with Mike Will and J. Cole.

Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q led Interscope's 10 Grammy nominations with two apiece, all in the rap field. Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Disclosure, Royksopp & Robin, U2, Aloe Blac and Woodkid also got nods in their respective genre categories. 

In early 2015, IGA will continue its momentum with anticipated albums from Lamar and Gwen Stefani. If these albums, which were originally scheduled for 2014, had been delivered on time, that would have been the icing on the cake this year.



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