Jeff Ayeroff, former Co-Chairman of Virgin Records America, Co-President of The Work Group and, most recently, Vice Chairman of Warner Brothers Records, and his long time Rock The Vote partner, Jon Rubin, are running a new music venture, it was announced today. Shangri-La Music, based in Santa Monica, California, is a joint venture with Shangri-La Entertainment.
“I have had the privilege to work for more than three decades in leadership capacities in the music industry – art director, marketing director, label president, chairman – and alongside so many extraordinary visual and musical artists,” commented Ayeroff. “It has been a remarkable journey and it’s exciting now to be able to apply all of what I’ve learned about artist development, marketing and positioning to the entirety of their careers – and with an economic model that makes far more sense for most artists in our new media world.”
“While many are distressed by the rapid decline of the record business, more people are listening to more music in more places and in more ways than ever before,” said Rubin. “The business of music may not look the same as it once did, but like all dramatic change, this period creates great opportunities for artists and those able to work with them without all of the challenges of the legacy business models.”
Early signings to the label include UK rock band The Duke Spirit, whose CD is released today. The CD, titled “Neptune,” marks the first release for Shangri-La Music. Chicago-based rock guitarist/singer Trevor Menear’s CD debut will be released later in the year, as well as a forthcoming release from Parisian rock quartet Neimo.
Highlights of Jeff Ayeroff’s 35 year career in the music business begins at A&M where, as Senior VP of Marketing and Creative Services, he spearheaded campaigns for The Police, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Supertramp, the Carpenters , Peter Frampton and many others. As Senior VP of Warner Bros. in the 80s, Jeff oversaw marketing, design and videos for such iconic artists as Madonna, Don Henley, Dire Straits, Talking Heads, ZZ Top, Prince, Eric Clapton, The Cult, Echo & the Bunnymen and Steve Winwood, to name a few.
After leaving Warner Bros., Ayeroff and his friend and partner, Jordan Harris, built Richard Branson’s Virgin US label from the ground up, signing and marketing such acts as Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Steve Winwood, Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ben Harper, and Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. Then, Ayeroff and Harris founded The Work Group, a west coast boutique, Sony Music Label, signing and developing Jennifer Lopez, Fiona Apple, Jamiroquuai, Eagle Eye Cherry and Ben Taylor. While at Virgin, Ayeroff founded the youth political organization, Rock the Vote. He then went to work for Apple, overseeing the marketing of the Beatles 1, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Most recently, Ayeroff returned to Warner Bros. Records as Vice Chairman, where he and Tom Whalley reinvigorated the label. Ayeroff supervised all phases of marketing for artist such as: Green Day, Madonna, Josh Groban, Linkin’ Park, Faith Hill, Neil Young, Regina Spektor, Michael Buble, among many others.
After leaving Warners, as it was primed to become the number one label in the music business in 2005, Jeff, and his longtime partner in guiding Rock The Vote, Jon Rubin, started ArtistsFirst, a creative and marketing consulting agency with clients such as Sony BMG US, Sony BMG UK, Warner Bros. Records and Home Entertainment, Verve Music and Paramount Home Entertainment. ArtistsFirst, along with Yoko Ono and Warner Bros. Records, launched Amnesty International Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur in 2007 that featured more than 50 musical artists perfoming John Lennon’s songs, including U2, Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Green Day, Ben Harper and Aerosmith. The project was an international effort that combined Lennon’s music, technology and human rights activism.
Jon Rubin is an entrepreneur who has founded and run a number of traditional and digital marketing, advertising and media concerns including Next Century Communications, National Direct Marketing and Netresponse, as well as the Accelerator Group, a media and technology venture-capital fund.
Along with their professional accomplishments, Jeff and Jon have maintained a life-long commitment to public service. They have served on the Rock The Vote board together for 18 years. Rock the Vote is the leading political brand for young people.
Shangri-La Music’s developing artists:
According to the April 4th NY Times, The Duke Spirit is “long simmering in Britain as a Next Big Thing.” The five-piece band is fronted by singer and songwriter Liela Moss. The media has compared Moss’ vocals to many in rock’s canon of women greats, including Chrissie Hynde, Grace Slick, Bjork and Siouxsie Sioux. The Duke Spirit’s long awaited second CD, Neptune, produced by Queens of the Stone Age producer Chris Goss, will be the debut release by Shangri-La Music, available today. For more information, go to www.dukespirit.com and www.myspace.com/thedukespirit.
Steeped in the great tradition of Chicago rock and roll, Trevor Menear picked up a guitar at age 10 and began jamming at festivals with the likes of Johnny Winter and Ted Nugent. He recently gained attention with his cover of John Lennon’s “John Sinclair” appearing on Warner Bros. Records’ Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfar. Shangri-La will be releasing, Introducing Trevor Menear, later in the year. For more information, go to www.trevormenear.com and www.myspace.com/trevormenear.com.
As part of the fertile rock and roll scene in Paris, punk rock quartet Neimo is on the cusp of the new wave of French rock and roll. Lead singer Bruno Alexandre has the energy of Iggy Pop mashed with the voice of Morrissey. Neimo is finishing up their new album in Paris; and Shangri-La Music will be announcing a release strategy shortly. For more information, go to www.myspace.com/neimo.
Shangri-La Entertainment’s films include: Beowulf, Polar Express, Heart of Gold, For Your Consideration and Looking for Comedy in a Muslim World.
Shine a Light is in its first week of release by Paramount Classics in association with Concert Productions International and Shangri-La Entertainment. Academy-Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese and the world’s greatest rock band, The Rolling Stones, teamed up for a film that The NY Times calls, “A concert film with frills that places you on the stage with the band and, with a finely trains eye, observes the musicians’ interactions with one another and with the audience. The visual rhythms and unobtrusive editing reflect the contradictory status of the Stones as a majestic rock institution and a gang of down-and-dirty bad boys thumbing their noses at propriety while scooping up all the girls.”