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UNIVERSAL MUSIC REVEALS CHANGES TO NORDIC TEAM
WITH DEPARTURE OF PER SUNDIN




Last week, Universal Music Central Europe revealed a round of executive changes for the Nordic region as it builds upon its core team and operations in the territory. Among the updates are the departure of longtime Universal executive, Per Sundin, who had been serving as Managing Director for Universal Music Sweden and President, Universal Music Nordic Region. Sundin exits to take on the new role of CEO for Pop House Group, Co–Founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus for the promotion of the widely–successful group. At the same time, Sundin steps into a new role as non–executive Chairman, Universal Music Nordic Region, continuing his relationship with the company.

Per Sundin
“I have had a very close, trusting and successful working relationship with Per for many years now and I am thrilled that we will continue to collaborate with one another under this new arrangement,” commented Frank Briegmann, CEO & President of Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon. “ABBA’s wonderful, timeless body of work offers huge potential for generations to come, and I am looking forward to working with Per to provide fans with even more absorbing experiences and provide the artists with more traction around the world.”

Sundin’s new role with UMG will see him continuing to report to Briegmann, who will join the advisory board of Pop House as the Universal Music representative.

As of September 1st, UMG’s Bjorn Rogstad in Norway, Kimmo Valtanen in Finland, and Joakim Johansson in Sweden, will rise from their roles of General Managers, to Managing Directors for their respective countries. Collectively, they will form the new executive management team in the Nordics region, alongside Casper Bengtson, who maintains his role as Universal Music Denmark’s Managing Director.

Briegmann said, “Through these strategic appointments, UMG is accelerating the company’s focus on A&R, digital and creative innovation, cross–market collaboration and future export growth as it continues to reinforce its position as the leading music company within the region. As a music market at the forefront of the streaming and digital transformation, the Nordic Region continues to play an important role in the future development of the global music ecosystem. In recent years, we have seen many UMG artists from these countries successfully reach new international audiences and find great success around the world, and we will continue to focus on developing the most outstanding talent within the region, both locally and internationally.”


TUFF MORGAN NAMED VP OF A&R FOR PEERMUSIC



It was announced last week by peermusic’s President, Kathy Spanberger, that the company has promoted Tuff Morgan to Vice President of A&R. Morgan’s new role will see him leading peermusic’s A&R efforts in the Pop and Urban genres across the company’s U.S. offices. He will remain based out of the company’s Burbank, CA offices while reporting to Spanberger.

Tuff Morgan
“It is very rare to find an executive that has Tuff’s skill set,” said Spanberger. “His background as an artist and songwriter gives him the sensitivity and creativity to work well with the creativity community but that innate skill is coupled with a razor sharp and transparent business mind that gives our clients the information they need to make sound decisions about their careers. It’s an unbeatable combination.”

“I’m blessed to work with such an amazing and diverse group of songwriters,” said Morgan. “Every day I look forward to the opportunity of building something special and innovative with the peermusic family for the songwriters we work with.”

Morgan’s roster of songwriters at peermusic includes the likes of Salaam Remi (Nas, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Miguel, Jasmine Sullivan), James Poyser (Anthony Hamilton, Lauren Hill, Rhianna), Volume Venture’s Larrance Dopson & TrapMoneyBenny (Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, JAY–Z, Beyoncé, Drake, H.E.R, Ella Mai), Sons of Sonix (Tre Songz, Ty$, Stormzy, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande), and The Audibles (Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, Zac Brown), as well as artists BJ the Chicago Kid, Linda Perry, Ayo/Teo, Miraa May, Madison Ward, and indie bands Dead Sara, Black Violin, Family of the Year and Cigarettes After Sex, among others.

With over 15 years of music industry experience Morgan has spent time as an artist, producer, songwriter, manager, publisher and A&R rep. He previously served as Sr. Director of A&R for peermusic, having joined the publisher in 2014 as Director of Pop & Urban Music, though he worked with the company in a consulting capacity prior to stepping into his full–time role.

His music career began in college when he secured a record deal with KRS–One and Capitol Records as one half of the hip hop duo Channel Live. Following a Gold album and multiple major label deals, he moved to the West Coast where he collaborated with producer Mike City on projects for artists such as Dr. Dre, Method Man, The Game, Busta Rhymes, Melanie Fiona and Rhianna. Morgan’s creative work led him to various development, management and A&R roles with artists such as Jheryl Busby (Umbrella Records) and Brian Turner (Melee/Priority Records). Morgan subsequently secured an imprint deal with Def Jam and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music and a JV with peermusic.


