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WARNER MUSIC & ZIIKI MEDIA REVEAL NEW PARTNERSHIP



Warner Music has partnered with Ziiki Media, a music aggregator, distributor and production house that is quickly building its presence in the Indian market. The company specializes in the Punjabi market, distributing music from local stars such as Daler Mehndi, Jasmine Sandlas and J Star. Punjabi music is popular across the subcontinent, not just with the 125 million Punjabi speakers in India and Pakistan. It also impacts the international marketplace, including the sizable Punjabi diaspora in Canada of around 700,000 people, and large communities in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.

Ziiki has generated a significant following online, with 110 subchannels on YouTube that have attracted over 15 million subscribers in India alone. The deal will see Ziiki’s Indian repertoire licensed to Warner Music’s ADA division and the newly–launched Warner Music India.

Alfonso Perez–Soto EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, Warner Music, says, “This is a partnership that will further boost our presence in India. We’ve got a strategy to engage with a wide range of artists and genres in India, and ramping up our presence in Punjabi music is central to that approach.”

Arun Nagar, CEO & Managing Director, Ziiki Media, adds, “I’m so excited to be working with Warner Music and ADA. This deal will enable us to ramp up our presence in Punjabi music – discovering and signing more acts, creating more audiovisual content and getting more amazing music to fans. The appetite for Punjabi repertoire is huge, not just across India, but also around the world. This partnership also gives us the opportunity to explore interesting collaborations between our artists and Warner Music’s international talent pool.”

Eliah Seton, President, Independent Music and Creator Services, Warner Music, concludes, “The ADA team is super excited about this deal. Punjabi music is a thriving scene that’s been growing organically across India and beyond, and we can turbocharge that growth. We want to be the first choice for Punjabi acts who want to reach a global audience.”


A&R WORLDWIDE PRESENTS MUBUTV IN CONVERSATION WITH INFLUENTIAL MUSIC SUPERVISOR AMANDA KRIEG THOMAS


A&R Worldwide continues its partnership with MUBUTV to bring you inspiring conversations with some of the industry’s leading minds into the comfort of your own home. Conducted by respected industry executive Ritch Esra (Publisher of The Music Business Registry) the interviews were filmed on site at A&R Worldwide’s annual MUSEXPO global music industry event, where many key executives and influencers attend and participate.

This week’s video sees Esra engaging in an insightful conversation around music supervision with one of the sector’s leading executives, Amanda Krieg Thomas. At the time of the interview, Amanda was working with the team at Neophonic Music & Media. Since then, she launched her own music supervision company, Yay Team Productions, Inc. in 2019. Among some of her more recent projects, Amanda worked on the award–winning espionage drama, The Americans (FX); The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX); American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX); family comedy, Life In Pieces (CBS); and legal thriller, Proven Innocent (Fox). She also served as music supervisor on Reverie (NBC) and Madeline’s Madeline (Oscilloscope) with additional credits including Feud: Bette and Joan (FX); Scream Queens (Fox); indie features Billy Boy and Girl Flu; and The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX).

Amanda’s career began in the music department at Lionsgate, before heading to Reveille (now Endemol Shine North America). There she music supervised unscripted series Commercial Kings (IFC) and One Born Every Minute (Lifetime), as well as serving as Music Manager on the long running hits, MasterChef (Fox) and The Biggest Loser (NBC). In early 2012, she joined Format Entertainment as Music Coordinator on projects such as Pitch Perfect 1 and 2 (Gold Circle Films/Universal), The Other Woman (Fox), Beyond The Lights (Relativity) and ABC comedy, Trophy Wife, before transitioning to a Music Supervisor role with the company. Highlights there included performance competition show, Fake Off (truTV), the 2015 American Girl Girl Of The Year™ film, Grace Stirs Up Success (American Girl/Mattel), and indie film French Dirty (Homegrown Pictures).

Click HERE to watch the full insightful discussion.


SONY/ATV FINALIZES GLOBAL DEALS WITH GABBY BARRETT & BENEE


Last week, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced two key signings to its global roster.

