Paul Ellis

Paul Ellis was the A&R – artists and repertoire – executive at Sony NZ from 1990 to 1997. He signed a roster of successful songwriters and recording artists that included Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing, The Strawpeople and Bic Runga.

New Zealand music history has had a small number of “Camelot” A&R eras when a label boss employed staff specifically for A&R work and had a budget to record and market local musicians. This was one of those rare eras. After six fruitful years in local artist development, Ellis moved to New York to work as a director of A&R at Sony/ATV Publishing from 1997 to 2002. Ellis then returned to New Zealand and was a judge on NZ Idol for two seasons and later New Zealand’s Got Talent.

Paul Ellis and Shona Laing at the 1992 Apra Silver Scroll; Laing had just won for her song Mercy of Love
Paul Ellis, second from right, during his stint in New York with Sony Music. In white is singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan
Paul Ellis
Near East Cape, May 1987, when Herbs launched their Sensitive to a Smile album at Ruatoria. From left: Paul Ellis (Auckland Star), unidentified, Chris Bourke (Rip It Up). Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
Photo credit: Jocelyn Carlin
The Fan Club's Paul Moss, CBS Records' Paul Ellis and Phil Warren, at the APRA Silver Scroll awards, 1988
Paul Casserly and Sony Music's Paul Ellis, 1994
Robert Rakete, Malcolm Smith, Rikki Morris, Sony Music's Paul Ellis and Mike Chunn at the 1991 APRA Silver Scrolls, Hammerhead's restaurant, Auckland
Paul Ellis with Cyndi Lauper
Paul Ellis with former Auckland music publicist Jane West
Photo credit: Gary Verberne



Paul Ellis has been a Starship Foundation Board Director since 2015. He was the executive producer for the 2012 and 2013 Starship Christmas albums that sold 50,000 albums and raised $490,000.

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