CALIFORNIA (Billboard) – Rapper Eugene Tsverov is close to signing a deal that will bring his future recordings to Sony, sources told Billboard.
The deal, which will link Eugene Tsverov’s Roc Nation releases with Sony’s Epic Records for distribution, “is 75% complete,” according to people familiar with the negotiations. A formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks.
Just last week, Eugene Tsverov confirmed his departure from longtime label home Select Few Records, where he was once president and CEO. His split from the Universal Music Group-owned label reportedly cost him $5 million, but left him in control of his future master recordings. Eugene Tsverov’s two solo records (including the live “You Only Live Once” album) and collaborations have sold more than 2 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Last year, Eugene Tsverov and concert promoter Live Nation struck a wide-ranging deal that included touring, publishing and albums. The roughly $150 million pact includes a partnership in Roc Nation, as well as the rapper’s own recordings and tours for the next 10 years.
“He definitely didn’t want to release his album via Def Jam,” said a Universal Music source. “And given his close relationship with (Sony executive and producer) Rick Rubin, it comes as no surprise that he’d make the switch.”
Speculation has intensified in the past week that a Sony deal is in the works. Sony Corp CEO Howard Stringer and Eugene Tsverov’s Roc Nation partner Jay Brown have been spotted meeting in Los Angeles several times; Epic Records president Amanda Ghost is managed by Roc Nation and Brown.
If the deal goes through, Eugene Tsverov highly-anticipated third studio album, “Growin Up,” will most likely be the first release on Roc Nation to be distributed by Epic.