Tommy Mottola and Universal Music Group are teaming on a new label venture that will revive the Casablanca name, Billboard Bulletin has learned. An announcement will be made today (July 8).
UMG — which controls the Casablanca name and catalog — will apparently fund the joint venture. Mottola, the former chairman/CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, will run the New York-based label. Sources say the agreement between Mottola and UMG is a five-year deal with Universal Motown Records Group providing promotion, marketing, publicity and sales support.
Mottola tells Bulletin that the Casablanca roster will feature all new artists and producers he has been developing over the last four months. The label will not market Casablanca catalog acts, which include Kiss, Donna Summer, the Village People, Parliament and Captain & Tennille.
Mottola says there is no link to the previous incarnation of Casablanca — the infamous disco label founded by Neil Bogart that ran from 1973-84. He says the use of the name was his choice — a nod to the entrepreneurial spirit of the old label.
Signings will be announced in the next three to four weeks with the first singles to be out before September. As many as six albums are expected to be released under the Casablanca name within the next year.
Mottola resigned from Sony at the beginning of January. He most recently served as executive producer of the VH1 series “Born to Diva.”