LUCY DICKINS JOINS WME AS HEAD OF U.K. MUSIC DIVISION
WME announced last week that award–winning music agent, Lucy Dickins, has joined the agency as Head of WME’s U.K. Music division. Dickins comes to WME from ITB (International Talent Booking) and marks a key hire for WME’s music team in the U.K., where it has been operating since 2007.
Dickins is one of the industry’s most respected and successful agents in the U.K., counting clients such as Adele, Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, James Blake and Mabel, whom WME will now represent globally. Dickins also works with Hot Chip, Bryan Ferry, Rex Orange County, Jamie T, Jack Peñate, and others, all of whom are expected to join her at WME. At the same time, ITB agents James Simmons and Chris Payne also follow Dickins to WME.
“Lucy is a star player, and the perfect addition to our team,” said WME’s Head of Music Marc Geiger. “There’s no one else who possesses Lucy’s combination of pedigree, taste, and respect in our industry. After being in business with her family for so many years, we feel fortunate that she decided to join WME, and we look forward to bringing her perspective to our clients and colleagues.”
“Growing up in this business, I’ve been lucky to learn from the best, but now is the time for me to take the next step in my career. The opportunity to join WME was hugely exciting, and I’m confident that this relationship can grow into something special,” said Dickins.
Dickins is part of a music business family that stretches back to her grandfather Percy Dickins, Founder of the NME. Her father Barry formed ITB in 1978 with a roster that includes the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Her uncle Rob Dickins was head of Warner Brothers, and her brother, Jonathan, currently manages a successful roster of talent, including Adele.
Dickins’ career began at a small independent record label before joining ITB as an assistant. Known for developing artists and emerging talent from grass roots, she is highly respected for the close rapport she forms with her artists.
BMG PARTNERS WITH NBC’S SONGLAND FOR RECORDS & PUBLISHING
Songland, NBC’s new songwriting competition series which premiered last week, has finalized a global recordings and publishing partnership with BMG. Under the agreement, BMG will serve as worldwide distributor of Songland Records and the administrator of the show’s publishing company, Eligible Music, for the songwriter contestants’ original music created and recorded during the show. Each episode of Songland sees one winning songwriter having their song recorded and released by an established guest recording artist that same night. The partnership will also see BMG releasing the music written and recorded by the two runners–up immediately following the airing of each episode.
Among the recording artists set to appear in Songland this season are John Legend, Jonas Brothers, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore, Aloe Blacc, Old Dominion and Leona Lewis.
Dave Stewart, Co–Creator and Executive Producer of Songland, said, “I’ve worked with BMG for a number of years in many capacities and have seen how passionate they are not only about creating success for their writers but their persistence in changing an industry by creating transparency for their writers and artists. Thomas Scherer is a force of nature, always positive and seeing every opportunity through to results. I’m sure the whole team at BMG will put their global strength behind Songland’s songs and artists, creating a whole new paradigm shift in the way a TV show dedicated to songwriting will deliver success for new songwriters, many of whom will be artists in their own right.”
Thomas Scherer, BMG’s EVP, Marketing & Repertoire, Los Angeles, said, “BMG is honored to partner with Dave, Audrey, the songwriters of Songland, and everyone at the show and network to continue building on what is a truly magical experience. Songland pays respect to the art and allows the viewer an unprecedented look at the process, inspiration, vulnerability, and craft of songwriting. We are proud to be part of the team, amplifying and sharing their works with an undoubtedly eager audience of listeners each week.”
Each week on Songland, four unknown songwriters will pitch and perform their original songs to one recording artist and a panel of leading producers including Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally. Three songwriters will advance and team up with one of the producers to go in–studio to develop their songs. At the end of the episode, the featured recording artist will ultimately choose one song to record and release for a global audience that night. Songland is executive produced by Emmy Award–winning producer Audrey Morrissey (The Voice), director Ivan Dudynsky, Eurythmics Co–Founder Dave Stewart, Chad Hines and Grammy Award–winning recording artist/Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine. Josh Gummersall will serve as producer along with Ryan Tedder.
A&R WORLDWIDE AND MUSEXPO PRESENT “A GLOBAL MUSIC INDUSTRY SUMMIT” IN MUMBAI, INDIA IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALL ABOUT MUSIC
A&R Worldwide and its highly–respected annual global music and media event, MUSEXPO, will be joining forces with India’s premiere music industry conference, All About Music, in Mumbai, India at the Taj Lands End Hotel. All About Music’s multi–faceted event program will be held August 27th – 28th, with the A&R Worldwide networking summit in India set to take place on August 26th to provide international delegates a chance to meet and learn about the burgeoning opportunities in one of the world’s fastest growing music markets.
The idea to build a global bridge with All About Music and A&R Worldwide’s MUSEXPO is a result of a partnership led by Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO, and Tarsame Mittal, Founder, TM Management and All About Music.
As the largest English language speaking country in the world, India stands as a lucrative market if navigated and engaged with appropriately, via live events, streaming and mobile platforms, licensing, sponsorship, synchronization, brand experiences and more. As this part of the world continues to evolve, and more effectively monetize music, the international music industry has started to take serious notice of India’s vast potential.
A&R Worldwide, the company behind the globally–respected MUSEXPO conference and showcase festival, has a long–standing and deep relationship with India with the company’s Founder, Sat Bisla’s family origins rooted in the country. Bisla’s more than 35 years in the global music industry has seen him returning to India regularly and developing close relationships within the region’s music, media and technology landscapes as the region has evolved throughout the years to its current state as one of the most promising and, currently untapped, music and entertainment markets.
