Virgin EMI have announced the launch of a brand-new imprint to run alongside it’s existing family of labels.
Lost Ones will be headed up by former Apple exec Ashley Sykes and ex-RCA A&R Barry Burt and will sign and develop artists to the label independently, while working alongside the Virgin EMI promotional and marketing teams.
The operation, which is based in the Universal Music headquarters in Shoreditch, launches with three new artists: Afrobeat producer/DJ Juls, London-based singer-songwriter and rapper Wauve and ATC-Managed Collard.
The label founders will report directly to Ted Cockle, president of Virgin EMI.
Cockle said: ‘On too many occasions the DNA of Ashley and Barry were present somewhere in the mix of many of the artists we were courting.
‘Hence it felt totally right to bring these two forceful characters together and harness their combined energies in this focused, boutique A&R cauldron and let them really nurture, stimulate and launch some super fresh new talent.’
Marketing director of EMI, FY Hoyte said: ‘Barry and Ashley are two dynamic individuals who make the perfect team. Both are extremely passionate about what they do and Lost Ones is already shaping up to be a truly exciting label.’
Previously the UK manager for Beats 1, Sykes helped establish specialist shows for Krept & Konan and Rex Orange County at the station.
He also worked as A&R manager for Stellar Songs Publishing where he signed Grace Carter, Digital Farm Animals and managed Frank Ocean collaborator Om’Mas Keith.
Burt is a former BBC 1Xtra DJ and has worked in A&R for Levels Entertainment with artists including Wretch 32, Vato Gonzalez and Gyptian. He went on to set-up management company The Dozens.
In a statement, Burt and Sykes said: ‘To be able to provide artists with the core A&R attention that only a boutique label can offer, but with the might of Virgin EMI in the wings to take things to the next level when ready, is the perfect balance.
‘Ted totally understood our desire to build a brand and make a statement that is led by the music we deliver. Artist-driven projects are our focus and we want our roster to be quality, not quantity. We’re so excited to work with Ted, Fay, Rob and everyone at Virgin EMI.’