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Relentless man to head up Virgin UK

By | Published on Monday 18 May 2009

EMI this morning announced that Shabs Jobanputra, founder of music agency Media Village and label Relentless, will become President of the major’s Virgin UK division, taking a wider A&R role at the record company, and reporting to EMI’s top A&R man Nick Gatfield.

Jobanputra has been working with EMI since they bought into Relentless in 2003. The label initially had an urban focus with artists like Daniel Bedingfield and So Solid Crew, though since becoming an EMI joint venture has expanded somewhat, with success stories including Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, Seth Lakeman and Cage The Elephant.

The Relentless JV sat within the Virgin UK division of EMI until the recent company-wide rejig. As the boss of the whole Virgin UK outfit Shabs will oversee his former Relentless signings, plus a whole range of EMI’s other pop and indie artists, including some formerly aligned with the major’s EMI Records and Heavenly divisions, including Robbie Williams and Doves. Virgin UK will also handle the marketing over here of US-based EMI artists like Katy Perry, 30 Seconds To Mars, Lenny Kravitz, Hockey and Empire Of The Sun.

Formally confirming Jobanputra as the new Virgin UK President, Gatfield told CMU: “Shabs has got the drive and ambition to ensure Virgin becomes a leading home for UK talent. His ability to identify and develop artists across all genres makes him the ideal candidate for the role”.

Shabs himself added: “It’s a great time to be coming on board as EMI seeks to become the number one music-based company that adds real value to artists and their work”.



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