Sykes was UK Music Manager for Apple’s Beats 1.
The pair will report to Virgin EMI president Ted Cockle, and will be responsible for signing and developing artists to the label in addition to working alongside the wider Virgin EMI marketing and promotion teams, according to Music Week.
In speaking about the company’s latest hirings, Cockle said:
“On too many occasions the DNA of Ashley and Barry were present somewhere in the mix of many of the artists we were courting. Hence it felt totally right to bring these two forceful characters together and harness their combined energies in this focused, boutique A&R cauldron and let them really nurture, stimulate and launch some super fresh new talent.”
In a statement, Burt and Sykes added:
“To be able to provide artists with the core A&R attention that only a boutique label can offer, but with the might of Virgin EMI in the wings to take things to the next level when ready, is the perfect balance. Ted totally understood our desire to build a brand and make a statement that is led by the music we deliver. Artist-driven projects are our focus and we want our roster to be quality, not quantity. We’re so excited to work with Ted, Fay, Rob and everyone at Virgin EMI.”
The label’s first three artist signings are: Wauve, Afrobeat producer/DJ Juls, and ATC-managed act Collard.