Steven Victor Joins Def Jam as EVP, Head of A&R

Courtesy Photo
Steven Victor

Rising hip-hop artist manager and A&R man Steven Victor has joined Def Jam Recordings as executive vice president and head of A&R, effective immediately and reporting to incoming CEO Paul Rosenberg. Victor is making the move from Def Jam parent Universal Music Group, where he has been svp of A&R since last November.

Victor got his start at Interscope Geffen A&M, working with Clipse, Jadakiss and Nelly Furtado before rising to chief operating officer at Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music, which began a distribution partnership with Def Jam in 2015. At his artist management company, William Victor Management, his clients include Pusha T and Dream.

During his stint at UMG, Victor signed and developed Def Jam artist Desiigner, who scored a No. 1 hit with his debut single "Panda." Other artists on the iconic label, co-founded in 1983 by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, include West, Justin Bieber, Nas, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Common, Iggy Azalea, Vince Staples  and Jeremih, among others.

Victor said, "I've worked within the Def Jam family for years and am honored to be part of the new leadership driving the future success of this iconic label. I'm genuinely excited to continue Russell and Rick's legacy of discovering and developing new artists while creating new opportunities for our incredible talent. I'd like to thank Sir Lucian and Paul for trusting me with this task and look forward to working with the A&R and management teams at Def Jam."

Victor was recently featured in Billboard's Hip-Hop Power Players list, in which he spoke optimistically about the state of the genre. Hip-hop has become a lot more experimental, so a lot more kids embrace it," he said. "It's not just violent and hardcore. There are kids fusing country or pop with hip-hop now. It’s not in a box anymore. It can be whatever you want it to be. I think Kanye opened the door for that."