Sony Music announces partnership with music and technology entrepreneur Rob Ronaldson, launching new label imprint Robots + Humans
Sony Music today announced a new partnership with music and technology entrepreneur Rob Ronaldson, focused on identifying and cultivating new artists using cutting edge A&R insights.
Ronaldson is an innovator in data technology solutions that help spot high-potential emerging artists and support their growth from the earliest stage of their careers. His new label imprint through Sony Music Entertainment UK is called Robots + Humans and he has also launched a creative partnership with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
“I never thought my love of data could be applied to the processes of finding new talent within the music industry,” said Ronaldson. “We hope that our technology can help R+H keep growing into something exciting, innovative and genuinely competitive over the next few years.”
Robots + Humans will serve as the UK label home to singer, songwriter, rapper and musician Powfu whose viral hit ‘Death Bed’ ft. Beabadoobeehas amassed more than a billion global streams since its release just four months ago. Robots + Humans’ publishing roster includes Nashi who produced StaySolidRocky’s ‘Party Girl’, which is also on its way to one billion global streams. Ronaldson worked in partnership with Columbia Records in the U.S. on Powfu and Nashi.
The agreement expands on an existing relationship between Sony Music and Ronaldson dating back to 2016. Ronaldson has collaborated with various Sony Music labels in using technology-driven insights to support the identification, evaluation and growth of new artists including Regard (Ministry of Sound), Young T & Bugsey (Black Butter), Sam Fischer (RCA), Koffee (Columbia) and many more. Collectively these artists have produced six UK platinum-selling singles, two million-plus selling UK tracks, nearly seven billion global streams and a GRAMMY award winner.
With thousands of tracks now being uploaded to streaming platforms every minute, Sony Music acquired Ronaldson’s company R.E. Labs in October 2019 to provide A&R teams across the company with greater levels of insight for finding and developing fresh talent. Ronaldson founded R.E. Labs aged 26 in 2016 alongside Joel Leslie, using machine learning techniques to develop a range of insights around up-and-coming artists.
“Our experience is that discovery is only the first step and it’s about what happens next that makes the difference,” said Jason Iley, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland. “Rob has quickly established an impressive track record across genres by working in partnership with Sony Music labels. Robots + Humans gives us more scope to develop new artists using cutting-edge techniques and I’m excited to see what Rob can do next.”
“Rob Ronaldson is a forward-looking talent developer with a passion for finding great artistry,” added Dennis Kooker, President of Global Digital Business & US Sales, Sony Music Entertainment. “We look forward to working with him to support artist discovery, A&R and career growth using powerful data insights.”
“Rob embodies the new generation of talented and entrepreneurial A&R,” said David Ventura, President & Co–Managing Director, Sony/ATV UK and Tim Major, Co–Managing Director, Sony/ATV UK. “His approach is so pioneering that it was a no-brainer to partner with him and we are delighted to be launching this venture together.”