UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP AND SPOTIFY
REVEAL GLOBAL MULTI–YEAR LICENSING AGREEMENT
Spotify and Universal Music Group (UMG) announced last week a new, multi–year global licensing agreement that further aligns the companies’ efforts to foster groundbreaking new features providing value for artists and great experiences for music fans.
Under the new agreement, the companies advance their partnership, reflecting a shared commitment to music’s continued growth, more robust music discovery experiences and collaboration on new, state–of–the–art marketing campaigns via Spotify’s platform. Additionally, UMG will expand upon its role as an early adopter of future products and provide valuable feedback to Spotify’s development team.
Daniel Ek, Chairman & CEO of Spotify, said, “From their early experimentation with Marquee, to testing new experiences like Canvas, Universal Music Group has been an important partner in helping to shape the development of our marketing tools. With today’s announcement, we will expand on this level of early stage innovation and further strengthen our partnership and shared vision for helping advance artists at all stages of their careers. We’ve said all along, the goal of our Marketplace strategy is to harness Spotify’s ability to connect artists with fans on a scale that has never before existed and bring new opportunities to the industry. Together, we look forward to reinvesting in and building new tools and offerings for artists around the world.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “With this agreement, UMG and Spotify are more aligned than ever in our commitment to ensuring the entire music ecosystem thrives and reaches new audiences around the globe. Given our commitment to innovation and early adoption of music technologies, and Spotify’s leadership in the development of forward–thinking tools, our new partnership will provide our artists with new and powerful opportunities to connect with fans on Spotify’s growing platform. Working together, our teams will expand and accelerate our collaborative efforts to deliver artist–focused initiatives, strategic marketing campaigns and new offerings to provide exciting new experiences for fans worldwide.”
ISLAND RECORDS LAUNCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES –
DEF JAM AFRICA GROWS FOOTPRINT ON CONTINENT
Universal Music Philippines (UMP) announced last week the launch of Island Records Philippines, a new domestic label division dedicated to helping the best musical talent from the Philippines to achieve local success, whilst reaching new audiences worldwide. The launch signals the start of a new chapter in the history of Island Records, which was founded 61 years ago in Jamaica by Chris Blackwell. Opening its first international division within Asia, Island Records Philippines will honor the label’s legacy by celebrating the rich diversity of music produced throughout the country, which itself is an island nation, made up of 7641 individual islands.
Island Records Philippines launches with a flagship roster that includes some of the most popular and respected Filipino talent including Juan Karlos, Over October and Lala Vinzon, alongside new label signings Zack Tabudlo, Fern. and One Click Straight. The first release on Island Records Philippines is “BLESS Ü,” the new single from Juan Karlos which was released on Friday and set to be followed by “Nangangamba” from Zack Tabudlo on July 31st.
Universal Music Group’s (UMG) Def Jam Africa division has also expanded into three new markets within French–speaking Africa; Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon, it was revealed last week. Def Jam Africa launched in May as the first label dedicated to representing the best hip–hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa, following the blueprint of the Def Jam Recordings label, a leader in hip–hop and urban culture for over 35 years.
Def Jam Africa will now have additional A&R, marketing and digital resources based within UMG’s offices in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Dakar (Senegal) and Douala (Cameroon), focused on discovering hip–hop talent across all French–speaking African markets, and will operate under the leadership of Franck Kacou, Directeur Général, Universal Music Africa. Kacou will work closely with Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Sub–Saharan Africa & South Africa, and Def Jam Africa teams in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.
The first artist signings to join Def Jam Africa from these countries include Tenor (Cameroon), Suspect 95 (Côte d’Ivoire), and Omzo Dollar (Senegal). The trio joins some of Africa’s most influential artists and MC’s already on the label such as Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Nadia Nakai, Tellaman, Tshego, Ricky Tyler and Vector.
BMG NASHVILLE PROMOTES CHRIS OGLESBY TO SR. VP CREATIVE
Veteran BMG publishing executive, Chris Oglesby, has been promoted to Sr. VP, Creative, the company’s lead creative publishing role in Nashville. Reporting to Los Angeles–based head of U.S. Publishing Monti Olson, Oglesby will oversee the creative publishing team in Nashville, supporting the development of the company’s roster of songwriters while expanding their creative opportunities in Nashville and beyond. Additionally, he will serve to further the collaborative efforts between BMG’s roster of artists and publishing clients in both Los Angeles and New York, as well as BMG’s indie operations under BBR Music Group (Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records, Wheelhouse Records) and its artists.
