DEF JAM RECORDINGS EVP STEVEN VICTOR MOVES TO EXPAND & ENHANCE A&R WITH PROMOTIONS, NEW HIRES & KEY NEW ARTIST SIGNINGS
( New York, NY) In the few short months since taking the helm of Def Jam Recordings A&R department, EVP Steven Victor has strengthened his team of top-notch A&R executives and invigorated Def Jam’s star-studded and diverse roster with fresh new signings. With these moves, and more to come in the following months, Victor and Chairman & CEO Paul Rosenberg aim to uniquely position the label for success; cementing Def Jam’s rightful place as the preeminent label in hip-hop, connected to the vitality and urgency of hip-hop’s global culture, as well as its rich legacy.
“Our industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace but music and artistry will always remain at its core,” said Steven Victor. “I’m excited about the direction, energy and creative conversations we are having here at the label and within the creative communities. The A&R team we are building continues Def Jam’s legacy of discovering and developing some of the greatest talent in the world, setting us up for a successful future.”
Today, Victor announces the promotion of Noah Preston to Senior Vice President, A&R. Preston, a leading A&R executive with deep connections to the creative community, first joined the Def Jam A&R Department in 2009, and has served as Vice President since 2014. He signed Logic in 2012, and has worked closely with the Grammy-nominated star on each of his Def Jam albums; two of them platinum and the last two debuting with consecutive #1’s on the Billboard 200 album chart. Mr. Preston has also played a key role in the success of Jhene Aiko, working to develop her sound and helming A&R duties on her two gold LPs, including 2017’s critically acclaimed opus, Trip.
“Def Jam is an incredibly supportive environment that truly nurtures creative talent,” said Preston. “Def Jam has afforded me the opportunity to work with artists I am passionate about, along with a team I am truly fortunate to work with. I appreciate and thank Paul Rosenberg and Steven Victor for allowing me to continue my future here at this great label.”
Along with promotions at the senior level of the department, Victor has brought in new energy with the appointment of Alexander “AE” Edwards to Vice President, A&R. An extremely talented and charismatic young executive, Oakland-native AE is best known as a frequent collaborator with Tyga and his Last Kings Records. Together, AE and Victor have recently signed 18-year-old YK Osiris, the Jacksonville, FL singer and viral sensation who has amassed half a million Instagram followers in just four weeks and whose track “Valentines” has generated a whopping 4 million YouTube views in less than a month.
“Both Steven Victor and Paul Rosenberg built their careers developing artists, so it’s exciting for me to be part of a legendary label that understands artists and the culture,” said Edwards. “I was raised by the culture; I was influenced and impacted by it. We have the opportunity to sign and develop important, cultural artists based not only on ‘likes’ but on instinct; to look past the data and recognize something special. It’s a super exciting time to be here at Def Jam.”
With an eye on the future, Def Jam has signed an exclusive joint venture deal with New Jersey-bred super-producer Ronny J and his Listen Up Forever Records imprint. Ronny J has built a huge buzz as a producer with new hip-hop faces XXXtentacion, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp, among others. Stepping out into the artist arena, Ronny has also been gathering critical acclaim for his debut mixtape, OMGRONNY, featuring a who’s-who of streaming breakout artists. “At the age of 25, he’s emerged as an elder statesman in the raucous subculture of SoundCloud rap, says Pitchfork. “His early work…more or less created the template for an entire generation…overdriven, in-the-red songs built for tinny speakers and irresponsible volumes.”
Stay tuned for more on Steven Victor, Paul Rosenberg, and Def Jam Recordings…