Gabby Barrett Signing
Out of Sony/ATV’s Nashville office, a global administration deal was finalized with singer/songwriter Gabby Barrett. The Pennsylvania native is known for her Platinum–certified, No.1 single “I Hope,” which was one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now,” and as of last week had spent three consecutive weeks as the No.1 streamed country single in the U.S., and reached No.16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After six years of playing to audiences around the country, Gabby was scouted into the national spotlight for ABC’s American Idol, becoming a top 3 finalist. Since then, she has continued to generate success and has garnered more than 260 million streams to–date. She has opened for Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch, Jake Owen, Bebe Rexha, Cole Swindell, Sugarland and Carrie Underwood. Nominated for the ACM New Female Artist of the Year award, Gabby has been named one of SiriusXM’s Future Five for 2020, one of CMT’s 2020 Next Women of Country, a 2020 MusicRow Next Big Thing artist, a SiriusXM + Pandora All–Genre and Country Artist to Watch, Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing, and an Amazon Music 2020 Artist to Watch, as well as being their best performing country female of 2019. Gabby is preparing the release of her debut full–length, Goldmine, in June. She holds songwriting credits on 12 of the 13 songs on the project, which was co–produced by Sony/ATV’s own Ross Copperman and Zach Kale.

Sony/ATV Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston stated, “When Gabby sings you can hear her true heart in every single note, and she brings that same passion into the writing room. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Sony/ATV family and support her as she enters this exciting new phase in her career.”

BENEE Signing
Additionally, Sony/ATV has announced the signing of hit indie–pop singer/songwriter BENEE to a worldwide publishing deal. Stella Bennett, aka BENEE, hails from New Zealand and recently garnered attention with her hit single “Supalonely.” The track has been picked up by fans worldwide as a quarantine anthem, and currently sits at No.10 on the Spotify Global charts with over 131 million streams and at No.20 on the U.S. Top 40 charts. Recently, BENEE signed with Republic Records and released her debut EP FIRE ON MARZZ in June 2019, featuring hits “Soaked,” “Glitter” and “Evil Spider.” She released a second EP in November 2019, STELLA & STEVE, which featured artists such as Gus Dapperton and Jack Berry, and made its way to the Billboard 200 chart. BENEE has earned numerous awards for her songwriting over the last year including four NZ Music Awards in 2019. Additionally, three of her singles earned spots on Triple J’s Hottest 100 for the best songs of 2019 in January, with “Glitter” at No.19, “Find an Island” at No.25, and “Evil Spider” at No.52.

Sony/ATV Chairman & CEO Jon Platt said, “BENEE is a gifted young songwriter and artist, who has proven how powerful music can be as a unifier and healer. We are happy to welcome her to the Sony/ATV family as she continues to elevate her career and influence.”


A&R WORLDWIDE RETROSPECTIVE



Each week, A&R Worldwide’s newsletter will see us digging back through some of our archives to revisit memorable and defining moments in A&R Worldwide’s 20+ year history. Over the past two decades, A&R Worldwide has helped the global music industry with discovering and signing world–conquering artists; many of whom have gone on to multi–Platinum international success, assisted executives and artists with broad business and creative opportunities, and curated priceless networking events all over the world with its executive relationships; work that continues to this day!

Pictured at A&R Worldwide’s MUSEXPO 2017 event at the W Hotel in Hollywood are (l–r) Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), Monte Lipman (Co–Founder & Chief Executive, Republic Records), Sir Lucian Grainge (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group) and Avery Lipman (Co–Founder & Chief Executive, Republic Records).

Monte and Avery Lipman were honored at MUSEXPO 2017 as “International Music Persons of the Year,” with Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group presenting them with their official awards. In addition, Monte and Avery received official proclamations from Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles, and special recognitions from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide originally met Republic Records Co–Founders Monte and Avery Lipman back in 1995 when they first launched their label. The trio shared a connection because of their passion for international music and their understanding of the burgeoning global music market; and would have regular conversations about emerging and breaking artists from around the world and their potential for the U.S. market. Since its launch, Republic Records has become one of the most successful record labels in the world and home to artist such as Drake, Florence + the Machine, the Jonas Brothers, James Bay, Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and many others. In addition, Republic has numerous subsidiary labels and distribution deals making it a truly global force in breaking acts and garnering unprecedented chart success for its artists.


