Exclusive: Raw Power and EMI Records Launch Funhouse Joint Venture to Develop Global Rock Bands | Labels
Big news for rock music: music week may reveal that the top management company Gross power formed a label joint venture with EMI Records.
The company has teamed up with major record label Funhouse JV to help push heavy music further into the mainstream. It will include acts on the Raw Power roster as well as bands represented by other management companies.
The announcement of the joint venture is revealed exclusively in the new edition of music weekwhich features our interview with Raw Power executives Craig Jennings, Matt Ash and Don Jenkins, alongside EMI MD Clive Cawley.
Raw Power have enjoyed huge success over the past 16 years with major rock bands including Bullet For My Valentine and Bring me the horizon, which has 11.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Now the company is moving forward in partnership with EMI Records. Manchester-based rockers The Blinders have been unveiled as Funhouse JV’s first signing.
“Over the past four or five years, we’ve grown our roster and seen The Blinders as something a little different,” said Craig Jennings, CEO and Founder of Raw Power. “We picked them up before the pandemic and then this opportunity came with EMI at the end of last year. We started talking to [EMI co-president] Rebecca Allen and [MD] Clive Cawley on creating a new alternative rock label that we A&R. We thought The Blinders would be a perfect fit.
Raw Power business manager Don Jenkins said the JV was in the right place at the right time.
“EMI was experiencing a revival of streaming on its roster, particularly in rock, and was looking to improve its A&R structure,” he explained. “We’ve always had a label wing to what we do, and it just so happened that we were looking to find a new partner and it was a bit of a meeting of minds. NDE is a fantastic label and we have basic skills in the rock market. So hopefully we end up with a joint venture that’s pretty awesome.
EMI is a fantastic label and we have basic skills in the rock market
Raw Power previously operated their own Search And Destroy label and JV with Universal’s Spinefarm Records. The imprint stays with spinal truss and will continue to release music by bands such as Bullet for my Valentine, Atreyu and While She Sleeps.
Jenkins, who joined Raw Power 10 years ago after stints at Amazing Radio, Mflow and Universal, stressed that A&R is part of the company’s DNA.
“We’re a management company, but that’s always involved finding actors early on, developing their careers, and becoming, if you will, the de facto A&R person,” he said. music week. “Artist development is at the heart of what we do, even our biggest bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine were new bands when we took them on. The whole philosophy of what we’re trying to achieve is that Raw Power brings its artist development expertise to a company like EMI, source bands early in their careers and develop them into international global offerings.
Craig Jennings expects to add to Funhouse’s roster before the end of the year.
“The goal is to watch maybe two or three acts a year,” he revealed. “These will not necessarily be acts that we manage. In fact, we like the idea of just being A&R for certain acts with solid managers we know and get along with, so we’ll be expanding our network to the wider rock community.
Explaining why the arrangement makes sense from EMI’s perspective, MD Clive Cawley explained that the company wants to expand its interests within the rock genre.
“In terms of streaming, guitar music was a bit neglected,” he said music week. “And Raw Power has a very good vision for developing exciting new artists. They came up with the name Funhouse, which I love, and the first band they introduced us to was The Blinders, which I saw at The Social and thought was amazing. Basically, Funhouse will be an additional A&R resource for us at EMI. They will bring the talent and the marketing and we will do the rest. I think Craig, Matt and Don are amazing, so they’re not going to bring in artists that they know we’re not going to be interested in. This will give EMI another arrow in our quiver, so to speak.
In other major developments, Raw Power has opened a Japan office in Tokyo as part of a larger plan for international expansion. The new office adds to its London and Los Angeles headquarters.
Raw Power has prepared American band The Mars Volta’s first album in a decade, due out today (September 16). Raw Power’s American manager Matt Ash, who joined Jennings as co-manager of BMTH in 2008, said it was expanding its Los Angeles base, which opened in 2011.
“It made sense to be in America,” he said. “Our first American band was Of Mice & Men and then we started managing Gone Is Gone, which led to At The Drive-In, which in turn led to The Mars Volta.”
Be careful with new number of music weekwhich is now heading to subscribers and will be in stores on September 20. Subscribers can access the interview online and through the Music Week digital number app next week.
PHOTO: (L-R) EMI MDs Clive Cawley, Craig Jennings, Don Jenkins and Matt Ash
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