Friday, February 24, 2017I.B. BAD: GRAMMY REWIND, 2017 FAST-FORWARDHEAVY HITTERS 2
: Lots of Grammy week chatter about who will succeed Rob Stringer as Columbia chief. Many believe the seat is the best label-head job in the business, due in large part to what Stringer accomplished while occupying it. During the last six years of his 10-year tenure atop the label (post-BMG), he spearheaded an out-and-out metamorphosis; he’s been a capable custodian of the label’s highbrow tradition and mature roster while also enormously boosting its “cool factor” with signings like Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem and Hozier.
Giant buzz surrounds the forthcoming album by another Columbia artist, the recently signed Harry Styles,
managed by Jeffrey Azoff, now in partnership with Brandon Creed. Working with a single producer, the versatile Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Rolling Stones, “Uptown Funk!”), in marked contrast to One Direction’s production by committee, Styles has crafted a set that recalls the regal high-water mark of ’70s British rock, Bowie and Queen in particular. The lead single, which could come out as soon as late April or early May,
sounds like it would be a smash in any decade.
Styles’ album will hit during the first quarter of Sony Music’s fiscal year, which promises to be another big one for the company, on the heels of an impressive two-year run fueled by Adele and Beyoncé.