New York, NY -- Press Release
BMG Label Group, half of the Sony/BMG behemoth, is putting a firm foot forward in the urban music market with the creation of a new imprint called Battery Records. Intended to grow and develop young urban talent, in an age where such development is sorely lacking, Battery Records marks Sony/BMG’s unswerving dedication to music quality and breadth across all genres.
Heading the imprint is savvy industry lifer Neil Levine, most recently the head of Capitol Music Group’s urban division. Levine now assumes the title of Senior Vice President and General Manager of Battery Records, reporting to recently appointed BMG COO Ivan Gavin. Levine’s rap roots trace back over twenty years, when he formed Round The Globe Music, a marketing and promotions company aimed at championing the then-fledgling art form. He then spun that entrepreneurism into founding Penalty Records. Stops at TVT Records, Ryko, and Imperial Records would follow. Now charged with uncovering and cultivating young talent for Sony/BMG, Neil brings his ample talents to a Sony/BMG family comparably able.
Battery Records shares New York offices with Sony/BMG’s RED Marketing Group. An independent distribution arm, RED is known best for powerhouse pop and rock acts. It steps further into the spotlight with a heavy dose of urban swagger. The synergy between RED and Battery Records gives Sony/BMG a unique and enviable position in the urban sphere, allowing Levine and his staff to move within Sony/BMG’s ranks for talent. Battery’s first crop of up-and-comers spans the South: Sunny Valentine from Texas, Sir Will from Atlanta, and Nashville’s Lil’ Goonie, signed to Jive/Zomba.
Additionally, Battery welcomes established artists, still viable in the marketplace and who seek new situations that include non-traditional deal models. These innovative models, intended to revitalize the flagging music industry and promote across multiple platforms, include: touring/ merchandising arrangements and DVD releases. Other tasks under the Battery banner include releasing material from the BMG catalogue, and overseeing the early-stage development of certain acts signed to labels such as RCA's J Records or Zomba's Jive Records.