Record Labels

Young Turks Label Changes Name Over Armenian Genocide Connection

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Founder Caius Pawson says he was unaware of the term's link to the 1915 genocide when he launched the label in 2005.

Young Turks -- the U.K.-based label behind The xx, FKA Twigs, Kamasi Washington and Sampha, among others -- has changed its name to Young. In addition, its associated management company is now Young Artists while its publishing company is Young Songs.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday (April 6) revealing the name change, label founder Caius Pawson said the decision to change the name came after he and other label employees "developed our own knowledge around" the connection of the term "Young Turks" to the 1915 Armenian genocide.

In the Instagram post, Pawson pointed out that the original inspiration for the label’s moniker was the Rod Stewart song of the same name and says he was unaware at the time of its founding in 2005 that the Young Turks was also the name of a group that carried out the Armenian genocide of 1915.

“Through ongoing conversations and messages that have developed our own knowledge around the subject, it’s become apparent that the name is a source of hurt and confusion for people,” wrote Pawson in the post. “We loved the name for what it meant to us, but in retrospect should have listened more carefully to other voices and acted more quickly. We have always tried to affect positive change and knowing what we do now, it’s only right that we change our name.”

Pawson added that the label has made a donation to the Armenian Institute in London in memory of those who were killed and those who survived the genocide. The donation comes ahead of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24.


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