WARNER MUSIC NAMES NEW MD FOR TAIWAN – WARNER/CHAPPELL PROMOTES KEY CREATIVE EXECUTIVE
Warner Music Taiwan has named Ruby Chou as the new Managing Director for the company. Chou will be based in Taipei, reporting to Simon Robson, President of Warner Music Asia. Previously, Chou served as Managing Director of Money101 Taiwan, and during her tenure, turned the financial services company into a household name in the country, significantly growing its revenue and market share in the process.
Chou says, “Getting to lead the incredible Warner Music Taiwan team is a huge honour for me. I’ve always been a storyteller, working with brands to connect them with consumers. Now I have the opportunity to bring those skills to bear to help our artists engage with fans. I can’t wait to get started.”
Robson adds, “Ruby brings a huge amount of brand marketing experience to our company and is well–positioned to help our artists cut through in the attention economy. She also has great leadership skills and is well–placed to guide our team in Taipei as it continued to develop.”
Chou’s background in digital marketing has seen her leading teams at several leading agencies, working with a range of high–profile brands. Her career began in the Toronto office of global marketing and advertising agency Oglivy & Mather in 2000 before she became a news reporter for the Toronto bureau of World Journal. In 2004, she joined Grandviewer Technology, running the company’s social media campaigns and influencer programs, as well as directing its broader marketing strategy. She headed to Taipei in 2006, joining Vistagic Advertising as Business Development Director and working with clients such as China Airlines, Just Diamonds and Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After a stint at Apex Communications, Chou joined Edelman PR & Digital as Head of Consumer and Digital, supporting the entry of international brands including eBay, Fiji Water and Spotify into the Taiwanese market.
On the publishing side, Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced the promotion of Paul Smith to the newly created role of VP, A&R and International Songwriters. Smith is tasked with further strengthening relationships between the songwriters on the publisher’s global roster, driving collaborations both between them and with major recording artists worldwide. Based in London, Smith reports to WCM’s UK Managing Director, Mike Smith, with a dotted line to Shani Gonzales, the company’s newly appointed EVP of International A&R.
Smith joined Warner Chappell in 2016 as Sr. International Creative Manager, rising to Creative Director. At WCM, he’s increased the frequency of international collaboration among WCM songwriters with songwriting camps in London, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Nashville. His industry career began at the London–based management firm 365 Artists. Among the songwriters he’s signed are Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello), Fred Ball (Rihanna, Jay–Z, Beyoncé), Linnea Södahl (Zara Larsson) and Rick Boardman (Marshmello, Bebe Rexha).
Additionally, WCM is unveiling ARROW (A&R Representing Our Writers), a new database dedicated to fostering international collaboration and accelerating the global pitch process for songwriters’ music. The internal song pitching tool was developed by the team at Warner Chappell Nashville. The publisher’s A&R experts globally will use ARROW to seamlessly search and share unreleased songs internally through the company and pitch them for commercial use.
MUSHROOM GROUP REVEALS RESTRUCTURING & STAFF UPDATES
Australia’s Mushroom Group has undergone a robust restructuring while announcing a raft of promotions internally, it was revealed by the company’s Founder and Chairman, Michael Gudinski, last week. The changes for the leading independent music firm come as a result of significant growth to its live and label sectors.
Gudinksi said in a statement, “Mushroom has seen significant growth in recent years across both the live and label businesses and this restructure is an incredibly exciting stage in our evolution.”
As of today, Mushroom Group has rolled out a dedicated live Marketing + Communications division. The new operations will be helmed by Reegan Stark, a 17–year veteran of Mushroom Group, and will manage all marketing, PR and digital for Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, CMC Rocks and other live partnerships, as well as PR and digital communications for Mushroom Group’s Illusive Presents. Stark, who had been serving as Director of Mushroom Promotions, is now promoted to Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, and is tasked with looking after the communications, marketing and digital divisions of Mushroom’s live portfolio. Stark reports to Gudinksi and Dion Brant (COO) and joins the senior executive team for Mushroom’s live business division.
