'It feels great to be bringing back the iconic Elektra brand': WMG launches Elektra as frontline label

'It feels great to be bringing back the iconic Elektra brand': WMG launches Elektra as frontline label

Warner Music Group is to launch Elektra as a frontline label group from October 1.

It’s the first time in 15 years that Elektra will exist as a standalone label group. The latest move by Warner Music Group CEO, recorded music, Max Lousada, will further beef up the major’s A&R operations.

Elektra Music Group will be headed up by co-presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, who will report to Atlantic Records Group chairman & CEO, Craig Kallman, and chairman & COO, Julie Greenwald. 

Elektra’s label brands will include Elektra, Fueled By Ramen (FBR), Roadrunner, Low Country Sound and Black Cement Records. The roster will feature Twenty One Pilots, Zac Brown Band, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, Fitz And The Tantrums, Paramore, Slipknot, Panic! At The Disco, Coheed And Cambria, Kaleo and Gojira.  

“Elektra Music Group will be 100% dedicated to developing the careers of authentic artists and helping them realize their visions,” said Easterlin and Nadel. “The company will embody the same independent spirit that is at the root of each of our core labels. Elektra, Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner, Low Country Sound and Black Cement were all founded by entrepreneurs who did it for the love of the music and a belief in their artists, and that philosophy will remain the driving force behind everything we do.

“We’re going to have an extraordinary roster, backed by the most ambitious, innovative team in the business. To have the opportunity to run our own stand-alone company is a dream come true, and we want to thank Julie and Craig for having such great faith in us. We can’t wait to get started.”

“The birth of Elektra Music Group is all about creating opportunity for artists," said Greenwald and Kallman. "It opens up a new door to bring more game-changing talent into the WMG family, while giving them the personal attention that is our hallmark. Just as importantly, it will allow some of the most outstanding members of our team to run their own shop and their own departments, taking their careers to new places. Mike and Gregg have evolved into amazing leaders and masters of long-term artist development – they understand it, they live it and they excel at it. With decades of A&R and marketing experience under their collective belts, and joined by an outstanding new staff, they will make great partners in building Elektra Music Group into a major industry force.” 

“Our whole approach is to create environments that give artists and entrepreneurs the freedom and support to pioneer the future of music,” added Lousada. “From the outset, Elektra Music Group will be a dynamic community of credible artists and distinctive label cultures. Gregg and Mike are a dream leadership team, able to combine adventurous A&R, bespoke artist development, and full-force global marketing. It feels great to be bringing back the iconic Elektra brand as a major, stand-alone company for the first time in 15 years.”

From launch, Elektra will have a 60-plus member team covering all key music company functions, including A&R, artist development, business & legal affairs, marketing, promotion, publicity, sales & streaming, international and video. The departments will be led and staffed by current members of the Atlantic, Elektra, FBR, and Roadrunner teams, as well as new hires.

Mike Easterlin has been president of Fueled By Ramen and Roadrunner Records since January 2016. FBR has been behind the breakthrough success of Twenty One Pilots Paramore and Fun, while Roadrunner’s hard rock and metal roster includes Slipknot, Theory of a Deadman, Trivium, Coheed And Cambria and Gojira.

Gregg Nadel has been president of Elektra Records since January 2017, having served as the label’s GM since 2015. A 21-year veteran of Atlantic, he worked on all three album campaigns for Ed Sheeran.

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