Warner Music Group has relaunched its iconic Asylum Records in the U.S. It will be helmed by long-time WMG executive Kenny Weagly as President and Grammy-winning producer Dante Ross has been named Senior Vice President, A&R.
The original Asylum Records was founded in 1971 by David Geffen and Elliot Roberts. In its first incarnation, it was the home to a new generation of singer-songwriters, including Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, and Linda Ronstadt. The label was reborn in 2004 as an urban music enclave in the U.S., signing notable hip-hop artists such as Waka Flocka Flame, Cam’ron, Gucci Mane, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Bun B, and others. Asylum UK is currently home to Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Rudimental and Anne-Marie.
The new Asylum Records U.S. has already scored an RIAA certified platinum hit with “Water,” the viral track from the label’s first signing, rapper Ugly God. Expanding Asylum’s roster into the dance world, Crankdat has released his original solo debut “Dollars”. Since breaking onto the scene in 2015 with his viral remix of Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”, which has accrued more than 200 million streams, he has received immense support from artists like The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, DJ Snake, and many others.
The label has also inked deals with Mike Dean - the Grammy Award-winning producer behind artists like Kanye West, Travis Scott, Jay-Z and Desiigner - for his next protégé Dice Soho; The Queen of Bounce, New Orleans artist Big Freedia, whose vibrant twist on hip-hop has sparked collaborations with Beyoncé (“Formation”) and Sia (“Eye of the Needle”), as well as her hit reality TV series Big Freedia Bounces Back (Fuse); Baltimore rap duo, Peso Da Mafia, whose breakout track “Money Man” was featured on Complex’s “Bout to Blow” list; and Staten Island emcee, Shoneyin – whose debut single “Mozzy” was recently described as “addictive” by Pigeons & Planes.
“Asylum was founded with artistic freedom as its guiding principle,” said Weagly, “and the new Asylum expands on that ideal by believing in and supporting our artists’ visions for their music, as well as when and how they want to release it. Our mantra is nimbleness and flexibility – the ability to tailor-make deals, from singles projects to multi-album careers – for original artists across a spectrum of genres.”