The new Marketing + Communications operations mark the full integration of the teams with Frontier Touring Company and Chugg Entertainment, which joined in April and marked a reunion for Gudinski and Michael Chugg about four decades after the iconic promoters launched Frontier Touring Company, and 20 years since they parted ways. On the heels of Chugg teaming up with Gudinski, AEG Presents finalized a joint venture with Frontier Touring.
Also, under the new restructuring, Mushroom Group’s growing label portfolio adds its own in–house promotions, marketing and social media teams for the support of its local and international rosters.
Dan Baker, Head of Radio & Streaming for Mushroom, is elevated to GM & Strategy for Mushroom Labels, responsible for the development of promotional and artist strategy. In his new role, Baker will report to Matt Gudinski, Executive Director of Mushroom Group, and Chris Maund, COO of Mushroom Labels, while leading Mushroom Labels’ local and international promotions staff.
Mushroom’s label portfolio now counts seven imprints including Liberation Records, Liberator Music, Ivy League Records, I OH YOU, Bloodlines, Soothsayer and 100s + 1000s, with its recordings business now operating in offices in five cities, counting its newly opened headquarters in the U.S. and U.K.
Alongside these updates, 15 Mushroom staffers across the live, touring, marketing and communications teams assume new duties, with seven employees from its labels transitioning to new positions.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING GROUP SIGNS DEALS FOR THE US & AUSTRALIA
Last week marked a busy one for global publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), as the company revealed a round of key signings to its offices around the world.
Among the deals finalized for UMPG were included a global administration deal with Farrell Music, the publishing company of British pop star Robbie Williams, encompassing the former Take That member’s existing catalogue as well as future works. The new agreement comes as Williams prepares the release of his thirteenth studio full–length and first–ever Christmas set, a double album including covers and original songs set to come out before the end of year. Williams’ signing sees him reuniting with Mike McCormack, UMPG U.K.’s Managing Director, who originally signed Williams as a member of Take That in the early ’90s, while the artist was at Virgin Music. Take That toured globally and released three albums from 1992 and 1995, garnering hits with tracks such as “Back For Good,” “Patience,” “Never Forget” and “Pray.” Williams launched his solo career in 1997 with Life Thru a Lens, including the hit “Angels,” and by 2016 broke the records for most U.K. No.1 albums by a British solo act. Among his honors, Williams counts 18 Brit Awards (across both his solo work and with Take That), five Ivor Novello Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and, in 2004, was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. Last year, Williams took the stage for a performance at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony, released his Under the Radar, Vol. 2 compilation album, and became a judge for the 15th season of the U.K. X Factor.
UMPG also finalized an exclusive global publishing agreement with emerging Latin singer/songwriter, Mariah. Signed to Universal Music Latino, the Puerto Rican/Cuban artist was discovered by Nely “El Arma Secreta,” a UMPG reggaeton producer. Mariah’s debut, “Perreíto,” was released this year and recently garnered Gold certification in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
In UMPG’s Nashville office, a global publishing agreement was signed with songwriter Justin Ebach. Ebach’s credits include No.1 hits such as “Good Girl” by Justin Lynch; “Here Tonight” and “Sleep Without You” by Brett Young; and “Singles You Up” by Jordan Davis. The 2017 SESAC Songwriter of the Year has also co–written songs recorded by the likes of Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen and Dan & Shay, in addition to emerging talent Jimmie Allen, Mitchell Tenpenny and Maddie & Tae. Pictured left to right are Terry Wakefield, Cyndi Forman, Zach Lund, Missy Roberts, Justin Ebach, Troy Tomlinson, Ron Stuve and Travis Gordon.