WARNER FINALIZES GLOBAL ARTIST SIGNINGS
ACROSS PUBLISHING & RECORDS




It was an active past week in the Warner system as the company’s Warner Chappell Music (WCM) publishing operations, and its recorded music teams globally finalized a number of key signings.

Stone Temple Pilots
On the publishing end, WCM finalized an exclusive worldwide agreement for the administration of the catalog for Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz, members of widely–recognized rock band, Stone Temple Pilots. Over the course of their career, STP have sold 40 million records globally. In 2010, the band had signed with Universal Music Publishing Group. Original frontman, Scott Weiland, passed away in 2015. Current singer, Jeff Gutt, joined STP in 2017 and last year signed a publishing deal with Reservoir.

Vicente Garcia
Additionally, WCM’s Colombian office has added Vicente Garcia to is roster via an exclusive worldwide publishing deal that encompasses his catalogue as well as future works. Having released his debut full–length, Melodrama, in 2011, the Dominican singer/songwriter’s first release counted collaborations with Ximena Sariñana and Cultura Profetica. A La Mar, Garcia’s sophomore effort, garnered Best New Artist, Best Singer/Songwriter Album, and Best Tropical Song (“Bachata En Kingston”) at the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards.

WCM has also finalized a JV with the producers of the musical Six, which is set to hit Broadway early next year, following the current success of the show as it makes its way across the U.S. and Canada. The new deal encompasses all songs in the show and also sees WCM signing separate futures deals with the writers for the show, Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow. WCM’s partners in the joint venture are Paul Lisberg (Loudmouth Music) along with Six producers Kenny Wax, Global Musicals and George Stiles. According to a press release announcing the deal, Six currently sits as the second highest–streamed soundtrack worldwide, with songs from the show garnering 350,000 streams daily. Tracks “Don’t Lose Ur Head” and “Get Down” have also racked up almost three million user–generated lip sync videos on TikTok.

VAVA
On the recorded music side, Warner Music China has signed local rap superstar VAVA. VAVA has generated significant attention over the last couple of years with hits such as “My New Swag,” which gained international recognition after being featured in the film, Crazy Rich Asians. VAVA is the stage name of rapper and hip–hop artist Mao Yanqi, who originally started performing as a singer locally at 16–years–old to help her family financially, before heading to Beijing at 18 to pursue a professional career in music. She rose to prominence after appearing on the first season of hip–hop talent show The Rap of China, performing in both Mandarin and Sichuan dialects and becoming the only female contestant to make it through to the final four. She went on to closely collaborate with Shanghai–based hip–hop producer Double G on tracks including “Know My Style,” “My New Swag,” “Rap Star” and “Shady Wit Me.” VAVA released her debut full–length, 21, last year.


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Award–winning producer/mixer Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Chris Isaak) tells A&R Worldwide that the band Almost Monday, which he’s been helping with development and production, signed with Hollywood Records and Disney Music Publishing last week. The San Diego, CA–based trio consists of three best friends Dawson Daugherty, Luke Fabry and Cole Clisby who started out writing songs in their living rooms and rehearsing on their college campuses. The trio originally met through surfing and quickly realized their passion for music; hence forming Almost Monday.

Amazon Music has tapped Adam Block for the newly–created position of Global Head of Music Catalog. The new role will see the industry veteran guiding the streamer’s catalog music initiatives while cultivating partnerships with labels and artists. Block will be based in New York while reporting to Ryan Redington, Director of Amazon Music. Block’s resume includes a 26–year–tenure with Sony Music Entertainment, most recently as President of Legacy Recordings. He also led the launch of Certified and co–produced award–winning projects across film and TV. Prior to joining Sony, he started his career in the press and marketing divisions of EMI Music/EMI Records. Block also serves as the Co–Chair of the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival, and is a Founding Partner of Jazz Is Dead, an LA–based multimedia firm.

The Thread Shop, Sony Music’s innovative merchandising division, has reached an agreement to acquire the music merchandise division of The Araca Group, a full–service theatrical production and entertainment merchandising company. Araca’s music merchandising roster counts contemporary and iconic music artists such as Led Zeppelin, P!nk, Shania Twain, Sugarland and Zayn. Alongside the acquisition, several members of The Araca Group’s music merchandising team will join The Thread Shop to maintain active relationships and develop new opportunities for the integrated roster. The purchase builds significantly on the reach of Sony Music’s in–house merchandising business and the suite of services and solutions that it offers to the artist community.

In other Sony Music news, a new partnership has been finalized between the company and Fútbol Club Barcelona to join “big name football stars and big name music artists.” As part of the two–year deal, FC Barcelona will tap into Sony Music’s catalogue to be used across the promotional content it produces. Additionally, Sony is the music partner for the upcoming Cirque du Soleil show Messi10, based around the life of leading Barça footballer, Leo Messi. Cirque is producing the show alongside Argentine promoter, Popart, with a debut scheduled for October 10th in Barcelona.

