'This is new ground for us': Warner Nashville's John Esposito on launching Catherine McGrath in the US

'This is new ground for us': Warner Nashville's John Esposito on launching Catherine McGrath in the US

As rising star Catherine McGrath gets set to play Country To Country festival this weekend, Warner Music Nashville CEO/chairman John Esposito has revealed the US ambitions for the singer from Belfast.

Signed to Warner Bros Records in the UK, McGrath has been picked up by Warner Music Nashville for her stateside campaign.

“She’s got a half-million streams, and considering it’s just an introduction time with a modest amount of marketing, that’s a pretty good thing,” Esposito told Music Week. “This is new ground for us. I’m a big fan of Phil Christie and his A&R chops and we’ve been watching him build a career [for McGrath] here.”

Warner Nashville’s involvement is a sign that US labels are now taking British and Irish country artists seriously.

“She’s an authentic singer-songwriter, and as our genre morphs more into that she has as much of a shot as anybody,” he said.

Having been compared to Taylor Swift, McGrath has obvious potential in the US – but Esposito stressed that it required dedication to break the American market. 

“It’s a commitment of time for artists to go across the pond,” he said. “So part of what we are trying to be discerning about – for any artist with the labels over here or in any territories – I don’t want to do it unless they know you have to spend time in that country.” 

Esposito singled out Dan + Shay as a Warner Music Nashville act from the US that had made the necessary commitment to the UK market.

Catherine McGrath plays C2C at The O2 in London on Sunday, March 11 (10.30am, Radio 2 stage and 11.30am, C2C Close Up – Building Six By Day) and Glasgow SE Hydro on Sunday, March 11 (6.10pm, Spotlight Stage).

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