Capitol Records U.K. Launches, Nick Raphael Named President

Universal Music has announced the launch of Capitol Records U.K., marking the first time that the historic Capitol label has had a stand-alone presence in the U.K.

Nick Raphael, who currently holds the position as president of Universal imprint London Records, has been named president of Capitol Records U.K., reporting to Universal Music U.K. chairman & CEO David Joseph. London Records senior VP of A&R Jo Charrington and head of marketing Tom Paul will be joining Raphael in the new label set-up. Further staff appointments will be made in the coming weeks, according to a statement from Universal Music U.K.

Unlike other frontline Universal U.K. labels Island, Virgin EMI, Polydor and Decca, Capitol Records U.K. will be based in premises outside Universal Music U.K.’s Kensington High Street premises in London. 

Mirroring Capitol Records’ famous Los Angeles headquarters, the Capitol Records Tower studio complex, London’s historic Abbey Road Studios is one of several locations that has been mooted as a potential home for the label’s U.K. arm. A spokesperson for Universal Music U.K. declined to comment when contacted by  

As previously reported, Universal Music Group acquired Capitol Music Group when it purchased EMI Recorded Music last fall. U.S.-based British executive Steve Barnett was appointed chairman and CEO in November.    

Commenting on the U.K. launch, David Joseph said in a statement: “For us to work with Capitol is an honor and a tremendous opportunity – it’s a label with an incredible past but what the new team are doing promises a huge amount for the future. Here in the U.K., the same can be said for what Nick’s leadership can do for the label, with Capitol joining Virgin EMI, Island, Polydor and Decca to complete our line-up of frontline labels.” 

Raphael added in a statement: "When David approached me to run Capitol Records in the U.K. I jumped at the opportunity to run a legendary label with an incredible roster and the chance to work with Steve Barnett again."