Cebu Commissionag, Carlos Escalona Cruz, Matt Dufour and Lou Playa Named A&R Directors at Centric

Centric Music Group has made four major A&R hires in the United States, bringing in company executives Matt Dufour, Carlos Escalona Cruz, Cebu Commission and Lo Playa.

All four will serve as A&R directors at Centric in their respective regions, with Dufour covering the Midwest from Chicago, Commissioning covering the Southeast from Atlanta, Playa covering the East Coast from New York and Cruz covering the US-based Latin market. and will cover LATAM. ,

All four will report directly to the President of Centric North America, Simon Perry.

The new hires follow Centric’s move to North America in January, and the company says they now establish a presence in all major markets in the region.

The new appointments also followed the acquisition of Centric by Utopia Music in February.

Among the new employees is Lou Playa, who co-founded ReverbNation in 2006, and left after being sold to BandLab.

Prior to ReverbNation, Plaia was the head of marketing and artist development for the Atlantic Records imprint Lava Records. Before that for a decade, he worked at Atlantic Records, where his last role was VP of Strategic Marketing.

Meanwhile, Kebu Commissioning has worked with artists such as Sean Kingston, Ayo & Teo, Azzah, Raven Justice and Grammy-nominated producer Drumma Boy Fresh.

He is best known for his role as VP at Atlanta-based record label Big Cat Records and Tommy Boy Music. Kebu also served as Head of A&R for Gas Media Group where he oversaw the Music Partnerships Department.

Carlos Escalona Cruz is a Grammy and BMI award winner, producer/DJ/artist and executive. He is the co-founder of HITMUSIC 21 Productions, a New York-based production, artist development and artist services venture with a focus on the US Latin market and LATAM.

Cruz is known for his work with Latin music artists, including Marc Anthony, Fito Pez, Paulina Rubio and Chino and Nacho. Cruise signed to Warner Music Group in 2019, and his most recent release, i’m not like that anymore Goes viral in 13 countries on Spotify. In 2022, he was selected for the NY Chapter of the Recording Academy.

Matt Dufour is the co-owner and co-founder of NYC-based custom music house Academy Fight Songs. Prior to this, he was A&R’s VP for ReverbNation’s artist development program CONNECT.

Dufour’s resume also includes contracts with global hotel brands Virgin Hotels and Hard Rock Hotels, where she oversaw music programming and talent acquisition.

Dufour began his career with the NYC-based, Cornerstone Agency/The FADER, where he worked on radio promotions for The Strokes, White Stripes, Kings of Leon and others, as well as for major international brands such as Vitamin Water. Executed experiential marketing campaigns for , Diesel, Bushmills, and more.

“We are fortunate to have gathered an early group of individuals who are equally passionate about serving the needs of our writers and publishers today.”

Simon Perry

Simon Perry, President of Centric North America, said: “In 2022 a publishing business strikes a subtle balance between an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ approach to understanding the complexities of existing structures and creating a new model for a more transparent digital is needed. The future.”

“To fulfill that core belief, we are fortunate to have assembled an early group of individuals who are equally passionate about serving the needs of our writers and publishers today, as they set out to find Committed to where music and technology can take us all tomorrow.

“This exceptional first group of A&R entrepreneurs supports our broader mission of enabling innovation around the artistry of our clients, and builds on our ongoing commitment to delivering the best publishing services in North America.”

“Having spent half my career working only with major label artists, and the other half only working with emerging artists, I now get to work with artists and songwriters at all stages of their careers.”

lo playa

Lou Playa said: “Having spent half my career working only with major label artists, and the other half only working with emerging artists, I now have the opportunity to work with artists and songwriters at all stages of their careers. Get.

“I’m really excited to bring to Centric Systems to help songwriters and their business partners achieve maximum success, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with such an amazing team of great leaders.”

“Atlanta and the Southeast are fast becoming one of the most important markets for music.”

commissioning garden

The Kebu Commissioning said: “Atlanta and the Southeast are fast becoming one of the most important markets for music. I share my experience in representing Centric Music’s forward-thinking mindset to this thriving community of songwriters and creators.” And excited to bring the energy.”

“The global Latin market has seen exponential growth recently, and I believe Centric is the right publishing company with the best model to serve this community.”

Carlos Escalona-Cruz

Carlos Escalona Cruz said: “The global Latin market has seen rapid growth recently, and I believe Centric is the right publishing company with the best models to serve this community.

“I am really looking forward to being part of the new team they are building, and looking forward to growing this part of the business in South America and beyond!”

“When I heard that Simon was putting together a North American A&R team, I jumped at the chance to be involved.”

Matt Dufour

Matt Dufour said: “I had the pleasure of creating a publishing administrator catalog with Centric at a previous job, so I was deeply aware of the company’s artist first ethos, passionate staff and experienced, knowledgeable leadership.

“When I heard that Simon was putting together a North American A&R team, I jumped at the chance to be involved.”worldwide music business

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