Anne-Marie was jubilant at the Music Week Awards last week.
The British star celebrated with his team at Atlantic, winning the Record Company of the Year trophy in recognition of the Warner Music label’s success with its own campaign alongside artists such as Ed Sheeran, Maisie Peters and Tion Wayne (who has got another Top 10 hit after the ceremony).
The label is led by Co-Presidents Briony Turner and Ed Howard, along with Executive Vice President Austin Daboh, General Manager Liz Goodwin and Damian Christian, General Manager and President of Promotions. Christian and his colleagues were also victorious in the Promotions Team category at the ceremony after an impressive performance in 2021, the campaign period covered by the awards.
Atlantic prides itself on its artist-first ethos, and 2021 has seen the label build on its 2020 singles success with albums and other projects for returning and breakthrough stars. Highlights include fellow Music Week Awards guest Joel Corry, Fred Again… and now KSI, who moved to the Atlantic following his huge collaboration with Anne-Marie on Don’t Play (pic #2, 719,993 sales – Official Charts Company).
Here, in an interview the day after their triumph, Briony Turner, Ed Howard and Damian Christian talk to music week on the new era of the label…
Why do you think Atlantic deserve this win?
Briany Turner: “I think what I love about Atlantic is the totally diverse roster, with musical genres at every level and real big name artists on every lane.”
Ed Howard: “I think it’s also extremely collaborative. There is no politics. We just want to be the best, break as many artists as possible. Everything is at the service of the artists and that’s what it’s all about.
BT: “Yeah, and I would add to that that we work with amazing artists and amazing management teams behind them, so kudos to those guys.”
The award recognized your work with established stars such as Ed Sheeran and Annie-Marie as well as groundbreaking artists Tion Wayne and Maisie Peters…
HE: “Yeah, it’s also great that we’ve been working with Charli XCX for over 10 years and she had a #1 album earlier in the year – it was amazing. Ed [Sheeran] obviously had a great year. No one has a year like this after 10 years, it’s phenomenal and a testament to the hard work of the whole team. From new artists to established artists, we had a fantastic year and we have our team to thank at all levels.
Damian Christian: “Tion Wayne had the first No. 1 exercise.”
HE: “100%, amazing.”
CC : “And these guys have to take a lot of the credit because they’ve taken over the business, they’re both from the A&R world and they’ve gelled everyone over the last few years. It’s been a little journey really , because in confinement it was about trying to motivate and move everyone forward. They are both so humble, brilliant and respectful to everyone. They led the charge, they deserve all the credit.
HE: “Likewise, we draw on the experience of incredible people who have supported us, like Damian and his team. We couldn’t do this without everyone working on the label. »
This award reflects success in 2021, was this your first full year working together as co-chairs?
BT: “It was our second year…”
HE: “But with the pandemic, it feels like six months. Briony was actually on maternity leave when she was appointed to this role, so I feel like we’re just hitting our stride.
Tell us about some of the acts you’re passionate about, like Fred Again…
HE: “Fred Again…has an amazing future.”
BT: “We love Fred. We signed Fred about four years ago now. He was working on a lot of artists across the roster. And when I first met him, we were just like, ‘This is crazy talent.’ I remember going to the studio, there was a group of kids in the studio and I was completely intimidated because it was the cream of the crop. And at that time, i remember thinking, i have to do everything i can to sign this fucking guy because he’s just the best in his class he was sitting there playing the piano virtuoso and it was like one of those times where you just know you’re in the presence of someone really special. He took a minute to really formulate what his art direction and sound were going to be, and we supported him on that journey. We couldn’t be more proud of him. He just sold 28,000 tickets in an hour in the US. So he’s on fire there.
HE: “We had 100 hits with him too, with Ed [Sheeran] and others, as a producer.
You were joined by Anne-Marie and Joel Corry this evening to mark this achievement…
HE: “Joel had seven consecutive No. 1s on American Dance Radio. That’s almost as many Music Week Awards as you have [Damian].”
CC : “It’s actually far [laughs].”
HE: “He’s on an incredible journey, it’s great to see.”
BT: “He’s got incredible energy and he’s just a great human. In our roster, we have fantastic artistry and fantastic people.
You’re on a roll, what excites you for the rest of the year?
BT: “We’re really excited about Nathan Dawe’s record with Ella Henderson [21 Reasons]which contains a massive sample and is preparing very well to be one of the big records of the summer.
HE: “We are also about to start with KSI, which is a massive signing. We are super proud of him. We have already had great success [on Anne-Marie single Don’t Play]. It will be amazing.
Damian, you previously worked on KSI as a promotion team [Warner’s ADA partnered on the BMG releases]…
CC : “We have been plugging in KSI for some time. It’s a very good story, because when we first contacted him, the media was not interested, they considered him a YouTuber. But we managed to turn the tide. »
BT: “Maisie Peters is on tour with Ed Sheeran, she’s doing amazing things, turning heads and converting audiences, so we’re really excited about what the future holds for her. Her current single Cate’s Brother is also an absolute hit. .
CC : “Mahalia too…”
HE: “Mahalia is on tour, she is exploding.”
Mahalia is another long-term development story…
CC : “It’s something about the Atlantic…”
BT: “We are all about developing artists and long-term careers. We stay with them as long as it takes.