And in Australia, Universal Music Publishing announced a key global publishing deal last week with David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii of Aussie songwriter/producer duo DNA Songs. DNA Songs have achieved seven No.1 ARIA Singles and 20 Top 10 hits, selling more than 8.5 million units as writers and producers. The pair have worked with a range of international and local acts such as Ricky Martin, The Veronicas, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Delta Goodrem, Timomatic, Dami Im and Samantha Jade. Their No.1 singles include The Veronicas’ triple–Platinum “You Ruin Me” and double–Platinum “In My Blood;” Delta Goodrem’s double–Platinum “Wings;” Samantha Jade’s “What You’ve Done To Me;” and Dami Im’s “Alive.” 2016’s X Factor Australia winner Isaiah released his winning single “It’s Gotta Be You,” written and produced by DNA, which has generated more than 229 million Spotify streams making it one of the most streamed songs in Sony Music Australia’s history. Jessica Mauboy’s recently released fourth studio album HILDA, debuted at No.1 on the ARIA album chart and counts six songs co–written and produced by DNA Songs, including, lead single “Little Things” which has been certified Platinum and garnered a nod for “Best Female Artist” at this year’s ARIA Awards. The duo continues to write with Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, Samantha Jade, Isaiah Firebrace, Human Nature, Mike Waters, Kota Banks and The Veronicas for their upcoming 2020 releases. Pictured from top left are Andrew Jenkins, Nora Wever, Arwen Hunt (VP, Creative/A&R, UMPG Australia & N. Zealand), David Musumeci, Anthony Egizii and manager Di Torossian.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Downtown Music Holdings has named Molly Neuman as President of Songtrust®, the world’s largest technology solution for global music royalty collection and publishing administration. In her new role, Neuman will lead all day–to–day operations for Songtrust, including client relations, product, and engineering, as well as society and services relations. The move was announced last week by Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz and Chief Strategy Officer Joe Conyers III, who Co–Founded Songtrust together in 2011 and will remain on the Board of Directors moving forward. Since joining Songtrust in 2017 as Global Head of Business Development, Neuman has played a key role behind much of the company’s growth in recent years, leading the global business development, sales and marketing teams. During her tenure, Songtrust has posted record–setting metrics for the business, including triple–digit growth with over 2 million songs under its management from 26,000 publishers and 205,000 songwriters across 64 countries. An industry veteran and champion of independent artists, Neuman’s music career spans nearly three decades. Prior to Songtrust, she was Head of Music at Kickstarter and Interim President and VP of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). She’s held senior roles in label relations at Rhapsody International and eMusic, as well as serving on the boards of SoundExchange and A2IM. Neuman got her start in music as the drummer for the influential Riot Grrrl band, Bratmobile.
Sony Music U.K. is expanding its reach into the family entertainment arena with the launch of its first dedicated kid’s music label under the banner of Magic Star. Magic Star will be helmed by Will Speer who comes to Sony from NBCUniversal where he had led the international marketing division for DreamWorks TV and NBCU Kids and Family. Among the campaigns Speer worked across at NBC were those for Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon and Spirit Riding Free. Speer will be based in Sony Music’s London office and tasked with signing and developing artists and branded projects geared towards children’s audiences. The first release under the new imprint has not been revealed though Sony has stated that Magic Star will partner with established leaders in the family entertainment space as well as pursue opportunities with the company’s other U.K. labels and their artists.
Also targeting the children’s market is Spotify who revealed last week the launch of Spotify Kids, a new app currently in beta in Ireland, that is directed at children three and older. Following the beta run, the app will roll out globally in territories that offer the Premium Family tier. The app’s development focused on safety and privacy and features singalongs, soundtracks and stories appropriate for children, curated by Spotify’s editors. Parents also have the option to choose Audio for Younger Kids or Audio for Older Kids.
Allen Kovac’s rock–focused label group and multimedia firm, Eleven Seven, has rebranded under the banner of Better Noise Music, joining together its three imprints, Better Noise, Five Seven Music and Eleven Seven Music. Kovac launched sub–label Eleven Seven in 2015 as a home to rock outfits such as Nothing More and From Ashes to New. Recent adds to the company roster include Five Finger Death Punch, AWOLNATION, The Hu, Atlas Genius, Bang Bang Romeo, Bleeker and Cory Marks. The re–branded firm has also tapped FUGA for its new digital distributor. In the media arena, upcoming projects for Better Noise include the upcoming 2020 releases of feature–length drama Sno Babies, as well as a musical theater production based on The Heroin Diaries, the book from Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. Kovac has revealed that other scripts are in the works for 2021 and beyond.
