Darcus Beese has signed a JV deal with a major record company. But which one?

Darcus Beese

Darcus Beese is about to launch a joint venture label outside of Universal Music Group, MBW hears.

The British A&R specialist exited his role as President of Island Records in New York earlier this year, and has now relocated to hometown of London.

According to sources speaking to MBW at the BRIT Awards yesterday, Beese has struck a deal with a major record company to launch a UK-based JV label – and it’s not UMG.

“The smart money’s on Sony,” says one source. “But Warner has definitely been in conversations too.”

Beese led Island Records UK from 2008 – first as co-President, then from 2013 as President – before making the switch to lead the label’s US company in 2018.

His career so far has seen him work closely with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Florence + The Machine, Sugababes, Hozier and Mumford & Sons.

When MBW learned of Beese exiting Island earlier this year, a Universal spokesperson said: “Darcus informed us of his decision to return to the UK for personal reasons and to pursue new career opportunities there.

“We fully support his decision and we are thankful to Darcus for his many contributions to Island Records throughout the years.”

Beese started as an intern in Island’s promotion department in 1989. He worked his way up through the company, holding numerous jobs including A&R Director, where his signings included Amy Winehouse, Sugababes and Taio Cruz.Music Business Worldwide