LIVERPOOL (CelebrityAccess) — UK-based Sentric Music Group, part of Utopia Music, announced the hire of A&R executives Matt DuFour, Carlos Escalona Cruz, Kebu Commissiong and Lou Plaia as the company expands into the U.S.
All four will take on A&R roles at Sentric, focusing on individual territories in the U.S. DuFour will cover the Midwest from Chicago, Commissiong covering the South East from Atlanta, Plaia covering the East Coast from New York and Cruz covering the US based Latin market and LATAM.
The four will report to directly to Simon Perry, President of Sentric North America.
“A publishing business in 2022 needs to be a finely tuned balance between understanding the complexities of existing structures, and an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ attitude to crafting a new model for a more transparent digital future,” Perry said.
Before joining Sentric, Lou Plaia co-founded ReverbNation in 2006 and exited the company after it was sold to BandLab in 2019. He also spent a decade in multiple roles at Atlantic Records, including VP of Strategic Marketing. As well, he headed up marketing for and artist development for the Atlantic Records imprint Lava Records.
“After spending half my career working only with major label artists, and the other half working only with emerging artists, I now get to work with artists and songwriters at all stages of their careers. I’m truly excited to bring songwriters and their business partners into the Sentric system to help them achieve maximum success, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing team with great leaders,” Plaia said.
Matt DuFour is the co-owner and co-founder of NYC-based custom music house Academy Fight Songs. He also spent a tenure as VP of A&R at ReverbNation’s artist development platform Connect. His resume also includes roles at global hotel brands Virgin Hotels and Hard Rock Hotels, where he oversaw music programming and talent buying. He began his career at the Cornerstone Agency/The FADER, where he worked on radio promotion for The Strokes, White Stripes, Kings of Leon and more.
“I had the pleasure of building a publishing admin catalogue with Sentric at a previous job, so I was keenly aware of the company’s artist first ethos, passionate staff and experienced, knowledgeable leadership. When I heard Simon was putting together a North American A&R team, I jumped at the chance to get involved,” DuFour said of his new role.
Kebu Commissiong has partnered with many well-known acts in the music industry. Artists such as Sean Kingston, AYO & TEO, Azjah, Rayven Justice, and Grammy nominated producer Drumma Boy Fresh. He is known for his role as VP at Atlanta based record label Big Cat Records and Tommy Boy Music. Kebu also worked as Head of A&R for Gas Media Group where he oversaw the Music Partnerships Department.
“Atlanta and the South East are fast becoming one the most important markets for music. I’m excited to bring my experience and energy to represent Sentric Music’s forward thinking mindset to this thriving community of songwriters and creators,” Commissiong said.
A veteran label exec and a Grammy and BMI award winning, producer/DJ/Artist, Cruz 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. Over the course of his career, Cruz has Latin music artists including Marc Anthony, Fito Páez, Paulina Rubio and Chino&Nacho. An artist in his own right, he signed to Warner Music in 2019 and his recent release Ya no soy así” went viral on Spotify in 13 countries.
“The global Latin market has seen exponential growth recently, and I believe Sentric is the right publishing company with the best model to service this community. I’m really looking forward to being part of the new team they’re building, and excited to grow this part of the business in South America and beyond!” added Carlos Escalona Cruz.