Warner Music Group (WMG) has relaunched its Asylum Records label in the U.S. The label’s new incarnation is headed by long-time WMG executive Kenny Weagly, who has been named President. In addition, Grammy-winning producer Dante Ross has been named Senior Vice President of A&R.
“Asylum was founded with artistic freedom as its guiding principle,” said Weagly, “and the new Asylum expands on that ideal by believing in and supporting our artists’ visions for their music, as well as when and how they want to release it. Our mantra is nimbleness and flexibility – the ability to tailor-make deals, from singles projects to multi-album careers – for original artists across a spectrum of genres.”
Asylum Records is currently a well-known label in the UK, where it was relaunched in 2008 by Ben Cook (now President of Atlantic Records UK), Ed Howard is now A&R Director of the UK unit. Asylum Records UK and the new Asylum Records U.S. will remain two separate entities. The U.S. label operates independently with Weagly reporting to Eliah Seton, Worldwide President of ADA, which is part of WMG’s services division, led by Stu Bergen, CEO of International and Global Commercial Services, WMG.
Seton commented, “Kenny will be a strong leader for Asylum because he has a true independent’s approach to artist development, combined with deep experience within the WMG family. He knows how to marshal the best support network to help create breakthrough moments in music. Dante is a gifted champion of talent, whose A&R instincts and experience have led him to sign game-changing artists and deliver platinum hits. Together, Kenny and Dante will be a magnet for unique, compelling talent.”
Warner Music Group CEO of Recorded Music Max Lousada, said, “We’re committed to encouraging entrepreneurship and nurturing diverse musical cultures within the WMG family. Asylum is one of the most revered brands in the music industry, and by relaunching it in the U.S. as a label that’s all about musical independence and flexibility, we are opening another avenue for fresh, innovative artistry to thrive.”
Asylum Records U.S. has already scored an RIAA-certified platinum hit with “Water” from the label’s first signing, rapper Ugly God. Expanding Asylum’s roster into the dance world, Crankdat has released his original solo debut “Dollars.” The label has also inked deals with Grammy-wining producer Mike Dean for his next protégé Dice Soho; The Queen of Bounce, New Orleans artist Big Freedia; Baltimore rap duo, Peso Da Mafia and Staten Island MC Shoneyin.