Breaking new acts top of agenda for new Columbia UK president

Breaking new acts top of agenda for new Columbia UK president

Breaking new homegrown artists is going to be one of Columbia Records UK’s top priorities for 2017, according to Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, who was appointed as the label's new president last week.

After what has been something of a barren year for breakthrough UK releases so far - the industry is still waiting for a 2016 debut album by a British artist to go gold - Unger-Hamilton has told Music Week he will be making the uncovering of exciting new acts a priority in 2017.

While at Polydor, Unger-Hamilton enjoyed success with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Years & Years and The 1975, and launched Keane alongside Iley at Island in the ‘00s.

“Absolutely we’d like to see green shoots next year,” said Unger-Hamilton. “We’re going to be looking for artists. I don’t expect to be judged on how well we sell the Dylan or Springsteen catalogue, we’ve got to find great, new and predominantly British artists.

“The business has changed a lot but, really, I’m not interested in data as a primary source indicator of how good an artist is. It’s much more [about] the artist themselves.”

Sony Music UK and Ireland chairman/CEO Jason Iley also hailed the new Columbia Records UK president as  “someone who has an unparalleled track record for nurturing and breaking artists on a global scale”.

You can read our exclusive interview with Unger-Hamilton here.

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