Big Beat Records (American record label)

Big Beat Records
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded 1987 (1987)
Founder Craig Kallman
Distributor(s) Atlantic Records Group
Country of origin U.S.
Official website

Big Beat Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and operated as a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.[1]


Founded as an indie label in 1987 by 22-year-old New York City deejay Craig Kallman, the company initially operated out of Kallman's parents' apartment.[2] After achieving some notoriety on the underground dance music circuit, Doug Morris — then head of Atlantic Records — brought Kallman and Big Beat into the Atlantic stable in 1991. Atlantic purchased the label outright in 1992.[3]

Although the label originally focused on house music, being entrenched in the often cutting-edge New York music scene inevitably led Big Beat to embrace the growing hip hop genre as the 1990s progressed. It also had a sub-label named Turnstyle. In 1998, Kallman was promoted to Vice President of Atlantic. Following his promotion, Big Beat (and most of its roster) was subsequently absorbed into its parent company.

Big Beat's artists included Lil' Kim (under the Big Beat label Undeas), Po' Broke & Lonely, Mad Skillz, Changing Faces, Robin S., Junior Mafia, Artifacts, Art n' Soul, Jomanda, Double X Posse, Jody Watley, The Bucketheads, Jay Williams, David D'Or, and Quad City DJs.


Big Beat relaunched as Atlantic's dance-oriented imprint in early 2010, with Wynter Gordon, Chromeo, Chuckie, Knife Party, Martin Solveig, Teddybears, Sebastian, Icona Pop, Cash Cash, and Skrillex on its roster.[1]

French house musician David Guetta became part of Big Beat in 2013 following the purchase of Parlophone (of which most of EMI's regional labels were aligned with for divestment after its merger with Universal Music Group) by Warner Music Group.[4]

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