Jim Chancellor is Managing Director of Fiction Records and Virgin Music Label & Artist Services.
Chancellor’s first job in the music business was actually as a bouncer at CBGBs for six months in 1989, before starting his own label, Mad Minute Records, which was run out of his bedroom, followed by a stint as a record producer manager.
Chancellor was given an A&R job at Polydor by then joint-MD Colin Barlow in 2003. Within two months of joining the company, he had signed Snow Patrol.
In 2004, alongside Paul Smernicki and Joe Munns, Chancellor revived the Fiction Records name within Polydor as a home for guitar bands, in contrast to the pop acts that Polydor was putting out at the time.
As well as Snow Patrol, other names to release on Fiction under Chancellor’s stewardship include Elbow, The Maccabees and White Lies.
In 2013, Chancellor was named as Head of Music for Universal Music Group’s newly launched global services company Caroline International, as well as joint-MD alongside Michael Roe.
Chancellor maintained his Managing Director role at Fiction Records.
UMG rebranded Caroline International as part of its Virgin Music Label & Artist Services launch in February 2021, with Chancellor and Roe continuing to lead the operation.
jim chancellor: signing philosophy
In a 2019 interview with MBW, Jim Chancellor spoke about his signing philosophy as far as Fiction Records is concerned.
“Just be brilliant,” he said. “It always starts with a song…Normally the live thing’s pretty imperative, mainly because 99% of the artists that we work with, that’s really their lifeblood. The live business has got to drive it all. But yeah, the songs, we’ve always been big on good songs, good songwriting and interesting sonics, or interesting takes on what they’re trying to do.”Music Business Worldwide