Big Beat Records (American Record Label)
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Big Beat Records American Record Label
Big Beat Records
Big Beat Records.svg
Parent companyWarner Music Group
Founded1987 (1987)
FounderCraig Kallman
Country of originU.S.
LocationNew York City

Big Beat is an American electronic and dance music record label based in New York City. It was originally founded as an independent record label in 1987 by Craig Kallman with an emphasis on house music and, later, hip hop. It was absorbed into Atlantic Records in 1998, and eventually relaunched separately in 2010 as a primarily electronic music label. Its current roster includes Skrillex, Galantis, Chromeo, Cash Cash, David Guetta, and Clean Bandit.


1987-1998: Original Big Beat

The first iteration of Big Beat Records was founded as an indie label in 1987 by Craig Kallman who was, at the time, a 22-year-old deejay in New York.[1][2] The company initially operated out of Kallman's bedroom where he recorded the label's first track, "Join Hands" by Tara Vhonty. That record sold 5,000 copies largely through direct promotion at record stores by Kallman himself.[3][4]

The second record Kallman recorded in his bedroom studio was titled "The Party" by Kraze which would go on to sell 250,000 units in the United States and internationally. Soon after, Kallman began focusing on developing the record label, signing acts like Tara Kemp and Jomanda over the following 3 years.[4][5] He would sell Kemp's contract to Giant Records in 1991.[3] Also that year, Jomanda released a record entitled "Got a Love for You" on Big Beat which attracted the attention of Doug Morris, the Co-Chairman of Atlantic Records at the time.[4] Atlantic acquired Big Beat and made Kallman the Vice President of A&R while he still operated Big Beat.[1][6]

Over the course of the following 7 years, the label's roster shifted from primarily house music to more rap and hip hop. Big Beat Records signed a variety of artists including Mad Skillz,[7]Changing Faces,[8]Robin S.,[9]Junior Mafia, Lil' Kim (both via the company's Undeas imprint),[10]Artifacts,[11]Art n' Soul,[12]Double X Posse,[13]Kenny Dope, Dawn Penn, Marshall Jefferson, Todd Terry,[14]Quad City DJs, Percee P, and numerous others.[15] In 1998, the label and its roster were absorbed into Atlantic Records. There was an attempt in 2001 to bring the label back, but it was abandoned.[4][1][14]

2010-present: Relaunch

Big Beat Records was relaunched under Atlantic Records as a dance-focused label in 2010.[14][16] Artists on the label at the time of the relaunch included Skrillex,[17][18] Chromeo,[19]Wynter Gordon,[20]Martin Solveig,[21]Teddybears, and others.[22] The relaunched label's first hit came in 2010 with Wynter Gordon's "Dirty Talk" which reached #1 on the ARIA singles chart and the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and was certified triple platinum in Australia.[20][23] Martin Solveig's song "Hello," which was released in 2011 in the United States, peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart while also achieving Platinum status from the RIAA.[21][24]

Skrillex's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP, released in 2010, effectively charted the label's trajectory toward electronic music.[14] The EP sold hundreds of thousands of copies[18] and its title track sold over 2 million copies and appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] At the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, the EP was named the Best Dance/Electronic Album and its title track won Best Dance Recording.[25] The following year at the 55th Grammy Awards, Skrillex again won Best Dance/Electronic Album for his Bangarang EP along with Best Dance Recording for the EP's title track which featured Sirah. He also won the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his and Nero's remix of the Nero song, "Promises".[26]

In 2013, Big Beat signed Icona Pop, a Swedish electropop duo that would go on to release the 4x Platinum "I Love It" featuring Charli XCX.[27][28] The label also signed Cash Cash--whose 2013 single, "Take Me Home" featuring Bebe Rexha, was certified Gold--[29][30] and Galantis around that time.[31] In December 2013, Big Beat's parent company, Warner Music Group, acquired Parlophone (a German-British record label). As part of the terms of the deal, David Guetta was added to Big Beat's roster.[32]

In 2014, Clean Bandit released its album, New Eyes, on Big Beat. The lead single from the album, "Rather Be" featuring Jess Glynne, won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015.[33][34] Liz Miller, Big Beat's General Manager in 2014, was named one of the "50 Most Important People in EDM" by Rolling Stone.[35] In November 2014, David Guetta's first album with Big Beat, Listen, was released featuring the eventual double-platinum lead single "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, and Afrojack.[36][37]

In 2015, Skrillex released a collaborative album with Diplo entitled Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü. At the 58th Grammy Awards in 2016, the album won the award for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Its lead single, "Where Are Ü Now" featuring Justin Bieber, won for Best Dance Recording.[38][39] Galantis' 2016 single, "No Money" amassed nearly 700 million streams globally and charted on the Hot 100, Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and numerous other charts throughout the world.[40][41][42]

In 2017, Big Beat executives, Craig Kallman and Gina Tucci, were listed among Billboards list of "Dance Power Players." Big Beat label mates Skrillex and David Guetta were also on the list.[43] Also in 2017, Mixmag nominated Big Beat for the label of the decade.[44]

