Essential USA to launch in New York

Label services specialist Essential Music & Marketing is launching a new company in New York, Essential USA Inc., which promises to offer a marketing operation in North America to labels from around the world.

Opening in January 2012, Essential USA Inc will provide support to record labels, video companies, physical distributors and artists – both for existing Essential labels and entirely new projects.

Essential USA Inc. will be based in Soho, New York and led by Erik Gilbert (pictured), who was previously in charge of label acquisition and client strategy at the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA).

He previously founded and managed independent labels Asphodel and 75 Ark.

The firm will also offer global strategy marketing and distribution services to North American labels. Essential’s roster of North American labels includes Arts & Crafts, Easy Star, Unison Records, Fat Possum, Megaforce, Dine Alone, Luaka Bop, Prawn Song, Shout! Factory, Vagrant and Weathermaker. Artists on these labels include The Easy Star All-Stars, Wavves, Black Keys, Broken Social Scene, J Dilla, Meat Puppets, Susana Baca, and Alkaline Trio.

In 2012 Essential will handle albums from, among others, rock bruisers Dragonforce, a solo debut by Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), a live CD/DVD package from Faithless, the return of The Cranberries, a new album from The Cult and a new Vondelpark release for R&S.

Said Essential USA Inc. CEO Erik Gilbert: “The rapidly changing physical and digital landscape offers a great opportunity for us to provide North American labels with a viable alternative to some of the leading distributors in UK and Europe, as well as provide marketing services in North America. I am excited to build upon the great success that Essential has achieved in the UK and Europe”

Commented Wayne Pighini, Head of Marketing, Vagrant Records: “We’ve worked with Essential on a number of key releases with great success, helping to increase album sales in both the UK and Europe. 2012 is looking set to be a great year for Vagrant and Essential.”

Essential Music & Marketing MD Mike Chadwick added: “Working with Erik will bring a whole new perspective to Essential. His understanding of the market in North America and his contacts worldwide will open up a host of opportunities for us. These are exciting times.”Music Business Worldwide

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