Universal Music Group Cuts the Ribbon on EMI North in Leeds

EMI North Universal Music Group
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EMI North Universal Music Group
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Photo Credit: EMI North

Universal Music Group announces the launch of EMI North in Leeds.

Universal Music-owned EMI Records has announced the launch of EMI North, a new label in the northern UK city of Leeds, in Yorkshire. In doing so, the company says it is now the first major label to open a physical space within the UK outside of London.

EMI North will be dedicated to working with “the very best musical talent in the North of England” and providing opportunities for young people in the industry. The label has already struck partnerships with two companies based within Leeds: Clue Records, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, and Come Play With Me, a non-profit music development organization.

Led by Clive Cawley, who leaves his current role as MD at EMI to become president of EMI North, the label will be based in Duke Studios, the creative hub in Leeds city center. The move marks a full circle for Yorkshire native Cawley, who began his career as a Sales Representative for Universal Music, working with independent retailers across northeast England.

“I’m delighted to finally open the doors to EMI North with a very simple goal: to support and invest in local talent, helping them to find new audiences and build their businesses,” says Cawley. “We have been overwhelmed by the reaction from the creative community in Leeds and beyond and are raring to go.”

Over his twenty-year career, Cawley has worked with artists including Beck, Elton John, Florence + The Machine, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Queen, Taylor Swift, The Killers, and The Stone Roses. He will continue to work across many EMI artist campaigns, reporting to Jo Charrington and Rebecca Allen, Co-Presidents of EMI since Universal Music UK united its EMI and Capitol labels under their joint leadership.

“Discovering and nurturing new talent from right across the UK is the lifeblood of what we do, and there’s nobody better than Clive to be at the helm of this exciting new chapter for our historic label,” said Charrington and Allen in a joint statement.

The announcement of EMI North’s launch coincides with Leeds Year of Culture 2023, which sees the city become the center stage of the UK’s cultural scene, honoring dance, architecture, poetry, music, community theater, and more performances in the city’s venues.