Sony Music relaunches Arista as frontline label, headed up by David Massey

Arista Records is relaunching at Sony Music in New York – headed up by respected exec David Massey.

The legendary imprint is becoming a ‘frontline creative center’ within Sony – joining a family of active labels at the major including Epic, RCA and Columbia.

Massey will serve as President and CEO of Arista, and reports directly to Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer.

In addition, Sony Music and Massey have entered into a new joint venture for Massey-led artist management and music publishing businesses.

Rob Stringer said: “We are excited to be reintroducing the iconic Arista brand as a full major label under the leadership of David Massey. David is a visionary and progressive talent developer and his recent success at breaking new artists around the world only highlights his remarkable consistency of creative success year after year.

“As well as releasing new music to the world, David will use his vast experience in building new publishing and artist management ventures that will enhance Sony Music’s overall music strategy.”

Most recently, Massey was President and CEO of UMG’s Island Records, where since 2013 he oversaw hits from Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, The Killers, Fall Out Boy, Mike Posner, Elton John, Bon Jovi, and Tove Lo, among others.

“David is a visionary and progressive talent developer and his recent success at breaking new artists around the world only highlights his remarkable consistency of creative success year after year.”

Rob Stringer, Sony Music

Prior to running Island, Massey spent six years as President of Mercury Records, where he achieved success with Duffy, Portishead, Taio Cruz, Neon Trees, The Wanted, The Saturdays, The Gaslight Anthem, and Jake Bugg. During his time at Mercury, he also oversaw A&R for a number of major Island Records artists.

Said Massey: “I want to thank Rob Stringer for the phenomenal opportunity to return to Sony Music in an expansive new partnership and lead the next chapter of Arista Records. Clive Davis made the Arista name synonymous with tremendous creativity and great songs, and I look forward to continuing that identity by working with the many talented people at Sony to build a new roster of hit artists. I am also excited to join forces with Sony to drive additional growth through artist management and music publishing.”

Founded by Clive Davis in 1974, Arista Records previously served as the home to artists including Whitney Houston, the Kinks, Patti Smith, the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Barry Manilow, and Aretha Franklin.

Said Davis: “I am really delighted to see the Arista name return to a place of prominence under an executive with the talents of David Massey. David is a true music man who has tremendous respect for artistry, and he is the ideal choice to carry on the label’s great tradition.”

Before his time at Mercury, Massey served as Executive Vice President, A&R, Sony Music Label Group U.S., a post he was named to in 2004, and President of his own imprint Daylight Records, which was founded in 2000.

He spent his early career at Sony Music with Epic Records, where he spent 10 years in a number of different roles, including EVP/ GM and Executive Vice President of A&R.

During his time with Sony Music, he worked with artists including Shakira, Oasis, Good Charlotte, Franz Ferdinand, Travis, Silverchair, and Delta Goodrem.

Prior to joining Epic, Massey was based in London where he had a successful career in artist management, working with artists such as Wang Chung, in addition to heading his own independent record company, Big World Records.

He holds a Masters in Law from Cambridge University.

[Pictured: Clive Davis, David Massey and Rob Stringer.]Music Business Worldwide

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