Virgin Music Group, Island sign agreement with Carín León’s Socios Music to release new material

Photo: Jordan Strauss
(L-R): Justin Eshak, Co-CEO, Island Records; Nat Pastor, Co-CEO, Virgin Music Groupl Carín León;, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group; Jorge Juarez, Socios Music; Imran Majid, Co-CEO, Island Records; Victor Gonzalez, President of Latin, Virgin Music Group.

Universal Music Group’s frontline label Island Records and its global artist services division, Virgin Music Group, have formed a partnership with Carín León’s label Socios Music to release new music.

The partnership’s first release, León’s album Boca Chueca Vol. 1, dropped on May 30 and gave León his strongest first-week debut to date, landing at No. 5 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart, and No. 8 on its Top Latin Albums chart.

The album has 19 tracks and “showcases Carín experimenting with a variety of genres, incorporating rock, country and pop,” Virgin and Island said in a statement on Monday (June 24). It features collaborations with Kane Brown, Leon Bridges, Pepe Aguilar, Bolela, and Panteón Rococó.

The genre-defying León has a string of hits under his belt, including the Latin Grammy-winning Como Lo Hice Yo, as well as Ni Me Debes Ni Te Debo, Te Lo Agradezco, No Es Por Acá, and others that have collectively racked up more than 2 billion streams on Spotify. León has more than 29 million monthly listeners on the streaming service.

León has achieved a number of milestones, including being the first Latin artist to perform at both Coachella and Stagecoach in the same year. He recently opened for the Rolling Stones and made his debut performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

The artist from Sonora, Mexico, has also established himself as a songwriter, signing an exclusive publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group last October.

“Carín León has established himself as one of the most exciting and creative artists in the world today,” Virgin Music Group Co-CEOs JT Myers and Nat Pastor said in a statement.

“He has also assembled around him a world-class team and together we are already building upon the amazing work they’ve done throughout Carín’s incredible career.”

Justin Eshak and Imran Majid, Co-CEOs of Island Records, added that “Carín León is a true outlier. He transcends not only stylistic and sonic boundaries, but also cultural boundaries. We’re thrilled to work with Carín and manager Jorge Juarez via this new partnership with Virgin Music Group and Socios Music. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together.”

“Carín León has established himself as one of the most exciting and creative artists in the world today.”

JT Myers and Nat Pastor, Virgin Music Group

“We are proud to have assembled an incredibly collaborative team at both Virgin Music Group and Island Records to work alongside us to take Carín’s career to even greater heights,” said Jorge Juarez, Leon’s manager and business partner at Socios Music. “We are already seeing huge benefits from this new partnership and are excited for the future.”

León is launching a tour in support of the new album on July 22 in Paso Robles, California, with stops in Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Nashville, Houston and Toronto, and a landmark performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

For Virgin Music Group, this is just the latest in a series of new agreements the artist and label services company has signed recently, including a distribution partnership with indie label, publisher and management firm Position Music; a distribution deal with Neon Gold Records, announced earlier this month; and a partnership with Jay Sean’s recently-founded label 3AM Entertainment, which will focus on developing South Asian artists.

These deals come after last fall’s decision to integrate Ingrooves’ global platform and marketing technology into Virgin Music, which Virgin said would enable it to “offer independent artists and labels a full suite of global services, providing expertise that is unparalleled in the music industry”.

“We are already seeing huge benefits from this new partnership and are excited for the future.”

Jorge Juarez, Socios Music

As part of a restructuring within Universal Music Group earlier this year, Island Records, along with Def Jam, Mercury and Republic, were reorganized around a central hub called Republic Corps.

Jim Roppo was named President and COO of Republic Corps, reporting directly to the co-chiefs of the label group, Monte Lipman and Avery Lipman.Music Business Worldwide

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