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VIRGIN EMI FINDS LOST ONES

Land of the Lost: Seen just before the celebratory tea and bickies are (l-r) EMI Marketing Director Fay Hoyte, Barry Burt, Ashley Sykes, Ted Cockle

Universal Music U.K. label Virgin EMI is stepping up its homegrown A&R game with the launch of a new imprint named Lost Ones, tapping Apple exec Ashley Sykes and former RCA A&R Barry Burt to lead it. Its first signings are London artist Wauve, afrobeat producer and DJ Juls, and ATC-managed singer/songwriter Collard.

Reporting to Virgin EMI President Ted Cockle, the label will serve as a stand-alone brand, signing and developing artists, whilst working alongside the wider marketing and promotion teams.

Sykes was UK Music Manager for Apple’s Beats 1, where he worked on shows by Julie Adenuga, Zane Lowe, Krept & Konan and Rex OC. Prior to Apple he served as A&R and manager for Stellar Songs Publishing, signing Grace Carter, Digital Farm Animals and managing Frank Ocean collaborator Om’Mas Keith.

Burt began his career in 2005 as a DJ on BBC 1xtra, before moving in to A&R for Levels Entertainment working with Wretch 32, Gyptian and Vato Gonzalez. He then went on to RCA, signing Yungen and setting up management company The Dozens, where he looked after writers and producers including Negin (Drake, Snakehips) and Jay Weathers (Not3s, Dappy).

Said Cockle: “On too many occasions the DNA of Ashley and Barry were present somewhere in the mix of many of the artists we were courting. Hence it felt totally right to bring these two forceful characters together and harness their combined energies in this focused, boutique A&R cauldron and let them really nurture, stimulate and launch some super fresh new talent.”

Burt and Sykes added: “To be able to provide artists with the core A&R attention that only a boutique label can offer, but, with the might of Virgin EMI in the wings to take things to the next level when ready, is the perfect balance. Ted totally understood our desire to build a brand and make a statement that is led by the music we deliver. Artist-driven projects is our focus and we want our roster to be quality, not quantity. We’re so excited to work with Ted, Fay, Rob and everyone at Virgin EMI.”

 

 

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