On the Sony Music Masterworks front, the company has finalized the acquisition of a majority stake in live music promoter and production firm, Senbla. Senbla’s Founder & CEO, Ollie Rosenblatt, will maintain leadership of the company while working with the Sony Music Masterworks management team including Mark Cavell (CEO) and Sarah Thwaites (U.K. Label Head) who also jon the Senbla board of directors. Senbla was founded in 2011 with a focus on classical music, though the company has worked with a diverse group of international acts including Joss Stone, Ennio Morricone, Marc Almond, Soft Cell, Burt Bacharach, Kristen Chenoweth, Sophie Ellis–Bextor and Beverley Knight. Among the productions Senbla has presented are The Apollo Nights Summer Series, Star Wars In Concert, Beauty And The Beast, Love Actually, Electric Soul Festival, Hair The Musical and Circus 1903.

It was revealed in a memo to staff last week from Universal Music Group (UMG) Chairman & CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge, that the company’s parent, Vivendi, has started conversations with Tencent Holdings regarding a partial sale of the major label. Vivendi revealed that initial negotiations have commenced for Tencent to make an investment of 10% of UMG’s share capital, valued at over $3 billion based on UMG’s valuation of €30 billion ($33 billion). The Chinese firm would also secure a one–year “call” option for the acquisition of a further 10% of UMG under the same price and terms. With Billboard estimating UMG’s earnings for 2018 at $1.165 billion (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), the valuation marks a 29.5 times multiple.

Live Nation has promoted Kelly Kapp to VP, Touring and EVP, House of Blues Entertainment (HOBE) Talent from her previous role as Sr. VP of HOBE Talent. Her new role marks the first dual role for an executive across Live Nation US Concerts and the promoter’s Clubs and Theaters division. Kapp reports to both Bob Roux, President of U.S. Concerts, and Ron Bension, President of HOBE. Having been with Live Nation for 17 years, Kapp joined initially as a project manager for N. American Concerts, working on tours including Ozzfest, Van Halen, Projekt Revolution for Linkin Park, Family Values festival and Destiny Child’s farewell tour. Following Live Nation’s acquisition of House of Blues in 2006, Kapp became its first tour buyer. Her new dual role allows Kapp to work with acts at the club/theater level and remain with them throughout their careers as they transition to larger venues.

In other Live Nation news, the promoter has revealed plans for its 10th Fillmore venue location, set to open in Minneapolis, Minnesota early next year. The 36,000–square–foot, 1,850–capacity venue is expected to welcome 175 concerts and events annually with local talent buyer, Tamsen Preston, booking the space. Bringing together signature elements of the Fillmore brand with local influences, among the features throughout the venue will be included custom artwork honoring Prince on the mezzanine level, as well as the upscale BG’s Lounge, a nod to the iconic Fillmore promoter, Bill Graham.

Apple Music last week unveiled its new Apple Digital Masters to see the full catalog of Mastered for iTunes music joined together into one global offering. Though the initiative had been rolling out under the radar already, last week’s announcement from Apple was their first public mention of the project. Mastered for iTunes launched in 2012 with a suite of free guidelines and software tools offered to engineers, allowing them to encode from high–res masters, for the optimization of music for the digital download platform. Apple Digital Masters currently account for around 75% of the Top 100 releases on Apple Music in the U.S., and 71% of the Top 100 worldwide. Apple Music joins other streamers such as Tidal, Deezer and Qobuz who also offer premium audio experiences.

Last week, Apple Music also rolled out its Apple Music for Artists analytics tool. The free offering for verified musicians and their teams is available via desktop or iOS devices and uses data from Apple Music’s streaming platform to offer a global overview of their impact and achievements. The platform updates metrics daily with data points such as who listeners are; what songs their listening to and how many times; and from where they’re listening. A representative for Apple Music revealed that the service had been in Beta for a number of years to allow feedback to come into the Apple team from artists and managers about what information was most important to them. Among the features is also included are the integration of Shazam data such as top cities and countries. Additionally, the service provides notifications to artists of what curated playlists have added their music and their placement on those lists as well as in which countries the playlist is most popular.

In other Apple news, the tech firm has revealed its own credit card offering focused towards mobile use. Last week, iPhone users who requested to be notified about Apple Card received invites to apply via the Wallet app. The U.S.–only initiative was announced in March as a partnership with Goldman Sachs and will continue expanding with additional sign–ups over the coming weeks. Apple has promised fast sign–up as well as the elimination of most fees. Apple Card does rely on the iPhone for use and, while customers can request a free physical card, they must have an iPhone to apply for the Apple Card, check statements and pay balances. The app will offer additional tools for managing spending and suggesting payment amounts as well as the return of cash back rewards via an Apple Cash account. Apple has stated that it doesn’t receive transaction data from Goldman Sachs, who will oversee application approvals and transaction monitoring.