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Black Hill Records is rolling–out as a new rock music–centric label launched by Round Hill Music and its recorded music division. Based in Los Angeles, Black Hill Records’ worldwide distribution will be handled by The Orchard for a roster that already counts acts Black Pistol Fire, Jared James Nichols and The Cult. The Black Hill launch comes as Round Hill Records, the record label operations for the indie publisher, has revealed a new executive team that will helm the recorded music division including, Black Hill Records. Among the recent appointments are Joe Calitri, who becomes President for Round Hill Records. Calitri is a veteran to the indie label arena whose resume includes his most recent role as GM of Red Bull Records, as well as six years as GM of Fueled By Ramen. Joining Calitri is former AWAL staffer Michael Volk as Head of Operations and Business Development, and Project Director Lucy Bartozzi, who was previously on the team at mTheory.

A strategic partnership has been finalized between Universal Music France and The Aristokrat Group, the African entertainment firm based out of Lagos, Nigeria and well–known for the discovery and development of Burna Bo. The partnership encompasses both a label and a publishing deal, via Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). Aristokrat Group and Universal Music Group will collaborate to discover and develop new African talent, while providing artists and songwriters the resources to tap into a larger audience outside of the region with support from Universal Music’s companies globally. Among the first artist signings to the label are Kel P, Jujuboy Star and Tneeya. The publishing partnership with UMPG provides Aristokrat the opportunity to further discover and develop African songwriters, artists and producers worldwide. Initial signings to the publishing side include Kel P, Jujuboy Star and Saszy Afroshii.

As the world continues to seek ways to stay connected during the global pandemic, Spotify has revealed its “Listening Together” campaign. As part of the initiative, Spotify is tapping into its data to visualize the connection of individuals playing the same song at the same time, which Spotify claims happens to over 30,000 users globally each second. The new microsite is fueled by a concept from Kyle McDonald, a media artist who began exploring the “serendipity” in our song selections in 2014. At the same time, Spotify is rolling–out an artist–curated collection of playlists and podcasts that includes the likes of Selena Gomez with her “Cooking Together” playlist; and Normani’s “Working Out Together” set. Curious about who might be sharing your listening preferences around the world? Click HERE to check–out the Spotify “Listening Together” microsite.

Deezer has announced the launch of its Deezer Home Sessions for its own answer to the stay–at–home regulations many users are facing globally around the coronavirus situation. The offering features emerging artists performing a collection of cover songs from their home for Deezer subscribers. Compiled into a central playlist, the set includes performances from Lukas Graham, Joesef (U.K. Deezer NEXT pick), Tate McRae, Sody, Faouzia, Au/Ra, mxmtoon, Saygrace, Griff, Alexis Ffrench and San Holo. Additionally, Deezer has rolled–out “Stay At Home With” artist–curated playlists that deliver hand–selected sets from the likes of Calvin Harris, Marshmello, Major Lazer, Mel C, Joy Crookes and Tiësto.

A&R Worldwide has learned that Elodie Bensoussan has taken on a new role as VP, International Marketing, Europe & Africa for Sony Music Entertainment and is now based out of the company’s Berlin, Germany offices. Bensoussan joined the Sony Music Entertainment France label as Project Manager back in 2005. Most recently, she held the position as Head of International Exploitation, Sony Music Entertainment France and was based out of the company’s Paris headquarters.

Amidst the ongoing COVID–19 situation, as well as a limited schedule of releases, Warner Music Group (WMG) revealed last week that Q2 revenue reached $1.071 billion for 2020. The total marked a 1.7% decrease over 2019’s Q2 number though, in constant currency terms, was nearly flat. Despite the stagnancy of overall revenue, increases continued for the digital sector which rose 5.7% to $699 million, 7.4% in constant currency terms, with digital accounting for 65.3% of total revenues. Among WMG’s best–selling acts over the period were Ed Sheeran, Tones And I, Lizzo and Roddy Ricch. Overall, WMG saw growth to digital revenue on both the recorded music and publishing side as well as to synch and mechanical revenue. Decreases were reported across physical sales, artists services, expanded–rights revenue in the recorded music division, and performance revenue in publishing. WMG posted a $74 million net loss with net income of $67 million. Adjusted net loss reached $43 million with adjusted net income hitting $75 million in the prior–year quarter. A full report of WMG’s Q2 can be viewed HERE.

In other Warner Music Group (WMG) news, the company is set to move forward with its IPO following an updated SEC filing last week revealing WMG’s approval to list its shares on the U.S.’s NASDAQ stock exchange. The news comes as rumors have surfaced of a possible acquisition of WMG by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund within weeks of the fund buying a 5.7% stake in Live Nation for $500 million. Estimates from Billboard place WMG’s valuation on the high end at $15–$16 billion, and on the low end, at $10–$12 billion.