Bisla states, “In an effort to foster creative and commercial dialogue between India’s leading music companies and executives, and those looking to access the massive opportunities in the territory, A&R Worldwide is bringing this exclusive MUSEXPO Summit to Mumbai, India to connect attendees with our diverse range of relationships locally. We’re excited to be working with Tarsame Mittal, who is a highly–regarded and trusted executive within India’s vast music market and is a leader in helping open the musical gateways to and from India to the world. We look forward to collaborating together for a beneficial forum that educates, inspires and creates many opportunities for those who will attend this year’s event.”
Mittal added, “From its inception, our aim to ensure that All About Music is the Global Gateway to the Indian Music Industry which is one the most unique and among fastest growing music industries in the world. We are happy to partner with A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO who are pioneers in the field to ensure delegates from all over the world can experience and benefit from the event. As always, we are working towards ensuring that the international delegates can get interesting details about the Indian music market and also get various opportunities to connect and network with the best.”
Delegates attending will have access to the full All About Music program, as well as a special, intimate, educational networking and business opportunity coordinated by A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO during its summit, and an exclusive invitation to be a part of A&R Worldwide’s executive networking dinner in Mumbai, where guests will have a chance to meet and network further with leaders and innovators from India’s burgeoning music, media and technology sectors for future creative and business opportunities.
Space for this exclusive A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO–organized event is very limited. For more information and to book your space, reach out to Sat Bisla at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tyler Polzin at email@example.com.
MUSEXPO’S “PLAY US YOUR HITS” SESSION TO JOIN THE REEPERBAHN 2019 PROGRAM IN GERMANY
A&R Worldwide and its annual music and media event, MUSEXPO, have also revealed a new collaboration with Hamburg, Germany’s Reeperbahn 2019 conference and festival, to deliver a unique opportunity to Reeperbahn’s delegates to have their music heard by a panel of leading A&R executives from both the major and independent label sector. MUSEXPO’s “Play Us Your Hits” Panel has, over the years, generated numerous successes for artists getting signed to label and publishing deals from the session at the annual event in Los Angeles. Building on this success, MUSEXPO will bring a version of the session to Hamburg in September as part of Reeperbahn 2019’s event, taking place from September 18th – 21st.
Reeperbahn has established itself as one of the most important events on the European music industry calendar. The annual confab brings the global industry together in Hamburg, Germany for informative sessions featuring leading executives, as well as evening showcases from some of the most promising acts from Europe and beyond.
Among the confirmed panelists to join the Reeperbahn edition of “Play Us Your Hits” to listen and provide their feedback on submitted music from delegates are: Karen Norbakk – A&R Manager, Columbia/Sony Music, Germany; Kim Stephens – A&R, Lava Records, US; Ollie Hodge – Director of A&R, Polydor, UK; Patrik Larsson – A&R, Playground Music Scandinavia; and Robin Shaw – A&R Manager, Four Music/Sony Music, Germany.
Only registered delegates of Reeperbahn 2019 are eligible to submit for this opportunity. For more information on Reeperbahn 2019, and to register, visit www.reeperbahnfestival.com.
SONGWRITING & PRODUCTION DUO SALTWIVES SECURE REPRESENTATION WITH CHOSEN MUSIC
Chosen Music, the London, England–based joint venture between Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, Chairman, InterTalent, and Alistair Goldsmith have taken on global representation for the dynamic songwriting and production duo Saltwives, which consists of Alex Oriet and David Phelan.
Saltwives have written and produced hits for, and with, global artists including Zayn and Sia’s single “Dusk Till Dawn,” which has over one billion YouTube views, and Kygo and Miguel’s “Remind Me To Forget,” as well as work with Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, Charles Hamilton, Clean Bandit, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha and Becky G, with upcoming projects with artists such as Anne Marie, SG Lewis and JP Cooper.
Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE tells A&R Worldwide, “Double congratulations to the UK’s most exciting songwriting and producer duo Saltwives for their brilliant production of Zayn singing “A Whole New World,” which the world is loving (the single is in the Top 40 Spotify Global Charts and is No.1 on the U.S. iTunes charts) and to Alistair Goldsmith for identifying this incredible opportunity and making it happen. Alistair is one of the most talented young music managers in the world – I’m delighted to work with him and look forward to doing more great things together.”
Saltwives were hired by Disney Pictures to produce the end credit single for the new Aladdin film starring Will Smith, which earned over $200 million in its opening weekend. They were also nominated for a 2019 iHeart Radio Music Award for their song “Remind Me To Forget.”
Saltwives will be in Los Angeles from June 10th – 21st, 2019.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
61 years after its founding, Warner Bros. Records is being rebranded as Warner Records, worldwide. The name change comes following recent key leadership appointments, as well as the U.S. company’s recent move to a new, state–of–the–art headquarters in downtown LA’s Arts District. Warner Bros. Records was founded in March 1958 as a division of Warner Bros. Pictures, whose “shield” logo was adopted by the label and has been used by the company ever since. In 2004, when Warner Music Group was sold by Time Warner and became the world’s largest independent major music company, it was agreed that Warner Bros. Records would maintain the Warner Bros. name and logo for 15 years. With its rebranding, Warner Records has unveiled a new logo that was designed in partnership with Emily Oberman and her team at Pentagram, the world’s largest independently owned design studio.
