Sony Music Entertainment UK has relaunched the legendary record label Epic Records UK.
The major has appointed Sony Music Publishing exec Sarah Lockhart as president of Epic, effective from May 1, 2023. Lockhart will report to Jason Iley, chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK & Ireland.
Epic Records UK will relaunch as a frontline label, operating alongside other Sony Music labels including RCA, Columbia and Ministry Of Sound, with the ambition to “champion global music and British culture”. The announcement coincides with the anniversary of Epic Records, which will celebrate 70 years of recorded music in 2023.
Epic famously released music by acts including Wham!, George Michael, ABBA, Culture Club, Sade and Michael Jackson.
Sarah Lockhart joins Epic from Sony Music Publishing, where she served as head of A&R for three years and signed artists including Aitch, PinkPantheress and D-Block Europe.
I’m confident that Sarah is the right person to relaunch Epic UK and enrich its legacy while protecting its artist-first ethos
Lockhart has been at the forefront of youth culture and London’s grassroots music communities for the past two decades. In 2005, Lockhart began working on Rinse FM, where she campaigned for its radio licence and built it into a significant media platform. The station championing emerging artists in the early stages of their careers, and launched artists including Magnetic Man and Katy B.
Lockhart spent four years at EMI Music Publishing in the early noughties where she had discovered Ms Dynamite, and signed Skepta and Benga & Skream.
In her early career, Lockhart’s label Tempa Recordings coined the genre name ‘Dubstep’. Her East London dubstep and grime club night FWD>> created a space for new underground music. Lockhart was also instrumental in the development of UK garage through her work in distribution, where she was one of the key influencers on the evolution of the scene.
Jason Iley, MBE, chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK & Ireland, said: “I’m confident that Sarah is the right person to relaunch Epic UK and enrich its legacy while protecting its artist-first ethos. Throughout her career, Sarah has challenged the norm, pre-empted trends, and supported artists from the very beginning of their careers.”
Sarah Lockhart, president, Epic Records UK, said: “The pioneering global artists signed to Epic have inspired me and countless fans for decades. The relaunch of the label in the UK provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate Epic’s legacy and build a culture that encourages us to think differently, honouring and supporting artists to create connection through the power of music.”