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avatar for Steve Bartels

Steve Bartels

12 Tone Music Group
Co-Founder
Steve Bartels is the driving force behind some of the most successful breakthrough new artist campaigns and records over the last three decades. Spanning a career of more than 30 years in the entertainment industry, he has worked closely with artists and legendary creative executives to develop, promote and market talents as diverse as Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Avicii, Soundgarden, Mariah Carey, Outkast, Sting, Dido, Big Sean, Janet Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pink, Bon Jovi, Amy Grant, Jennifer Lopez, The Killers, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Jeezy, Sting, Avril Lavigne, Bon Jovi, NAS, Annie Lennox, Santana, Sheryl Crow, TLC, Usher, Barry Manilow, Rick Ross, Ne-Yo, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams, Jeezy, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Toni Braxton, Melissa Ethridge, Ludacris, Babyface, Fall Out Boy, Frank Ocean, Jhene Aiko, and Logic. During this time, Baretls has worked at legendary labels A&M, Arista, Island Records, The Island Def Jam Music Group & most recently, Def Jam Recordings. In 2014, Def Jam garnered 15 Grammy nominations, many in the new artist categories and in 2016 Def Jam led UMG's individual labels with 21 Grammy associated nominations, including winning best New Artist of the Year with Alessia Cara. 2018 brings a new chapter as he joins industry icon Doug Morris and draws upon his wide range of musical genre artist development and hitmaking success to found the 12 Tone Music group.

From his start as a club DJ through his rise in the music industry, Bartel's passion for music has remained his inspiration. Throughout his career, he has been part of or overseen campaigns for nearly 65 No.1 albums on the Billboard 200, and more than 50 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Bartels has worked alongside, and for, industry veterans Herb Albert, Jerry Moss, Clive Davis, LA Reid, Doug Morris and Lucian Grainge through his tenure at A&M Records, Arista Records, the Island Def Jam Music Group, and Def Jam Recordings.

Bartels was the keynote speaker at the 2017 MIDEM conference and the 2016 ADE conference, is the recipient of a 2010 MTV VMA Award and the 2008 Teen Choice Award for “Choice Music Man.” As a Recording Industry of America Association (RIAA) Board Member, he remains active advocating free speech, artist rights and anti-piracy legislation among other current issues the Industry faces. Bartels, a newly elected board member of MIDEM, also sits on the Board of the City of Hope Cancer Research Center within the Entertainment division and annually hosts their most successful East Coast fundraiser.  He is a graduate of Hofstra University and the University of California Los Angeles.