Antonio 'L.A.' Reid
POWER MOVE: In a surprise turn, switched off the TV to focus on bringing his personal “x factor” to Epic.
THE RUNDOWN: “It was a challenging year,” Antonio “L.A.” Reid says, describing his double duty in 2012 as Epic chairman/CEO and “X Factor” judge. Though the TV show’s second season was fun, Reid says his work at Epic signing artists, slating releases and restructuring the staff meant too much juggling of his responsibilities. “Not being able to give the label the focus it deserved was a bit damaging,” he says now. “We did a lot, but not as much as we wanted.”
Reid expects “lots of new music” this year at Epic, which claimed a market share of 2.64% in 2012 for albums plus TEA (track-equivalent albums), compared with 2011’s nearly similar 2.56% share, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In addition to a platinum hit last year with Karmin’s “Brokenhearted,” Epic scored strong breakouts by rappers Ca$h Out and Future. On the 2013 slate: Wallpaper, Ginny Blackmore and Watch the Duck, plus the recently announced joint venture with Sylvia Rhone’s Vested in Culture, boasting Latin pop act Kat Dahlia, pop duo Quadron and R&B artist Deon Young.
“We have established artists like Avril Lavigne, Sara Bareilles, Ciara and the Script,” Reid says, “but, for the most part, Epic is comprised of new and developing artists we’re focused on breaking.” As for what defines music industry power, Reid says, “I’ve never thought of myself as powerful—just fortunate, and honored to have worked with great people. Power is not something I aspire to. I just want to stay in the game.”