BMG’s Nashville operations have undergone a restructuring that has seen four of the local office staffers parting ways with the company. Among those exiting the BMG Nashville team are EVP Kos Weaver, who had joined the publisher in 2013. BMG confirmed to Billboard that the restructuring had no effect on the BBR Music Group team or the Nashville–based royalties and copyright divisions. In a statement released by the multinational, a BMG representative commented, “Nashville is a major growth market for BMG. The restructuring is consistent with our ongoing US strategy – maintaining our core strength and position in publishing while increasing our investment in writer–performers. We are now extending that approach to Nashville and it requires a different skillset and experience, hence the reorganization. Kos’s success over the past years speaks for itself and we wish him well.”
Apple revealed financial results for its fiscal Q4 last week, posting quarterly revenue of $64 billion which marked an increase of 2% over the same time last year. Earnings per diluted share also increased for the quarter by 4% to $3.03 with international sales generating 60% of the quarter’s revenue. iPhone sales continued to lose momentum, falling to $33.36 billion from last year’s figure of $36.76 billion with Apple’s services sector showing a boost from $10.6 billion last year to $12.5 billion. For its 2020 fiscal Q1, Apple anticipates revenue to reach between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion.
UTA has tapped longtime marketing exec Alisann Blood as Co–Head of Music Brand Partnerships. Blood will be based in LA, working alongside Toni Wallace and reporting to UTA’s Head of Worldwide Music, David Zedeck. Blood counts over a decade of industry experience, most recently served as Sr. VP of Brand Partnership for Maverick Management. Other stops on her resume includes time with Crush Music, Capitol Music Group and Steve Madden. She also serves as a national board member for Musicians On Call and is an adjunct professor at Syracuse University, her alma mater. Having joined UTA in 2017, Wallace has built out the agency’s music brand partnerships division to count 10 staffers based out of LA, New York, Nashville and London. She has overseen the division that has generated over 250 partnerships, collectively supporting more than 1,000 artists worldwide with over $10 million garnered from deals. The division has also taken the lead on sponsorships for a number of artist–curated festivals such as Posty Fest (Post Malone), Lights On (H.E.R.), The Boogie (Y.G.), Self Help Fest (A Day To Remember), Lost Lands and Bass Canyon (Excision), and Parahoy (Paramore).
It’s been revealed that Kobalt’s Sam Taylor has parted ways with the company, having joined in 2016 and just recently taking on the role of EVP, Creative in July. Taylor’s work at Kobalt has seen him taking the lead on hip–hop and R&B signings for the publisher such as Gunna, Roddy Ricch, Jay Rock and Raphael Saadiq, as well as producers Teddy Walton (Kendrick Lamar), J White (Cardi B) and Ben Billions (The Weeknd, Beyoncé). Taylor’s career began on the A&R team for Elektra Records and has included stops at Atlantic Records, Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing, counting signings and work with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Schoolboy Q and Sounwave (Kendrick Lamar).
Live Nation continues to post record numbers, revealing that its revenue across 2019’s first three quarters has reached $8.7 billion, increasing 6% over the next time last year. Additionally, the firm posted its highest operating income and adjusted operating income (AOI) ever for Q3 at $260 million and $427.1 million, respectively. 2019’s concert ticket sales have surpassed 92 million with Live Nation’s year–to–date operating income and AOI reaching $408 million and $862 million, respectively, and marking double–digit growth for both sectors. The company has also reported an increase in ticket sales of 5 million over the same period last year with 100 million ticket sales anticipated by the end of the year. Despite the growth to these areas, concert revenue fell by 4% from last year’s Q3 total to $3.2 billion. Overall revenue for Live Nation in 2018 reached $10.8 billion marking its best year to–date with the firm currently on track to cross the $11 billion threshold for 2019. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster operations saw 30% growth to operating income as well as a 20% increase to AOI, the best quarter posted for the division. Year–to–date growth for operating income and AOI also increased by 5% and 6%, respectively. Total revenue from Ticketmaster for Q3 reached $388.5 million. Live Nation’s sponsorship operations increased operating income by 17% and AOI by 18% for the quarter which accounts for 14% and 13% growth year–upon–year for the division.
