Stormzy signs major deal with Atlantic Records

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One of the UK’s most successful and celebrated independent artists, Stormzy, has inked a landmark deal with a major label – Warner’s Atlantic Records.

Stormzy’s debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, hit No.1 in the British market in February last year, selling 69,000 UK combined copies in its opening week.

The LP set a British record for the most first-week streams for a No.1 album in UK chart history, with 13.9m streams – surpassing the previous record set by Drake’s Views.

GSAP was the 10th biggest-selling album in the UK last year.

It was released on Stormzy’s own label, #Merky, via Warner Music’s distribution division for indie releases, ADA.

#Merky now appears to have entered into a JV with Atlantic – covering future releases from its star attraction plus new signings.

“Stormzy and #MERKY are a cultural force whose music makes everyone listen. Talent, truth, energy and relevance – they represent music at its most powerful. We’re proud to have them in the family.”

Max Lousada, Warner Music

Presumably a central objective of the deal is to boost Stormzy’s momentum internationally, especially in the US.

Confirming the news on Twitter today (Jan 19), Stormzy posted a picture of himself at Warner Music UK’s offices alongside the likes of Warner’s global CEO of recorded music, Max Lousada (see above).

Others in the photo include Stormzy manager Tobe Onwuka, Atlantic Records UK President Ben Cook, lawyer Kieran Jay (Lee & Thompson) and other key members of Atlantic and #Merky.

Stormzy tweeted: “#MERKY RECORDS/ATLANTIC RECORDS – Beginning of a new chapter. Looking forward to delivering more music, more bodies of work and to start developing and working on new talent on the #MERKY roster. Let’s work.”

“We’ve been friends with Stormzy and Tobe for a while now, it’s been exciting to see the extraordinary impact Stormzy’s music has had and the iconic figure he has become.”

Ben Cook, Atlantic Records

UPDATE: Atlantic has now confirmed the deal, noting that it ‘covers the next chapter for Stormzy the artist, as well as the joint development of an exciting roster of new talent’.

Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, WMG and Chairman & CEO, WMUK, said: “Stormzy and #MERKY are a cultural force whose music makes everyone listen. Talent, truth, energy and relevance – they represent music at its most powerful. We’re proud to have them in the family.”

Ben Cook, President, Atlantic Records UK says “We’ve been friends with Stormzy and Tobe for a while now, it’s been exciting to see the extraordinary impact Stormzy’s music has had and the iconic figure he has become.

“#MERKY are now key players, and we’re thrilled to join forces. Together we’re going to take Stormzy global, and fill the #MERKY roster with fresh new talent.”

“You get into A&R to work with the best of the best and you hope you end up with special talent. Stormzy is that special talent, he’s an INCREDIBLE artist and he has so much to offer the world with his music.”

Alec Boateng, Atlantic

Alec Boateng, A&R Director, Atlantic Records UK: “You get into A&R to work with the best of the best and you hope you end up with special talent. Stormzy is that special talent, he’s an INCREDIBLE artist and he has so much to offer the world with his music.

“It’s been a privilege to have had a ringside seat from the beginning of his explosive entry in the mainstream and I’m super excited about the next phase in our creative partnership  – with him and the brilliant #MERKY team. This is huge.”

Gang Signs & Prayer is nominated for Album Of The Year at the BRIT Awards, which take place in London on February 21.

Stormzy is also nominated as British Male Solo Artist.Music Business Worldwide

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