A new, multi–year distribution deal has been finalized between ViacomCBS and Google to extend the carrying of a number of CBS broadcast properties as well as for the addition of 14 new cable networks to Google’s YouTube TV live/on–demand platform. Joining the portfolio of CBS stations offered on YouTube TV this summer are BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1, with additional networks BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic also set to be added. Maintaining their presence on the YouTube TV platform are CBS Sports, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel and The CW, alongside premium subscription offerings such as Showtime.

Ingrooves Music Group recently named Nina Rabe–Cairns Country Manager for Ingrooves Australia and New Zealand, expanding the company’s footprint and leading their team in the region. The move follows Ingrooves’ launch of offices in Brazil, Japan and South Korea as well as building upon its presence in the Nordics earlier this year. Rabe–Cairns joins Ingrooves after several years at Spotify, where she served as Sr. Editor/Playlist Curator and, most recently, Market Strategy & Operations Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Prior, she worked in television as a Sr. Brand Marketing Manager for Nickelodeon and Head of Content for Viacom’s digital editorial team, working across MTV and Comedy Central. Her career began as a journalist and news presenter.

Veeps has tapped industry veteran Greg Patterson as Chief Strategy Officer following his departure from Eventbrite last month. Founded three years ago by Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden, alongside Sherry Saeedi and Kyle Heller, Veeps initially offered artists a platform to sell VIP Packages while avoiding any commissions. In the wake of the COVID–19 pandemic, Veeps has transitioned to ticketed streaming, used by acts such as Angel Olsen and Citizen Cope, to supplement lost income from touring as well as support their touring staff and charitable efforts. In 2007, Patterson co–founded Wonderful Union, a VIP services firm that was eventually acquired by Endeavor in 2018. He also served as Co–Founder and Chief Executive of Queue Ticketing, the venue software solution which, in 2016, was acquired by Eventbrite. With Eventbrite, Patterson spearheaded the quick growth of the company’s music business. Most recently, Patterson spent the past two years working across Eventbrite’s strategy and incubation efforts.

Primary Wave Music Publishing announced today that they have taken an equity interest in the newly–launched podcast content production studio, Audio Up. Led by Founder & CEO, Jared Gutstadt (formerly of Jingle Punks), Audio Up is building a portfolio of premium entertainment content within the music and audio space, and will tap into Primary Wave’s financial and artistic resources to grow its platform and capabilities. Audio Up’s content encompasses everything from fictional scripted podcasts to unfiltered interview series with its first podcast title, The Dennissance, having launched on April 8th, starring actor and musician Dennis Quaid. Quaid will also serve as Director on Make it Up As We Go, the first scripted podcast that will feature original songs, an A–list cast (including co–creator, Scarlett Burke and actor Craig Robinson) and original music by Burke and ACM Songwriter of the Year, Nicolle Gaylon. Audio Up plans to roll–out an official soundtrack for the podcast in conjunction with a first–of–its–kind TV strategy. Additional projects in development for Audio Up include those with a Lakers NBA superstar, music producer Javale McGee, and celebrity health and wellness guru JP Crimi.

The IFPI’s Global Music Report for 2019 was released last week, revealing that the global recorded music sector saw growth of 8.2%, reaching $20.2 billion for the year. The growth marked the fifth year running of increases with streaming still driving overall revenue gains. In the streaming sector, global revenue reached $11.4 billion, an increase of 22.9%, marking the first–time that streaming revenue generated over half of global recorded music revenue at 56.1%. The increases to streaming revenue were led by growth of 24.1% to paid subscriptions, an area in which almost all markets globally experienced an increase. The total of paid users reached 341 million at the end of 2019, increasing by 33.5% and saw paid streaming making up 42% of the overall recorded music revenue total. The full IFPI report can be accessed HERE.

