Liquid State – the joint venture label co-owned by Sony Music and Tencent Music Entertainment – has a new boss.

Liquid State has announced today (October 8) that it’s hired Victor Lee as its new Managing Director, as it aims to become “the top electronic dance label” in Asia.

Hong Kong-based Lee was previously VP of International Streaming and Marketing at Mike Caren’s APG (Artist Partner Group).

Lee succeeds Gunnar Greve as Managing Director of Liquid State. MBW understands that Norway-based Greve exited as the Sony/Tencent company’s MD in May, following two years in the role.

Victor Lee will now take responsibility for discovering and developing Asian electronic artists at Liquid State, as well as providing opportunities for international artist collaborations. He will report to Andrew Chan, Managing Director of Sony Music, Greater China.

“Victor is an experienced and successful music industry executive who brings with him extensive experience across various regions as well as a track record of developing successful labels,” said Chan.

“With Victor joining, we look forward to fostering more domestic Electronic Dance Music talent in Asia and expanding the number of international collaborations.”

Lee brings over 30 years of music industry experience to Liquid State, having supported artists such as Avicii, Bob Sinclar, Kylie Minogue, Gucci Mane, Wyclef Jean and Whitney Houston during his career.

At APG, the exec managed the firm’s international relationships with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, QQ Music, JOOX, KKBOX, and others in Asia, whilst also working to maximize global streams for the likes of Ava Max, Bazzi and Charlie Puth.

From 2013-2019, Lee joined At Night Management and co-founded PRMD Music, the label home of the late Tim Bergling, a.k.a. Avicii.

Under PRMD Music’s partnership with Universal Music Group, Lee spearheaded the marketing campaigns for Avicii’s debut album True – including the huge hit Wake Me Up – and the artist’s second studio album, Stories.

As Global COO of PRMD Music, Lee also managed campaigns for releases by Wyclef Jean, Cazzette, Syn Cole, MORTEN and US DJ/producer Deorro. The latter artist’s Five Hours and Five More Hours singles (featuring Chris Brown) have generated more than a billion global streams to date.

“Electronic Dance Music is an important music genre that we believe has a lot of potential for growth,” said Andy Ng, Group Senior Adviser, Tencent Music Entertainment.

“Victor’s appointment will bring us a step closer to our ambition of becoming the top electronic dance label in the region, developing new fans and providing more opportunity for local talents to showcase their work.”

Added Lee: “With the combined resources and expertise of Sony Music, Tencent Music and Liquid State, we are uniquely placed to provide the deep bench of untapped electronic talent in Asia with a pathway to the global success they deserve.

“Likewise, we can enable international artists to unleash the huge potential which lies within the Asian market. As such, I am thrilled to be working alongside Andrew Chan and Andy Ng in taking Liquid State into its next phase at, what is, an amazing moment in the history of the Asian music market.”


China-based Tencent Holdings – as the leader of a consortium of backers – is now the proud owner of 10% of Universal Music Group.

UMG parent Vivendi announced the completion of the long-awaited deal today (March 31), exactly three months after the contractual agreement of the acquisition was announced (December 31).

The deal gives Universal Music Group an implied Enterprise Value of €30bn. At last year’s annual exchange rate, that would equate to UMG being worth $33.7bn.

It also means the Tencent-led consortium has acquired its 10% for €3bn, or approximately $3.37bn.

The consortium includes Tencent alongside Tencent Music – in which it is majority owner – plus other financial investors, and can acquire a further 10% in UMG at the same price by January 15, 2021.

In a further important news, Vivendi has confirmed that Tencent Music is acquiring a minority stake in UMG’s Greater China operation for an undisclosed price.

Don’t expect this to be the last we hear about minority stake sales in Universal Music Group, either.

Vivendi said in an update today: “Now that this very significant strategic operation has been completed, Vivendi will pursue the possible sale of additional minority interests in UMG, assisted by several banks which it has mandated.”

It added: “Vivendi is very happy with the arrival of the Tencent-led consortium. It will enable UMG to further develop in the Asian market.”

The company reiterated that an IPO of UMG – which would presumably spin the company out from Vivendi to some degree – is planned, for early 2023 at the latest.

Vivendi said that it “intends to use the proceeds from these different transactions for substantial share buyback operations and acquisitions”.

Universal Music Group, led by CEO & Chairman Sir Lucian Grainge (pictured), saw its overall revenues in 2019 – across recorded music, publishing and other activities – hit €7.16bn ($8.04bn).

A record annual figure for the company under Vivendi ownership, that revenue number was up 14.0% year-on-year at constant currency and perimeter