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 BIG MACHINE LANDS IN BLIGHTY

Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group has arrived in Blighty, to be housed at the home of their exclusive distribution partner, UMG U.K. boss David Joseph’s HQ in London. A three strong team will include Head of International Chris Koegen, Label Manager Alexandra Hannaby and Label Coordinator Amy Maunder-Taylor. BMLG International Coordinator Jimmy Chapin remains BMLG Senior Manager of International and is based in the BMLG UK headquarters in Nashville.

Koegen has overseen U.K. and international operations for the U.S. label since October 2014 as Head of International, while Hannaby moves over from her role as Marketing Manager at Ted Cockle’s Virgin EMI—the U.K. home for Big Machine’s Taylor Swift, where she’ll stay. Maunder-Taylor moves from UMG’s imprint, Decca, where she was previously Marketing Assistant.

Pushing country music in the U.K. is top of the agenda, and all signs indicate the market is ripe. Last week, Big Machine’s Thomas Rhett beat Coldplay and One Direction to an A List spot on BBC Radio 2 with "Crash and Burn.” Meanwhile, homegrown act The Shires struck a note last year with debut set Brave achieving gold status (100k sales), and the annual extravaganza that is the C2C Country Music Festival is thriving, visiting London, Glasgow and Dublin for three dates in March this year.

Borchetta told Music Week the move is a statement of commitment to breaking his artists, that also include The Band Perry, Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert and Florida Georgia Line, in the U.K., and praised Joseph for the “investment and belief” in BMLG. Joseph described Borchetta as “an exceptional discoverer of new talent, whose new team is ready to build on what our labels have already achieved here.” Signing U.K. and European talent is also in the cards.

Big Machine U.K.’s debut release will be Hank Williams Jr’s album It’s About Time on Friday.

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