Atlantic Records and Mike Caren’s Artist Partner Group, which has spawned such top artists as YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Kehlani, Kevin Gates and more, have announced an evolution of their partnership that sees APG gaining greater independence while Atlantic acquires the artists that have been developed under the joint venture since it launched in 2012.
While full details were not announced, ADA, the independent artist and label services division of Atlantic parent Warner Music, has been added as an “additional channel partner” for future signings.
Presumably this gives Artist Partner founder and CEO Mike Caren the option to determine whether his artists are distributed by an independent or a major, although it is unclear whether the releases would be required to go through Atlantic, ADA or another Warner label, or whether Caren would be free to go outside the Warner system. A rep for WMG declined to provide further details.
Either way, the new siutation, which is likely a phase of the original 2012 agreement, sees Atlantic adding multiple artists to its roster and APG gaining greater independence.
Other APG artists moving over to Atlantic under the terms of the deal include Alec Benjamin, Ava Max, Bazzi, Charlie Puth, Don Toliver and Lil Skies.
Artist Partner Group was founded as a sister music company to Artist Publishing Group, which will continue to publish artists signed to Atlantic Records such as Pink Sweat$ and Charlie Puth, as well as songwriters and producers not affiliated with Atlantic such as Madison Love, Taz Taylor, Hitmaka, 24k Goldn, Amy Allen, and Derrick Millano. Caren has been affiliated with Warner since the mid-1990s, when he was hired as a teenager by Atlantic CEO Craig Kallman’s Big Beat Records.
APG CEO Mike Caren said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Artist Partner Group and the amazing roster of artists we have worked with over the last 8 years. I am thankful to the entire APG and Atlantic teams and all of the incredible talent that continually inspire us. I look forward to the ongoing growth and success of all of our partners and to continuing to build Artist Partner as a home to artists in the evolving market landscape.”
Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald said: “We’re super proud of what we’ve achieved together with Mike and the APG team, and we couldn’t be happier to support and nurture the careers of these extraordinary, visionary artists.”
Max Lousada, CEO of Global Recorded Music, Warner Music Group said: “This move evolves and updates a hugely successful partnership. Artist Partner’s existing roster of diverse, original voices will now be backed by the full power of Atlantic Records’ creative expertise and worldwide reach, while Artist Partner and its new signings will have access to our global network and comprehensive menu of artist services.”