×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Music Group to Relaunch Asylum, Label Founded by David Geffen

Warner Music Group has relaunched its Asylum Records label in the U.S., the company announced Tuesday (Oct. 31).  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.

The label, which in recent years has operated as an imprint, already has an RIAA-certified platinum hit with “Water,” the track from its first signing, rapper Ugly God. Also on the label is dance-music artist Crankdat, Grammy-winning producer Mike Dean (Kanye West, Travis Scott, Jay-Z), New Orleans rapper Big Freedia, Baltimore rap duo Peso Da Mafia and New York rapper Shoneyin.

“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 an established label in the U.K., where it was relaunched in 2008 by Ben Cook (now president of Atlantic Records UK) and is home to Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Rudimental and Anne-Marie; however, the U.K. and U.S. operations will be separate entities. The U.S. label will see Weagly reporting to Eliah Seton, worldwide president of American Distribution Alliance (ADA), which is part of WMG’s services division, led by Stu Bergen, CEO of International and Global Commercial Services, WMG.

The label was founded in 1971 by then-artist managers David Geffen and Elliot Roberts and became a generator of the Southern California folk-rock sound, with Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt and Judy Sill on the label. Later in the 1970s Geffen left the label and it was merged with Elektra Records. The label was revived in 2004 as an urban music operation, signing hip-hop artists such as Waka Flocka Flame, Cam’ron, Gucci Mane, Paul Wall, Mike Jones and Bun B.

Weagly, who has been with WMG since 2004, was most recently president of A&R and label services for ADA Worldwide. Ross, a veteran hip-hop A&R executive, has been VP of A&R at ADA since 2012. Over the years he has worked at Rush Management, Tommy Boy, Elektra and Warner Bros. Records.

Eliah 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.”

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.”

 

 

More Music

  • Lumineers Explore Spiral of Addiction With

    Lumineers Explore Spiral of Addiction With Shocking New Series of Music Videos

    Last month, the Lumineers debuted their raw, emotive new single “Gloria” with an intimate performance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” complete with a living room stage design and vintage home movies looping in the background. The nostalgic, homegrown feel was intentional — an overt nod to their upcoming concept album, “III,” set for [...]

  • John Williams Pens Theme for Disneyland's

    John Williams in Disneyland: The Story Behind His 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' Theme

    For only the second time in more than four decades of “Star Wars” music, legendary composer John Williams has written a new theme for a “Star Wars” project that is distinct from his film scores for those galaxies far, far away. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the much-anticipated attraction that will open at Disneyland on May [...]

  • Chaka Khan Sinead O'Connor

    ICM Adds Sinead O’Connor, Chaka Khan to Agency's Roster

    ICM Partners has added Sinead O’Connor and Chaka Khan to its roster. O’Connor, who currently uses the name Shuhada Sadaqat, signs with ICM for North American representation in all areas. The Irish singer-songwriter will be represented by a team of agents led by partner/co-head of worldwide concerts Rob Prinz, Mike Hayes and Brandon Zmigrocki. She [...]

  • Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’

    Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Data, Royalty Payments to Artists

    Sony Music today announced two new payment features for its artists — “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out” — through its artist portal beginning this fall. 

A memo sent to artists Monday morning and obtained by Variety says  the initiatives will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever [...]

  • Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston Estate Plans Hologram Tour, Album, Musical

    In the seven years since Whitney Houston’s death, there has been relatively little of the asset-exploitation that usually follows the passing of a music icon, apart from a smattering of previously unreleased recordings, a pair of harrowing documentaries and a lot of unflattering press. But according to an article in the New York Times, the [...]

  • Liam Gallagher and Son shopping at

    Cannes: Screen Media Buys 'Liam Gallagher: As It Was' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has acquired North American rights to Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald’s feature documentary “Liam Gallagher: As It Was.” The film follows the former Oasis frontman as he finds himself on the periphery of the rock ‘n’ roll world after years spent at the white hot center of the music world. Screen Media will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content