Prog/tech star Deadmau5 has stepped up to the major leagues, signing a "worldwide partnership" deal with EMI's Virgin label. The gig includes "all live, recording, sponsorship, television, film and merchandising activities" according to a statement. The contract is described as "long-term."
"Deadmau5 is an extremely talented and versatile artist and the hottest name in the world of electronic music," states Nick Gatfield, EMI’s president of new music for North America, the U.K. and Ireland. "I am delighted to have signed this agreement which will see us working together for many years to come across all aspects of the artist’s career."
The Toronto DJ's last long-player, Random Album Title, was released via dance music's biggest indie label, Ultra. In fact, his Ultra collaboration with Kaskade, "I Remember," is currently a top 20 hit on the U.K. pop chart.
This appears to be a big deal for the scene. It seems like it's been a while since a core electronic dance music artist has been tapped for the big leagues. That said, with few exceptions (Moby being one of them), major-label forays into EDM have mostly resulted in flops, and I have to wonder aloud if majors know how to position, market and deploy such artists in the mainstream or whether doing such is even workable.
Oh, and, uh, the first person to write about him outside the trade pubs? Yours truly, in 2007. Where's my A&R check?