Simon Cowell and Sony Music's joint venture Syco has signed U.K. songwriter, artist and producer Labrinth.

It's the first time Syco has signed a new artist who was not first featured on the company's TV properties, "The X Factor" and "Britain's Got Talent." The label is best known for artists such as Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Alexandra Burke, and the signing of primarily urban artist from outside the TV shows marks a new direction for the company.

Labrinth, whose real name is Timothy McKenzie, co-wrote and produced U.K. rapper Tinie Tempah's No. 1 single "Pass Out" (Parlophone/EMI). EMI said it is the biggest selling single by any U.K. artist this year. The track has been on the Official Charts Co. listing for 15 weeks. Snoop Dogg has just completed a remix of that track; the follow-up "Frisky" - featuring Labrinth - debuted at No. 2 on June 13 on sales of 87,000.

Labrinth has also worked with Professor Green, Pixie Lott and pop act JLS - another Syco signing - who recruited him to work with them on tracks for their next album.

As well as an artist deal, Labrinth also has an imprint partnership with Syco and will sign artists through his Odd Child label.