Warner Music's Kabiru Bello talks A&R strategy as Benson Boone scores UK No.1

Warner Music's Kabiru Bello talks A&R strategy as Benson Boone scores UK No.1

Benson Boone has landed his first ever UK No.1 single with Beautiful Things (Warner Records).

The Washington-born singer-songwriter moved 2-1 to end Beyonce’s five-week reign at the singles summit.

In its ninth week on the chart, Beautiful Things amassed 6.6 million audio and video streams. Consumption increased by 6.5% week-on-week to 54,642 chart sales (1,747 digital downloads and 52,895 sales-equivalent streams), according to the Official Charts Company. Its sales to date stand at 356,630.

Benson Boone’s Beautiful Things has been used for 4.1 million TikTok creations. There was a 224% increase in creations in the UK over the past seven days, and a 143% increase in views.

Fellow US singer and songwriter Teddy Swims is at No.4 in the UK singles chart with Lose Control, with consumption up 3.2% week-on-week at 47,418 sales. It has to-date consumption of 497,031. Swims is signed to Warner Records in the US with Atlantic as the UK affiliate.

Warner Music has four of the Top 10 entries in this week, including Dua Lipa’s Training Season (Warner Records) at No.9 and another US male solo singer, Michael Marcagi, at No.10 with Scared To Start (also on Warner Records).

Speaking ahead of the chart result at IFPI’s Global Music Report launch in London, Kabiru Bello, VP, global A&R, Warner Music Group, acknowledged the impact of Benson Boone, Zach Bryan and Teddy Swims.

Reflecting on how A&R has changed in recent years, Kabiru Bello said: “A&R has evolved a lot and I think technology and data plays a huge role in that. That's been something that a lot of A&Rs have used in terms of the viral trends and viral hits that have been going on. 

“But what I always tell our A&R team is that it is super-important knowing the difference between signing a song and signing an artist. With that, it is really about having the patience and the commitment for nurturing talent and for artist development. We are really trying to focus on that.”

Bello saluted Warner Records in the US and its leadership duo, CEO/co-chairman Aaron Bay-Schuck and COO/co-chairman Tom Corson, for the label’s current run of success with those artists.

“That's been amazing,” said Bello. “Looking back three, four years ago to when they were signed, how they have been nurtured and the patience and commitment that [the label] put into artists – really leaning in and really engaging with them – and now we've seen the results of that. So that's been really amazing to see.”

“With all the noise out there, it's important to use data to cut through the clutter,” he added. “But as an A&R, it's super-important to have your gut feeling, know what's real and really have true artist development.”

Click here to read our coverage of the IFPI Global Music Report.


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