This past weekend saw the debut edition of the 320 Festival, launched by Kevin Lyman (Founder, Warped Tour) and Talinda Bennington, wife of the late Chester Bennington and Co–Founder of 320 Changes Direction. 320 Festival brought together artists and industry professionals for performances and discussions around mental health from Friday through Sunday. The festival, which had been planned initially as a physical event prior to the coronavirus pandemic, was aired for free in partnership with KNEKT.TV and streamed globally via Facebook Live, YouTube Live and the KNEKT.TV Network on Roku and Apple TV. The event counted performances from over 30 acts such as Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Badflower, Echosmith, Lindsey Stirling and others, and featured more than 100 speakers. Additionally, over 40 non–profit partners joined the event to offer mental health support and resources.

It was announced last week that veteran A&R executive, Leesa Brunson–Boland has been named Head of A&R Operations for 300 Entertainment. Brunson–Boland’s new role comes following an 18–year–tenure with the Def Jam team including her most recent role as Sr. VP of A&R Operations. At 300, she will report to Kevin Liles, the indie label’s Co–Founder & CEO, marking a reunion for the two with Liles having served as Def Jam’s President for a number of years while Brunson–Boland was there. Brunson–Boland started her career with Elektra Records’ A&R team where she looked after the careers of Busta Rhymes, Lil’Mo and Missy Elliott. Among the other artists she has worked with are Teyana Taylor, Jeezy, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Fabolous, Kanye West, Jay–Z, Jhene Aiko and Logic.

Marking another top A&R appointment last week, Kobalt announced the promotion of Kenny McGoff to Head of A&R, U.K., Kobalt Music Publishing. Based in Kobalt’s London office, McGoff previously served as Sr. VP, Creative. Having started out working in indie record stores before heading to HMV, McGoff entered the publishing arena through roles at EMI, Sony, Ultra and Songs before joining Kobalt over two years ago. During the course of his career, he has signed and worked with Calvin Harris, Paul Epworth, Kasabian, Eric Prydz, Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys, among others. At Kobalt, he has signed chart–topping Scottish act Gerry Cinnamon, as well as SlowThai, JEM Cooke, Eloise and emerging talent Joesef, among others.

New research from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has revealed that the over–55 demographic of consumers has become the fastest growing sector of users across subscription music streaming platforms in the U.K. The ERA’s study estimated 1.1 million new subscribers over the age of 55, year–upon–year, to music DSP’s including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and YouTube Premium, as of February 2020. This figure marks over one third of the U.K.’s new subscribers which reached 2.8 million people for the period with the ERA reporting that more than 18.1 million people now pay for a music streaming subscription. Despite the significant growth to the older demographic, the 34–years–old and younger sector still accounts for 57% of total streamers in the U.K.

The 2020 edition of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend will move ahead as planned from May 22nd – 24th, being staged remotely for the first–time ever. Among the more than 100 acts to be involved are Sam Smith, Biffy Clyro, Anne–Marie, Young T & Bugsy and Rita Ora. Big Weekend’s remote edition will count 50 new live sets staged from artists’ homes while around 50 additional sets will highlight some of the best performances from past Big Weekend events. Airing across Radio 1, as well as full sets available via BBC Sounds, Big Weekend 2020 will count five virtual stages with the Radio 1 Stage, the Radio 1 Dance Stage, the Headliner Stage, the 1Xtra Stage and the BBC Music Introducing Stage. All merch profits from sales via the Radio 1 website will be going to Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need under The Big Night In Appeal initiative.

Dick Clark Productions (DCP) has named Amanda Powers as Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Amy Thurlow, DCP President. Powers had been VP Strategy for Valence Media, who owns DCP, and assumes the new COO role for DCP after its been unfilled since November when Thurlow’s promotion saw her transitioning from her COO/CFO duties. Powers’ new role with DCP will see her leading the development and execution of strategic direction for the production firm whose live TV event portfolio counts the likes of The Golden Globes, The Billboard Awards, The American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. She will also take on oversight of international distribution, business development and partnership and licensing operations, as well as Direct Holdings Group. Before joining Valence Media, Powers served as VP of Corporate Development & Strategy for MRC Studios, and also spent time with Moelis & Company and UBS Investment Bank where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, public and private capital raising, restructuring and activist defense. Powers also counts two years as part of The Clinton Foundation’s Global Pediatric HIV/AIDS team.

