Paris, 30 March 2017 – Steve Bartels, CEO of Def Jam Recordings and a music industry veteran who has worked with some of the world’s top artists, will deliver a keynote presentation June 7 at Midem on scouting talent and developing new artists as well as the iconic label’s brand-identity and marketing tactics.

Held in Cannes, France, from 6-9 June 2017, Midem is the leading event for the global music industry. Bartels will deliver his keynote, in a Q&A format, on 7 June 2017 at the Palais des Festivals.

Def Jam Recordings, by aggressively developing its roster and expanding its international imprint, is focused on signing, developing and breaking a new generation of artists who are bold, authentic and highly marketable and who embody the spirit and energy of the label’s cultural legacy. Bartels will also discuss the label’s highly successful “We Are Def Jam” campaign.

“Midem is a nexus of global talent, and I am honored to be a part of such a dynamic event,” Bartels said. “Since its inception, Def Jam has represented a unique voice in music across the globe through its artists, its music and its culture. I look forward to sharing my passion for this music – and my optimism for its future – with the creative community at Midem.”

Alexandre Deniot, Director of Midem, said, “Midem welcomes, every year, the most brilliant music professionals who not only cherish and develop extraordinary musical talent, but also drive the business forward, embracing new technology and breaking boundaries to let music travel worldwide. We are extremely honoured to announce Steve Bartels’ keynote as his experience, along with Def Jam Recordings’ history, are a true inspiration.”

During his music career, Bartels has orchestrated some of the most successful new artist campaigns of the last 30 years and signed and worked with many worldwide stars including Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Outkast, Big Sean, Janet Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Alessia Cara, and more.

From his debut as a club DJ through his rise in the music industry, Bartels’ passion for music has remained his inspiration. He has been part of more than 34 separate Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 Artist singles’ campaigns. Bartels has worked alongside industry stalwarts such as Herb Albert, Jerry Moss, Clive Davis, LA Reid, Barry Weiss and Sir Lucian Grainge during his tenure at A&M Records, Arista Records, the Island Def Jam Music Group and now Def Jam Recordings. As a Recording Industry of America Association (RIAA) Board Member, Bartels supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the U.S. music industry.

Def Jam Recordings was founded in 1984 by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons and has represented the very best in cutting-edge music and youth culture for over 30 years. The label began with pioneering iconic stars LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam has grown into a global brand, encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Jeremih, and Iggy Azalea. In 2014, Def Jam returned to its roots as a standalone label within the Universal Music Group, with a strategic forward focus garnering 15 Grammy nominations, many in the new artist categories. 

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