Primary Wave Music Publishing has announced they’ve finalized a new, multi–million dollar deal, with the iconic band, Culture Club to acquire a stake in the award–winning band’s music publishing and master recording income stream. Encompassed under the deal are some of Culture Club’s biggest hits such as “Karma Chameleon,” “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” Led by front–man Boy George, Culture Club has sold over 150 million records worldwide and in the 80s alone, generated seven Top 10 hits in the U.K., six Top 10 singles in the U.S. and saw their smash hit, “Karma Chameleon,” become the biggest–selling single of 1983. When asked why he chose to partner with Primary Wave at this point in his career, Boy George said, “My songs are very precious to me. They are the story of my life. I wanted to partner with Primary Wave as they respect the legacy but also understand I want the songs heard.” He continued, “Primary Wave were a pleasure to deal with. They acted as partners from day one. The right partners with the right experience and definitely a new way of thinking. Primary Wave are ahead of their time (So was I! Wink!).”
Sony Music’s German office has expanded its hip–hop operations with the announcement of a long–term distribution agreement with Elvir Omerbegovic and his two record labels, Selfmade and Division. Selfmade has long been Europe’s leading hip–hop label counting 15 top 10 albums. Under the agreement, Sony Music will distribute the full catalogs of Selfmade and Division, which include nine No.1 albums, while also distributing future releases from the two labels. Among the label rosters are included artists such as 257ers, Karate Andi, RIN, Kynda Gray and Yugo. As Selfmade’s Managing Partner, Omerbegovic will maintain his role leading that label’s operations while assuming a new role as Sony Music Germany’s President of Urban Music.
Also building its footprint in the hip–hop arena, Warner Music Finland has acquired leading Finnish hip–hop indie, Monsp Records. Founded in 1997 by Keijo Kiiskinen, who will continue to run the label moving forward, Monsp has become one of Scandinavia’s biggest independent labels with a roster that counts JVG, Gasellit, Pyhimys ‘The Saint’ and Atomirotta, among others. The deal includes the company’s recorded music division but does not encompass partner companies that include labels Lihamyrsky, Katakombi and Överdog; music retailer Katin Tavara; booking agency All Day; and digital music distributor, Musiikindigitaalinenjakelu.fi.
Multi–Platinum, California band Sugar Ray have signed a new recordings agreement with BMG for the release of their forthcoming seventh studio album this summer. The upcoming full–length marks the group’s first set of original material in 10 years, following 2009’s Music for Cougars. Celebrating 25 years since their formation, led by co–founding members Mark McGrath and Rodney Sheppard, Sugar Ray have sold over eight million albums worldwide since officially coming together in 1994. They released their debut album, Lemonade and Brownies, in 1995, with mainstream success coming from their sophomore effort Floored which featured the chart–topping single “Fly.” 14:59, released in 1999, went triple–Platinum with hit singles including the Gold–certified “Every Morning,” “Someday” and “Falls Apart.” Their self–titled follow–up was also certified Gold and was the band’s first Top 10 album led by single “When It’s Over.” The following years saw the release of In The Pursuit of Leisure, as well as a Best Of Sugar Ray collection and a Greatest Hits set.
Warner Chappell Music has acquired four publishing companies encompassing the Gene Autry Music Group with catalogues that collectively contain over 1,500 songs. Among the classics included are Autry’s signature song, “Back In The Saddle Again,” and the holiday favorite, “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane),” as well as the iconic songs such as “Just Walkin’ In The Rain” and “You Belong To Me.” Additionally, Warner Chappell Music will also be administering many of the Autry estate’s master recordings to facilitate one–stop synchronization licensing. Autry’s multi–faceted entertainment career covered nearly seven decades and included work in radio, film, TV, and live performances, including rodeo. He recorded more than 640 songs, including over 300 which he wrote or co–wrote, selling over 100 million records. Autry’s honors include those from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. As Chairman of the Board of a broadcasting and business empire, he owned a string of radio and TV stations across the country, as well as other business interests.
Two promotions were recently announced to the executive team of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) Verve and Impulse! classical labels with the elevations of Jamie Krents to EVP, and Dahlia Ambach Caplin to Sr. VP of A&R. Krents’ new role will see him leading the Verve Records, Verve Forecast and Impulse! Records imprints, along with their respective catalogs, as the three labels operate under the Verve Label Group umbrella. Krents, who has been with Verve for over two decades, will serve in his new position alongside Universal Music Classics, U.S. President, Graham Parker. He had previously served as Sr. VP, International Marketing & Label Development. Also having been with the Verve team for almost 20 years, Ambach Caplin will maintain her role in the development and signing of artists to the three labels.
Native Tongue has extended its sub–publishing agreement with Concord Music to encompass representation of Bicycle Music’s repertoire in Australia and New Zealand. Bicycle Music’s catalogue spans multiple genres and eras, including works by George Harrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Robert Johnson, Radical Face, The Polyphonic Spree, Tal Bachman, Fastball, Glen Ballard, Pete Seeger, Marilyn Manson, Tone Loc, Young MC, X and Sugar Ray. Native Tongue maintains representations of Concord Music Publishing which includes the likes of Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, Pink Floyd, Phil Collins and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Almost 20 years after it launched and disrupted the music retail landscape, Apple is preparing to shutter its iTunes offering as it looks to align its media software across its device portfolio. With individualized Music, TV and Podcast apps already available via iPhones and iPads, the longstanding Mac and Macbook iTunes app will be replaced with a Music app that is expected to incorporate some of the same iTunes functions (purchasing songs, syncing phones, etc.) with a cleaner and more efficient UI that will include deeper integration with Apple Music. Apple is also expected to reveal updates to its Books, Messages and Mail apps.
