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.