Olson said, “Chris’ relationships and understanding of our writers and the music community is unrivaled. A true song man, he has the innate ability to create synergy with our teams, offices and writers around the world, building on our USP of publishing and recording together as one. He will continue to serve as a major asset for the team in Nashville and BMG abroad.”
Thomas Scherer, EVP, Repertoire & Marketing, Los Angeles, said, “We are thrilled to have Chris take the creative publishing lead in Nashville and look forward to working more closely as we bring our recording artists and songwriters together. This is a great opportunity to strengthen our business in Nashville, with BBR Music Group, the creative synch team for film and TV, along with our LA–based creative publishing team, to produce new opportunities and deliver results for our songwriters.”
With an industry career spanning three decades, Oglesby joined BMG in 2013 as VP Creative working alongside some of country’s biggest artists, songwriters, and has been involved with numerous chart–topping hits such as “Heaven” (Shy Carter), “God Whispered Your Name” (Chris August, Shy Carter, James Slater), “Dirty Laundry” (Hillary Lindsey), and “Hurricane” (Thomas Archer), among others. In addition, the BMG Nashville international songwriter roster includes Andrew Farris of INXS, The Wolfe Brothers (Australia), Dave Gibson (London), and Dan Wilson and Greg Wells (Los Angeles).
Oglesby began his career at Almo/Irving Music, signing Grammy Award–winner Craig Wiseman, before joining Dreamcatcher Music. He would later join former BMG Music Publishing where he held a decade long post working with a roster of established songwriters and emerging talent involved with hit songs including tracks performed by artists such as George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride. In 2004, he moved into songwriter management creating Oglesby Writers Management, as part of 19 Entertainment/CKX.
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. 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 companies, executives and artists with broad business and creative opportunities, and curated priceless networking events all over the world with its broad relationships; work that continues to this day!
A TRIO OF PASSIONATE MUSIC FANS: Pictured in London, England at the office of globally–respected booking agent Lucy Dickins, Head of Music, WME, U.K. (center) are her long–time friends Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide (far right) and Tyler Polzin, Vice President, A&R Worldwide (pictured far left).
Lucy Dickins is undoubtedly one of the most talented and respected booking agents in the world whose roster includes Adele, Mumford & Sons, Rex Orange County, James Blake, and Hot Chip among others. Lucy’s family has a long history in the music business including her father Barry Dickins, Co–Founder, ITB, brother Jonathan Dickins who is Adele’s worldwide manager, grandfather Percy Dickins who founded the long running British music publication NME, and her uncle Rob Dickins who was the former Chairman of Warner Music U.K. Lucy spent almost two decades at ITB, starting out as an assistant and working diligently to earn her pedigree as one of the best booking agents in the world.
A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla first met Lucy in 2001 through her father Barry (a long–time mentor to Sat) when he was an A&R scout and consultant to Barry and his team at ITB. Sat was tasked with helping Barry, Lucy and the ITB team discover new artists and build key new relationships globally with artists and industry alike. Additionally, Sat assisted Lucy in supporting some of her, and ITB’s, new developing artists with U.S., U.K. and international support outside of live activities.
In early 2003, Sat introduced Barry to an unsigned American singer/songwriter named Gary Jules whom ITB took on board as a booking client. Barry introduced Gary to his son Jonathan (an A&R scout at the time) who helped Gary get signed to a U.K. record label deal. Later that year Gary Jules scored the Christmas No.1 single position on the official U.K. charts with his reinterpretation of the Tears for Fears classic, “Mad World,” which incidentally became Jonathan’s first No.1 single prior to Adele.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Key executive appointments were recently revealed for Atlantic Records and Warner Records in the U.S. as Keith “Keefa” Parker was named VP of A&R for Atlantic, and Chris Atlas was promoted to EVP, Urban Music & Marketing for Warner. Based in LA, Parker executive produced Atlantic–signed Roddy Ricch’s album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial and is currently at work on the Ricch’s follow–up, as well as A&R’ing the forthcoming full–length from Ty Dolla $ign. Having joined Warner Records in 2017, Atlas most recently served as Sr. VP, Head of Urban Marketing, and reports to Tom Corson, the company’s Co–Chairman & COO. During his time at Warner, he has led campaigns for acts such as NLE Choppa, Saweetie and Wale, in addition to Ovo Sound/Warner artists PartyNextDoor, Dvsn and Roy Woods. Prior to Warner, Atlas served as EVP of Marketing for Def Jam Recordings where he worked with the likes of Kanye West, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Jhene Aiko and Ludacris. His career began at Tommy Boy Records, climbing the ranks to become A&R and Founder of the Tommy Boy Black Label, in addition to serving as GM of Urban Music Promotion. Other roles include those with Cornerstone Agency and Amp’d Mobile, before joining Def Jam in 2008. Atlas is also a member of the recently launched Executive Diversity & Inclusion Council at Warner Music Group.
