Priority Records to Relaunch as Electronic Music Label

Michael Cohen

The first release by the Capitol Music Group imprint, a joint venture with Insurgency Music, will be the track "Higher" from Baauer and Just Blaze featuring Jay Z.

Capitol Music Group, via a joint venture with Insurgency Music, is relaunching Priority Records as a dance label. Insurgency co-founder and longtime electronic music executive Michael Cohen will serve as president.

Founded in 1985 as an urban label, Priority was home to such artists as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Master P, N.W.A. and Snoop Dogg, among other hip-hop heavies. EMI purchased the label in 1998, but after merging with Capitol Records, it ceased operations six years later.

Priority was briefly relaunched in 2006, naming Snoop Dogg creative chairman of the label and releasing his 2009 album Malice in Wonderland.

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Under CMG, which is owned by Universal Music Group, and with distribution by Caroline, the new Priority will focus "on a wide, innovative array of electronic and progressive music" and aims to be "a home for producers," reads an announcement issued Sunday morning. "The emergence of the producer as an artist and brand within the global electronic music scene and beyond has heralded a paradigm shift in the way music is created, discovered and spread," said Cohen.

Added Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Capitol Music Group: "Priority has played an important role in the history of Capitol Records, and I wanted an executive on the cutting edge of music to helm and reinvigorate the label."

The label's first release will be the track "Higher" from Just Blaze and Baauer featuring Jay Z, which already has built momentum in the underground club scene.

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The senior executive team of Priority will consist of chief marketing officer Josh Neuman; executive vice presidents Adrian Martinez, Simon White and Chris Gentry; senior vps A&R Ben Persky and Mason Klein; vp A&R Justin Scott; general manager Cyrus Bader; senior vps marketing Jamal Dauda and Matt Sadie; and senior vp integrated disruption Toby Benson.

Cohen, a co-CEO with Neuman of Complete Control Management (home to the likes of Phoenix and Bloc Party), will continue in that role as well.

Priority will be based in the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood.

Twitter: @THRMusic