Motown Records is finally moving to the UK with the launch of a new brand led by Rob Pascoe.
Motown Records UK, announced on Monday (September 14), has announced its dedicated team, resources, and appetite for local artists’ signature. The first executive appointments are Managing Director Pascoe and Marketing Director Avery Henri Fontaine, both supporters of Universal Music Group, with more recruits announced in the coming weeks.
The new company is led by Motown Ethiopia President Habtemariam and recently appointed EMI Records president Rebecca Allen, a 20-year veteran UMG professional and former Billboard Women In Music.
It’s a long overdue move, given the rich history of the iconic sign of success on the other side of the Atlantic that dates back more than half a century.
According to a statement, the UK business will operate as a home dedicated to EMI Records for releases “of the revitalized US Motown operation alongside a new generation of black British music.”
Habitriam notes that the timing “could not be more perfect,” insisting that the new team will “sign and develop exciting new British talent”, expand the company’s “black entrepreneurship platform” in the UK and “steer Motown toward greater global success.” “
Last year Motown celebrated its 60th anniversary with a yearlong parade of events, activities, and special publications. Over the years Motown’s music has been released on many UMG brands and as highly coveted imports.
With the launch of Motown Records in the UK, Allen explains, “We look forward to introducing the music of this brand that defines the culture and its artists to the widest possible audience as well as building an inspiring and vibrant new roster in the company.”
Pascoe is responsible for the new brand, who has scored 18 years with Universal and has served as Virgin EMI General Manager for the past two years. Following his promotion, Pascoe will continue in his role as a broader ambassador for EMI with a focus on supporting the brand’s repertoire in the US, the company’s message reads.
Meanwhile, Henry-Fontaine was promoted from Senior Marketing Director at UMG to Marketing Director.
Founded by Berry Gordy as Tamla Records in 1959, Motown is much more than just a brand. It is a cultural touchstone and seemingly endless conveyor belt drive from superstars from Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Jackson 5 and many more.
Today, her list includes Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, Kem, and Tiana Major 9, based in London, which includes the new EP. At sixes and sevens It was recently alerted by NME to show the “potential of an artist to join the greats”.