In other Warner Music news, Gerald Ang has been named as the new Managing Director for Warner Music Singapore. In his new role, Ang reports to Simon Robson, President, Warner Music Asia. Ang comes to Warner Music having made a career out of transforming brands and businesses via technology, storytelling, commercialization and operations. He has previous experience leading marketing operations in SE Asia and Greater China for companies such as Discovery Networks and General Electric. In his most recent position as Marketing Director for Singtel’s Fintech and Mobile Financial Services divisions, he successfully launched in–app services while leading 360 marketing campaigns covering PR, advertising, social, events and content and, in just over a year, grew brand awareness by 20%. Ang began his career as a Co–Founder of marketing agency Frontal Productions, before working for tech firms Green Dot Internet Services and NCS Group. In 2008 he moved into the Digital Marketing team at BlackBerry, before becoming a brand and digital leader at General Electric in 2012.
The Warner Music Group (WMG)/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund has announced the external members of its Board of Directors, spanning a diverse range of backgrounds, age groups and disciplines. The five members will help ensure the Fund’s governance will include independent oversight and accountability. The 15–person Board will also include seven WMG executives and three rotating representatives of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The $100 million Social Justice Fund supports charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and education, as well as campaigns against violence and racism. The Fund will contribute on a sustained, long–term basis to organizations on the front lines of the fight for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Among the Board’s external members are: Tanya Coke (Director, Ford Foundation’s Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice team); Shawn Gee (President, Live Nation Urban & Principal/Partner, Maverick); Paul Henderson (Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Police Accountability (DPA) & a former chief prosecutor; Alencia Johnson (Chief Impact Officer & Founder, 1063 West Broad); and Mona Sutphen (Sr. Advisor, The Vistria Group LLC). Other Directors include: WMG’s VP of International Strategy & Operations, Temi Adeniji, and VP of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Mark Baker; Austin Daboh (EVP, Atlantic Records U.K.); Camille Hackney (Chief Partnerships Officer, Atlantic & Head of the Global Brand Partnerships Council, WMG); Michael Lynton (Chairman, Snap Inc.); Riggs Morales (Sr. VP of A&R and Artist Development, Atlantic); Julian Petty (EVP, Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Warner Records); and Ryan Press (President, A&R, U.S., Warner Chappell Music).
Warner Music Group’s (WMG) ADA Worldwide today announced the launch of ADA Latin, headquartered in Miami and led by veteran music executive and change enabler, Juan Paz. As Managing Director of the new global division, Paz will oversee Latin U.S., Latin America, Spain and Portugal, reporting to Eliah Seton, President of Independent Music & Creator Services, WMG. The move furthers ADA’s emphasis on global ambitions with local expertise, having established a local presence in dozens of markets, including a recently announced expansion of its team in Benelux and partnerships with the likes of India’s Ziiki Media and Africa’s Africori, on top of existing leadership in territories such as the U.K., Germany, Canada, and Australia. Paz joined ADA in June and is currently building out his team in Miami and across the region to support the distribution and promotion of the local roster’s music internationally via both ADA and WMG’s global network. Paz previously led Digital Marketing for the Latin–Iberia region and the U.S. Latin label of Sony Music. There, he played a key role in the success of projects for acts such as Romeo Santos, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Maluma and Nicky Jam. Prior, he spearheaded the launch of the Digital Marketing and Consumer Insights department at EMI Latin America, working alongside artists such as David Guetta, Katy Perry, Juan Luis Guerra and Pablo Alborán. Paz counts a successful artist management career as well, working with acts including Bomba Estéreo, Monsieur Periné, Javiera Mena, Eduardo Cabra, Superlitio, and most recently, Nanpa Básico.
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has finalized an exclusive, worldwide administration agreement with Brandi Carlile, along with co–writers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Following the 2018 release of her full–length, By The Way, I Forgive You, Carlile garnered five Grammy Award wins. The album features 10 songs written by Carlile alongside her longtime collaborators and bandmates, Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Carlile also picked up a 2020 Grammy win for Best Country Album for her work co–producing Tanya Tucker’s While I’m Livin’, with Carlile and the Hanseroth duo co–writing seven of the album’s tracks.
