Chris Anokute is an A&R Executive and Founder of the entertainment start-up, Young Forever, Inc. He was born from Nigerian parents, grew up in New Jersey, and currently resides in Santa Monica, CA. While at Capitol Records, he oversaw the A&R for Katy Perry, Joss Stone and Priscilla Renea. He worked at the Universal Music Group from 2011 through 2013, and held Senior Vice-President of A&R roles at Universal Motown Records & Island Def Jam Music Group. At Young Forever, Inc., Chris manages the career of Columbia Records recording artist, LÉON. Chris is also the Senior Vice President, A&R for Epic Records.
Anokute's entry point into the music industry came when at the age of 17, he approached John Houston, father of Whitney, and asked to be part of his management team. Houston hired Anokute as an apprentice.
At the same time he secured an internship in A&R administration at Def Jam Records, working under A&R executive Rob Mitchell. Once promoted to A&R Administration assistant, he worked on projects including Sum 41, Ashanti, Foxy Brown and Jay-Z's The Blueprint.
Anokute discovered the songwriter Alisha Brooks, and introduced her to Vada Nobles. Nobles provided a selection of instrumentals to write to, and from one track, Brooks created "Pon de Replay". Soon afterwards the song was recorded by the then unknown Rihanna. Pon De Replay landed the 16-year-old a deal with Def Jam Universal, becoming her debut single as a major label recording artist.
Anokute was soon hired by Jason Flom as the Senior Director A&R at Virgin/Capitol, where his first A&R work project was Joss Stone's critically acclaimed, Introducing Joss Stone (2007). Shortly after, Chris and Jason signed Katy Perry through an introduction from Katy's long time publicist, Angelica Cob-Baehler. Chris went on to successfully A&R Katy's first two multi-platinum Capitol albums, One Of The Boys (2008) and Teenage Dream (2010), yielding 11 #1 singles and over 50 million albums and singles sold collectively.
In 2011, Anokute moved to Universal Motown as the Senior Vice President, A&R. There he worked closely with Motown President Sylvia Rhone, assisting her on Kelly Rowland's first album for the label, Here I Am, which included the #1 single “Motivation” (featuring Lil’ Wayne)
In 2012, Chris made a lateral move to Island Def Jam Music Group, where he served as the company's Senior Vice-President of A&R. While at Island Def Jam Music Group, Chris signed Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea to the North American portion of her record deal, and worked A&R on her debut album titled The New Classic. The album featured the 3 multi-platinum singles, Work, Fancy, and Black Widow. Chris parted ways with Island Def Jam in the fall of 2013.
In the late of 2013, Chris launched the entertainment firm, Young Forever, Inc. Young Forever, Inc. specializes in artist management, music publishing, production and A&R consulting. Young Forever, Inc. manages the career of Columbia Records recording artist, LÉON. Chris now also serves as the Senior Vice President, A&R at LA Reid's Epic Records Label Group.