SiriusXM has reported further growth to subscribers of its satellite radio offering as well as the Pandora platform. The third earnings report since Liberty Media acquired Pandora for $3.5 billion, SiriusXM has revealed its added 210,000 subscribers, ending the month of September with over 34.6 million subscribers, encompassing over 29.6 million self–pay subscribers. On Pandora’s side, the streaming platform welcomed 33,000 new self–pay subscribers across the third quarter, reaching nearly 6.3 million total. Pandora’s ad revenue hit a new quarterly record of $315 million, increasing 8% over the same time last year with total revenue also increasing 7% to $447 million. Earnings for SiriusXM decreased from $343 million in the same period last year to $246 million with revenue increasing by 7% to $2 billion, after accounting for the Pandora acquisition. The firm is in the midst of building out its video content offerings with CEO Jim Meyer commenting that more video content is expected to be released over the rest of the year. SiriusXM has recently finalized an agreement for podcasts with Walt Disney’s Marvel.
In other SiriusXM news, the satellite radio platform is set to make its way to Google Assistant–enabled devices, having started the integration last week. With the update, users of Google Assistant will have streamlined access to SiriusXM’s portfolio of hundreds of commercial–free music channels as well as news, comedy, talk and live sports. SiriusXM is also set to deliver video content to Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max with Google Assistant capability later in the year. As part of the new integration, the two firms are offering a round of bundle packages including three months of SiriusXM free with the purchase of a Google Nest or Google Home device as well as discounted rates for SiriusXM’s Select, All Access and Premier tiers with Google Nest Hub.
Another high–profile band reunion is in the works with reports last Friday that Rage Against the Machine will reunite in 2020 to headline both weekends of Coachella as well as to play three additional shows, including two stops in cities along the Texas/Mexico border. While no formal announcements have been made, an unverified Instagram account using the band’s name posted the dates along with a photo from the protests in Chile. Following the release of Renegades in 2000, Rage disbanded a year later, reuniting in 2007 for a Coachella performance. After a series of reunion shows in 2011, the band again parted ways.
The widely successful musical couple of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo have joined the CAA roster for representation across all areas. The duo of Benatar’s vocals and Giraldo’s guitar work, production and songwriting, have spawned some of rock music’s most iconic hits including “We Belong,” “Invincible,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Promises in the Dark,” “We Live for Love,” “Heartbreaker” and “Hell Is for Children.” The two have collectively sold over 30 million records globally, with 17 tracks making their way to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and have garnered four Grammy Awards.
Bounce has rolled out to the public as a web–based music workflow app which streamlines file sharing throughout the recording process. The app was developed by Talya Elitzer and Nick Sylvester, Co–Founders of Godmode, and provides music creators and their teams a platform to organize tracks and metadata, compare versions, securely share demos and send/receive time–stamped, threaded feedback. Bounce had initially been available as an invite–only app with the new public–facing version taking feedback from almost 2,000 users across two years for an upgraded offering. From a rights management perspective, Elizer and Slyvester are looking to offer a passive income stream for artists as well in allowing others to legally sample song parts. Bounce is currently available for iOS with an Android version set to be unveiled in 2020.
Google is looking to make a strong push back into the wearable device arena with the acquisition of FitBit for around $2.1 billion. To–date, Google has been behind the development of Wear OS software for wearables to be built from other manufacturers which haven’t taken off amidst competitors such as FitBit, Apple and Samsung as well as others. FitBit’s line of devices featuring varying levels of capability from basic step–counters to offerings that can show messages and notifications from phones and tracking ability for a number of fitness activities and other data. The deal is in the process of being approved by regulators and FitBit shareholders with an anticipated closing date for next year.
A survey issued from non–profit organization Common Sense Media has revealed that the total of young Americans watching online videos on a daily basis has more than doubled in the past four years. The survey also revealed that platforms such as YouTube, which are not meant for children under the age of 13, account for the bulk of the viewing time. The survey, which referenced responses from 1,677 young people between 8 and 18 years of age, revealed that 56% of 8– to 12–year–olds and 69% of 13– to 18–year–olds watch videos online daily, an increase of 24% and 34%, respectively, over the 2015 results of the survey. Screen time hasn’t seen much change in the past four years with 8– to 12–year–olds clocking in four hours and 44 minutes daily, and teens reaching seven hours and 22 minutes. The totals account for entertainment media and do not include time for homework, reading books or listening to music. The report also revealed that only a third of teens, and half of tweens, surveyed liked watching traditional TV programming “a lot,” with the 2015 survey reaching 45% and 61%, respectively. The preferred choice for online video viewing was YouTube.