Last week saw Universal Music enjoying a round of successes both internationally and in Germany with Rammstein’s untitled seventh studio LP debuting at No.1 on the album charts in 14 countries; Scottish singer/songwriter Lewis Capaldi garnering the best streaming entry ever for a new artist in the U.K.; and rapper Capital Bra tallying more No.1 hits in Germany than any other act at 13 tracks. Frank Briegmann, President & CEO Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon, revealed that Rammstein’s full-length has moved 270,000 units, the most successful first week of release for the new millennium in Germany. The album is Rammstein’s first new music in ten years, and their tenth No.1 in Germany, with lead singles “Deutschland” and “Radio” generating over 150 million streams. In addition to Capaldi’s streaming success in the U.K., his album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent marks the fastest–selling album of the year in its first week of release in the U.K. and is No.1 on the U.K. and Ireland’s album charts. Additionally, three singles made the U.K. Singles Top 10 with the album entering the Top 10 in another four countries (Germany, Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand).
In data presented to Billboard by Spotify, the streaming service has revealed that Gen Z listeners (18–24 year–olds) are not only gravitating towards emerging artists on the platform. According to the data from Spotify, popular artists from the Baby Boomer and Gen X demographic such as the Grateful Dead, Tiffany, Selena, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and The Righteous Brothers, are still appealing to the younger age group of consumers. Included at the top of the list of songs being listened to by Gen Z users are tracks such as Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “All of Me” (with Eddie Heywood & His Orchestra); “Blue in Green” and “So What” (Miles Davis); “Friend of the Devil” and “Casey Jones” (Grateful Dead); “Amor Prohibido” and “Dreaming Of You” (Selena); “I Love Rock ’N Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You” (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts); and “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “All This Time” by Tiffany, alongside more current music from Tyla Yaweh (“High Right Now” and “Salute” feat. French Montana) and TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “CROWN” and “Cat & Dog.” Spotify also revealed that the most discovered artist that Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers can agree upon is Normani.
In other Spotify news, the streamer has revealed key shifts to its executive team globally including the appointment of Karen Lawson to Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand. Lawson will be based in Sydney and becomes the third executive to assume the leadership role for Spotify in the territory since it launched there in 2012. Previously, Lawson was CEO of Slingshot, a role she parted ways with last year, and also spent time leading recruitment platform careerone.com.au as well as a number of roles with Yahoo7. Additionally, it’s been reported that Adam Parness will be parting ways with Spotify from his role as Global Head of Publishing. Having joined the streaming service in 2017, Parness had previously held publisher relations roles with Pandora and in content acquisition with Amazon.
Interscope’s Dennis Dennehy has been tapped by AEG Presents to take on the newly–created role of Chief Communications Officer. Formerly EVP and Head of Publicity for Interscope Geffen A&M, Dennehy will also join the AEG Presents executive committee while reporting to Jay Marciano, the company’s Chairman. Dennehy’s appointment marks the first office–level communications executive for Marciano since he took on the Chairman role in 2013. Michael Roth, current VP of Communications, will maintain his responsibilities for AEG’s venue business via AEG Worldwide. Dennehy had previously worked at Interscope Geffen A&M for the past two decades with acts such as Eminem, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, Lady Gaga, U2, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Blackpink, Nine Inch Nails, The 1975 and Imagine Dragons, among others. In the early 90s, he looked after tour press for bands including Nirvana and Sonic Youth, joining Interscope in 1999 and being named Head of Publicity by Jimmy Iovine in 2003. Alongside his role with AEG, Dennehy will continue working directly with Eminem, building on a long–time relationship from Interscope, with details yet to be finalized.
Endeavor has revealed its plans to go public, an announcement that brings with it details on the company’s current financial state. With a portfolio of holdings that includes talent agency WME, Endeavor’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed revenue of $3.61 billion generated for 2018 with net income reaching $231.3 million. Net income, after adjustments, was $100.1 million with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at $551.1 million. The filing accounted for the potential risk to the business and its financial condition as major agencies have recently re–engaged in discussions with the Writers Guild of America for a new franchise agreement. Endeavor current boasts representation of 6,000 clients across entertainment and sports, counting seven of the world’s 10 highest–paid models on its roster. Assets also include the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brand; Endeavor Content, which has financed or sold over 100 shows and movies; and Sport 24. As it prepares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol EDR, Endeavor hasn’t yet revealed how much it seeks to raise via its IPO or the company’s valuation.
Veteran Goldenvoice executive, Stacy Vee is taking on the role of VP, Artist Relations for AEG concert promoter Louis Messina and his Messina Touring Group. Vee originally joined Concerts West in 2002 where she worked for Co–Founder Paul Gongaware, and eventually Paul Tollett, before being elevated to Director of Festival Talent at Goldenvoice in 2015. With Goldenvoice, she books the full roster of talent for Stagecoach, a task she will maintain alongside her new responsibilities for Messina, which will see her working across tours such as those for Eric Church and Kenny Chesney. Vee will remain based in Los Angeles and in addition to her work with Stagecoach, will work with Tollett across other festivals in the company’s portfolio.
In MusicWatch’s Annual Music Study, released last week, it was revealed that the number of people illegally downloading music licensed for streaming in the U.S. has increased to 17 million from 15 million in 2017. The report stated that an average of 112 files were copied by “stream–rippers” in the top 30% of the group. The report shared that this version of piracy supersedes not only more traditional forms of music purchasing but also legal streaming alternatives. Among the stream–rippers surveyed by MusicWatch, 46% named the option to load files direct to devices for offline listening, which is offered by legal services including Spotify and Apple Music, as a motive for stream–ripping. The report also noted that among those stream–rippers surveyed, 25% had secured their preferred app for ripping from an internet search while 28% used an online app store. Additionally, the report found that 48% of those engaging in illegal ripping come from households with an annual income between $75,000 and $199,000, with 43% working “white collar” jobs.
