Quantcast
I.B. BAD: BROADWAY
TO MAD AVE.

Now that David Massey has been officially announced as the head of the relaunched Arista, with a JV pub and management deal also part of Rob Stringer’s Sony, the biz is buzzing over what the veteran exec has in the bag.

It’s hard to believe that Massey, whose instincts for talent acquisition and development yielded multiple pop successes at Island, isn’t already being approached with some A-List pop acts.

Arista, of course, was opened by luminary of all luminaries Clive Davis in 1974, featured acts ranging from Whitney and Aretha to Santana, The Grateful Dead and The Kinks, and operated until 2011, when it was folded into the RCA Music Group.

Clive’s five-decades-plus career is an astounding saga of triumphs, reversals and 11th-hour twists—he’s the ultimate survivor. Clive bestowed his benediction on his Arista successor, and a choir of angels is said to have sung.

Still, many questions remain: What kind of A&R staff will Massey have? Who’s on that shortlist? How will the publishing arm—co-helmed by Massey’s daughter Clio, with admin via her former home, Sony/ATV—fit into the overall picture? Will she have a larger A&R role? Will he have his own promotion staff, an issue that was a source of frustration at Island? Who will run it? What does Arista’s distribution network look like? Will its releases go through RED or The Orchard? Will he have the option to upstream records to RCA, Columbia and Epic?

Meanwhile, Darcus Beese is on the job as Massey’s successor at Island, and as he puts his size-12 footprint on Broadway, those in the know expect Island to have a decidedly new look and vibe.

The new Brit heading the house Chris Blackwell built (and who started out as Blackwell’s teaboy) looks to be the antithesis of the pop-focused Massey, given the eclectic roster Beese signed and/or cultivated at Island U.K. (Amy Winehouse, Hozier, Florence + the Machine, Disclosure, Dizzee Rascal, Catfish and the Bottlemen) and his outspoken fidelity to Blackwell’s wide-ranging vision.

How will this play with Island’s existing pop roster, which includes such chart-toppers as Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato and Fall Out Boy?

How will Beese move the needle from his NYC HQ? Will he jump into the fray to ink some of the hip-hop phenoms pinging the streaming radar? Or will his Blackwellian sensibility dictate a different approach?

And what will become of the remaining Island staff, starting with highly adept EVP/GM Eric Wong? The smart money is on Beese leaving the team largely in place. Who else might be coming in to help make his remodeling of the label a reality?

Will Island’s symbiotic relationship with Republic’s Lipman brothers, whose promo team has squired multiple Island records to radio glory, remain intact?

GRAMMY’S GORDIAN KNOT: The Recording Academy’s search for Neil Portnow’s successor is just getting started. Insiders say to expect the search to play out during Grammy season, with a possible announcement on Music’s Biggest Night.

NEW RELEASES: LE RETOUR DE CELINE (UPDATE)
Best read while dramatically thumping one's breastbone. (11/18a)
ICYMI: HARRY ON SNL (UPDATE)
He's so dreamy. (11/18a)
ARIZONA GOES TO COLUMBIA
Bring on the remixes! (11/15a)
ROSAL√ćA WINS BIG AT LATIN GRAMMYS
A harbinger of things to come? (11/15a)
WILL REI AMI BE THE NEXT ACT TO POP?
Pass the popcorn. (11/18a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
WHAT'S GOING ON BENEATH OUR WINDOWS?
The latest in Hollyweird.
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)