Columbia Records Appoints Abou “Bu” Thiam As Its New Executive Vice President
Courtesy of Cécile Boko

Today, Columbia Records announced that Abou “Bu” Thiam has been hired as the company’s executive vice president.

Thiam has been a power player in the music industry for quite some time. His brother – the award-winning singer, songwriter, and record producer Akon – brought him on as an A&R during negotiations for his first record deal. As his brother’s star began to rise, Bu also saw success on the business end of entertainment; helping launch the careers of superstars such as T-Pain and Lady Gaga.

After being hired as Def Jam’s youngest vice president of A&R at the age of 28, Thiam then began to manage Kanye West, and ultimately was able to A&R chart-topping albums such as Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative effort Watch The Throne, along with 2010’s Loud, and 2011’s Talk That Talk – both by Rihanna.

According to Variety, Thiam will serve at the capacity of Columbia’s CEO Ron Perry, whom he has a long working relationship with through his company, Buvision. His new position will include spearheading strategic initiatives for the label, along with the traditional duties of an A&R.

“We all know breaking a new artist is very difficult, and to see the Columbia team be so committed in the early stages of KayCyy’s career — from marketing, strategic branding, his EP rollout etc. — was very impressive,” Thiam said of Columbia’s standard of excellence. “Columbia’s culture is breaking new artists — like Fivio, Lil Nas X, Polo G, the Kid Laroi — and Ron is a true music man at heart, you don’t see that type of artist development anymore.”

“Bu’s incredible musical instincts distinguish him as a great executive,” as Perry spoke glowingly of Thiam’s qualifications. “His experience and success with some of the greatest artists of recent times make him a truly valuable addition to the Columbia team.”