Mike Smith

Bio

Mike Smith started as an A&R scout at MCA Publishing in 1988, where he signed Blur, Levitation and scouted the Smashing Pumpkins. He then moved to EMI Publishing in 1992, where he went on to sign acts, such as PJ Harvey, Elastica, Supergrass, Teenage Fan Club, Doves, Starsailor, the Beta Band, the Avalanches, Gorillaz, the White Stripes, the Libertines, the Scissor Sisters, Arcade Fire, and Arctic Monkeys, as well as resigning Blur and progressing to the position of Head of A&R. He also worked with artists such as Robbie Williams, The Verve and Beth Orton.

Mike moved to Columbia Records UK in 2006 to work as the Managing Director. In his first year there he signed Mark Ronson and Calvin Harris. Other signings included the Ting Tings, MGMT, the Hugs, the Gossip, Glasvegas, Miike Snow, Magnetic Man, Miles Kane, Paul Epworth, Band of Horses, Katy B, The Vaccines and Ryan Adams. Acts he also looked after included Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Matt Cardle, Ke$ha, Sleigh Bells, and Kasabian.

In April 2012, Mike left Columbia to take up the role of President of Music at Mercury Records where he oversaw the signings of Iggy Azalea, the Vamps, and Slaves as well as signing Duke Dumont and the Strypes. With the formation of Virgin / EMI Records in 2013, from the merger of Virgin Records and Mercury Records, he signed the Chemical Brothers, Libertines, Barns Courtney and Squeeze.

In 2016, Mike left Virgin/EMI to take up the position of Managing Director at Warner/Chappell UK, the longest established major international music publishing company. Its diverse roster runs from Noël Coward and George Gershwin to Skepta and Stormzy.

As well as reuniting with Damon Albarn, since joining the company he has overseen the signings of Liam Gallagher J Hus, Dave, Andy Partridge, Joe Strummer, the Manic Street Preachers and Celeste.

In November 2016 Mike was the inaugural recipient of the George Martin Award at the Music Business Worldwide A&R Awards, presented to him by Damon Albarn.

In September 2020 Mike joined Downtown Music Publishing as Global President where he is responsible for a catalogue that includes John Lennon, Miles Davis, Oneohtrix Point Never, Arca, George Gershwin and the Wu-Tang-Clan.

Since 2010, Mike has been a trustee of the charity, New Deal of The Mind, which works to encourage job creation within the creative industries. He is also a board member of In Place of War, a charity which aims to enable grassroots change-makers in music, theatre and across the arts to transform a culture of violence and suffering into hope, opportunity and freedom. Mike is also a trustee of EarthPercent%, a charity providing a simple way for the music industry to support the most impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency.

GBUnited Kingdom
In operation since: 
1988
Profile added by Claire Metais on 28 Oct 2022
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