Respected UK exec Colin Barlow has returned to the frontline of the business with a suite of companies aimed at breaking new music.
The London-based Merrystar group has interests in recorded music, publishing, management and more, working with writers and producers as well as artists.
Barlow, a former Polydor UK joint boss (a tenure shared with current Universal UK CEO David Joseph in the Noughties) and RCA UK President, said: “So much is changing right now: artists, streaming, independence, ownership, consumption, everything. I needed to define what I was going to become in my next chapter and see a broad range of people to help me work out what I wanted to do.”
He told the Q4 2018 edition of MBW’s sister print publication Music Business UK: “As it transpired, I realised that my skill set could fit really well in the new environment we are moving towards. I’ve built some brilliant relationships over the years and I felt that with the knowledge I had I could create partnerships with some of the most talented people in our business.”
Amongst other things, Barlow has formed a production company with songwriter Jamie Scott and his manager Rick Wilson. Their first signing is Bow Anderson (“think Dusty Springfield produced by Dr Dre”) who will be releasing her debut album next year.
There is a record label, Stanley Park, in partnership with Brian Rawlings (Metrophonic), which will release a new James Morrison album in 2019 in conjunction with Warner Music’s services division, ADA.
On the rock side of the tracks, Barlow has teamed up with another escapee from major label land, Christian Tattersfield (formerly CEO of Warner Music UK, now head of his own independent publisher, Good Soldier Songs). The pair have signed swaggering guitar band All Us In Love who will release their first album through Kobalt next year.
A resurrected Merrystar Publishing is also in the mix (working with Universal Music Publishing), while Barlow is also managing Maeve, who was one of (former Columbia Records UK co-president) Alison Donald’s first signings at Kobalt.
Barlow said: “I feel more enthused than ever before. I’ve got plenty of plans to grow and develop my business – with the ultimate dream to be open minded as to where this can take me. I’ve still have so much hunger and love for music. I’ve got the joy again.”
A full interview with Barlow in which he discusses his career to date as well as his new venture is in the new issue of MBW’s spin-off print publication, MBUK. To subscribe, click here.
Music Business Worldwide