A&R Worldwide learned last week that longtime Ubisoft executive, Jeremy Blechet is parting ways with the video game company after 11 years. Blechet had most recently served as Music Business & Supervision Director. He departs Ubisoft to take up a new role on the music team for Netflix.

St Albans quartet, Enter Shikari, have announced a partnership with London–based indie label SO Recordings, part of the Silva Screen Music Group. Having released their chart topping fifth album, The Spark, in 2017, Enter Shikari have entered the global stage with a comprehensive live strategy that has seen them grow to become one of the U.K.’s biggest rock exports with the live show around The Spark campaign reaching tens of thousands of fans worldwide on their longest tour ever. The album became their fourth to reach the top 5 of the UK Albums Chart. In late September, Enter Shikari return to N. America for their East Coast tour, with shows already selling out. They’re also preparing to return to the studio to start work on their sixth full–length release. Enter Shikari’s frontman and producer, Rou Reynolds, has also become a prominent music voice in mental health awareness working with the Mental Health Foundation among others.

Capitol Music Group (CMG) and Caroline have signed an agreement with K–pop supergroup SuperM via Seoul, Korea–based SM Entertainment Co., Ltd. The announcement was recently at the 2019 Capitol Congress by CMG Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett, Caroline President Jacqueline Saturn, and Soo–Man Lee, widely–recognized executive music producer and Founder of SM Entertainment. Soo–Man Lee has led the global K–pop phenomenon since its inception, having produced SuperM through SMP (SM Music Performance), drawing from some of the most popular K–pop acts in the world to create the diverse group. SuperM is composed of Taemin from SHINee, EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, NCT 127’s Taeyong and Mark, and Lucas and Ten of Chinese band WayV. SuperM will receive a significant U.S. launch in October of this year, which will include the group’s first music releases and debut U.S. live performances. CMG/Caroline will provide distribution and set–up comprehensive marketing, promotion and publicity campaigns in support of SuperM.

Veteran tech exec, Guy Schory, has been named as the first Chief Digital Officer for Endeavor. In the new role, Schory will oversee digital efforts across Endeavors product, marketing, data, advertising and commerce divisions, as well as leading Endeavor Streaming. Most recently, Schory was an early stage investor for companies including Dataminr and BlueVoyant. From 2012–2016, he served as Head of Strategic Initiatives for eBay and PayPal.

SiriusXM has tapped respected entertainment journalist and editor, Jess Cagle, as Chief Entertainment Anchor which will see the former People editor–in–chief heard across a number of SiriusXM channels and Pandora as the host of The Jess Cagle Show. Expected to launch this fall, the show will be broadcast live from SiriusXM’s LA studios and will cover daily pop culture news, celebrity interviews and more. Joining Cagle as co–host will be Julia Cunningham who has been hosting SiriusXM’s LA Daily, a West Coast pop culture–centric show. In addition to his show, Cagle will also assume hosting duties for SiriusXM Town Hall events, while hosting/producing exclusive podcast content for Pandora and appearing on SiriusXM video content. The move marks a return for Cagle to working with SiriusXM having led the launch of Entertainment Weekly Radio while he served as the publication’s editor–in–chief, with the station also airing The Jess Cagle Interview. Cagle had parted ways with his role at People and as editorial director for Meredith’s Entertainment Group in March.

According to mid–year figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the U.K. saw an increase in music sales of 10% over the first half of 2019, reaching £673 million ($817 million), led by continued growth to subscription streaming platforms and a set of popular movie soundtracks. Streaming accounted for the bulk of revenue at £486 million ($590 million), an increase of over 25% from the same period last year. At the same time, physical sales and downloads dropped by about 14% to £139 million ($169 million) and over 26% to £48 million ($58 million), respectively. Top selling albums for the period included The Greatest Showman soundtrack (380,000 copies – added to the 1.6 million units it sold in 2018); Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (229,000 units); George Ezra’s Staying at Tamara’s (226,000 units); Ariana Grande’s thank u, next (225,000); and the Bohemian Rhapsody official soundtrack (221,000). Capaldi also took best–selling single honors with “Someone You Loved” reaching over 1.3 million in sales. Paired with movie streaming and online game purchases, British consumers now spend over £100 million ($121 million) weekly across digital entertainment.