Q&A, the new music and tech firm co–founded by Troy Carter, J. Erving and Suzy Ryoo, has tapped Phillip Eubanks as Chief Operating Officer and Marc Hemeon as Head of Design. Eubanks had most recently been with Spotify as Global Head of Strategy and Operations for the streamer’s creator services team, where he worked closely with Carter. Hemeon comes from Facebook AI where he worked on the design and conceptualization of new products and technologies for the social media platform. He also founded Design Inc. and served as the company’s CEO.
BMI has finalized long–term deals with three–time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile for worldwide music representation, along with her long–time collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Joining the PRO comes after a widely–successful year for Carlile which saw her garnering three Grammy wins, rolling–out her first festival, and announcing the return of her all–female destination concert Girls Just Wanna Weekend for 2020. Carlile has also been announced as an Artist of the Year nominee at the upcoming Americana Music Awards and is set to perform at this week’s 2019 CMT Music Awards with Tanya Tucker.
Guinness World Records has revealed that T–Series, a major Indian music and Bollywood company, has become the first YouTube channel to cross the 100 million subscriber mark. The news sees T–Series surpassing internet celebrity PewDiePie, who became the first YouTuber to hit 50 million subscribers five years ago, and had been in a close battle for the top position in recent months.
UnitedMasters has named its first–ever President in music and tech executive Lauren Wirtzer–Seawood. Seawood’s appointment to lead the indie distribution start–up comes about a year and a half after its launch. Most recently, Seawood had been with Instagram for over three years where she served as Head of Music Partnerships. Prior, she served as Head of Digital for Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, during which time she played a key role in the artist’s self–titled visual album launch. UnitedMasters’ model allows artists to sign up for free, while maintaining ownership of their masters, to have their music distributed by the platform with the company collecting 10% of royalties. To–date, the firm has partnered with acts such as rapper NLE Choppa and 2 Chainz with the platform counting over 45,000 registered artists.
Former Verve frontman, Richard Ashcroft, is set to see a boost to his royalty payments following a recent decision by The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to sign over the rights of “Bitter Sweet Symphony” to the singer/songwriter. Moving forward, all future royalties will go to Ashcroft as the work’s sole songwriter. The track was originally released on The Verve’s 1997 multi–Platinum full–length, Urban Hymns. Upon its release, the late former manager of The Rolling Stones, Allen Klein, successfully sued for use of the iconic four–second orchestral sample that was used as a backing track loop for “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” The sample was originally recorded by Andrew Loog Oldham for The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.”
A new distribution deal has been finalized by Sony Music’s The Orchard with Third Man Records. The new agreement will commence with the release of The Raconteurs’ Help Us Stranger later this month. The deal encompasses global distribution for physical and digital releases as well as yet–to–be–named back catalog titles. For Help Us Stranger, the latest from the supergroup led by Jack White and Brendan Benson, The Orchard will oversee North American distribution. Third Man had previously been distributed via Warner Music’s ADA.
Andrew Dreskin is parting ways with Eventbrite Music from his role as President. The news of the Ticketfly Co–Founder’s exit comes two years after the ticketing platform was acquired by Eventbrite from Pandora. Commencing June 7th, Dreskin will take on an advisory role with Eventbrite Music and will not seek reelection to the board of directors. Since co–founding TicketWeb in 1995 (which he sold to Ticketmaster in 2000), Dreskin has established himself as a leading entrepreneur in the ticketing space. Alongside Dan Teree, he co–founded Ticketfly in 2008 and, following five investment rounds that raised over $100 million, sold the platform to Pandora in 2015 for $335 million. Dreskin revealed short–term plans to take some time off to focus on his music industry investments, commenting to Billboard, “This will most likely be my last operating role. I’ll continue to make minority investments and perhaps a majority investment and I will most likely continue to start new businesses. At my core, I’m an entrepreneur, but I don’t foresee myself being the CEO of another business.”
Downtown Music Publishing has promoted Roberto Neri to EVP, U.K., and Head of European Business Development for its parent company, Downtown Music Holdings. In this dual role, Neri will oversee broader acquisition and expansion opportunities in the region while continuing to represent Downtown Music Publishing’s interest in the U.K., and maintaining Downtown’s relationships with collective management organizations. He will continue to report directly to CEO Justin Kalifowitz. Over the past two years, Neri has led signings with a number of leading songwriters and producers, including Saltwives, the British writer/producer duo behind some of the biggest songs globally. Neri also led the acquisition of Salli Isaak Music, as well as driving partnerships with Faber Music. Neri joined Downtown in 2015 via its acquisition of Eagle–i Music. He represents Downtown as an authority on copyright and is an elected board director at PRS for Music, PPLPRS Ltd, and the Music Publishers Association. He has also played a key role in the company’s development and implementation of its multi–territory licensing strategy.
LA Reid’s Hitco label has added Jennifer Lopez to their roster as the artist parts ways with Reid’s former employer, Epic Records. Lopez, who remains with Sony Music Latin for Spanish music, marks her debut release under Hitco with her latest single, “Medicine,” featuring French Montana. The new deal extends a long–time working relationship for Lopez and Reid with the artist having signed with Island Def Jam during Reid’s time as Chairman with that label before Reid brought Lopez to Epic via a long–term contract in 2016.
