TMN Tinnies: Label A&R of the Year
We’re less than two weeks away from the TMN Tinnies – Australia’s free music business awards event that celebrates those in the industry.
In charge of discovering, nurturing and developing new talent, A&R is undoubtedly one of the most challenging yet rewarding aspects of the business – and we’ve picked five of this year’s most notable personalities as nominees for Label A&R of the Year.
The final winner will be announced as one of the eight TMN Tinnies awards handed out on Friday, February 2.
Michael Taylor (UMA)
Universal Music Australia imprint Island Records, led by Michael Taylor, added a number of feathers to their cap last year thanks to the likes of Dean Lewis and Starley. Not to mention an exclusive label partnership with Melbourne’s Our Golden Friend – a deal that’s set to widen UMA’s reach more than ever before.
When asked by TMN who he thinks are the artists to watch this year, Taylor responded with Central Coast duo Winterbourne and Victorian songwriter Eliott.
Paul Harris (SME)
Sony was riding high on the success of signing Amy Shark last year – and for good reason, given the momentum she garnered with the ARIA Awards and on the international stage. But she wasn’t the only artist the label was celebrating in the last 12 months.
In Paul’s own words: “It’s been a huge 12 months for the Sony Music Australian roster. My personal highlight this year was seeing Gang Of Youths capitalise on four years of hard work with their #1 album and four wins at this year’s ARIAs.
Seeing Tash Sultana grow from the first show that Denis Handlin and I attended at the Brighton Up Bar in front of 100 people, to headlining a sold-out Hordern Pavillion in just 18 months.
Also continuing to be involved with the growth of our partnership with the Wonderlick Recording Co, most notably with the incredible success of Amy Shark, both here and overseas. Overall the real highlight is working with these incredible artists and the amazing teams around them.”
Mark Holland (EMI)
Paul Kelly was the jewel in EMI’s crown last year, with a #1 album and a list of award nominations longer than your arm. Coupled with the attention new signing Odette received, the Universal-owned label shows clear signs of investing in the successful artists of the future.
This year is already delivering the goods for EMI, with Troye Sivan kicking off what should be an exciting 12 months for the label with his infectious new track ’My, My, My!’, as well as Nicole Millar supporting SZA on her recent Australian tour.
Aden Mullens (etcetc)
Representing the recordings of electronic career artists such as Kilter and Luke Million, as well the likes of Duke Dumont and Jax Jones, meant that the last 12 months have been incredibly busy for Aden Mullens.
While the label stand-out has been PNAU and the release of their fifth studio album Changa, the label also enjoyed notable success in August, when Gold Coast producer Paces was signed to US label Republic.
Heath Bradby (WMA)
If you were to sum up the year for Warner Music Australia in just one word, it would be “breakthrough”. With a roster that boasts Morgan Evans, E^ST, Kita Alexander, Busby Marou and The Kite String Tangle, Warner has almost every genre and genre-crossover covered.
On the international stage, triple j favourites West Thebarton landed themselves on the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, while Kim Churchill enjoyed a nearly sold-out UK/Europe tour.