MUSEXPO showcase alum, Benny Sings, has released the first in a series of three remixes from tracks off his latest full–length, City Pop, via Stones Throw Records, with “Not Enough” (Tux Refux) by Jake One and Mayer Hawthorne aka Tuxedo. Dutch songwriter/producer Benny Sings will also be returning to the U.S. for his first tour headline on the back of the release of City Pop. The album was premiered at NPR’s First Listen and Anderson .Paak named City Pop one of the best albums of 2019, with debut single “Not Enough” garnering support from the likes of John Mayer. Since his 2003 debut with Champagne People, Benny Sings has performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk (their only Dutch guest to date); toured the world with Mayer Hawthorne; and collaborated with the likes of Anderson .Paak, GoldLink and Mndsgn. In 2017 he co–wrote and featured on Rex Orange County’s hit “Loving Is Easy.” City Pop was written and recorded in cities all over the world and counts collaborations with Mayer Hawthorne, Cornelius, Sukimaswitch, Mocky and Faberyayo among others.

Ultra Music Festival will return to Australia in 2020 for a third edition, announcing two dates in early March at Sydney’s Parramatta Park and the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Having first entered the market in 2018, Ultra Worldwide initially delivered a single Melbourne event which featured performances from Afrojack and Axwell Λ Ingrosso. The 2019 festival featured the two city set–up with performances from The Chainsmokers, Marshmello and Martin Garrix. A line–up for 2020 has not been revealed but Ultra anticipates attendance of 50,000 across the two dates.

Leading broadcast firm, Entercom Communications, has finalized the acquisition of podcast producer Pineapple Street Media and the remaining stake of podcast studio/distributor, Cadence13, with Entercom having acquired 45% of the latter two years ago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though a report from the Wall Street Journal placed the price–tag on Pineapple at $18 million, with the deal for Cadence13 valued at almost $50 million. Both firms will be brought under Entercom’s Radio.com website and app with a rebrand of Pineapple Street Media to Pineapple Street Studios. The acquisition sees Entercom entering the list of the top three podcast firms in the U.S. behind NPR and iHeartMedia. Pineapple Street and Cadence13’s leadership teams will maintain their roles under Radio.com, reporting to Entercom’s Chief Digital Officer, J.D. Crowley.

MelodyVR has announced new music licensing deals with Beggars Group Digital Limited and Domino Recording Company. Among the imprints included under the Beggars Group umbrella are 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings and Young Turks, encompassing the label homes of artists such as The National, FKA Twigs, The xx, Grimes and Radiohead, among others. Domino counts acts including Arctic Monkeys, Four Tet, Franz Ferdinand and Buzzcocks among its roster. Additionally, the music–centric VR start–up has extended its multi–territory agreement with ARESA GmbH which looks after the copyright catalogs of BMG, Cherry Lane, Virgin and others.

Bucks Music Group has signed Swedish artist Linn Koch–Emmery to an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement. The deal is the first artist signing for Stockholm–based Bucks Scandinavia, which launched in 2017 and is led by Daniel Sly–Platz. Debuting in 2017, Koch–Emmery garnered the attention of blogs and media worldwide and, via her Waves EP in 2018, and made her way onto national and international radio, being tipped as an “Artist of the Future” by Swedish National Radio P3. She also generated industry attention following her successful showcase at Los Angeles’ MUSEXPO 2018 conference and showcase event. Since then, Koch–Emmery has completed her first European tour with shows and festivals in the U.S., Mexico and the U.K., counting over 40 shows in 2019 already. She also recently performed on the Honduras stage at Bananpiren Way Out West. Her debut full–length is in the works.

Prism.fm has tapped longtime ticketing executive Tom Ewald as their Chief Revenue Officer. Ewald comes to the software startup for promoters having previously served as Eventbrite’s VP of Music as well as having had stints with Ticketmaster and Ticketfly, being one of the latter’s first staffers when he joined in 2009 to oversee sales, helping with the development of the platform’s independent promoter sales strategy. Ewald will be based in Chicago and will head up sales for Prism.fm, which licenses software that allows venues and promoters to centralize their data and revenue streams, including a suite of tools that support artist offers, calendar management and show settlements. The company finalized $2.2 million in seed funding in March from a number of angel investors, with the platform now in use by more than 100 promoters and 500 venues globally.

