Eshak and Majid will join Island from Columbia Records, where they were previously co-heads of A&R.
The appointment, effective January 1, 2022, marks a return to UMG for Majid and Eshak, who met at UMG’s Republic Records in 2004 where they worked as A&R executives. Majid and Eshak will be based at Island’s headquarters in New York and report to UMG Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge.
Majid joined Columbia in 2013, signed rapper Lil Tjay and worked closely with rapper Russ, pop singer Rachel Platten and duo Ayo & Teo. He began his career in 2004 as an assistant in the A&R department at Universal Motown Records Group before moving over to Republic.
Eshak also joined Columbia in 2013 and, according to a press release, played an integral role in the signing and development of Hozier, whose debut album sold over 2 million copies domestically, as well as Ruth B and Leon Bridges; he also worked closely with The Chainsmokers. Prior to joining Columbia, he spent five years at Mick Management and began his career in 2003 at Republic Records.
In making the announcement, Grainge said, “Island Records has a long, successful track record of discovering, nurturing and breaking some of the most iconic artists in the world. With a well-earned reputation as creative A&R executives, marketers and strategists, Imran and Justin are progressive, modern record executives who will harness Island’s DNA as they navigate the label into the future.”
Majid said, “Justin and I are thrilled to lead Island Records into the future and we’re looking forward to working with the label’s existing roster of iconic artists, as well as helping to break Island artists of the future. During our careers, Justin and I have not only developed a bond of trust between the two of us, but we have cultivated that trust throughout our relationships with artists, managers and producers. We simply love music and discovering artists with a new sound or perspective. This is an incredible time to return to UMG and we can’t wait to get started.”
Eshak said, “Throughout its history, Island Records has been the preeminent home for cutting-edge and independent-minded artists. Imran and I look forward to carrying on that legacy by placing a long-term commitment to developing artists and cultivating a diverse roster motivated by creative and commercial success. We’re thankful to Sir Lucian for this opportunity and we can’t wait to get started working with Island’s artists and staff.”
The two will replace former president/CEO Darcus Beese, who announced he was stepping down to return to his native U.K. in February and yesterday aunveiled a new deal that sees him becoming an executive VP and launching a label with Warner Music. While the label enjoyed success during Beese’s stint with Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato (whose new album, “Dancing With the Devil,” dropped in April) and recently signed Sabrina Carpenter, it has not had a high profile and sources say there was unhappiness with its failure to attract hip-hop talent — a situation the appointment of Eshak and Majid looks likely to address.