Executive Turntable: Republic Appoints Visual Content SVP; Live Nation Adds Concerts Veteran

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Republic Records

Republic Records has named Devon Libran as svp of visual content & production. In the new role, Libran will oversee the creation, production and distribution of visual content for artists on Republic’s roster, including visualizers and music, lyric and performance videos. He will also work with svp of creative content & development Chris Blackwell in support of production on film, TV and digital projects. Libran comes to Republic from his previous role as vp of video & content production at Artist Partner Groupwhere he worked on visual content for artists like Jason Derulo and Don Toliver.

The hiring was announced by evp/gm Jim Roppo, who said of Libran, “Devon draws on a truly unique skillset as a proven producer, savvy executive and all-around creative. He’s able to catalyze each artist’s vision on-screen seamlessly and will be integral to producing groundbreaking content for Republic.”

Of the new role, Libran said, “There is a tremendous energy at Republic. Monte and Avery Lipman, Jim Roppo, and the executive team share this sports mentality and competitive nature, which really resonated with me. I’m the type of guy who’s willing to run through a wall to be number one and be the best at everything I do. So we’re on the same page. I live by the personal motto, ‘Each new day is a chance to be great,’ and Republic is the best place to actualize that. I’m excited and humbled to work with such a strong roster and amazing team creating great content.”

Live Nation has hired concert promoter Jovan Polanco to join its Concerts division. In his new role, Polanco will book artists and talent throughout the southeast region in the United States and will work on national tours across Hip-Hop/R&B, Pop and Latin. On top of these new responsibilities, Polanco will continue to run his independent artist management and festival production company, Swerve Presents.

“I’m excited at the opportunity to bring my diverse background and expertise to the amazing team over at Live Nation,” Polanco said. “They are a company I have long admired – the fact that I get to join their team and work with some of the best artists & leaders in live music across the globe is a blessing. It lets me know I am doing something right.”

Joining Polanco is Andrew Jones, who previously served as director of internal affairs for Swerve Presents. He will be taking on a production role within Live Nation’s Concerts division.

Epic Records has made multiple additions to its A&R department, starting with the promotion of Jermaine Pegues to vice president of A&R. Pegues has worked at Epic since 2013, starting out as a pop promotion intern before rising the ranks of A&R. His most recent role was director of A&R, which he has held since 2018. He started out his career at G-Unit Records and Maybach Music Group.

“I’m thrilled to take this next step in my career under the great leadership of Sylvia Rhone and Ezekiel Lewis. I look forward to continuing to work with amazing talent and developing artists at Epic Records,” Pegues said of his promotion.

Patrick Afeku has been hired as senior director of A&R. Afeku previously worked as head of A&R at Generation Now, where he worked on spearheading projects for artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Jack Harlow. He has managed rapper Playboi Carti at The Certified Management Groupsince 2012.

Kailen Tharpe has been hired as associate director of A&R. Tharpe began her career as director of operations for Mogul Mentality, moving on to Atlantic Records in 2019 and followed that up with a role in A&R at OTF.

Warner Music is launching a new label called Atlantic Records Benelux, which will be dedicated to discovering and promoting domestic hip-hop artists across Benelux, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Sander Stijnen will serve as head of A&R and Ixia Verdooren will serve as head of domestic marketing. They will report to Martin Jessurun, president of Warner Music Benelux.

This announcement follows the launch of Atlantic Records Russia in March and Asiatic Records in October, continuing a string of region-specific label launches for one of the largest and globally-recognized labels in the world. Atlantic Records Benelux has marked its launch with the signing of Dutch artist DJ DYLVN — the label will be responsible for releasing his upcoming singles.

Of the label’s launch, Stijen said, “Atlantic records is one of the most culturally impactful labels in the world with a track record of breaking original talent for more than 70 years. It’s a huge privilege to build on that legacy here in Benelux and we’re delighting to launch our roster with DJ DYLVN, a hard working artist and DJ who combines amazing talent with great vibes.”

“I feel honored to be part of this new adventure with Sander and the rest of the team, who have worked incredibly hard to get everything ready for launch. We want to build a family of diverse local artists who are impossible to ignore and deliver real cultural impact, pushing the limits of local repertoire,” said Verdooren of the launch.

Various Artists Management has appointed John Dawkins as its UK managing director. Based in London, Dawkins will be working closely with David Bianchi, group ceo.

Of the new role, Dawkins said, “I am really excited and energized to be taking on this new role and the responsibilities that come with it as such an exciting time for Various Artists Management. Our aim is to be recognized as a significant player in the global big league of artist management and working alongside our amazing team, I will be focused on helping us achieve that.”

Dawkins started out as a tour manager in the music industry, relocating to Los Angeles in 2003 and worked within the international live sector with artists and clients. He has helped oversee the careers of Charli XCX, The Enemy and others.

UTA has announced 50 promotions across multiple divisions and offices within the company. Here are the promotions within the Music department:

  • Brennan Duffy, coordinator
  • Nikos Kazoleas, agent
  • Alaina Latona, agent
  • Shaq Millington, coordinator
  • James Osgood, agent
  • Jamie Waldman, coordinator

Of the new hires, UTA co-president David Kramer said, “We are grateful for our colleagues’ dedication and resilience as UTA continues to succeed in an evolving business landscape. We look forward to seeing all of the great achievements this group will continue to accomplish in their new roles as the company innovates, expands and flourishes.”

Nederlander Concerts has hired Lisa White as its director of communications. A veteran of the music and public relations realm with more than 15 years of experience, White will be responsible for promoting Nederlander’s live events, core venues and managing corporate communications. She will work alongside the marketing, social media and talent buying departments.

“Lisa’s concert and venue experiences make her the ideal candidate to expand on our external communications goals,” said Jamie Loeb, vp of marketing. “As we continue to add venues, route, and curate tours, it is essential to enhance all of our teams with seasoned professionals, and we are thrilled to have Lisa as a part of our team.”

“I am honored to be a part of Nederlander Concerts,” White said. “I’ve always been so impressed by the organization and look forward to working with the Marketing team to further their goals and raise awareness of their extraordinary work.”

Before joining Nederlander, White worked with the public relations team for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and worked in public and media relations strategy for the orchestra, the musicians, its venues and guest artists.

YM&U Group have hired industry veteran SuzAnn Brantner as its head of marketing for the US Music Division. Brantner will oversee the existing marketing staff and help craft big picture marketing and strategy for artists across the YM&U roster, including acts like Steve Aoki, blink-182, Sullivan King and Yung Gravy.

Her team will work closely with artist managers and their day-to-day teams to help execute overall marketing and digital strategies. Brantner will also serve on the US Music Division Board. Her hire is the newest addition to several within the US Music Division, which has expanded with expedience over the course of 2021.

Of joining YM&U, Brantner said, “Having worked with YM&U for over seven years as a marketing consultant for Steve Aoki and others, I am excited to join a global management firm that is forward thinking, technology driven and puts artists first. I look forward to working with the artists and team as well as serving on the US Music Board.”


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