Wearable tech is making its way to the live event space as a number of firms are seeking to transform the way consumers interact with the sector. Among these firms is London–based PEEX which has secured international patents on a new technology that will allow ticket holders to rent a wearable receiver and earbud which, when connected with a mobile app, offers concert goers the ability to adjust their sound experience via a virtual five–channel mixing board as they wish, in real time. Marking the first artist to implement the new technology is Elton John who, alongside husband David Furnish, invested in PEEX’s holding company Powerchord Group upon being introduced to the new product. The device rolled out initially across spring dates for John’s 2019 U.S. tour for free to select VIP fans and will now be available across the tours remaining dates including upcoming shows at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. Ziggo Dome is also the first arena to partner with PEEX for future touring shows. PEEX splits a portion of the revenue generated from rentals with artists and venues.
WME has added iconic band The Beach Boys, led by founding member Mike Love, to their roster for representation worldwide across all areas. As one of the most well–known pop outfits of all time, The Beach Boys have sold over 100 million records. The current touring lineup does not include founding members Brian Wilson, who was also co–lead singer and former band leader, or Al Jardine. Both Wilson and Jardine currently tour solo with founding member Carl Wilson and brother Dennis having passed away in 1998 and 1983, respectively. Love is currently the sole licensee of the “Beach Boys” name via an agreement he reached with Brother Records Inc, the band’s corporate entity, in 1998. The deal requires Love to pay the label a fee as well as use only male vocalists and perform shows featuring the band’s most popular songs. For the band’s 50th reunion tour in 2012, Brother Records licensed the name to 50 Big Ones, a company owned by Love, Wilson and producer Joe Thomas. The band currently plays around 150 shows a year.
Artist/producer/songwriter, Steve Lacy, has finalized a new recording deal with AWAL to see the company promoting Lacy’s upcoming solo effort, Apollo XXI, recently released via his 3QTR imprint. Well–known for work with his band, The Internet, Lacy’s credits include work with a number of other artists including Solange, J.Cole, Mac Miller, Blood Orange, Kali Uchis and Kendrick Lamar, as well as being featured throughout Vampire Weekend’s latest album, Father Of The Bride. Lacy previously released his debut EP solo effort, Steve Lacy’s Demo, through 3QTR and AWAL.
German music promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has revealed organic growth for Q1 of 24%, year–upon–year. DEAG, which holds a controlling stake in Kilimanjaro Live and Flying Music Group, showed revenues of €25.5 million over the first three months of 2018. With the addition of a sales contribution of €6.5 million from U.K. classical promotor Raymond Gubbay, which DEAG has since sold its stake in, Q1 revenue for 2018 reached €27 million. Q1 also saw in increase for EBITDA to 25%, reaching €1 million. Growth was driven by five divisions including Rock/Pop, Arts+Exhibitions, Family Entertainment, Classics & Jazz and Ticketing. DEAG anticipates growth to continue for sales and EBITDA across 2019 following investments in its three core markets of Germany, U.K. and Switzerland.
The board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, have announced the acquisition of a music catalogue from Ari Levine, a multi–Grammy nominated songwriter/producer, best known for his work as a member of the writing and producing group, The Smeezingtons. Levine has garnered 99 No.1, 256 Top 5, and 361 Top 10 Chart positions globally with artists such as Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Diplo and Mark Ronson. The company has acquired 100% of Levine’s copyright ownership in his catalogue, which encompasses 76 songs in total, including 100% of his writer share of performance income collected and distributed by GMR (Global Music Rights).
Kiwi rock outfit Devilskin have secured booking representation by veteran agent Steve Strange, Co–Founder of X–ray Touring. Across Strange’s career, he’s signed and worked with artists including Eminem, Queens Of The Stone Age, Coldplay, The Smashing Pumpkins and many others. Devilskin have just wrapped up a significant tour that saw them supporting SLASH (feat. Myles Kennedy) for an Australasian leg as well as New Zealand dates with Blindspott and performances as Download Festival and Homegrown. The band have been working on their fourth full–length album with release plans expected in the coming months to follow up recently released singles “ENDO” and “ALL FALL DOWN.” Devilskin’s signing to X–ray comes after A&R Worldwide introduced the band’s management to Strange several weeks ago.
ONErpm has finalized a deal with Pirates Press Records, a leading indie punk label based out of Emeryville, CA. Under the deal, ONErpm will exclusively distribute music from Pirates Press to digital platforms, enabling its artists to take advantage of ONErpm’s network of distribution partners worldwide, integrated business intelligence and digital marketing services, and rapidly growing global team in 11 offices across six different countries. Pirates Press is home to an eclectic group of artists, having released albums by punk legends Rancid, C*ck Sparrer and Street Dogs, as well as many others. Founded in 2004 by Eric Mueller (“Skippy”) as a vinyl pressing company, Pirates Press launched Pirates Press Records with a 6–picture–disc 7” box set including the likes of Bouncing Souls, The Explosion, Riverboat Gamblers and others. The label has since released albums and singles from larger and more established bands, in addition to emerging talent.