Current roster

See also


  1. ^ a b c "After Two-Year Hiatus, Big Beat's Back In Action". Billboard. April 13, 2001. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ Laskow, Michael (2015). "Craig Kallman - President, Big Beat Records / Vice President, Atlantic Records". Taxi. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b Handelman, David (August 17, 1998). "Mix Master". New York. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Kawashima, Dale (December 12, 2013). "Special Interview with Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO of Atlantic Records". Songwriter Universe. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Aswad, Jem (June 22, 2015). "Atlantic Records' CEO/Co-Chairman Craig Kallman on EDM's Evolution, Cee Lo's Next Move and His Own Massive Record Collection". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Ingham, Tim (December 19, 2016). "Atlantic's Craig Kallman: 'Artists are smart about the music business. They sign to people who believe in them.'". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Do Remember: Rawkus Records' Soundbombing 2 Album (Audio)". Ambrosia for Heads. May 14, 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Lei, Richard (August 22, 1994). "THE ITTY-BITTY DITTY HIT". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Hunt, Dennis (June 2, 1993). "Robin S Charting a Song for a Whole Different Future". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ Philips, Chuck (May 2, 1997). "Seaworthy : Val Azzoli Proves He Can Captain the Ship in Atlantic's Ocean". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Juon, Steve (April 26, 1997). "Artifacts :: That's Them :: Big Beat/Atlantic". RapReviews. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "That's My Jam: Art N' Soul - Touch of Soul". RapReviews. September 14, 2014. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Double XX Posse - Not Gonna Be Able To Do It". Discogs. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d e Leight, Elias (July 13, 2017). "Gina Tucci Promoted to Big Beat Label Manager, Talks Growth & Label Expansion". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ Evans, Steph (April 11, 2016). "Big Beat Records celebrates Miami Music Week with impressive showcase [Photo + Video Recap]". Earmilk. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Rishty, David (December 18, 2015). "Big Beat Records Celebrates Fifth Anniversary, Premieres Remix of Cash Cash's 'Take Me Home' (Exclusive)". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ Saliba, Emmanuelle (August 17, 2011). "Skrillex Announces Launch of OWSLA Label". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ a b "TESTING GALLERY SKRILLEX". Billboard. December 6, 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ "Business Casual by Chromeo". Silence Nogood. October 5, 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Big Beat Returns With Wynter Gordon's New EP". ClizBeats. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ a b Saliba, Emmanuelle (June 12, 2011). "Martin Solveig Says 'Hello' To Hot 100, September Album Release". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ O'Donnell, Kevin (June 21, 2011). "Teddybears, 'Devil's Music' (Big Beat/Atlantic)". Spin. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ "Wynter Gordon - Chart History - Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ Diehl, Matt (August 16, 2012). "Martin Solveig Braces for Stardom With U.S. Release of 'Smash'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ Rogerson, Ben (February 13, 2012). "Skrillex wins three Grammy Awards". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ Mason, Kerri (February 11, 2013). "Skrillex's Grammy Hat-Tricks: Good or Bad for EDM?". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 7, 2013). "Icona Pop Makes Hot 100 Debut, Discusses The Anger Behind 'I Love It'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ Cantor, Brian (December 16, 2015). "Icona Pop's "I Love It" Certified 4X Platinum, Charli XCX's "Boom Clap" Earns 2X Platinum Honor". Headline Planet. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ Gracie, Bianca (July 24, 2013). "Cash Cash's "Take Me Home" Lyric Video: Idolator Premiere". Idolator. Retrieved 2017.
  30. ^ Mancino, Mark (December 12, 2016). "The Nocturnal Times Exclusive Interview: Cash Cash". The Nocturnal Times. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ DeVille, Chris (November 19, 2013). "Galantis - "Smile" Video (NSFW) (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ Hampp, Andrew (December 18, 2013). "Coldplay, David Guetta Go To Atlantic Records; Radiohead & Pink Floyd Catalogs, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn To Warner Bros: WMG's US Plans for Parlophone (Exclusive)". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ Smirke, Richard (June 24, 2014). "Clean Bandit Puts Classical Music In The House With 'Rather Be'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ Daw, Robbie (February 9, 2015). "Grammy Wins You Didn't See Happen, From Clean Bandit To Lady Gaga To Max Martin: 14 Photos". Idolator. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ Castillo, Arielle; Domanick, Andrea; Matos, Michaelangelo (March 17, 2014). "50 Most Important People in EDM - Liz Miller, Big Beat Records, General Manager". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (September 30, 2014). "David Guetta Announces November Album Release, New Song Next Week". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ Cantor, Brian (December 15, 2015). "David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack's "Hey Mama" Certified 2X Platinum". Headline Planet. Retrieved 2017.
  38. ^ Rishty, David (February 16, 2016). "Dance Artists Congratulate Skrillex & Diplo on 2016 Grammy Wins". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ Weiner, Natalie (February 15, 2016). "Justin Bieber Wins His First Grammy Ever: See His Response". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ Cirisano, Tatiana (September 7, 2017). "Galantis' 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ "Galantis & ROZES Premiere New Single 'Girls on Boys' + The Aviary Out 9/15". Broadway World. September 1, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  42. ^ Bargiela, Sarah (October 7, 2016). "Galantis release new single Love On Me". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ "Billboard's Dance Power Players 2017: The DJs, Execs and Tastemakers Cueing Up Tomorrow". Billboard. June 15, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  44. ^ "Is Big Beat Records the Label Of The Decade? Vote now". Mixmag. March 1, 2017. Retrieved 2017.

External links

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