As exclusively revealed in the latest issue of Music Week, Lost Ones is headed up by former Apple executive Ashley Sykes and ex-RCA A&R Barry Burt.
Reporting to Virgin EMI president Ted Cockle, the co-MDs will sign and develop artists to the standalone label brand while working alongside the wider Virgin EMI marketing and promotion teams.
Cockle said: “On too many occasions the DNA of Ashley and Barry were present somewhere in the mix of many of the artists we were courting. Hence it felt totally right to bring these two forceful characters together and harness their combined energies in this focused, boutique A&R cauldron and let them really nurture, stimulate and launch some super fresh new talent.”
Fay Hoyte, marketing director, EMI, said: “Barry and Ashley are two dynamic individuals who make the perfect team. Both are extremely passionate about what they do and Lost Ones is already shaping up to be a truly exciting label.”
In a statement, Burt and Sykes said: “To be able to provide artists with the core A&R attention that only a boutique label can offer, but with the might of Virgin EMI in the wings to take things to the next level when ready, is the perfect balance. Ted totally understood our desire to build a brand and make a statement that is led by the music we deliver. Artist-driven projects are our focus and we want our roster to be quality, not quantity. We’re so excited to work with Ted, Fay, Rob and everyone at Virgin EMI."
Barry and Ashley are two dynamic individuals who make the perfect team
The boutique label operation, which is based outside of Universal Music in Shoreditch, has launched with a trio of new artists: North-London based Wauve, Afrobeat producer/DJ Juls and ATC-managed Collard.
Sykes was previously UK Music Manager for Beats 1, where he worked alongside Julie Adenuga and Zane Lowe, as well as helping to launch specialist shows for the Krept & Konan and Rex Orange County. Sykes has also served as A&R and manager for Stellar Songs Publishing, signing Grace Carter, Digital Farm Animals and managing Frank Ocean collaborator Om’Mas Keith.
Burt, a former BBC 1xtra DJ, worked in A&R for Levels Entertainment with artists including Wretch 32, Gyptian and Vato Gonzalez. At RCA Burt signed Yungen, and he went on to set up management company The Dozens. The firm, in which Sykes is a partner, represents writers and producers including Negin (Drake’s Don’t Matter To Me, Snakehips’ Don’t Leave) and Jay Weathers (Not3s’ My Lover, Dappy’s Oh My).