Anthem Entertainment has acquired a catalog of songs from Boardwalk Music Group co–written by songwriter Eric Frederic (Ricky Reed). The catalog includes some of the world’s biggest hits by artists such as Halsey, Leon Bridges, Lizzo, Meghan Trainor and others. Among the works is the record–breaking single “Truth Hurts” from Lizzo, which was No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks this year, her second top 40 hit alongside “Good as Hell,” which recently hit No.14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.8 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40. The catalog also counts hits such as Halsey’s multi–Platinum song “Bad At Love;” 2019 Grammy Award–winning single “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” by Leon Bridges; Pitbull’s “Fireball;” Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and “Wiggle;” and multiple singles from Meghan Trainor’s multi–Platinum full–length Thank You. Boardwalk Music Group is an LA–based music publishing and artist development company founded by hit songwriter and creative executive, Evan “Kidd” Bogart.
Mute Song, part of the iconic Mute group of companies, has joined IMPEL. London–based Mute Song was launched in 1983 by Mute Records Founder, Daniel Miller. The firm now represents music from a diverse group of widely–recognized artists such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Underworld, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Bob Geldof, The Boomtown Rats, Public Service Broadcasting, Ben Frost, Nadine Shah, Charlie Cunningham, Royal Trux, Liars, Swans, Tim Burgess (Charlatans) and Magazine & Wire. The publisher’s composers have created music for multi–award–winning feature films, major television series, ballets by internationally renowned choreographers, operas for national opera houses and art projects at major galleries and iconic cultural sites around the world.
Tech–enabled production music startup Soundstripe is continuing its mission to “Keep Creatives Creating” by simplifying the process of licensing music for podcasts. The service is now offering curated playlists of easily licensable songs directed specifically at podcasters. All playlist tracks can be quickly licensed via Soundstripe’s subscription–based model, which allows podcasters to pay a monthly fee for unlimited synch usages of the service’s catalog. All tracks are written, recorded, and produced by Soundstripe’s team of composers, mix engineers, songwriters, producers and other music industry professionals. Current playlists include Top Hits, Let’s Talk, Corporate Cast, Energetic Intros and Electronic. Additionally, Soundstripe has launched its own bi–weekly podcast, titled Keep Creating as they enter the space. Hosted by Joel Porter (songwriter and Creative Specialist at Soundstripe), the show features in–depth interviews with creatives in a variety of fields sharing some of their biggest creative wins and losses. The first few episodes are online now featuring guests such as Harris III, an award–winning illusionist and sought–after speaker, storyteller, and event curator, and Aaron Sprinkle, an accomplished producer, engineer, and songwriter who has produced records for the likes of Anberlin, Pedro the Lion and Acceptance. All songs featured in the podcast are available for licensing via Soundstripe.
Nettwerk Music Group has promoted Jeff Ballard to Sr. VP, Promotion & Streaming Strategy. In his new role, Ballard will lead a newly unified team under the banner of the Digital Commerce & Promotion Department tasked with developing strategies to optimize opportunities at DSPs, while continuing to promote a growing Nettwerk Roster to National Radio. Ballard came to Nettwerk’s Promotion Department 14 years ago following a five–year–stint with Capitol Records. In his past role as Sr. VP of National Promotion, he built relationships across a variety of radio formats for a number of Nettwerk artists, including Passenger, Guster, Mallrat, SYML, Family Of The Year, Angus & Julia Stone, Boy & Bear and John Butler Trio.
Riot Games has announced the launch of a second in–game music act for the League of Legends video game as True Damage, a hip–hop collective composed of Becky G, Soyeon from K–pop girl group (G)I-dle, Keke Palmer, Duckwrth and Thutmose as League of Legends characters Qianna, Akali, Senna, Ekko and Yasuo. True Damage follows in the footsteps of last year’s virtual girl group, K/DA. True Damage will enter the game space officially on November 10th with new skins for the five characters made available as well as performance from the group of the new song “Giants” at the opening ceremony for this year’s championships. Soyeon’s role in True Damage sees her returning to the game having been the voice of Akali for K/DA’s viral hit “Pop/Stars.”
