Sony Music Entertainment UK has relaunched Epic Records UK as a frontline label and has named Sarah Lockhart of Sony Music Publishing as the label’s President.
1, according to a Thursday (April 27) announcement.
Founded by the Columbia Records division of CBS Records in 1953, Epic initially focused on jazz, pop and classical music, but later forayed into pop, hip-hop, R&B and other genres.
Epic became part of Sony when the latter bought CBS Records in 1987. The Los Angeles-based label’s catalog includes legendary artists like Michael Jackson, Wham! and George Michael, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Sade, Luther Vandross, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rage Against the Machine, and Oasis.
The label launched in the UK around 1971, where it signed acts including ABBA.
Now, Sony Music is relaunching Epic Records in the UK as a frontline label “to champion global music and British culture.”
The launch coincides with Epic Records’ 70-year anniversary. It follows the launch of Epic Records France in July 2020.
“The pioneering global artists signed to Epic have inspired me and countless fans for decades. The relaunch of the label in the UK provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate Epic’s legacy and build a culture that encourages us to think differently, honouring and supporting artists to create connection through the power of music,” Lockhart said.
Effective May 1, Lockhart will lead the label, reporting to Jason Iley, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK & Ireland.
Lockhart previously served as Head of A&R at Sony Music Publishing for three years, signing artists including BRIT Award-winning Aitch, PinkPantheress and D Block Europe.
For the past 20 years, Lockhart has been a prominent figure in youth culture and London’s grassroots music communities. She was a co-founder of Rinse FM, a community radio station in East London. There, she launched artists including Magnetic Man and Katy B.
Under Lockhart’s leadership, Rinse FM successfully obtained its radio license and grew from a pirate station to a recognized brand.
During the early 2000s, Lockhart spent four years at EMI Music Publishing, where she discovered seminal UK artist Ms Dynamite, Skepta and Benga & Skream.
Throughout her career, Lockhart has been a leader in supporting alternative audiences and staying at the forefront of music trends. In her early days with Tampa Recordings, Lockhart coined the term “Dubstep,” and her FWD>> East London dubstep and grime club night provided a platform for new underground music to flourish.
Commenting on her appointment, Iley said: “I’m confident that Sarah is the right person to relaunch Epic UK and enrich its legacy while protecting its artist-first ethos. Throughout her career Sarah has challenged the norm, pre-empted trends, and supported artists from the very beginning of their careers.”
Sylvia Rhone is currently serving as chairman and CEO of Epic Records in the US. She was promoted to the role in 2019.
Music Business Worldwide