×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Darcus Beese of Island Records U.K. to Take Helm at U.S. Label

Darcus Beese, president of Island Records U.K., will replace outgoing David Massey at the helm of the label’s U.S. operation, sources confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported in Hits; reps for Island and parent company Universal Music Group did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

A London native with a West Indian background, Beese has been with Island for his entire professional career, joining as an assistant in the promotion department in 1993 and gradually rising to A&R director, in 2008 co-president and president five years later. He signed and/or worked closely with a wide array of artists including Amy Winehouse, Florence & the Machine, Disclosure, Taio Cruz, Dizzee Rascal, Ben Howard, Gotye, Jessie J and others. He also oversaw the U.K. success of Drake, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and the continued success of U2 — all of whom are signed to the label in the U.K.

He is also an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), a distinction he received in 2014.

Speaking to Music Week in 2016 about the label’s diverse roster, Beese said, “It’s hard to imagine two artists as different as PJ Harvey and Ariana Grande [who is on Island in the U.K.] I always said that Island is a broad church. Whether it’s American repertoire or domestic, you’ve got to be in the game. Polly [Harvey] signed to Island when I started, we were a month apart and our birthdays are a month apart as well. To be here, putting out her latest record and it getting to No.1 was a feat for Island Records. As a label, you do have to reflect the majority of what’s going on in the marketplace.

“You cut me and I bleed Island,” he added. “I wouldn’t work anywhere else.”

More Music

  • Peter Bjorn and John -Björn Yttling

    As Peter Björn & John Celebrates 20 Years, the Band Returns to its 'Darker' Roots

    A trifecta of pure energy hit the stage at the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday night as Peter Björn & John performed the second-to-last stop of a 2018 tour. Promoting their new album “Darker Days,” which dropped October 19, the band went back to basics as a three-piece for this outing (drummer John [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • Mary Poppins 1964

    P.L. Travers' Efforts to Adapt 'Mary Poppins' for Film, TV Were Often Less Than Jolly

    Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel decades in the making, opens Dec. 19. Even before the 1964 original, Hollywood made several attempts to adapt P.L. Travers’ books, with Samuel Goldwyn and Katharine Hepburn among those involved in the chase. But aside from a one-hour 1949 CBS television version, they all hit a dead-end. The first [...]

  • Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Mac in concert

    Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks Thanks Jimmy Iovine for Talking Her Into Solo Career

    Stevie Nicks had a monumental Thursday, starting the day by being elected to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist and ending it onstage with Fleetwood Mac playing before a sold-out audience for the second of three nights at the Forum. During the show, Nicks addressed her big news that day, [...]

  • Kanye West

    Kanye West Accuses Drake of 'Threatening' His Family in Epic Twitter Binge

    Kanye West re-ignited his feud with Drake on Thursday night, accusing the rapper of “threatening” his family in a dozens-long Twitter binge on Thursday night. The latest installment of the saga between the former friends — which flared up most dramatically back in May when Pusha T revealed that Drake has a son with model [...]

  • Kacey Musgraves Cardi B Janelle Monae

    The Best Albums of 2018

    Even by recent standards, these are times that try human souls. And not surprisingly, that was reflected in the music of 2018: Whether metaphorically responding to the political realities of America (“Black Panther), mimicking the ADD nature of modern culture (Terra Whack) or simply providing a distraction, however brief, from too much reality (take your [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content