Motown Records is finally making its entry into the UK with the launch of a new label, led by Rob Pascoe.
Announced Monday (September 14), Motown Records U.K. will have its own dedicated team and resources, and an appetite for the signature of local artists. The first executive roles are CEO Pascoe and marketing director Afryea Henry-Fontaine, both supporters of the Universal Music Group, with more recruits to be announced in the coming weeks.
The new company is led by Motown Ethiopia president Habtemariam and EMI Records president Rebecca Allen, a 20-year UMG veteran and former Billboard Women In Music winner.
It’s a move that’s probably long overdue, considering the iconic label̵
According to a statement, the British company will serve as EMI Records’ dedicated home for releases “from the revitalized US operation of Motown alongside a new generation of British black music”.
The timing “couldn’t be more perfect,” observes Habtemariam, who insists the new team “will sign and develop exciting new British talent”, expand the company’s “black entrepreneurship platform” in the UK and “lead Motown. towards even greater global success. “
Motown celebrated its 60th anniversary last year with a parade of special events, activities and outings. Over the years, Motown music has been released on various UMG labels and as highly sought after imports.
With the launch of Motown Records in the UK, Allen explains, “we look forward to bringing the music of this culture-defining label and its artists to the widest possible audience, as well as building a new inspiring and inspiring roster for the label.. “
The new label’s helmsman is Pascoe, who has worked with Universal for 18 years and has been GM of Virgin EMI for the past two years. Following his promotion, Pascoe will continue in his broader role as ambassador for EMI, focusing on supporting the label’s US repertoire, a company message reads.
Meanwhile, Henry-Fontaine is promoted from senior marketing manager at UMG to marketing director.
Founded by Berry Gordy as Tamla Records in 1959, Motown is more than just a brand. It’s a cultural touchstone and the engine of a seemingly endless conveyor belt of superstars from Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Jackson 5 and many more.
Today, his roster includes Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, Kem and London’s Tiana Major 9, whose new EP A Sixes And Sevens was recently cited by NME as a demonstration of the artist’s “potential to join the greats”.