Music Industry Moves: Dionnee Harper Headed to Warner Records as EVP of Marketing; Three Six Zero Buys London’s Sarm Studios

Written by on July 13, 2022

Warner Records has hired Dionnee Harper as EVP of marketing and artist development. She officially joins the company on Sept. 15, moving over from her current post as SVP and head of marketing at sister label Atlantic Records. Harper plans to relocate from New York to Los Angeles where she’ll report to Warner Records co-chairman and COO Tom Corson.

At Atlantic, Harper served as primary liaison to Mike Caren’s APG label, working with such artists as Charlie Puth, Kevin Gates, Kehlani, B.o.B. and Flo Rida, among others.

Elsewhere at Warner, Chris Atlas, EVP of urban music and marketing, “will be taking on a new role at the label, to be revealed in the near future,” reads an announcement from the company, which also notes that Mark Flaherty, EVP and head of marketing, will be leaving the company.

Said Corson in announcing Harper’s appointment: “Dionnee is a true marketing superstar, and her wide-ranging creativity, deep experience, passionate dedication, and closeness to culture will make her a fantastic addition to the team. She’ll work with Aaron and me to evolve the identity of the label and unify our marketing strategy across all genres under one outstanding leader. Dionnee has done a phenomenal job at Atlantic and is loved by her artists and colleagues, so I want to thank Julie Greenwald for helping us bring her on board. We’re looking forward to announcing an exciting new leadership role for Chris, who’s made exceptional contributions to our success. I also want to thank Mark for his great work with us over the past five years, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

“I’m super excited to be joining Tom, Aaron, and the whole Warner Records team,” added Harper. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work with their fantastic artist roster and explore every avenue to embed their music in the culture and bring it to the fans. It’s not easy leaving all my wonderful colleagues and artists at Atlantic, but I’m very happy to be staying within the WMG family, where I’ve spent my whole career. I want to thank Julie and Mike Kyser for their amazing guidance that got me to this life-changing moment, and Max Lousada for his enthusiastic support. I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned over the years and helping bring the great Warner label to new heights.”

Tuesday, July 12

Three Six Zero, the management company behind the Smith family (Will, Jada Pinkett, Willow and Jaden) and Calvin Harris, has announced the purchase of Sarm Studios in West London. Based in Notting Hill, the recording facility houses six studios and a suite of purpose-built offices.

The space was previously owned by English musician and producer Trevor Horn. Under Horn’s leadership, Sarm hosted Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Madonna, One Direction, Stormzy, Lana Del Rey, Paolo Nutini, Charli XCX, Mark Ronson and Florence and the Machine.

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Courtesy of Three Six Zero

“Sarm Studios has long been an integral fixture of London’s music landscape, and we’re thrilled to be able to make it a part of the expanding Three Six Zero community,” said Mark Gillespie, CEO and founder of Three Six Zero.

The complex will undergo refurbishment before becoming readily available to all Three Six Zero partners and talent including Majid Jordan, Bloodpop, the Streets, Jabari Banks and more. Sarm will also serve as the new home base for Three Six Zero Recordings.

+ The Oak View Group has named sports industry executive Kim Stone president of the UBS Arena and executive vice president of OVG East Coast. Starting Aug. 1, she will report directly to both the board of managers of UBS Arena and Francesca Bodie, president of business development for OVG. The hire makes Stone the first female president of an OVG arena.

Irving Azoff, co-founder of OVG, said, “I’m proud of the work OVG has done through its diversity and inclusion initiatives and the impact it’s had across our entire organization. Kim is a strong addition to our all-star senior management team, and I’m pleased to welcome her to OVG.”

Stone will be based in New York and will oversee all UBS Arena business and building operations with a specific focus on premium sales, corporate sales, event booking and driving ticket sales. She will also manage all OVG East Coast-owned and operated properties, including the Baltimore Arena, which is scheduled to open in February 2023.

“We’re building one of the most dynamic and diverse teams in the industry, and Kim’s joining OVG plays a critical role in not only ensuring we’re hiring the best talent, but we’re working closely with the communities where we do business,” said Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of OVG.

Prior to her role at OVG, Stone was the executive vice president of business development for the Miami Heat and was responsible for overseeing all ticket and corporate revenues. After spending 23 years with Miami Heat, she was named the Chase Center general manager in April of 2019 and launched the Warriors’ $1.6 billion Chase Center Arena and retail development.

+ The Latin Recording Academy has officially kicked off its 2022 Latin Grammy Acoustic Sessions witha digital concert in partnership with Meta. The set will feature nominee El Fantasma, accompanied by Latin Grammy winners Los Dos Carnales and Lupita Infante, also a Latin Grammy and Grammy nominee.

The concert — recorded at the historic Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral in Mexico City — features renditions of songs chosen by the artists, with never-before-heard collaborations, duets and storytelling.

“Through our Latin Grammy Acoustic Sessions, we aim to foster inclusive spaces where music creators can feature their craft, inspiring cultural appreciation, promotion and preservation of their respective genres,” said Manuel Abud, CEO of the Latin Recording Academy. “With so much new energy in the Mexican Regional genre, I’m thrilled that we are able to start the series with some of the new generation of talented artists.”

The full acoustic performance will be available via the Latin Recording Academy’s Facebook page on July 22 at 9 a.m. ET. After 48 hours, the performances will also be available exclusively on the artists’ Facebook pages for 90 days.

+ Nashville-based singer-songwriter Scarlett Burke has become the first co-signing under the recently announced alliance between Universal Music Publishing Group and audio content production studio Audio Up.

Under the agreement, Burke will focus on creating songs for Audio Up’s original programs, which includes the scripted podcast “Make It Up as We Go.” Now in its second season, the podcast saw Burke, along with Audio Up founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt, pen original music for Miranda Lambert in season one and for Grammy-nominated Elle King in the recently released season two.

“Our business is ready-made to become a discovery platform for musical artists and copyrights of the future,” said Gutstadt. “Scarlett is an incredible Swiss-Army-knife talent, who can pen music across all genres. Her country music laneway has been a great access point, and her work with Elle King and Miranda Lambert has paved the way for her to become an access point for others looking to tell authentic stories in Nashville. Scarlett is canvassing the world of pop, rock, hip-hop and reggaeton across our wide array of projects, and we’re excited to add her to the team. She has become my most frequent collaborator and is truly one of the genius songwriters of the moment.”

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