Atlantic records is taking the iconic Elektra Records brand off the self to name a new freestanding label to be headed by co-Presidents Mike Caren and John Janick. Caren is Executive VP of A&R for Atlantic Records and Janick is the founder and President of indie label Fueled By Ramen. Each of the execs will also maintain their current jobs and WMG's Atlantic Records Group will also provide resources and support.
Once the home of The Doors, Judy Collins and The MC5, the newly reincarnated label has announced its first signings: Grammy winner and Gnarls Barkley partner Cee-Lo, acclaimed French electronic music duo Justice, and new UK dance sensation Little Boots. Elektra has also just released the soundtrack to the HBO Original Series "TRUE BLOOD".
Like Elektra founder Jac Holzman, John Janick launched an independent label from his dorm room at the University of Florida in 1996. Feuled By Ramen spread the word via hard-touring bands, mail order, and an active online and street presence. In 1998, FBR released Jimmy Eat World and in 2003 came Fall Out Boy, both marking the launch of hugely successful careers.
Fueled By Ramen built a collaborative environment where bands participated in all aspects of their identity...
from recording sessions to marketing and touring strategies. As a result, it evolved into a community where the lines between artists, label staff and fans became blurred. The label pioneered what is now known as the "360 Deal." Among the early adopters was Paramore who went platinum. In addition, Fueled By Ramen partnered with Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz to launch the Decaydance imprint, which has released platinum artists Panic At The Disco and Gym Class Heroes, along with the likes of Cobra Starship.
In 2007, Fueled By Ramen moved to Manhattan and formed a partnersip with Atlantic Records that Janick says has given access to the resources of a major label while retaining the hands-on intimacy of an indie.
Mike Caren began his career in the music industry while still in high school, working as a DJ. In 1994, at the age of 16, he started his own marketing company, Skool Rules Promotions, and founded his own label, Serious Entertainment. He joined Loud Records/RCA in promotions and then moved on to Ruthless Records as a National Marketing Manager. Caren also attended New York University's Stern School of Business.
Caren joined Atlantic Records in 1995, at the age of 17, starting out as Manager of Rap Marketing for the company's Big Beat label, founded by Craig Kallman (now Atlantic Chairman/CEO). The following year, he was promoted to Atlantic Director of A&R/Marketing, and he subsequently advanced through the ranks of the A&R Department, moving from Senior Director in 1998 to his appointment as Executive Vice President of A&R in 2007.
During his Atlantic tenure, Caren has been responsible for signing 14 artists that have earned gold and/or platinum records, including T.I., Flo Rida, Trey Songz, Trick Daddy, Twista, Sunshine Anderson, Plies, Juvenile, and others. An accomplished producer and songwriter in his own right, his recent credits include producing Flo Rida's "Jump", Asher Roth's "I Love College," and songs for upcoming albums from Estelle, Cee-Lo, Cobra Starship, Wynter Gordon and others. In association with Warner/Chappell Music, Caren also established the succesful publishing unit Artist Publishing Group.
"When Elektra merged with Atlantic five years ago, we always knew the right moment would come to bring it back to life," said Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman/COO Julie Greenwald in a statement. "The great news is that we have found the perfect people to do it. John and Mike are two of the most passionate, creative, forward-thinking young executives in our business. They both started their careers as teenagers and have gone on to champion some of the most exciting new music of the last decade. The independent, entrepreneurial spirit that long defined Elektra is in great hands, and we are truly thrilled to see the label take flight once again."