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Executive Turntable: Island Records Names Digital Marketing SVP; FUGA Has a New President

Also this week: Universal Music Australia loses a managing director, Wasserman hires a brand partnerships vp and more.

Erica M. Paul was promoted to senior vp and head of digital marketing at Island Records. Based in New York, Paul will continue leading digital marketing across the Island roster. She was previously vp and head of digital at the label.

Christiaan Kröner was named president of the Downtown-owned B2B distributor FUGA following Pieter van Rijn‘s appointment as president of Downtown Music. Located in Amsterdam, Kröner, who was previously COO, will oversee all global operations for FUGA — which boasts over 800 clients including Beggars Group, Better Noise Music, Ninja Tune and YEAR0001 — including its expanded marketing services division and technology offering. He will be succeeded as COO by Darren Owen, formerly FUGA’s global head of operations, who will continue overseeing all elements of FUGA’s operations while taking responsibility for the royalty department.

Michael Taylor exited his role as managing director at Universal Music Australia (UMA), according to The Music Network. Co-managing director Nicole Richards will continue in her role and lead the Island Records Australia team solo. Taylor’s departure follows that of UMA joint managing director Darren Aboud and EMI Music Australia managing director John O’Donnell, whose official last day is Friday (Sept. 30).

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Wasserman Music hired Adam Krefman as vp of brand partnerships and agent Greg Horbal, who brings clients Alex G, Beach Bunny, Cavetown, Chloe Moriondo, Indigo De Souza, Jeff Rosenstock, MICHELLE, Penelope Scott, Pinegrove and The Walters to the agency. Krefman can be reached at adam.krefman@teamwass.com and Horbal can be reached at greg.horbal@teamwass.com.

Sentric Music Group, which falls under the Utopia Music umbrella, made four A&R hires in the U.S.: Matt DuFour, Carlos Escalona Cruz, Kebu Commissiong and Lou Plaia. The appointments follow the company’s move into North America, where it’s establishing a presence in all major markets in the territory. All four will take on A&R director roles in their respective territories, with DuFour covering the Midwest from Chicago, Commissiong covering the Southeast from Atlanta, Plaia covering the East Coast from New York and Cruz covering the U.S.-based Latin market and LATAM. All will report to Sentric North America president Simon Perry.

EMPIRE promoted Teff Mogus to vp of marketing while elevating Ari Simon, Dionna Johnson and Jentry Salvatore to director of marketing. In his new role, Mogus will continue marketing EMPIRE acts including Jackboy, Adam Blackstone and BLK ODYSSY; Simon works with artists including Babyface Ray, Larry June, Babytron and Rexx Life Raj; Johnson has overseen campaigns for BLEU and Fireboy DML; and Salvatore works with D Smoke, G Perlco and RJmrLA.

Fairley McCaskill was promoted to vp of media and artist relations at Atlantic Records; she was previously senior director of media and artist relations. Based in Los Angeles, McCaskill spearheads press campaigns for Breland, Missy Elliott, Ravyn Lenae and Sam Austins, among others. She reports to executive vp of media and artist relations Sheila Richman.

Web3 company Dancing Seahorse Labs, which is in the process of establishing a new NFT marketplace and crypto token, recently announced the company’s launch with an executive team that includes founder & worldwide CEO Andrew Nematalla; CFO/COO Angie Ison; CEO, North America Alex Nahai; head of strategic partnerships Ben Maynard; CTO Damien King; head of business development Iga Futrell; head of events & experiences Phillip Hale-Christofi; and head of design, U.S., Sean Afriat. The company recently announced the minting of the Dancing Seahorse NFT, which will provide its owners with global access to a number of VIP concert activations, festivals, destination events and more through Dancing Seahorse’s growing network that includes SoFi Stadium, Barclays Center and the Crypto.com Arena. Forthcoming concert activations include Bad Bunny (Sept. 30), Jack Harlow (Oct. 7) and Post Malone (Nov. 16). Artists including Polo G, Iggy Azalea and G Herbo are holders of the Dancing Seahorse NFT.

Sony Music director of commercial analytics Charlotte de Burgh-Holder was elected chair of the Official Charts Company, which compiles the UK’s music and video sales data and charts. De Burgh-Holder, who assumes the role this month, is both the youngest and the first-ever female chair in Official Charts history. In the role, she will work closely with Official Charts chief executive Martin Talbot to develop and steer strategy while chairing the Official Charts board. She succeeds Amazon Music’s Paul Firth, who will step down from the role after two-and-a-half years.

Creative music agency MassiveMusic North America appointed Eric David Johnson as executive creative director and Shez Mehra as head of partnerships. The company also promoted Johanna Cranitch to creative director. Johnson will lead the creative department on strategies merging data and craftsmanship, working closely with both the New York and Los Angeles offices. Mehra will focus on growing the company’s direct-to-brand business offering and driving revenue for the P&L, particularly as it concerns sonic branding, while also collaborating with MassiveMusic’s teams across the globe. Cranitch, previously associate creative director, leads the creative for campaigns from conception to launch. Cranitch can be reached at johanna@massivemusic.com. 

Anthony Volodkin, founder of Hype Machine and Future Tape, joined NFT platform Zora, which also acquired Future Tape in the transaction. At Zora, Volodkin will focus on advancing music in the Web3 space while continuing to build Future Tape, an NFT listening app.

Music metaverse gaming platform PIXELYNX appointed Chris Mendez to vp of ecosystems, a newly created position. Reporting to CEO and co-founder Inder Phull, the Los Angeles-based executive will oversee internal partnerships and strategies across the company’s interoperable ecosystems. He can be reached at chris.mendez@pixelynx.io.

Homestead Music promoted Chelsey Block to managing partner. She has been with the company for more than three years.