Los Angeles-based Interscope is showing itself to be rather keen on amalgamating globally-successful music with its US A&R nous.
Witness Blackpink, the K-Pop girl band, following in the footsteps of BTS, who performed at Universal’s recent Grammy Showcase in LA earlier this month, leaving the crowd under no illusions regarding their commercial potential.
Today, the company has revealed another serious move that indicates its ambition to broaden what has historically been a predominantly US pop and hip hop centric artistic output.
Veteran music executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi, the former President of Sony Music US Latin, has joined Interscope as Executive Vice President.
You only need to look at YouTube’s biggest music videos across the 12 months of last year to see why Interscope’s new hire makes a lot of sense.
The two biggest videos were songs that were entirely in Spanish.
Number one was the “Te Bote” Remix – by Casper, Nio García, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny and Ozuna – whose current YouTube plays stand at 1.6 billion. The runner up was “X” by Nicky Jam and J. Balvin (current streams: 1.4 billion).
Looking at YouTube’s entire Top 10 biggest songs of 2018, eight were non-English language (all in Spanish) with only two songs in English: Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” at Number Three, and Drake’s “God’s Plan” at Number Eight.
Under Seroussi’s direction as President of Sony Music US Latin, the company became the top Latin label in the US and a chart-dominating powerhouse.
He rebuilt the label’s roster and ushered in a long list of global hits from superstar acts such as Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Romeo Santos, Ozuna, Nicky Jam, Maluma, Becky G, Wisin, Yandel, Prince Royce, and Farruko, among many others.
Seroussi started working in music publishing at Insignia Music in 1998, upon graduating from Berklee College of Music. After rising to General Manager, he left the company in 2000 to pursue a career as a songwriter.
He reentered the business side as VP of Marketing and A&R at EMI Latin in 2002. In 2004 he began a 15-year tenure at Sony Music US Latin, where he held various senior posts culminating in being elevated to President in 2014.
At Interscope Geffen A&M, Seroussi will sign and develop talent for the company while also working across the entire roster to strengthen artists’ global reach.
He reports to Chairman and CEO John Janick, and will continue to be based in Miami, where he will also run Interscope’s soon-to-be-opened offices there.
John Janick, Interscope
“Nir’s vision and taste align completely with Interscope,” said Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick
“When (Interscope EVP) Joie Manda and I first met with him about joining the company, we all immediately realized it was a perfect fit; he doesn’t look at A&R in a ‘traditional’ manner, and Interscope has always been anything but ‘traditional.’
“He has an incredible track record, as his most recent successes show, and he also has a keen understanding of the Latin, the US, and the global music markets. But most importantly, he understands that the lines between these markets are being erased.”
Seroussi added: “I’ve always looked at Interscope as a company that’s not afraid to break down boundaries and challenge ‘genre boxes’ when it comes to the artists they sign and the music they release.
“The current culture is a global one, and in talking to John, Joie and Steve Berman about what we could all accomplish together it made so much sense to me.
“I’m really excited to help expand Interscope’s already formidable reach both in the US and around the world. It’s happening, it’s happening big, and it’s starting with the right people.”
Pictured [Left to Right]: John Janick (Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO), Nir Seroussi and Joie Manda (Interscope EVP) Music Business Worldwide