RAPHAEL'S NEW DIRECTION: NORTH WEST SONGS

Nick Raphael’s next move has been revealed: He has gone into business with Christian Tattersfield to launch an independent label, publisher and sync company, North West Songs Music Group.

Raphael—who exited the helm of Capitol U.K. at the beginning of last year—discussed the details of the company in an interview with MBW. It marks a return to working with Tattersfield, who was previously CEO of Warner Music U.K.; the two first met at London Records in the ‘90s and later set up NorthWestSide Records within BMG.

The venture is funded by Raphael and Tattersfield, with no affiliation with a major, which Raphael called “maybe the greatest opportunity in my lifetime.”

“The democratization of music through streaming gives everyone a chance,” he told MBW. “British Black music and Latin music in the U.S. have already proved that you can do it in the [major label] system, partnering with the system or completely outside the system. There is no ‘right’ way of doing it now.”

Raphael says the business is up and running and the first music to be released via the label will arrive in the near future.

Ben Bodie, who previously ran Ministry of Sound publishing and has history at BMG Chrysalis, will oversee the publishing division. An official announcement about the pubco is due next week.

Raphael spent more than 10 years at Universal, leading Capitol U.K. as president after it launched in 2013. Alongside former co-president Jo Charrington (who now presides over EMI in the U.K. with Rebecca Allen), he enjoyed major success with Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer and Liam Payne.

Prior to that, Raphael led a relaunched London Records and Epic Records, again with Charrington, for 10 years. At Sony he broke acts including JLS, Olly Murs and Paloma Faith.

The MBW interview is well worth the read: Raphael is candid about his disappointment at not getting the top seat at Capitol in the U.S. following Steve Barnett’s retirement and shares some equally revealing thoughts on the state of British music today.

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