Atlantic Records nailed it when they promoted Brandon Davis and Jeff Levin in tandem a couple years ago, so naturally they’re doing it again. The star A&R execs have been upped to executive vice presidents and co-heads of pop A&R at the Warner Music imprint, with both Los Angelenos — and now-former senior vps — reporting to the president of A&R, Pete Ganbarg.
“Our mission has always been to attract, sign, and nurture the greatest talent across every genre,” commented Atlantic Records chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. “Brandon and Jeff are our pop A&R stars, bringing us a string of game-changing artists. They’ve got spot-on musical instincts, combined with the insight and ability to nurture artists at every stage of their careers.”
Davis has been with Atlantic for 11 years, having joined the company as an assistant in the A&R department. In partnership with producer Ricky Reed, he helped sign and develop Lizzo at the label in 2015 and also worked on the bestselling soundtrack for The Greatest Showman, and recently co-A&R’d Charli XCX’s album, Crash, and Ava Max’s forthcoming sophomore album.
Levin, meanwhile, joined Atlantic in 2010 and has signed Melanie Martinez, Jaymes Young and Oliver Tree, among others. He A&R’d Ben Platt’s debut album Sing To Me Instead and Charlie Puth’s third album, Charlie, and has worked with Warner Chappell Music to A&R G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha’s hit single “Me, Myself & I” and signed Logic to a global publishing deal.
“At Atlantic, we pride ourselves as much in executive development as we do in artist development,” noted Ganbarg. “Both Brandon and Jeff have worked at Atlantic their entire professional lives, rising from entry level intern and assistant positions to become an integral part of the leadership of our A&R team.”
Earlier this year, Davis spoke with Billboard about his success with Lizzo and the changes in the industry — such as the TikTokification of artist promo — since the release of her first album.
“The marriage of A&R and marketing has become closer than ever before,” he said. “As an A&R executive, I now need to think like a marketing and digital executive. I have spent more time than ever before working hand-in-hand with our marketing staff, and also letting them into the record making process earlier. A&R in the current environment has become about so much more than just music and record making — you need to be entrepreneurial and have a sophisticated understanding of many different verticals.”