Universal Music Group Creates ‘The Core Records’ with Nickelback Manager Kevin Zaruk

UMG the core records
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UMG the core records
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Photo Credit: Chris Ashlee

Universal Music Group announces the launch of The Core Records, a global venture led in part by Nickelback manager Kevin Zaruk.

Universal Music Group has announced the launch of The Core Records led by Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Simon Tikhman (pictured), co-founders of the entertainment and talent management company, The Core Entertainment (TCE). The global label venture will sign and develop new artists, working with UMG’s expansive network of industry-leading labels.

“We love building upon our entrepreneurial culture and are so pleased to welcome Chief and Simon, who have a reputation for identifying some of the industry’s most promising artists,” says Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG Chairman and CEO (pictured center). “We look forward to helping them grow their roster and drive global success for their artists.”

“Our goal has always been to support artists on a global scale by creating new creative and commercial paths,” adds Tikhman. “We’d like to thank Sir Lucian for believing in our vision and for his commitment to developing and supporting artists and entrepreneurs.”

“We’re excited for this next evolution in The Core and honored to work with Sir Lucian and the team at UMG to help us continue to guide artists to develop their careers and brands,” concludes Zaruk. “We’ve had a great time building The Core over the past few years and are excited to create a home for new artists with the incredible resources and support from UMG.”

Tikhman and Zaruk founded TCE in partnership with Live Nation in 2019 as an independent entertainment collective with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles specializing in talent management, innovative business and strategic partnerships, and advancements in the music, technology, and lifestyle industries. In addition to its roster of music talent, TCE develops film and television projects and works with professional athletes.

Before TCE, Chief was integral in creating Nashville-based Big Loud and its hybrid business model. A Vancouver, BC, native, Zaruk began his career as the front of house and tour manager for Nickelback, whom he now manages.

Simon Tikhman is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded Interactive Athlete and Simont Enterprises, investing in multiple tech companies like Robinhood, Glympse, Espresa, Philz Coffe, Exadel, Bach, Zen Wtr, Vision Venture Partners, TikGames, and serving as a managing partner at the Fund by First Access Entertainment.