London, 17th November 2015,

  • Election for Merlin’s 15-member board attracts record numbers of candidates and votes.
  • New board members from Secretly Group, Because Music, Secret City Records, and Africori join representatives from the world’s leading independents including Epitaph Records, PIAS, Tommy Boy, Phonofile, !K7 and Inertia Music.
  • Beggars Group founder Martin Mills reappointed as Merlin chairman.

Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector, has today announced results of its biennial board election and the 15 executives who will oversee the organisation’s strategy until 2017.

This year saw the highest ever number of candidates standing for election, as well the highest ever percentage of votes cast by the Merlin membership.

Alongside reappointed executives from key independent labels – including representatives from Epitaph Records, Evolution Music, Inertia, PIAS, Phonofile, Tommy Boy and !K7 – new incoming board members include Darius van Arman (Secretly Group), Emmanuel de Buretel (Because Music), Justin West (Secret City Records), Scott Muir ( and Yoel Kenan (Africori).

Beggars Group founder Martin Mills was reappointed as Merlin chairman.

As a not-for-profit foundation, the Merlin board comprises of 15 voting representatives of Merlin member companies.

To ensure the widest possible representation of interests, seats are divided into three territorial blocs – with 5 members each for North America, Europe, and ROW.[1] Additionally, up to two non-voting observer members per territorial bloc can also be appointed by the board.

Commenting on the election results, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin said:

“Merlin’s global construct remains one of our greatest strengths, and this is truly reflected by the make-up of our board. I am honoured to lead an organisation that can draw on such an unparalleled wealth of commercial expertise – from the US, UK and Europe through to Africa, Asia, South America and Australasia.

“I am also delighted that so many of our members took the opportunity to vote in this election, and that Merlin remains of such importance to their digital business. The two years ahead will be critical for the independent label sector, but Merlin is in better shape than ever to help our members realise the opportunities ahead.”

In alphabetical order, per block, the successful candidates are:

North America:

Darius van Arman – Secretly Group (USA)

Dave Hansen – Epitaph Records (USA)

Erik Gilbert – Essential USA inc. t/as CV America (USA)

Justin West – Secret City Records (Canada)

Tom Silverman – Tommy Boy (USA)


Emmanuel de Buretel – Because Music (France)

Erik Brataas – Phonofile (Norway)

Horst Weidenmueller – !K7 Records (Germany)

Martin Mills – Beggars Group (UK)

Michel Lambot – PIAS Group (Belgium)


Ashley Whitfield – Evolution Music (Hong Kong)

Colin Daniels – Inertia (Australia)

Luciana Pegorer – Delira Musica (Brazil)

Scott Muir – (New Zealand)

Yoel Kenan – Africori (South Africa) 

The newly-elected board have appointed four non-voting observers from among the unsuccessful candidates.

These observers are:

John Dyer – Domino Recording Co (UK)

Glenn Dicker – Yep Roc Records/Redeye (USA)

Paul Hitchman – Kobalt Label Services (UK)

Oke Goettlich – Finetunes (Germany)

The board will sit for two years, effective October 15, 2015

[1] The territorial blocs are split as follows: USA (4 x USA, 1 x Rest of North America seat); Europe (no more than 1 representative per country) and ROW (at least one member for Asia, Africa, South America and Australia/NZ, but no more than 1 representative per country).

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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