Record Labels

Rich Castillo Named Atlantic Records UK A&R Director

Rich Castillo
Courtesy Photo

Rich Castillo

Castillo joins Atlantic from Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

LONDON – Atlantic Records U.K. co-presidents Briony Turner and Ed Howard continue to ring the changes at the frontline Warner label, appointing Rich Castillo to the post of A&R director.

Castillo joins Atlantic from Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where he held the position of senior director of A&R, signing Neave Applebaum, Pa Salieu, TMS, and Wayne Hector.

His appointment is the second senior hire by Howard and Turner since they took over as co-presidents late last year, following the high-profile departure of Ben Cook.

Their first leadership change was bringing in Liz Goodwin from Glassnote Entertainment as general manager. She replaces Katie White, who continues to act as strategic advisor to the label home of Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Rita Ora.

The past month has also seen long-term Atlantic U.K. employee Max Lutkin promoted to head of marketing and the exit of marketing director Callum Caulfield.

Until recently, Atlantic’s U.K. A&R team was headed by Turner and Alec Boateng. Billboard understands that Boateng is leaving the company. A Warner spokesperson declined to comment.

Label co-president Howard said the addition of Castillo is the latest in a series of senior hires he and Turner are making. "Combined with our already outstanding team, this puts us in a great position to continue to discover future stars and deliver world-class service to our artists," said Howard.

"Rich has great ears and a brilliant track record for finding and creating massive pop hits," praised Turner. She said Castillo’s experience and energy greatly strengthened Atlantic’s A&R capabilities. "We’re looking forward to all the amazing music and incredible artists that we know he’ll be bringing into the fold."

"Atlantic Records has been the number one label for breaking domestic talent in the UK for as long as I've been in the business," said Castillo, who’s previously held A&R roles at UMTV, All Around the World and Polydor Records.

He also spent two years as A&R director at Universal Music Canada, landing a Juno Award for best sance song with Bit Funk’s "Off the Ground." Artists signed and developed by Castillo include N-Dubz, Dappy, Tulisa, Stefflon Don, Big Heath, Blanco, and Mic Lowry.

He said joining Turner and Howard at Atlantic U.K. was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. "[Warner Music UK chairman and CEO] Tony Harlow has been very clear about his ambitions for the company," said Castillo, "and it's an absolute privilege to be a part of it."

Recent hits by Atlantic U.K. artists include Stormzy’s "Own It" featuring Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy, which spent three consecutive weeks at number one in the U.K at the start of the year. The label also tasted success at February’s BRIT Awards, where Stormzy was awarded best male solo artist and Fred Again was named producer of the year.