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EMI North record label to launch in boost to northern England’s music scene

The move will provide new opportunities for young people to work in the music industry

By Charlotte Krol

EMI North logo
EMI North logo. (Picture: Universal Music UK/EMI Records)

Universal Music UK-owned EMI Records is launching a new label in Leeds called EMI North.

The label’s move is a boom to the UK music industry beyond the borders of the capital, becoming, as Universal claims, the first major label to open a physical space outside the English capital.

Universal said that EMI North will be dedicated to working “with the very best musical talent in the North of England” and will provide opportunities for young people to work in the industry [via Music Business Worldwide].

Based in Duke Studios, the creative hub in the city centre of Leeds, the label will be led by Clive Cawley who moves over from his current role of MD at EMI to President at EMI North.

Universal said that it marks a full circle for Cawley, who is originally from Yorkshire and began his career as Sales Representative for Universal Music in North Yorkshire. After taking up a similar role in London’s West End, Cawley joined Mercury Records as MD before moving to EMI.

Cawley has worked with artists including Elton John, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, Queen, Taylor Swift, The Killers and The Stone Roses over the years. He said: “I’m delighted to finally open the doors to EMI North with a very simple goal: to support and invest in local talent, helping them to find new audiences and build their businesses.

“We have been overwhelmed by the reaction from the creative community in Leeds and beyond and are raring to go.”

Additionally, EMI North has already formed partnerships with two companies based in Leeds: Clue Records, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and Come Play With Me, a non-profit music development organisation.

The news comes as Leeds kicks off its Year Of Culture 2023, which sees the city become centre stage of the UK’s cultural scene by showcasing a wide range of arts events.