Highly–respected BBC Radio 1 broadcaster, Phil Taggart, has been named to the official role of Help Musicians Ambassador. Taggart’s career evolution from bass player to music industry broadcaster, writer, presenter, label owner and author provides him significant experience and knowledge to advocate for the charity’s cause. His recent Help Musicians–supported book, The Slacker Guide to The Music Industry, has been an invaluable resource for independent and DIY artists, the same cross–section of artists that Help Musicians has committed to support through its Do it Differently Fund, which Taggart was involved in as part of the industry consultation research phase. While Taggart will work to support the charity on a national basis, his Northern Irish roots will also see him contribute to the Help Musicians office based in the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast. Taggart made his first appearance as a Help Musicians Ambassador at BBC Music Introducing Live last week when he hosted the first of three panels from the charity. “How To Build The Three Pillars of An Artists Career” featured Friction and MC Linguistics, Slaves’ Laurie Vincent, and Ayanna Witter–Johnson.
In other news for Help Musicians, the organization, alongside MOBO Trust, the charitable arm of MOBO, have teamed up for a third year to continue and build upon their support of diverse musical styles and artists from underrepresented backgrounds. This year, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has grown from £40,000 to £60,000, to support promising music creators. The Fund has previously supported activities such as the creation and promotion of several EPs and debut albums, vocal coaching, music video production, mixing and mastering, live development and more. Recognizing the importance of taking early intervention to protect musicians’ hearing, Help Musicians is providing fully–subsidized access to its Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme for all awardees in 2019. The MOBO Help Musicians Fund exists to champion those who can demonstrate high quality musical output, an entrepreneurial spirit and the potential to achieve a national or international impact with a focus on the musical genres of hip–hop, grime, R&B, soul, reggae, jazz, gospel and afrobeats.
Harley–Davidson Inc. revealed last week that Neil Grimmer, who had been serving as President of Global Brand Development for Harley, is parting ways with the company. The news was presented to employees by Matt Levatich, President & CEO for Harley–Davidson. Levatich’s memo also stated that he would add Grimmer’s duties to his existing responsibilities in the interim. Harley–Davidson had hired Grimmer for the newly–created role in April of this year. Prior, he had been with personalized nutrition life science company, Habit, as CEO, a company he also founded. Grimmer had been reporting directly to Levatich working across product planning, marketing and retail, and communications.
Respected entertainment industry attorney, Jay Rosenthal, has passed away at the age of 61. Rosenthal’s childhood saw him surrounded by music with his first love in the industry as a performer of blues and jazz piano. His career transitioned to the entertainment law arena, most recently as a Partner with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (MSK), where he had been since 2015. Prior, Rosenthal served as Sr. VP and General Counsel of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) where his work across copyright policy and reform saw him develop and implement the NMPA Late Fee and Modernization Programs as well as working closely with the RIAA and others on anti-piracy initiatives. His career also included stops as a Partner with Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe; General Counsel with the Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC); and as a copyright examiner with the U.S. Copyright Office. Rosenthal also served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown and George Washington University.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: John Janick, Katie Vinten, Avery Lipman, Ruud Berens, Cybele Pettus, Daniel Glass, Daniel Schmidt, Clotaire Buche, Zane Lowe, Alex Gilbert, Brian Schall, Ryan Press, Livia Tortella and Benjamin Weeden.
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. Camel’s are animals of peace and tranquility; however, when you get a jackass human, or two, putting it to the test, well, HERE is the result! Hopefully, the folks in the video don’t get “camel toe!”
