Label Fields New Deals, International Expansion
At a time when a down market for music has meant hard times for most companies, at least one label is building up in order to claim a piece of what market there is. ArtistDirect Records, launched shortly after Interscope founder Ted Field joined the company last year, has announced additions to both its artist and executive ranks.

Joining the likes of Custom, Pokafase, and The Blood Brothers on ArtistDirect’s roster is Los Angeles rapper MC Phats Bossi (see Rumor Mill, 3/11), whose debut album, Trials and Tribulations is slated for summer release.

Meanwhile, rock producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Slipknot), who brought The Blood Brothers to ArtistDirect late last year, has agreed to bring his I AM imprint, formerly with Virgin, into the company fold. Under this agreement, Robinson will oversee A&R activities, develop talent and produce artists for a new I AM/ArtistDirect imprint. Marketing, promotion, sales and publicity will be handled by ArtistDirect staff; I AM releases will be distributed via ArtistDirect’s agreement with BMG.

"Having worked with Ross many times over the years, I have the greatest respect for his ability to discover and nurture talent," said Field. "His intuition for what will connect with fans is rare."

"I’m honored to have the opportunity of working closely with Ted Field, a music visionary devoted to developing real artists," said Robinson. "Under his leadership, ArtistDirect Records is emerging as a vibrant and musically diverse label."

In other ArtistDirect news, Vice Chairman Marc Geiger today announced the formation of a London-based international division for ArtistDirect Records. This new division includes VP International Rob Markus, Director of International Dave Cronen and worldwide strategy consultant Paddy Spinks.

Markus was most recently Managing Director in the U.K. for digital music concern DX3. He was previously Managing Director in Hungary for EMI and Virgin Records.

Cronen was last Director of International Marketing for Grand Royal. Prior to that, he spent several years in indie distribution, including stints at Play It Again Sam and Rough Trade.

Spinks is founder of GlobalSpins, which consults on strategy for clients including EMI Records, 5.1 Entertainment Group and others. Before founding Globalspins, he was VP International for Capitol, and was previously with EG Management in London.

"I am proud to have the opportunity with Ted Field, Marc Geiger and the ArtistDirect team in planning, setting up and implementing the company’s international strategies," said Spinks. "And I hope they realize that if they don’t listen to me, they’ll have my brother Leon to answer to."