After an extended self-exile in Thailand, the former Sony Classical chief Chris Craker is bouncing back into the record business with a joint venture proposition for young artists.
Craker, still only 52, is one of the most experienced label operators. A clarinettist in the London orchestras, he became a freelance producers and turned out more than 400 CDs before setting up his own label, Black Box, with finance from two Conservative peers. A second label, Onyx
, continues to thrive.
Then he went to Sony with a plan to revitalise the dying enterprise with young artists, signed on the cheap. Lisa Batiashvili, Elizabeth Watts and Jack Liebeck were his quick picks.
With his executive payoff – no-one lasts long at Sony Classical – he set up a ‘luxury residential studio’ in Thailand called Karma
. Jamiroquai and classical guitarist John Williams are among the first to work there.
Now Chris is starting Karma Classics to help young artists get onto record. ‘The old model is dead,’ he tells me, ‘but new talent still needs nurturing and
guiding. I’ve always loved
helping new talent to shine through and with 25 years experience at the front
line of the business, and considerable experience in innovative marketing
strategies incorporating all the new model social networking I feel I can make a
difference and assist the genuine stars of the future… Karma Studios in
Thailand is a creative utopia from where to base this initiative.’
He launches next month and you can reach him through the website.
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