With recreational use of marijuana now legal in the California, San Francisco’s Outside Lands is set to become the first major festival in the state to see legal marijuana sales and comsumption allowed on site. Other events have offered limited sales and consumption including the Emerald Cup which became the first cannabis event in the state to allow the sale of marijuana. Additionally, May’s Northern Nights festival became one of the first music festivals to legally welcome cannabis sales/consumption to its Tree Lounge 21+ area. According to Billboard Boxscore in 2018, Outside Lands was the highest–grossing festival in the U.S.

iHeartMedia has revealed its podcast offerings are set to make their way to the company’s broadcast stations with the launch of its new Sunday Night Podcasts programming. Sunday Night Podcasts will air the most popular podcasts from the iHeartPodcast Network across multiple genres including comedy, true crime, business, history, technology, culture and others, on hundreds of iHeartMedia stations. Sunday Night Podcasts debuted this past weekend on 270 iHeartMedia stations with season two, episode one of The Ron Burgundy Podcast. Sunday Night Podcasts falls under iHeartMedia’s “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative that taps into the company’s consumer reach to bring the podcast sector to iHeartMedia’s quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners. Additionally, iHeartMedia revealed that it will translate and distribute a collection of its hit podcasts globally by first quarter 2020. The first round offered from the iHeartPodcast Network will translate six hit podcasts series into the most spoken languages in the world, bringing the content to new international audiences in their native languages. Among the set of shows set to translated are Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, BrainStuff and TechStuff, which are set to be translated into Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French, German and more, available via all major international audio distribution platforms.

The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation has named Sofia Carson as its first–ever global ambassador. The actress/singer/songwriter and philanthropist is well–known for her lead role in the Disney Channel original movie, Descendants, playing Evie which saw her included on the film’s soundtrack that debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at No.1. Other projects include performing the Spanish–language version of The Lion King’s “Circle Of Life” (“Ciclo Sin Fin”) and an upcoming role in the Netflix film, Feel the Beat. In her global ambassador role, Carson will advocate, promote and increase awareness of the mission and educational programs for the foundation. Additionally, she will join events to help fundraise and promote the foundation’s charitable focuses around the Latin music genres. Since launching five years ago, the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation has donated $5 million in scholarships, grants, musical instrument donations, and educational events in the U.S. and Ibero–America.

Columbia Records has signed dance duo Leftwing: Kody, composed of Jon Kong (Leftwing) and Chris Adie (Kody). The house music outfit count 561,748 listeners monthly on Spotify and have provided remixes to artists such as Mabel and MK. They also maintain their own label under the banner of Lost. Previously signed to Toolroom, Leftwing: Kody now join Columbia’s dance roster that also includes Calvin Harris and Mark Ronson.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10, hitting the marketing August 23rd, will see the company following suit with Apple’s iPhone in removing the standard headphone jack from the device. Samsung officials shared that despite being a small part of the device, removing the 3.5 millimeter jack plays a part in increasing battery life with the Note 10 Plus claiming a 7.5% increase in battery capacity over its Note 9 predecessor. Samsung will offer wired headphones that make use of the phone’s USB–C data and charging port with an available adapter for other wired headphones at a cost of $10. In addition to the Note 10 Plus which boasts a 6.8 inch display, Samsung is also offering a Note 10 that measures in at 6.3 inches. The new devices also feature updated stylus features as well as updates to the camera and device audio.

TickPick has finalized a $40 million investment round from PWP Growth Equity, marking the first institutional funding round for the ticket marketplace. Having launched in 2011 as a secondary ticket platform, TickPick has evolved into a primary ticketing service that works with events such as Firefly Music Festival and Riot Fest. Founders Brett Goldberg and Chris O’Brien revealed to TechCrunch that the firm is on pace to generate $200 million in transactions for 2019, up 60% from last year. TickPick differentiates itself from competitors by showing all fees included in the ticket cost up–front as opposed to waiting until check–out. According to TechCrunch, TickPick is also gearing up to grow its team in adding a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and a data team to begin integration of AI into the platform.

Bandzoogle has introduced a new subscription offering to provide artists the ability to set–up their own online fan clubs. The commission–free feature is accessible to all three tiers of Bandzoogle’s artist subscription accounts and allows them to create customized subscriber–only pages on their websites, incorporating music players, blog feeds, videos and online stores, among other features. The subscription pages bypass the need fr a separate platform through integration directly with artists’ Bandzoogle websites. Artists also maintain control over data collected via the pages and set their own monthly fee.

Eventbrite has announced a round of staff updates including the appointment of a new CFO in Lanny Baker. Baker takes on the role from Randy Befumo who has held executive roles with the company since 2013 including the CFO title since 2016. Befumo takes on the role of Chief Strategy Officer for Eventbrite. Baker comes to Eventbrite with a background that includes stops in executive roles with ZipRealty and Monster Worldwide. Additionally, Eventbrite has made a number of hires including Luke Cahill as Account Executive, Heather Ellis as Product Marketing Manager, Tessa Morris as Digital Marketing Manager, James Reichardt as Director of Engineering, and Jon Wilson to the Music Partnerships team.

