Motown Records Launches UK Outpost

Motown is launching a UK outpost, label president Ethiopia Habtemariam and EMI Records president Rebecca Allen announced today (Sept. 14). Rob Pascoe (pictured at left) will hold the new position of managing director and Afryea Henry-Fontaine has been named marketing director of the label which will showcase a “new generation of British Black music,” according to an announcement.

Pascoe and Henry-Fontaine have been with Motown for nine years, working such acts as Lil Yachty, Migos, Lil Baby and City Girls, who were signed out of the U.S. The two are veterans of Universal Music, parent company to Motown and EMI, having previously worked in various positions for 18 years and eight years, respectively.

“The music of Motown has long influenced British culture and continues to provide the ultimate creative inspiration for generations of artists and fans,” said EMI’s Allen. “With the launch of Motown Records in the UK, with a dedicated team and resources, we’re looking forward to bringing the music of this culture-defining label and its artists to the widest possible audiences as well as building an energising and inspiring new roster at the label. Rob and Afryea are two of the most inspiring executives within the music business. Having already worked incredibly closely with the Motown team in the US, I have no doubt that their energy and ambition will lead this label into a very exciting new chapter in its history.”

Added Habtemariam, who has headed Motown since 2014: “The past five years have been a period of tremendous global growth for Motown, through artist development that’s central to our company’s 60-year history and via entrepreneurial partnerships that have greatly expanded our reach. The timing could not be more perfect for the launch of Motown Records UK, and I’m looking forward to working closely with Rebecca, Rob and Afryea as we sign and develop exciting new British talent, expand our platform for Black entrepreneurship in the UK and guide Motown towards even greater global success.”

Motown is currently headquartered in Los Angeles but has signed much of its talent from Atlanta via a joint venture with Quality Control Music spearheaded by Habtemariam. A fruitful partnership from the jump, its latest success story is Lil Baby, who has collected nearly 20 billion global streams and sold over 10million track-equivalent albums over the past four years. His album, My Turn,” is among the top sellers in the U.S. in 2020.

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