Elektra Music Group, the newly formed stand-alone music company set to launch on Oct. 1, has announced two appointments to its A&R team. Will McDonald has joined the label as Vice President, A&R and Marketing, based in Nashville. Shawn Cohen has been named Senior Director, A&R, based in Los Angeles. McDonald and Cohen report to New York-based Elektra Music Group Co-Presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel.
McDonald has spent the past decade with Dualtone Music Group, the Nashville-based independent label, most recently serving as Senior Director of A&R and Marketing. He was instrumental in signing much of the company’s roster, including multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated folk rock band the Lumineers, as well as Shovels & Rope, Shakey Graves, Mt. Joy, and many others. Alongside his A&R duties, McDonald was involved in the marketing and product management of all of the label’s releases.
Elektra Music Group will include Elektra, Fueled By Ramen (FBR), Roadrunner, Low Country Sound, and Black Cement Records – which will be nurtured as unique, independent label brands. Co-Presidents Easterlin and Nadel will report to Atlantic Records Group Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald. The Elektra Music Group roster will include notable artists such as Twenty One Pilots, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown Band, Brandi Carlile, Fitz and the Tantrums, Paramore, Slipknot, Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria, Kaleo, Gojira, and others.
At launch, Elektra Music Group will boast a 60-plus member team embracing all key music company functions, including A&R, Artist Development, Business & Legal Affairs, International, Marketing, Promotion, Publicity, Sales & Streaming, and Video. The departments will be led and staffed by a combination of current members of the Atlantic, Elektra, FBR, and Roadrunner teams, as well as new hires.
Cohen most recently served as an A&R consultant, and is responsible for signing The Revivalists, who scored with the No. 1, RIAA Gold single, “Wish I Knew You.” He has worked with artists such as Jillette Johnson, Allday, and SPEAK. He previously spent six years at Wind-up Records, from 2010 until 2016, rising to Senior Director of A&R. He has also worked with artists such as the Griswolds, Citizen Zero, Crobot, Young Guns, and Filter, and spearheaded the formation of Eclypse Records with Feenixpawl.
“As we said when we announced the launch of Elektra Music Group, we’re going to be passionately devoted to long-term artist development,” said Easterlin and Nadel. “Signing and nurturing authentic artists will be at the core of everything we do, so it’s only fitting that our first staff announcement is about two of the most creative, independent-thinking young A&R people in the business. Will and Shawn come to us with great experience in discovering and working with original, compelling artists. And with Will in Nashville and Shawn in LA, we’ll solidify our cross-country A&R presence, which will enable us to build a dynamic roster of world-class talent.”
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