Atlantic has announced that it will relaunch the Elektra Records imprint, which has been dormant since 2004. The label will be run by Fueled By Ramen founder John Janick and Atlantic EVP of A&R Mike Caren.
While the new presidents say they are planning on signing new artists, the first three artists to join the label all have established relationships with Atlantic. The first album released on Elektra was the soundtrack for the HBO show "True Blood," which dropped on May 19. The company's next release will be the U.S. debut of U.K. dance artist Little Boots, whose EP "Illuminations" is scheduled for release on June 9.
Elektra has also signed French electronic duo Justice, and rapper Cee-Lo. Caren says a new Cee-Lo album will be out in the either the fourth quarter of this year, or first quarter next year. Justice will release a new album in early 2010.
Janick and Caren say they were approached by Atlantic co-chairs and COO's Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman to head up the imprint.
"When Elektra merged with Atlantic five years ago, we always knew the right moment would come to bring it back to life," said Kallman and Greenwald. "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."
Janick also suggests the approaching 60th anniversary of the launch of Elektra as another reason for the relaunch of the imprint.
"We are planning on building an eclectic brand," Janick says. "We're looking for artists with potential. We're not an incubator label; we're going to develop artists and get them to the next level."
He adds that he will continue to run Fueled By Ramen and extend the 360 model they have used to Elektra, noting that Little Boots is a 360 artist.