Magazine article Variety

The Label of the Year

Magazine article Variety

The Label of the Year

Article excerpt

REPUBLIC RECORDS

GUIDING BREAKOUTS AND PROVEN STARS ALIKE

With seven entries on BuzzAngle's Top 30 songs, Republic Records is having a very good year. Or, as anyone working at the Universal Music Group imprint would tell you, another very good year. "We're in the superstar business," says chairman/CEO Monte Lipman who, along with his brother, president/COO Avery Lipman, founded the label in 1995. "I always say to artists contemplating signing with us: 'If you want to be the biggest act in the world, you're at the right place.'"

Republic is equally in step with hip-hop (Post Malone's "Congratulations," Drake's "Fake Love" and "Passionfruit") as it is with pop (Zayn and Taylor Swift's "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," Julia Michaels' "Issues"). The label even claimed a Latin crossover hit in "Despacito" and the genre-defying "I Feel It Coming" by the Weeknd.

"For us, the core principles of every successful campaign start with expectations: we set the bar high," notes Monte Lipman. "We don't want to just break records, we want to shatter them."

In the case of Post Malone, that's resulted in the No. 5 track of the year. And the September release "Rock Star" has a potentially even longer tale. "Like Drake's 'Hotline Bling,' it came out of nowhere and kicked everybody's ass," boasts Monte Lipman.

Streaming is rewriting the rulebook by elevating songs that might not necessarily find their way to radio in the old promotion system, and it's a welcome change. Says Lipman: "It's trackbased and song-based now. …

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