David Gray and Walter Jones have been named co-heads of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), the company announced today (Sept. 9). Gray will be based out of New York City and Jones will continue to be work out of Santa Monica. The two will work collaboratively to oversee A&R creative strategy for UMPG songwriters, artists and producers.
Gray previously served as EVP and head of West Coast A&R for UMPG, where he signed Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato and Logic among others. He also served in senior A&R roles at Zomba and Syco Music, where he worked with artists signed to the label via TV franchises “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent.” Gray was in band himself, called Idle Wilds, and signed with UMPG as a young songwriter.
Jones joined UMPG in 2017 as VP, Creative helping to build a songwriting roster that includes such artists as H.E.R., Quavo, Lil Baby, Metro Boomin, Lil Yachty, CuBeatz, Quay Global, City Girls and more. A Grammy-winner himself, Jones co-produced H.E.R.’s latest album.
Said Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of UMPG: “David and Walter are accomplished A&R executives who have helped develop some of the brightest creative talent. David is a respected and experienced executive who has built tremendous success with Shawn Mendes, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Logic. Walter is an excellent leader and trusted publishing A&R for H.E.R., Quavo, Lil Baby and Metro Boomin. Together, they form a strong partnership and lead the best A&R team in the industry.”