As it continues to navigate a tumultuous road, Spanish collection society SGAE (General Society of Authors and Editors), has named its seventh new President in the past 10 years as Antonio Onetti. Onetti assumes the leadership role that had been left vacant last month with the removal of Pilar Jurado by SGAE’s board. Since that time, Fermín Cabral had been serving as interim President for the organization. Among the most immediate of Onetti’s objectives will be ensuring the reinstatement of SGAE into CISAC as the one–year anniversary of their removal from CISAC approaches on May 28th. SGAE is also at work on setting new bylaws for the organization which among its points would include the implementation of a board counting five author members and five independent members to supervise SGAE’s initiatives.

Sentric Music Group is doubling the number of acts that will benefit from its Sentric Academy Fund this year, in response to the difficulties many artists are currently facing. The Sentric Academy Fund was launched at the end of last year, offering 12 artists per year £1,000 to be used in any area of their work including writing, recording, touring and marketing. The indie publisher will now fund a total of 24 acts over the course of the year with three acts having already benefited from the initiative (Marc Jones, Varley and Junk Drawer). The fund is available to new and existing Sentric clients, with submissions remaining open until the end of July. Three funded artists will be announced each month in May, June, July and August, and a second round of submissions will then open in September with a further three acts being named in October, November and December.

Love Record Stores Day (#LRSD), set to take place on Saturday June 20th, has announced Tim Burgess as its ambassador, with The Charaltans frontman playing a key role in curating activities around the event. Burgess, who has been very active during the COVID–19 pandemic lockdown, and whose nightly “Tim’s Twitter Listening Party,” has attracted a huge social media following, is a passionate advocate of independent record stores and the author of the acclaimed “Tim Book Two – Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco,” an ode to record shopping. Among the releases already confirmed for #LRSD are those from Oasis, Caribou, Belle and Sebastian, Arctic Monkeys, Beach House, Robyn, New Order, Jungle, John Grant and others. To support #LRSD, a 24–hour online party is being curated by Burgess and the #loverecordstores team, including exclusive “at home” performances, DJ sets, virtual drinks, Q&A’s, readings and more. Record labels taking part in #LRSD are also designing a range of exclusive T–shirt’s to be sold across the event, with the proceeds going to Music Venue Trust’s #saveourvenues campaign.

The global music community is mourning a round of heavy losses last week to some of the industry’s icons including Florian Schneider, a co–founder of the influential and pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk, who passed away at the age of 73 following a short battle with cancer. Kraftwerk was formed in 1970 by Schneider and Ralf Hütter, using electronic instruments that included homemade and custom pieces to create music that was widely credited as a catalyst for electronic music as well as being an influential source for genres such as hip–hop, synthpop and rock. Also, the self–proclaimed “architect of rock n’ roll,” Little Richard, has passed away at the age of 87. In a career that spanned across seven decades, Little Richard is widely–regarded as a driving force behind the formation of the rock n’roll genre and the excessive lifestyle that surrounded it. The R&B community experienced two major losses with the passing of iconic soul/R&B singer Betty Wright (age 66) and Andre Harrell, the influential music executive who founded Uptown Records and was a key figure across the R&B and hip–hop communities. Aside from Harrell’s credits on the artist side, he also gave Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs his first start as an intern at Uptown. Combs was fired from the label in 1993 and went on to start Bad Boy. Also lost last week was former frontman of British hard rock supergroup Bad Company, Brian Howe, who passed away at the age of 66. The England–born singer developed a reputation as a significant vocal force with Shy and White Spirit before heading to the U.S. and joining Ted Nugent’s band. He was eventually brought into Bad Company by Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke for an eight–year–stint and five album releases, including one Platinum and two Gold certifications.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ron Cerrito, Rob Stevenson, Sylvia Rhone, Jimmy Iovine, Jenn Tolman, Lee Trink, Sam Riback, Jody Gerson, Ted Chung, Jason Iley, Zach Katz, Ben Mortimer, Arina Logacheva and Gabz Landman.


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. As more people are working and studying from home, video–conferencing has become extremely popular. However, there are many risks involved, click HERE for a collection of worst–case scenarios!


