Daboh was hired by Atlantic in the EVP position in June 2020. It is his first role at a major label, following a career largely in radio and music streaming.
Speaking to Music Business Worldwide in July 2020, Daboh said: “I’ve always sat in an agnostic position before, a partner to labels, offering my advice and support [to artists] from that neutral perspective.
“That’s something I want to carry on at Atlantic: I want to build us to a place where everybody wants to see us win, because we’re helping out the entirety of youth culture, rather than just our own roster.”
Austin Daboh: Career beginnings and the BBC
Austin Daboh started his music industry career in 2006 as Music Programmer at BBC Music 1Xtra, before becoming CEO of the PR, promotion and talent agency The Hub Entertainment in 2011.
He returned to BBC Music 1Xtra in 2014 as Music Manager, leading the musical direction of the station.
Austin Daboh: Move to streaming and joining Atlantic
In 2016, Austin Daboh joined Spotify as Senior Editor, Shows and Editorial, before being promoted in 2018 to Head of Music Culture & Editorial, Spotify UK. Daboh spent three years at Spotify, where he devised and launched the Who We Be playlist in addition to other standout UK Spotify editorial brands.
The respected artist development specialist led the launch of Apple Music’s Agenda playlist, which ‘represents the authentic voices of the UK and beyond, spanning hip-hop, grime, R&B, Afrobeats and everything in between’. He also headed the launch of an Agenda live show in February, featuring a performance from BRIT and Mercury-winning British rapper, Dave.
After seven months at Apple Music, in 2020 Daboh was appointed Executive Vice President of Atlantic Records UK.
Daboh also joined the WMUK leadership team and will be instrumental in the strategic direction of the company both culturally and creatively.
Austin Daboh: Personal philosophy
In July 2020, Austin Daboh shared a manifesto of what he’d put at the top of the UK music business’ collective agenda. It included more diversity in the industry, encouraging more black female executives as well as apprenticeships for young people from low-income backgrounds, mental health support for artists, increasing research outside of the M25, and more.
“It’s my intention coming into Atlantic to ensure that we’re looking the length and breadth of the UK to find out what’s going on out there, whether it be the punk scene in Kent, or the revival of baseline in West Yorkshire.”
Austin Daboh, My Manifesto
Music Business Worldwide