The board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, have acquired a music catalogue from musician/songwriter/producer, Benny Blanco, who has written 29 No.1 songs and is behind the sale of hundreds of millions of albums worldwide. Blanco has written and produced hit songs with some of the biggest global acts including Halsey, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kesha, Sia, The Weeknd, Keith Urban, Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, J Balvin and Juice Wrld. Included under the acquisition are No.1 songs “Love Yourself” (Justin Bieber); “Cold Water” (Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and ); “Fire and the Flood” (Vance Joy); “Same Old Love” (Selena Gomez); “Luv” (Tory Lanez); “Don’t Wanna Know” (Maroon 5 feat. Kendrick Lamar); and “Freaky Friday” (Lil Dicky), as well as the Platinum and Multi–Platinum certified “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran; “2002” by Anne–Marie, and “Lonely Together” by Avicii. Blanco’s success has led to honors such as the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, five BMI Songwriter of the Year wins, and Producer of the Year at the 2017 iHeartRadio awards as well as seven Grammy nominations. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Blanco’s copyright ownership for the catalog of 93 songs including 65 No.1 and 183 Chart positions globally, with streams topping 10 billion. Blanco was represented in the deal by Doug Mark, Andrew Luftman and Zvi Edelman.

Discogs has rolled–out NearMint, a new inventory offering for professional record sellers on the music database and marketplace platform. According to Discogs, NearMint will help streamline the inventory management process for sellers. Among the features available on NearMint, which currently offers direct Discog integration, are the ability to create new listings one at a time or in bulk, separate employee logins, change logs per item and comment templates, as well as a dashboard that delivers inventory reports, the option to add quantity and tags and adjusting prices by item or in bulk. The NearMint offering is currently in beta and will is set to be made available to more sellers globally.

The RIAA has announced Brendan Daly as their new Chief Communications Officer. Daly most recently held the role of Sr. Communications Director for nonprofit, Save The Children Action Network, and was the Chief Spokesman to U.S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi from 2002–2011. Daly’s new role will see him based in Washington D.C., leading the RIAA’s teams across media relations, creative, research and economics, as well as the Gold/Platinum awards executive team, while reporting to Mitch Glazier, RIAA Chairman & CEO. Daly’s background includes time as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative as well as EVP, Corporate and Public Affairs for Ogilvy Public Relations. He also previously held top communications roles with the Department of Energy and Peace Corps.

Keychange has confirmed that it will receive €1.4 million in funding from the Creative Europe program of the European Union, as it seeks to continue accelerating change for a better, more inclusive music industry. Spanning over three years, the second phase of the program will see Keychange empower a new network of women, trans and non–binary artists and innovators to showcase and collaborate across the music industry, in the U.K., Europe and N. America. The new program will commence in September 2019 and run through September 2023 with additional details of the second phase of the program to be unveiled at Reeperbahn Festival 2019 in Hamburg Germany. Keychange ambassadors Kate Nash, as well as Barbara Gessler (European Commission), Alexander Schulz (Keychange Co–Founder and CEO of Reeperbahn Festival) and others will present details of “Keychange 2.0” during Reeperbahn on Thursday, September 19th.

Indie rock band Razorlight have partnered with Absolute Label Services to drive the campaign for their next studio full–length, scheduled for release in 2020. The album will be released via Atlantic Culture Records, with Absolute providing full label services support such as marketing, sales, distribution and more worldwide. Razorlight’s new single, “Cops And Robbers,” was released late last month. The band are one of the most successful U.K. acts of the early 2000s, releasing three Top 5 albums between 2004 and 2008. “Cops And Robbers” marks the band’s first new material since their 2018 comeback album, Olympus Sleeping. They are set to play Victorious Festival in the U.K. this summer, as well as a round of shows across Europe, and being special guests of the Kaiser Chiefs on their January U.K. tour.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Savan Kotecha, Robert Reynolds, Rudy Chung, Mary Megan Peer, Blaise Fernandes, Sigi Schuller, Prashan Agarwal, Jason Sausto, Carianne Marshall, Greg Thompson, Paul Tollett and Lee Trink.


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. Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Summer is full of vacations, relaxation, travel and the occasional jackass moments. Click HERE to get some bountiful belly laughs as you enjoy the last remaining weeks of your summer holidays!


