Chris Anokute, has been appointed Senior Vice President, A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group, according to an announcement by Karen Kwak, Executive Vice President / Head of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group. Anokute is best known for his A&R work with Katy Perry, Kelly Rowland and others as well as his work in music publishing on Rihanna's "Pon de Replay."
"Chris is very talented and I'm happy he is joining our A&R team," said Ms. Kwak. "His track record for discovering fresh and unique talent is impressive and I know we can achieve even greater success together at IDJ."
Mr. Anokute began his career as an intern in the A&R Administration Department at Def Jam Recordings while still a teenager. He managed songwriter Alisha 'Mjestie' Brooks and brokered a co-publishing deal for her with Grammy Award winning producer Vada Nobles. Their first writing collaboration resulted in "Pon de Replay," the debut worldwide smash hit by Rihanna. The song's success in 2005 led Mr. Anokute to Virgin/EMI Records, whose Chairman & CEO Jason Flom offered him a consultancy that led to Mr. Anokute's appointment as Senior Director of A&R where he worked with Joss Stone and co-signed Katy Perry. In 2011, Mr. Anokute moved to Universal Motown as Senior VP of A&R where he worked with Motown President Sylvia Rhone and handled A&R for Kelly Rowland's "Here I Am." Mr. Anokute most recently worked as Senior Vice President, A&R for Universal Republic.
"It's a blessing to be working for the label where it all started for me," said Mr. Anokute. "I have loads of respect for Karen Kwak, and I'm humbled to have this opportunity to work with her and the team at Island Def Jam. I'd also like to thank Barry Weiss, Steve Bartels, and Peter Thea for their support, as I embark on this new endeavor with the best record company in the world."
Mr. Anokute will report directly to Ms. Kwak.