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Warner Records Names Steve Carless President of A&R

Steve “Steve-O” Carless has been appointed president of A&R at Warner Records, the company announced today (Sept. 23).

Beginning in his newly-created post Dec. 1, the former Atlantic, Def Jam and Republic A&R veteran will report to Warner co-chairman/CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck, who had previously been overseeing A&R efforts at the label, and will also be working closely with executive vp/head of business and legal affairs Julian Petty and executive vp urban music and marketing Chris Atlas.

“Steve-O has one of the most brilliant A&R minds in our business, driven by an innate ability to identify and nurture emerging artists and champion superstars,” Bay-Schuck said in a statement announcing Carless’ new position. “He’s been behind the success of countless hits and the development of next generation talent. Combined with his experience in artist management, as well as multiple other areas of our industry, he’s a true renaissance man and a fantastic addition to the Warner Records senior executive team. [Co-chairman/COO] Tom [Corson] and I are very happy that he’s come on board, and we’re looking forward to all the amazing talent and music we know he will be bringing into the fold.”

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In addition to his work as an A&R at various major labels, Carless has also worked in a variety of entrepreneurial roles throughout his career, including as a co-founder of lifestyle branding company Best of Both Worlds, as a co-founder of the late Nipsey Hussle’s Marathon Agency (he also is on the management team for the Nipsey Hussle Estate), and as the founder of his own SC Company, where he worked on projects with Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment and co-manages rising rapper Polo G. He also served as president of Uptown Records, and most recently was executive vp A&R at Republic. Through the years he’s worked on major albums by YG, Jeezy — at one point as president of Jeezy’s CTE World Recordings — Big Sean, Pusha T and more.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Aaron, Tom and the entire Warner Records team at such an exciting time in both the label’s growth and the evolution of our business,” Carless said in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful that this iconic label group recognizes the critical importance, growth, creativity and worldwide inclusiveness of the vast diversity of artists of color the world over. My focus will be on rising Black creators as they need to know they have advocates in positions of power who can be mentors, guides and will support them as they navigate the music world and devote themselves to making game-changing music. With the belief of the team and our resources, we will create multiple runways and landing strips for creative entrepreneurs and artists of every stripe.”