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BEESE DOCKS AT WARNER U.K.

Former Island Records chief Darcus Beese will join Warner Music U.K. in the newly created dual role of EVP, WMUK, and president of a new joint-venture record label. He starts on 7/1.

As a member of WMUK’s senior leadership team, he will report to WMUK CEO Tony Harlow and work closely with Harlow and the WMUK label presidents on the company’s A&R approach. He will be instrumental to guiding the culture and strategy of the U.K. business.

“For the entire time I’ve been in the music business, I’ve heard about Darcus as a truly great music man, a person who heard great music in any and every genre and could nurture artists to bring the best out of them,” Harlow said. “Darcus is a talent who could actually add to the legacy of a label as great as Island Records and who understood that labels need to build a culture both musically and of success. Darcus would sign smashes and then balance them with important records that needed to be made and voices that needed to be heard.”

Beese had said he would not be comfortable working for another label, but conversations with Max Lousada and Harlow led to the idea of his heading up his own label while being part of a broader record-company leadership team.

“I’ve known Max, Tony and the team for a long time, and their commitment to building a community that inspires and supports its artists is very much in line with my own philosophy, so I couldn’t be more pleased to be taking this next step with Warner Music,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working together to create a label that puts artists at its heart, moves the cultural needle and delivers music that stands the test of time.”

Beese started as an intern in the Island Records U.K. promotion department in 1989 and in fewer than 15 years became its president, rising to that post in 2013. He moved to the U.S. in 2018 to take on the president and CEO role before leaving the label to return to the U.K. in 2021.

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