Veteran A&R Dallas Martin has been appointed president of Asylum Records, an imprint of Warner Music Group.
Dallas Martin, the Atlantic Records A&R executive whose successes include records by Roddy Ricch and Meek Mill, has been promoted to executive vice president of A&R at Atlantic and president of Asylum Records, the company announced. Based in Los Angeles, he will dual-report into Eliah Seton, president of independent music & creator services for Atlantic parent company Warner Music Group, and Atlantic chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. Martin will oversee Asylum alongside co-president Gabrielle Peluso.
Previously serving as senior vp of A&R, the Flint, Michigan native’s signings and roster included Nipsey Hussle, Sada Baby, YBN Cordae, Justin Laboy and Sleepy Rose, among others. Ricch currently boasts one of the top hits of 2020 with “The Box” while Meek’s “Going Bad” was among the most consumed tracks of 2019, landing Martin spots on Variety‘s last two annual Hitmakers lists. Grammy voters also nominated Meek’s full-length “Championships” for best rap album.
He began his career in 2008 as an intern at Def Jam Records under the late Shakir Stewart. In 2011, he moved to Los Angeles to join Warner Records, where he secured a deal with Miami rapper Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group. In addition to A&R’ing Ross’s releases, Martin played a key role in Meek Mill’s debut studio album, “Dreams and Nightmares,” as well as his subsequent releases. In 2013, Martin transitioned to WMG sister company Atlantic Records, where he signed the late Nipsey Hussle and has worked with Ricch, Cordae, and others.
Originally founded by David Geffen in 1971, the Asylum label was relaunched in the U.S. in 2017 as an “entrepreneurial-driven imprint focused on streaming and offering uniquely flexible recording deals to new and emerging artists,” according to the announcement. Its roster includes Sada Baby, Seddy Hendrinx, JoeVille, and Dolo Tonight. Martin recently signed Laboy, a rapper and promoter behind the virtual “Respectfully Justin Show,” to the label.
Last June, Martin was featured in a report on A&R in the time of coronavirus where he spoke about working with Symba, whom he signed to Atlantic, and releasing “Birds In The Bando.” Martin noted the artist’s ability to “make songs with substance and tell stories.”
Dallas Martin said: “It’s always been my dream to head a label as iconic as Asylum. I’m grateful to Craig Kallman, Julie Greenwald, and Mike Kyser for believing in me and giving me the space to grow at Atlantic, and I’m excited to work with Eliah and Gabby to continue to evolve Asylum. There’s no better feeling in our business than discovering and breaking a new artist, and I learned early on that it’s important to log as much time in the studio as you do in the office. There’s incredible untapped independent talent in the world, and I’m confident that we have everything it takes to be the best home for the stars of the future.”
Eliah Seton noted: “Dallas is a true champion for his artists, with an unflinching commitment to helping them realize their musical visions. He’s the consummate A&R, who’s not only able to spot great talent but nurture that talent by spending endless hours in the studio crafting hit records. That’s exactly the sort of artist-first philosophy that we’re cultivating at the new Asylum. Together, Dallas and Gabby will make a fantastic leadership duo, backed by the brilliant Asylum team, as we continue to build the label into a coveted destination for the best in indie-spirited talent.”
We need to see more people of color in these corporate positions of power. Congrats Dallas.