Warner Music Australasia’s A&R team is taking shape with several key new appointments on both sides of the Tasman.
Announced today (Sept. 22), multi-hyphenate Christopher Kevin Au joins the music major as A&R Manager, bringing to the job a wealth of experience from the music and media worlds, including stints as a host on MTV and Spotify Original podcast A1: The Show.
Also joining the company as A&R Manager is Larissa Jane Ryan, an inductee into The Music Network’s 30 Under 30 List for her work as an artist manager and co-founder of Hutch Collective. She’s based in Melbourne on Wurundjeri country.
Former Sony Music Australia staffer Jackson Christie is also named as A&R Manager. Christie got his break at Sony, first as an intern. There, he climbed the ladder and was promoted to A&R Manager, signing GRAACE and Carmouflage Rose.
Mohamed Komba, a multiple ARIA nominated artist and music all-rounder, who has worked with the likes of Kaiit, Lisi and Miiesha, and emerged at the turn of the century with the hip-hop outfit Diafrix, becomes an A&R Consultant at WMA.
Warner Music’s New Zealand connection welcomes Stevi Hill as A&R Manager, based in Auckland. Hill joined Warner Music NZ as a Marketing Manager in 2020 and is now tasked with guiding the creative and A&R direction of locally-signed artists.
These new recruits and fresh appointments join WMA A&R Manager Marcus Thaine, who has served in that role since 2019, when he came across from Spotify, where he served as Artist & Label Marketing Manager.
At WMA, Thaine has signed such artists as daine, flowerkid, Budjerah, Jessica Mauboy and Kinder.
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The additions keep coming with Rose Sejean named to the new position of A&R Production Manager. Formerly working in the Sync & Licensing team, Sejean will keep the “A&R engine running across communication, logistics and creative,” a statement explains.
The A&R team is completed with the arrival of Jess Peach, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Production at UTS, as Creative Producer.
The new-look A&R team at Warner Music Australia will be charged with spotting, developing and launching new acts onto the global music stage.
“I’m committed to breaking more artists from Australia and New Zealand on the global stage,” comments WMA president Dan Rosen, who took the top job earlier this year following a decade at the helm of ARIA and PPCA.
To do that, he continues, “we’ve assembled an amazing team to support our talent and help develop their careers. Their diverse backgrounds and interests reflect the different types of artist we’re looking to sign and they’ll have their ears to the ground to help us find the freshest and most creative new talent.”
WMA’s A&R activities are led day-to-day by Paul Harris, who joined the company last year as Senior VP A&R and won Record Label A&R Of The Year at the inaugural The Industry Observer Awards in 2018.
Following Harris’ arrival from Sony Music, Warner Music has secured the signings of Jessica Mauboy, Boy Soda, daine, Budjerah, Rory Noble and Kinder and an exclusive partnership with Matt Corby’s Rainbow Valley Records.
“When I was approached to join Warner Music, I knew it was the right move for me,” comments Harris.
“The company is so strongly focused on identifying the best new talent from Australia and New Zealand, and breaking them not just here at home, but worldwide.”
Since arriving in Australia from the U.K. 11 years ago, Harris has been “trying to do exactly that,” he explains.
“And now with Dan Rosen at the helm, I know I have the best team around me to make that a reality.”