Universal Music Canada announces today that Kardinal Offishall has been named Senior Vice President, A&R. In 2013, he was named Creative Executive Director for the firm’s A&R team and remains active as a decorated recording artist and producer.
Recent deals for UMC include a joint-venture with British producer Harmony Samuels (Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Maroon 5, Ella Mai) and a soon-to-be-announced label imprint (launching later this spring). Additionally, his roster signings include Emanuel, the first Canadian domestic act co-signed to the Motown label; Savannah Ré, a prolific songwriter and performer championed by R&B heavyweights Babyface, Boi-1da, and Jessie Reyez; and Zach Zoya, a bilingual hip-hop rapper who recently released his debut EP.
“Kardi is a force. He’s a ground-breaking, internationally respected artist, a smart and insightful label exec, a compassionate and bold thought leader, and a tireless philanthropist. He’s always been at the forefront of Canada’s music scene and UMC’s artists and team have long benefitted from his thoughtful collaboration, unmatched energy, and drive,” UMC Chair & CEO Jeffrey Remedios stated. “This promotion underscores our big aspirations -Canada is bursting with talent, and we’re committed to building the best team we can to put that talent front and centre on a global stage. I’m honoured to continue to lead alongside Kardi.”
Responding, Kardi had this to say: “Whether it was intentional or the by-product of hard work and excellence, I was able to stand on the shoulders of giants who came before me. I’ve seen the world several times over and am able to dream with my eyes wide open because the bar kept being raised by those brave enough to lift it to unseen heights. This new Senior Vice President, A&R, position at Universal Music Canada is about me continuing to prepare my shoulders, so that many others can stand taller than I did and have the opportunity to showcase their gifts on a global stage. Where I’m from, the phrase ‘dare to dream’ is a real warning, because without endurance and an uncanny ability to navigate through many storms –you can end up eternally picking up the pieces of broken promises and regret. I am proud to be taking steps forward with Jeffrey Remedios, who as CEO, has placed great responsibility in my hands. Today, I walk so that the next generation can run. Forward movements forever, until we all fly.”
Born Jason Drew Harrow in Toronto, the colourful music biz executive, entrepreneur, rapper, record producer and DJ is better known by his stage name Kardinal Offishall.