High-ranking industry execs have been playing a game of musical chairs lately, and in a move that many insiders suspected, former Island Def Jam Chairman L.A. Reid will take the seat as the chairman of the soon-to-be restructured Epic Label Group, a part of Sony Music, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In an April interview with MTV News, Reid remained tight-lipped about the possible move and has repeatedly dodged the question in the media, but THR reports he will take the helm at Epic, replacing songwriter Amanda Ghost, in the beginning of July.
Speculation about the move arose after L.A. left IDJ and soon took a gig as a judge on Simon Cowell’s talent “X Factor,” where the winner will receive $5 million in cash and a recording contract with Sony.
When the deal is complete, Epic Label Group will encompass Jive Records, where former Reid protégés Usher and Pink still record. THR is also reporting that Epic has already signed the duo Karmin, who are racking up YouTube views with their quirky hip-hop covers, most notably an acoustic version of Chris Brown’s Lil Wayne-assisted single “Look at Me Now.”
It’s unclear if that signing is indicative of the direction Reid will take at Epic, but he did tell MTV News what type of talent he’ll be looking for on “X Factor.” “I’m personally looking for artists that are along the lines of today’s pop stars,” he said. “Whether it be a Rihanna or a Justin Bieber or a Kanye West or a Beyoncé or a Lady Gaga, I’m looking for talent that’s like that, that’s what I love. I love pop stars; that’s what I get off on.”
L.A. also left the door opened for hip-hop signings on the show as well, citing the artistic traits of Drake, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. Whether or not Reid will use the same sensibilities as the head of Epic remains to be seen.