AWAL names Matt Riley MD, promotes Victoria Needs and Sam Potts

AWAL names Matt Riley MD, promotes Victoria Needs and Sam Potts

AWAL has unveiled its UK executive leadership team. 

Effective immediately, Matt Riley (pictured) has been named managing director. Based in London, he will report directly to Paul Hitchman, president of AWAL. 

Victoria Needs and Sam Potts have been elevated to their respective roles as senior vice president for AWAL. Both executives will report to Riley.

In his role, Riley will expand his current oversight as the company’s head of A&R, working closely with Hitchman and AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick to sign new artists and develop AWAL’s rising global roster. 

Since joining AWAL in 2014, Riley has been responsible for signing artists that have reached more than a billion streams including Bruno Major, Rex Orange County and Tom Misch. Additionally, he’s supported the development of global artists Eloise, Lovejoy, MorMor, Shay Lia and The Wombats.

The announcement of the new leadership team comes as AWAL has seen singles chart success this year with Lovejoy’s Call Me What You Like, as well as two tracks in the Top 40 biggest songs of 2023 so far - Jvke’s Golden Hour and Lizzy McAlpine's Ceilings. As well as being a UK Top 10 smash, Ceilings has charted in 15 territories worldwide.

As the company’s new senior vice president, Needs will add the UK market to her existing international marketing remit for AWAL, continuing to drive all global artist campaigns and releases. Prior to her appointment, Needs served as vice president of international marketing for AWAL since 2020, supporting campaign launches for artists such as Jvke, Jungle, Girl In Red and Lizzy McAlpine. 

They will be an unstoppable force as we look to take the AWAL business to the next level in the UK

Paul Hitchman

Potts joined AWAL in 2019, as vice president of promotion, overseeing the company’s UK and international digital accounts team, driving promotional strategy with streaming platforms, as well as overseeing UK radio and TV promotion strategy for AWAL artists. In his new role as SVP, Potts will continue to work closely with the executive leadership team to maximise audience development and growth strategies for AWAL artists across digital and traditional media.

Paul Hitchman said: “AWAL’s mission is to be the world’s best artist development company and, by creating a new leadership team for the UK that spans A&R, marketing and promotion, we have all of the skills and focus to deliver on that aim for UK artists. Matt, Victoria and Sam have all proven themselves as market leaders in their respective fields and have highly complementary skills. The combination will be an unstoppable force as we look to take the AWAL business to the next level in the UK.”

Matt Riley said: “I’m really happy and super-energised having formed a formidable leadership team with Sam and Victoria. We are working hard every day to build a fantastic team and culture at AWAL, delivering fantastic results for our artists through hard work, storytelling and above all a commitment to artist development.”

Victoria Needs

“To be part of AWAL UK’s leadership driving the next phase of the business with Matt & Sam is incredibly exciting,” said Victoria Needs. “Working with our impressively strategic, collaborative and creative marketing teams every day, it's a privilege to be able to tell the stories of our artists and find audiences for their music in all corners of the world.”

Sam Potts said: “Seeing the company and our artists grow is what gets me up in the morning and I’ve never enjoyed coming to work this much. We’re having more success now than at any point in AWAL’s illustrious journey from startup to future facing record company and are uniquely placed to be the home of maverick and uncompromising artists with global ambition.”

 Sam Potts 



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