Renowned country music producer Michael Knox has launched the KNOX Country Podcast. The bi–weekly podcast will complement the popular nationally–syndicated radio show, KNOX Country 360, as it nears its one–year anniversary, offering listeners closer access to Nashville’s exclusive inner–circle via interviews with country music’s leading songwriters, artists, musicians, producers and executives. Based in Nashville, the podcast is produced by Knox and Donny Walker (former executive at Westwood One, Cumulus Media, BDS, Billboard), and is hosted by Knox and Shalacy Griffin, currently the Sr. VP of Operations for Music Knox, LLC. The podcast will be available on most major podcast services. An award–winning producer and music publisher, Knox’s work has seen him producing 23 No.1 hits with his work accounting for over 45 million singles and 20 million albums sold across his career. He also has a joint venture in place with BMG under Music Knox Records. In addition to his long–running role as Jason Aldean’s primary producer, he’s also worked with Thomas Rhett, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Michael Tyler, the hit TV series Nashville and his father Buddy Knox, among others.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has announced the promotions of Greg Prata and Luis Pinilla to EVP, Finance & Corporate Strategy and VP, Financial Planning & Analysis, respectively. Prata joined Sony/ATV in 2011 as Sr. VP, Financial Planning & Analysis. Prior to Sony/ATV, he spent over 10 years in private equity and investment banking in New York. Prata’s new role will give him oversight of North American Finance and Worldwide Financial Planning & Analysis, while assisting Sony/ATV Chairman & CEO, Jon Platt, in the execution of the company’s overall strategy alongside the Sony/ATV executive management team. Prata reports to Global Chief Financial Officer, Tom Kelly. Pinilla came to Sony/ATV in 2012 and most recently served as Sr. Director, Financial Planning & Analysis. Before joining Sony/ATV, he spent three years as an investment banking analyst at Piper Jaffray in New York. Reporting to Prata, he will lead the Financial Planning & Analysis group, which is responsible for developing the company’s financial projections, preparing and presenting key corporate materials to Sony Corp and providing strategic financial analysis to support the Sony/ATV business.
SoundCloud has revealed it’s finalized a definitive agreement to acquire rights management and distribution company, Repost Network. The acquisition will see creators on the SoundCloud platform offered further resources such as streaming distribution, analytics dashboards and content protection. Terms of the deal, which is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, have not been disclosed.
The Mac Miller Fund has presented a grant to MusiCares of $50,000 to establish the MusiCares Mac Miller Legacy Fund to help young adults, 27 years old and under, dealing with substance abuse. The Mac Miller Fund was established at The Pittsburgh Foundation by the family of Malcolm McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, following his death in September. The Miller fund at the foundation now totals nearly $1 million as a result of donations from the “Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life” concert presented in October, and contributions from the public. The MusiCares Mac Miller Legacy Fund was revealed last week in Los Angeles during a special tribute by Miller’s close friend, Vince Staples, at the annual MusiCares Concert for Recovery. The Mac Miller Fund also gifted a grant to Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, an after–school arts education outreach program in the Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood, to build upon its Suzuki Music Program.
The Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC) has reported an increase in membership of 14% for 2018, reaching 29,000 members. The news comes alongside a number of key agreements finalized with the likes of Amazon Video, Facebook, Google Play Music and TIM by Deezer with online platform royalties growing by 48.6%. Additionally, cinema–related royalties collected by the UBC jumped 504% in 2018 from the year prior, driven by a new agreement with the Brazilian Association of Multiplex Cinema Operator Companies (ABRAPLEX). Altogether, 2018 saw the UBC distribute 524.3 million Brazilian reals ($129.712 million) to 186,000 national and international rights holders which marks an increase of 25% over 2017. Brazil’s Central Office for Collection and Distribution (ECAD) collected a total of 1.106 billion reals (almost $275 billion) in 2018. The UBC’s report confirms that its repertoire accounts for 57% of ECAD’s market share based on the total amount distributed by ECAD for the year.
Absolute Label Services has finalized a direct licensing deal with Boomplay, Africa’s largest music streaming and download service. The deal sees any tracks released by Absolute’s clients on their own label via the services company, made available to the Boomplay platform. In April 2019, Boomplay reported 46 million users across the African continent. Absolute’s licensing deal brings its catalogue to all of Boomplay’s territories, including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
FUGA has revealed two senior hires with Jason Reed and Kameil Sattar. Reed, who was most recently Head of Digital at Domino Recording Co., will assume his new role as Head of Global Marketing and Promotions starting June 11th, operating primarily from FUGA’s London office. Reed brings over a decade of experience driving digital strategy for the recordings business. For the past six years, he led digital strategy and partnerships for Domino, working on global campaigns for artists such as the Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip and The Last Shadow Puppets. Prior to Domino, Reed was Head of Digital at Ministry of Sound Recordings. Sattar comes to FUGA’s London office as Regional Manager U.K. from her previous role as Head of Digital at Proper Music Group. Sattar’s experience extends across the digital and distribution sectors including senior roles with eMusic and Pinnacle Records.
In the wake of a lengthy period of controversy that has included police raids, corruption allegations and the reveal of a significant TV royalty scam, CISAC has announced a temporary suspension for SGAE, the Spanish collection society, from its organization. The announcement comes after CISAC began the sanctions process in December of 2018 and last year, recommended a number of changes to SGAE to improve governance rules, statutes and royalty distribution. Despite changes being suggested by Pilar Jurado, SGAE’s President, the process has been slow moving with nothing approved or put into motion by the society’s General Assembly. CISAC will lift the sanctions as soon as it sees notable forward progress from SGAE.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ollie Hodge, Charlie Lycett, Karen Norbakk, Benjamin Weeden, Ollie Wards, Dougie Bruce, Benjamin Budde, Daniel Glass, Kirk Sommer, Jen Tolman, Jacqueline Saturn, Alan Greenspan, Tak Furuichi, Kai Robøle, Sunil Perkash and Gina Tucci.