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– LUKE ZEPHYR



Luke Zephyr is a talented Los Angeles–based musician who experienced heartache and tragedy at a young age. His escape and his therapy were to write songs, sing and play the guitar. As the years progressed, it was clear that his path in life would lead him to music. His songs have been used in television, radio and film placements, including the TV shows The Mud Day (Europe), The Voice Israel, BT Sport Football (UK) and many others. Luke Zephyr recently co–wrote a song with famed producer Yutaka Yamada, for one of the biggest television shows in Japan called Great Pretender. He has toured across North America and Canada, sharing the stage with such acts as The All–American Rejects, Eve 6 and the legendary rock outfit, Foghat. Luke Zephyr recently performed at the Kiehl’s LifeRide 10th anniversary celebration for amfAR, to benefit HIV/AIDS research and awareness in Los Angeles, which has raised more than $2 million via motorcycle rides and event donations. On the music front, Luke Zephyr has unleashed a brand–new single called “Take Me Instead.” The intense track boasts infectious influences ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Queen, to Joe Cocker and The Rolling Stones, with a modern twist. Listen to “Take Me Instead” HERE, and contact Dan Sandhu at dansandhu@outlook.com, as Luke Zephyr is available for distribution, label and licensing partners, synch, booking and publishing opportunities.


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – LOLA MARSH

Creating music that combines cunning lyrics with deep, warm harmonies is the Israeli duo Lola Marsh. Vocalist Yael Shoshana Cohen and multi–instrumentalist Gil Landau released their debut EP You’re Mine in 2016. Their distinctive sound resulted in an immediate rise, first online and then in person, with performances bringing the five–piece band to Europe and North America. In 2017, they released their debut album Remember Roses (Anova Music/Universal Music Group) which received critical acclaim and saw album singles climb to the top of Spotify’s most viral charts, hitting over 40 million streams that continue to grow today. Their music has been featured in ads for eBay and the California Lottery, and they were asked to co–write a song for the feature film Criminal, in addition to being featured performing in the AMC hit TV series, Better Call Saul. Lola Marsh were also pleasing fans on stage, playing a number of major festivals including Primavera Sound, Pohoda, Exit, Rockville, Pukkelpop, Montreaux, FNAC, while extensively touring both Europe and the states. Their sophomore album isn’t due for release until January, but they have given fans the first taste of the new music with the single “Echoes.” The new track has already received praise from both radio and online music blogs, along with the brilliant video directed by Indy Hait. Watch the video HERE and contact Joshua Perry, CEO & A&R, Anova Music/BLDG5 Records at Joshua.Perry@anovamusic.com, as Lola Marsh is currently seeking a U.S. agent and for all other inquiries.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 8/11/2019



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, August 11th, 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; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; 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; 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 (iHeartRadio) 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, JioSaavn.

Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:

LARKINS – “Sugar Sweet” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
KIDDO X GASHI – “Coming Down” (BLNK Music, Sweden)
NO HOT ASHES – “W.Y.N.A.” (Modern Sky, UK)
MADS LANGER – “Me Without You” (Sony, Denmark)
WHENYOUNG – “The Others” (Virgin/EMI, Ireland)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Trade It In” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Sixteen Minutes” (Unsigned, Sweden)
BITTER’S KISS – “Just Like Heaven” (Unsigned, N. America)
LUNA BAY – “Call The Night” (Unsigned, UK)
DOTAN – “Numb” (7 Layers, Holland)
YONAKA – “Rockstar” (Atlantic Records, UK)
NOSOYO – “Highness” (Embassy of Music, Germany)
ADAM FRENCH – “Slow Dancing” (Virgin/EMI, UK)
TREE LINED STREETS – “No Friend Of Mine” (Unsigned, Ireland)
FEMME SCHMIDT – “Golden” (Unsigned, Germany)
BLITZ UNION – “Revolution” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
TEDDYBEARS – “Give It All Up” (Unsigned, Sweden)
THE WHITE LAKES – “Wolves” (Ditto Music, UK)
JACK GRAY – “Fools” (Warner Music, Australia)
EMMI KING – “Million Dollar Movie” (Unsigned, Germany)
THE FAULTS – “Alexander” (Unsigned, Australia)
SHLOMI ASH – “To The River” (Unsigned, Israel)
THE LUKA STATE – “Girl” (Unsigned, UK)
VINCI – “Lions” (Unsigned, Ireland)
LOST IN STEREO – “Adrenaline” (Unsigned, Scotland)
VIDEOCLUB – “En Nuit” (Unsigned, France)
TEN TONNES – “Better Than Me” (Warner Music, UK)
TIM SCHOU – “Beat Around The Bush” (Iceberg Records, Denmark)
FLOWVERS – “Nosebleed” (Fossil Boy Records, UK)
BLACK HONEY – “I Don’t Ever Wanna Love” (Fox Five Records, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Fool’s Mirage” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
THE VITRIOTS – “Rehab” (Sureshaker, Australia)
LUKE ZEPHYR – “Take Me Instead” (Unsigned, N. America)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including No Hot Ashes, Luna Bay, Adam French, VINCI and Flowvers)