Karim Ech-Choayby named Head of A&R at Columbia Records France

Columbia Records France has appointed former Def Jam and Universal Music Publishing executive, Karim Ech-Choayby, as its new Head of A&R.

Ech-Choayby will report directly to Laurent Chapeau, Directeur Général Columbia Records & labels group France, overseeing support for current artists and building out a roster of next generation of talent.

He will also work with Sony Music’s international teams to develop collaborations between local and international artists.

“Karim has a great instinct for discovering new artists and is a highly experienced executive,” said Laurent Chapeau, Directeur Général Columbia & labels group France.

“Having known him since the early days of his career I have witnessed how Karim has gone from strength-to-strength over the past 20 years. His experience, combined with his fascination and curiosity for new music and genres, has given him the ability to work on any kind of repertoire, whether that is well-established artists or those to be discovered. I am delighted to bring him into the Columbia fold and look forward to working with him again.”

Added Ech-Choayby: “I have always admired how Columbia put the artist first in everything they do,”  “French music is more vibrant and varied than ever before and is a constantly changing landscape. So I’m excited to be taking up the challenge of discovering next best artists and music scenes that appeal both to music-lovers in France and around the world.”

Ech-Choayby brings over two decades of industry experience to Columbia Records France. He most recently served as Head of A&R at Def Jam Recordings France from 2019-2020, working with artists including Slimane, Kendji, Vegedream, Kungs, Azaar, Romeo Elvis, Cabellero & Jeanjass, Amel Bent and Hatik. He also oversaw the launch of Vitaa & Slimane’s ‘VersuS’ album, one of the best-selling French albums of 2020.

Prior to Def Jam France, Ech-Choayby joined Universal Music Publishing Group in 2014, rising Head of A&R in France in 2017. During his time there, Ech-Choayby signed Belgian artist Damso, as well as providing support for artists from a variety of genres ranging from Kendji, Slimane and BOULEVARD DES AIRS; through to Vianney, Gims, Louane, Claudio Capeo and Hoshi.

Ech-Choayby began his career in 1998 at music magazine, Technikart, before moving to Virgin Records in 2003 as an A&R. In 2008, he then moved to Capitol at EMI before deciding to start up his own label UrbanPop in 2012 at Wagram.

A year later, Ech-Choayby moved to Universal France in 2013 working on A&R at Capitol.Music Business Worldwide