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



Following the release of their critically acclaimed EP, Hit And Run, in February, rising Manchester act Larkins return to the spotlight with their huge new offering, “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” The single is the first taste of their upcoming new body of work and emerges as a bold, exciting statement of intent. The scale of the track, with its anthemic, banging bassline and hyper–personal lyricism from frontman Josh Noble, is an electric, charismatic, and ambitious move that will be sure to continue the intrigue and attention around them. Written between Los Angeles and London with Dan Nigro (Conan Gray, Lewis Capaldi), and mixed by Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Childish Gambino), it marks a profound sonic step forward for the quartet. Their arena–scale blend of anthemic, synth–laden alt–pop reverberating with a growing number of fans with each subsequent release, the band have accumulated millions of streams – their two offerings for 2019, the TV Dream EP and the single “Not Enough Love” amassing five million alone with a 30–date headline tour and 4000 tickets sold. Their new single has been featured as the Record of the Week on both Alt Nation (SiriusXM) and Bayern 3 (Germany), featured on Asia Pop 40 with over 100 stations between Asia Pacific and the Middle East, supported by both Annie Mac and Jack Saunders at BBC Radio 1, and Zane Lowe at Beats 1, and has been included on a number of Spotify playlists, including New Music Friday, The Indie List, Indie Pop, Indie Brandneu, Hot New Bands and more. Listen to “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” HERE and contact Donna Vergier at donna@goodsoldiersongs.com for all inquiries.


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – JAMES DEACON

Since he released his debut EP, 2019’s The Calling, 23–year–old South African multi–instrumentalist and singer–songwriter James Deacon has been making his alt–pop prowess known all over radio and streaming outlets. After his single “Son of Apollo” was selected for HBO’s 8–week movie promo campaign in the U.S., his work has received online tastemaker support from Complex, Earmilk, Indie Shuffle and CLASH. Next month, James Deacon will deliver his new EP, Renegade, featuring the single “Reason.” The single has earned support from prominent South African radio stations 5FM, where it is currently No.1 on their Indie Chart, 947 and Algoa FM, in addition to online radio support in the U.K. “Reason” is also seeing plays on Alternative stations in the states, including KROQ Los Angeles, KNDD Seattle, KNRK Portland, KBZT San Diego, KKDO Sacramento, WLKK Buffalo and many others including Flux FM in Berlin, Germany via the influential Passport Approved program. Watch the video for “Reason” HERE and contact Paul Gala at paul@badfuture.net as James Deacon is currently available for synch and brand opportunities.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 5/10/2020



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 10th, 2020: 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; 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:

SEA GIRLS – “Ready For More” (Unsigned, UK)
INHALER – “How To Move On” (Universal Music, Ireland)
ALMOST MONDAY – “Broken People” (DMG, N. America)
THE LULU RAES – “Can’t Run No More” (Verge/Sony, Australia)
LILY MOORE – “Better Than Me” (Virgin EMI, UK)
LARKINS – “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
JAMES DEACON – “Reason” (Bad Future, South Africa)
BLOSSOMS – “If You Think This Is Real Life” (Virgin/EMI, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Talk So Loud” (Unsigned, Sweden)
ADÉLAIDE – “Paintings In The Sky” (Unsigned, Germany)
LUNA BAY – “All In (Feat. Vera Kebbe)” (Unsigned, UK)
BONGLOARD – “I Want It Now” (Unsigned, Holland)
NAVVY – “Mad At You” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
THE VELVET HANDS – “This Feeling” (Jam X Records, UK)
IVY FLINDT – “Seal My Kiss” (Unsigned, Germany)
TUYS – “Papaya” (Unsigned, Luxembourg)
MARSICANS – “Juliet” (Killing Moon, UK)
THE VICES – “Sly Smiled Berlin Child” (Unsigned, Holland)
JAMES GILLESPIE – “Mad World” (AWAL, UK)
THE PALE WHITE – “Swim For Your Life” (Unsigned, UK)
MIA RODRIGUEZ – “Emotion” (City Pop Records, Australia)
THE BONGO CLUB – “No Expectations” (The Bank, Sweden)
BLANKS – “Bittersweet” (Unsigned, Holland)
FADED STRANGERS – “Collide” (Fobic Records, Wales)
TEMPLES – “You’re Either On Something” (ATO Records, UK)
TATUM – “Fever” (Bad Future, South Africa)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Long Life” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
DEVON – “I Don’t Want 2 B Ur Friend” (Universal, UK)
BENEE – “Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton)” (Universal, New Zealand)
SEAFRET – “Magnetic” (Columbia Records, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Heartburn” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
FLAWES – “When We Were Young” (Red Bull Records, UK)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Faded Strangers, Jekyll, ALLUSINLOVE, The Bongo Club and Stereo Honey)