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– CORTNEY DIXON
Cortney Dixon is an emerging artist from Newcastle. Raised on an eclectic mix of music, Cortney loves St Vincent, Christine and the Queens and Sigrid; she’s also a fan of ska/punk bands including The Specials, The Clash and The Beat, all while being raised on a healthy dose of up Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and Kate Bush. At the end of the summer, Cortney released her debut single “Summer’s Eyes,” which jump–started her fanbase and helped her build a very healthy audience. She made her international live debut with her full band at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg in September, impressing industry, media and fans as her performance solidified Cortney as a future star. Her new single, “What You Wanna Do” has been supported by BBC Introducing in the North East and is the second single from her forthcoming Our Intuition EP produced by Jim Lowe (Stereophonics, The Charlatans), due in early 2020. Listen to “What You Wanna Do” HERE and contact Diane Wagg of Deluxxe Management at email@example.com, as Cortney Dixon is available for label signing, publishing, synch, booking, brand and co–writing opportunities.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – KIDDO X GASHI
KIDDO is one of Sweden’s most exciting and creative songwriters – with song credits to her name for such artists as John Newman, Icona Pop, Dagny, Yellow Claw, Soleima and SHY Martin. She has been gathering momentum since last year with her single “Drunk & I Miss You” with a bass–driven trap beat, she merges vintage and modern sounds for a totally fresh pop feel. Collaborations include “Get Up” with Dutch trap lords Yellow Claw, and “Let You Go” with producer–act Hogland, which has entered the Top 50 Spotify charts in Sweden and has reached Gold status. Furthermore, she teamed up with Gashi for the single “Coming Down,” which tells the fictional tale of a brief encounter in the Sunshine State of Florida. Gashi is a rare breed of artist that incorporates rapping and singing into a style that not only embraces New York culture, but also music elements from around the world. With their collaboration “Coming Down,” the single entered the Top 100 on the German Airplay Charts, received support on Triple J, the globally–syndicated Passport Approved new music program, and has reached No.30 in Germany and No.24 in Australia on Spotify. Experience “Coming Down” with the KIDDO–illustrated video HERE and for additional information and all inquiries, contact Robin Shaw at mail@robin–shaw.com.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 11/3/2019
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, November 3rd, 2019: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 60 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; 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; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; 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 – “Not Enough Love” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
THE SWOONS – “Conspiracy Of Silence” (Unsigned, N. America)
GASPAR SANZ – “Meanderthal” (Helium Records, Australia)
HONEYMOAN – “Low Blow” (Unsigned, South Africa)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Peace In Greece” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
KING NUN – “Bug” (Dirty Hit, UK)
FOREST BLAKK – “Put Your Hands Up” (Warner Music, Canada)
THE FAIM – “Words Apart” (BMG, Australia)
MOONLIGHT BREAKFAST – “Summer” (Kiez Beats, Romania)
BRANDON JACKS AND THE ARTIFACTS – “Modern Day Distractions” (Sureshaker, Australia)
WIDE EYED BOY – “Calling (I Hear You)” (Polygonia Music, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Badger” (Unsigned, Sweden)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Nothing Hurts Like You” (3Beat/Universal, UK)
SEA GIRLS – “Violet” (Unsigned, UK)
SOPHIE & THE GIANTS – “Waste My Air” (Unsigned, UK)
THE DUNTS – “Bad Decisions” (Unsigned, Scotland)
SAINT PHNX – “Sorry” (DDMN, UK)
AMBER RUN – “Neon Circus” (Easy Life, UK)
LOLA MARSH – “Echoes” (Anova Music, Israel)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Autoportrait” (SO Recordings, UK)
JAMES DEACON – “Not Givin’ Up” (Bad Future, South Africa)
ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Used To Love” (Chess Club/RCA, UK)
YONAKA – “Rockstar” (Atlantic, UK)
TALISCO – “Moments” (Roy Music, France)
LIME CORDIALE – “Robbery” (Chugg Music, Australia)
POST–PARTY – “Love You Everyday” (Unsigned, Ireland)
LILLY AMONG CLOUDS – “Girl Like Me” (PIAS, Germany)
TEN TONNES – “Counting Down” (Warner Music, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Head Like A Hole” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
YOUNG BRAVES – “1984” (Unsigned, UK)
SAM JOHNSON – “Trip On Gold” (Universal Music, UK)
NOSOYO – “Glitter” (Embassy Of Music, Germany)
VINCI – “Lions” (Unsigned, Ireland)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Waiting For Smith, Forest Blakk, The Faim, Alfie Templeman and We Are The City)