Dougie Bruce and Steven Melrose have been appointed joint managing directors of Epic Records U.K., reporting to Sony Music Chairman & CEO Nick Gatfield.
Effective immediately, Bruce and Melrose replace previous Epic Records U.K. joint managing directors Tops Henderson and Paul Lisberg, who leave the label to reprise their roles as joint MDs (along with co-founders Steve Kipner and Andrew Frampton) of Phonogenic Records, which they founded in 2004 and which also exists as a subsidiary of Sony Music.
In addition to heading the U.K. arm of Epic Records, Bruce and Melrose will also share responsibility for overseeing all A&R operations for the label. The duo’s first signing to the label is British EDM star Example (real name Elliot Gleave), who recently completed a U.K. arena tour and whose 2011 album “Playing in the Shadows” (Ministry Of Sound) topped the U.K. charts. The artist has also scored two U.K. No. 1 singles, “Changed The Way You Kiss Me” and “Stay Awake,” both 2011, as well as teaming with Calvin Harris for the 2012 U.K. No. 2 hit “We’ll be Coming Back” (Columbia). Example’s as-yet-untitled fifth album, and his first for Epic, will be released in 2014.
Epic Records U.K.’s roster also includes hotly-buzzed indie act Foxes and British singer Olly Murs, who has scored four No. 1 singles in his home country. His third studio album “Right Place Right Time” (Syco/Epic Records) also topped the charts in December 2012 and gave birth to his biggest international hit, “Troublemaker” featuring Flo Rida, which peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Before taking the helm, Bruce worked as a scout at Epic, before joining Universal Publishing, where he signed acts such as Adele, Lily Allen and MGMT. In 2009, Bruce joined Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, managing a number of acts including Aloe Blacc. Two years later he joined Sony Music to head up The Sign Of The Times label.
Melrose also has strong A&R pedigree, founding the indie label/management company Leftwing Recordings prior to working as an A&R executive at Island Records. In 2008 he joined Capital Records in the United States as vice president of A&R, later joining Sony Music in a senior A&R role.
“I’ve known Dougie and Steven a long time, they each have a great mix of A&R and management skills and they will be a strong force together,”Sony Music Chairman & CEO Nick Gatfield said in a statement, adding: “I’m also delighted that Paul and Tops will be taking on the task of building the Phonogenic label back up.”
Commenting on the appointments, Melrose said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be taking the reins at Epic and are hugely excited and motivated to work on such an iconic label.”