JACKASS OF THE WEEK
Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E–mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. We all have a bad day once in a while, as we don’t have regular training to be perfect. Even proper training can sometimes lead to jackass moments. Click HERE to see why even the military elite can have a jackass of a day, or two!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– VERONICA FUSARO
In 2016, Veronica Fusaro stepped into the spotlight with her self–produced EP Lost In Thought. After working tirelessly on developing her characteristic soul pop sound, she surprised the Swiss music industry by winning the ‘Demo of the Year’ at the M4Music–Festival. Shortly afterwards, she was awarded ‘Best Talent’ by the national radio station SRF3 and was nominated for the Swiss Music Awards 2017. She took her talents on the road and performed on a number of stages from New Zealand to London and back to her home country of Switzerland. Her sophomore EP ICE COLD was released last year featuring the single “Better If I Go,” which Veronica performed at the Swiss Music Awards at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, which led to an invitation to perform at the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, followed by two showcases at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. In addition, Veronica garnered international music industry interest after her showcases at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles and MUSEXPO Europe in London in 2016. Last year, Veronica performed nearly 150 shows and earned over 50,000 streams on Spotify for her single “Venom.” The 22–year–old Swiss singer–songwriter recently delivered her first new music of the year with the single “Lie To Me,” the first taste of her new EP due in September. According to Fusaro, the song addresses the rapidity of the world we live in and our desperate cry to find real emotions. Fans can also see Fusaro performing the Glastonbury Festival at the end of this month. Listen to “Lie To Me” HERE and contact Stefan Schurter at firstname.lastname@example.org, as Veronica Fusaro is currently available for label, publishing, booking and synch opportunities.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – MÁNI ORRASON
Máni Orrason’s sophomore album I Woke Up Waiting was just released in the spring of 2018, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to write and record new music. The young musician continues to grow and discover new facets in his music and working them out on his upcoming Baby Angel EP, due this month via Humming Records. The collection of new music is about falling in love and about what follows afterwards – despair, longing and other inevitabilities. The six–song EP features the single “I Swear It’s True,” which tackles the fears of the future. The EP displays Orrason in an exciting electronic environment in which he thrives. German producer Nikolai Potthoff (LP, SomeKindaWonderful), with whom Orrason traveled from Berlin to his old home in Spain, helped to tap the full potential of the new songs before they found their final form in Berlin. The Baby Angel EP not only shows that Máni Orrason is ahead of his age, but also ahead of his time. Watch the music video for “I Swear It’s True” HERE and contact David Lang at email@example.com and Florian Baufeld at florian@handpicked–artists.com, as Orrason is available for worldwide label and live partners for future releases.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 6/2/2019
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, June 2nd, 2019: The weekly import show. Heard on over 70 radio stations on six continents weekly including: The World Famous KROQ 106.7FM Los Angeles, Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; KNRK–FM Portland OR; KNDD “The End” Seattle WA; KCJK–FM “Alternative x1051” Kansas City MO; WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” NY 107.7FM; WZRH–FM New Orleans; KHTB Salt Lake City, UT; KBZT–FM 94.9FM San Diego CA; KKDO “94.7FM” Sacramento CA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix AZ; KRML “102.1FM” Carmel CA, KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno CA; KMAX Windsor/Ft. Collins, Colorado; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; KVNV–FM Reno NV; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; East Radio–FM Shanghai, China; KAFA “97.7FM” Colorado Springs, CO; KVNV “NV89” Reno, NV; KSKI–FM, Sun Valley/Twin Falls, ID; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, New York; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia, WRUR 88.5FM Rochester New York; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY and on The Independent FM (iHeart Radio) in the United States and many others. Also, on the worldwide web and twice–weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany, as well as streaming on one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms, Saavn.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
ALEX LAHEY – “Am I Doing It Right?” (Dead Oceans, Australia)
SLIDE – “Floating” (Unsigned, Sweden)
TEN TONNES – “Better Than Me” (Warner Music, UK)
PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION – “You Haven’t Loved, Until You’ve Lost” (Unsigned, UK)
BITTER’S KISS – “Changing Tides” (Unsigned, N. America)
SPORTS TEAM – “Get Along” (Holm Front, UK)
GO GO BERLIN – “Love Me” (Heartbeat Music, Denmark)
YONAKA – “Lose Our Heads” (Atlantic Records, UK)
JOHN FLOREANI – “Echoes” (Hopeless Records, Australia)
LOST IN STEREO – “Adrenaline” (Unsigned, Scotland)
SMITH & THELL – “Statue” (Playground Music, Sweden)
BLITZ UNION – “Revolution” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
VIDEOCLUB – “Roi” (Unsigned, France)
DOLLY & THE DINOSAUR – “Unofficial” (Unsigned, UK)
LAUREN WALLER – “Quicksand” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE RAH’S – “Land of the Dreamers” (Unsigned, Scotland)
TREE LINED STREETS – “Transformation” (Unsigned, Ireland)
LADY BIRD – “Love” (Unsigned, UK)
STOP MOTION POETRY – “Dead Rose” (Unsigned, N. America)
LITTLE COMETS – “American Tuna” (The Smallest Label, UK)
SHAYNA LEIGH – “Cheeky” (Unsigned, N. America)
TALISCO – “Closer” (Roy Music, France)
LONGFELLOW – “Iscariot” (Unsigned, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Jubilee” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “I Forgot Your Name (But I Like You)” (Clouds Hill, Sweden)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Connection” (3Beat Records, UK)
WHENYOUNG – “Never Let Go” (Virgin/EMI, Ireland)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Miracle” (Le Café de la Danse/Wagram/MVKA, France)
SHLOMI ASH – “Wake Up” (Unsigned, Israel)
THE LUKA STATE – “What’s My Problem” (Project Records, UK)
EMME LENTINO – “Oxygen” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
LIME CORDIALE – “Inappropriate Behaviour” (Chugg Music, Australia)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Videoclub, Shayna Leigh, Little Comets, Ten Tonnes and Sports Team)