It’s all change at Island Records UK in the wake of Darcus Beese’s ascension to President of the label’s US company in New York.
The London-based Universal label has promoted Louis Bloom to UK President, following 16 years at the company – most recently as Head of A&R.
The popular exec will lead a new team shaped by a series of internal moves – including the promotion of Natasha Mann and Olivia Nunn as co-Managing Directors of Island UK.
Alongside Mann and Nunn, reporting to Bloom within the new structure at Island will be Alex Boateng, who is promoted to President of Urban.
Meanwhile, Steve Pitron is given a broader role within the label as SVP, Island Records & Promotions.
Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph said of Bloom: “Louis grew up surrounded by music and his passion for everything Island stands for runs deep.
“He has already been a huge part of Island’s recent success and understands the legacy and responsibility of what he is taking on. He is an exceptional executive who I know has the team and determination to write an exciting new chapter for the label.”
Bloom has enjoyed success signing multi-platinum global sellers such as Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard and Hozier as well as The Feeling, Goyte, and John Newman. More recently he has signed Catfish and the Bottlemen (via Communion) and JP Cooper.
Jon Turner, previously Managing Director of Island UK, is moving to an as-yet-unannounced ‘exciting new role’.
“Louis is an exceptional executive who I know has the team and determination to write an exciting new chapter for the label.”
David Joseph, Universal Music UK
Alex Boateng joined Island as a marketing consultant in 2009 working with chart-toppers Tinchy Stryder and Taio Cruz before assuming a unique role combining marketing and A&R. Following successful campaigns for Drake, Jessie J, JP Cooper, Big Shaq, Dizzee Rascal, The Weeknd and Giggs, in 2017 Boateng created Island UK’s dedicated Urban division.
Island’s new co-MDs Natasha Mann and Olivia Nunn, while heading up their respective marketing teams, have risen through the ranks together. They are both stepping up 18 months after being promoted to Marketing Directors in November 2016.
Mann has overseen chart-topping album campaigns for Mumford & Sons, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Disclosure, John Newman, PJ Harvey and Hozier among many others since joining Island in 2009 from Toast Press where her PR clients included Florence + The Machine, La Roux, Jamie Woon and Kano.
Nunn began her career at Island in 2006 working in TV promotions. She has driven campaigns for BBC Sound Poll winner Sigrid and Sean Paul, managed UK campaigns for US stars Drake, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande and worked closely with artists on brand partnerships.
Island’s Senior Director of Promotions Steve Pitron is getting a wider role as SVP, Island Records & Promotions after delivering an array of successful campaigns for artists including Amy Winehouse, Sigrid, Hozier, JP Cooper and Florence + the Machine.
Pitron’s relationship with Republic Records in the US has helped drive the UK careers of worldwide superstars including Drake, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. He has been at Island since 1996, working initially in club promotions before joining the radio team. He became Director of Promotions in 2016.
“I want Island to be the number one label and home for culture and creativity.”
Louis Bloom, Island Records
Louis Bloom’s first foray into the industry was as ents. secretary at Birmingham University during which time he landed a six-week work experience stint at Island before joining RCA Records as a scout in 1999.
He returned to Island in 2002 as a Junior A&R manager and became Head of A&R in 2008.
Said Bloom: “‘Coming from a musical family and growing up in Manchester, music has always been a hugely important part of my life but it wasn’t until I turned 12 when I stumbled across my Dad’s vinyl collection that it became an obsession. It was then that I discovered so many of Island Records’ greats from Nick Drake and Roxy Music to Bob Marley, U2 and Grace Jones.
“It started what would become a lifelong fascination with the label and Chris Blackwell’s ethos, which continued with the next generation of Island Records from Tricky and Pulp to PJ Harvey and Young MC. The diversity and absolute authenticity of all these artists proved to be the greatest foundation for a life in music and continues to set the standard for the calibre of artists I have wanted to sign to this incredible label.
“To have contributed to this legacy over the past 16 years has been a genuine honour and to now be given the opportunity to lead this amazing label and help shape our future in what are hugely exciting times, is an enormous privilege and a fantastic challenge that myself and the team are relishing. In terms of the team, I can honestly say that we have never been in better shape, the blend of experience and incredibly bright and motivated younger people, all of whom share the same passion for music and love for this label, makes me feel that the future is bright and nothing can stop us. I want Island to be the number one label and home for culture and creativity.”
“I’d like to thank David for this fantastic opportunity. I’ve known David for longer than I’ve been at Island Records and he’s always been an inspirational figure in my life. It gives me great confidence to know that I will continue to have his support and the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience as we take the label forward. And finally it goes without saying that in Darcus, I will not only miss an incredible boss, a true music man who always encouraged me to trust my instincts, but also a friend who has been an absolute joy to work alongside for the past 16 years.”
[Pictured L-R: Annie Christensen, Natasha Mann, Alex Boateng, Louis Bloom, Liv Nunn, Steve Pitron]Music Business Worldwide