Trenton Harrison-Lewis, a respected veteran of the British music industry, has accepted a major new job at Warner Music UK, MBW understands.
Our sources indicate that Harrison-Lewis will soon be named in a senior role at Warner, with specific responsibilities at the firm’s independent artist/label services division, ADA.
The appointment of Harrison-Lewis, who carries a stellar reputation for the development of independent artists, will widely be seen as a coup for Warner Music UK’s recently-appointed Chairman and CEO, Tony Harlow.
In recent years, Harrison-Lewis has been best known as the co-manager of influential British rapper and songwriter Giggs – although, truth be told, “co-manager” doesn’t quite cover Harrison-Lewis’s wide-ranging remit with the artist.
In August 2016, Giggs released his landmark, fully independent album, Landlord, following a spell signed to / distributed by XL Recordings.
Issued on the artist’s own label, SN1 Records, the acclaimed Landlord hit No.2 on the Official UK Album Chart, with the success of its pioneering, streaming-heavy campaign taking many major label chart-watchers by surprise.
Alongside Skepta’s Mercury Prize-winning Konnichiwa (2016), Landlord subsequently became a crucial template for British artists wishing to have success on their own terms. (This trend was further solidified with Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer, which chalked up another big breakthrough for so-called ‘unsigned’ acts when it hit No.1 on the UK album chart in August 2017.)
Understandably, Giggs, along with Harrison-Lewis and fellow co-manager Michael ‘Buck’ Maris, won a Pioneer Award at the London-based Artist & Manager Awards in November 2017.
After Landlord, Giggs featured twice on Drake’s Anglophile mixtape More Life (2017), as well as playing a show-stopping set at Reading Festival, during which Drake appeared as a surprise guest.
With Harrison-Lewis in his corner, Giggs then released his UK No.2 mixtape Wamp 2 Dem in October 2017, before his UK No.6 album, Big Bad, arrived in February 2019, featuring the likes of Labrinth, Lil Yachty, French Montana, Swizz Beatz.
Both Wamp 2 Dem and Big Bad were released on Giggs’ No BS label in partnership with Island Records.
Harrison-Lewis (pictured inset) brings impressive history with him to Warner/ADA.
Before embarking on his own management and production endeavours, he spent eight years (1989-1997) as the Managing Director in Europe for Rush Management – home to the likes of Run DMC, LL Cool J, De La Soul and the Beastie Boys.
In June, Warner Music UK announced that it had hired former Spotify and Apple Music exec, Austin Daboh, as EVP of Atlantic Records UK.
Daboh, who is thought to have a close professional relationship with Harrison-Lewis, is part of the Warner Music UK leadership team, with a direct influence on cross-company strategy.
Daboh has a dual reporting line at Warner – into Atlantic UK co-heads, Ed Howard and Briony Turner, as well as reporting more broadly into Tony Harlow.
The involvement of Harrison-Lewis at ADA UK also spells a good news day for Eliah Seton – President of Independent Music & Creator Services at Warner Music Group – who oversees ADA’s activity globally.Music Business Worldwide