Concord Chief Label Executive, Tom Whalley, announced last week that Jill Weindorf has been promoted to General Manager, Concord Recorded Music. Weindorf’s new role will see her working closely with Whalley to oversee the operations of all label services departments while supporting the marketing goals of Concord’s diverse label roster, frontline and catalog. She will also maintain active responsibilities with regards to the overall operations of the radio promotion team. Most recently serving as the Sr. VP of Promotion and Marketing, Weindorf’s career at Concord spans over a decade and, under her direction, the Concord promotion team has been recognized as a leader in artist development with expertise in the Alternative, Rock, Triple A and Americana formats. Weindorf has been recognized with multiple nominations and awards from Friday Morning Quarterback, Worldwide Radio Summit and Radio & Records. Prior to joining Concord, she held positions at EMI Recorded Music, Blue Note, Verve and Elektra Entertainment.
Concord Recorded Music has also announced promotions for Tyson Haller to Sr. VP, Head of Promotion and Angelo Scrobe to Sr. VP, Field Promotion. As Sr. VP, Head of Promotion, Haller will be tasked with directing all promotion department activity and operations. His career began in college radio promotion at both Elektra Records and Virgin Records, eventually rising to Regional NYC Promotion at the latter. Haller joined WMG’s incubator label, EastWest, building the promotion department from the ground up. After participating in the successes of acts like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Arctic Monkeys, Haller went on to oversee both the promotion and label services teams at ADA, heading to Concord in early 2019. Haller will report to Jill Weindorf and Tom Whalley. Scrobe’s new role will see him working directly with Haller to develop and execute multi–format campaigns, guide department operations and lead the promotion efforts at Alternative Radio. Prior to joining Concord in 2014, Scrobe spent over 12 years handling key radio promotion and marketing strategies on a national and local level at Capitol Music Group/EMI Music and Universal Music, along with independent promotion firm and trade publication, Pellegrino Entertainment Group & Street Information Network. Scrobe reports to Haller.
Apple Music and Verzuz, the Swizz Beats/Timbaland–founded live stream rap battle series, have announced a new partnership. The first episode under the arrangement aired this past week and saw Snoop Dogg going up against DMX. Verzuz rolled–out during lockdown and originally aired on Instagram Live with the new partnership bringing the series to Apple Music and Beats 1. Broadcasting on both Apple platforms simultaneously, the sessions will also be available on–demand through Apple after the live stream is ended.
Five London–based organizations have been named to benefit from funding under the first year of Amplify London, a partnership between the London Music Fund and YouTube Music. Having rolled–out in February, the new initiative will seek to support young musicians and artists via music projects with the first five projects reaching up to 200 young people between the ages of 11 and 21. Despite the ongoing pandemic, four of the five projects will take place this year with the first kicking–off this month. Among the five programs supported are Ambition Aspire Achieve, Collage Voices, Girls Rock London, Ruff Sqwad Arts Foundation, and School Ground Sounds.
A collection of DSPs has revealed new offerings recently that will look to spotlight Black music on their platforms. In the U.K., Amazon Music has unveiled +44 and Apple Music, Wxved, which will deliver a set of new playlists featuring Black music and culture from a diverse range of genres. Additionally, Deezer has also rolled–out its Black Culture channel today which will span various genres and maintain a presence on the streamer's platform moving forward.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, in partnership with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Publishing, announced they have signed multi–Platinum, Grammy–nominated producer WondaGurl to a worldwide co–publishing deal. WondaGurl is well known for crafting some of today’s top hip–hop and R&B singles with prominent artists including Travis Scott, Jay–Z, Drake, Pop Smoke, Rihanna, Bryson Tiller, Lil Uzi Vert, SZA and others. WondaGurl is one of the youngest women to add production to a Platinum–selling hip–hop album with her work on Jay–Z’s 2013 album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Recently, WondaGurl was featured in the music category of Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2018, recognizing her success as a producer. In addition to her production work, she has made the transition to a label and publishing executive by entering into a publishing JV with Sony/ATV and her company Wonderchild, to which she has already signed two longtime collaborators. Originally hailing from Toronto, Canada, WondaGurl began teaching herself how to create music at ten years old and quickly rose to prominence by winning the 2012 Battle of The Beat Makers competition at fifteen. Her music caught the attention of producer Boi–1da (Drake, Jay–Z, Kendrick Lamar), and she became his protégé. Since then, her talent has led to several RIAA certifications, Grammy nominations, and top charting singles. In the brand arena, she has recently collaborated with Beats, the Toronto Raptors, Sprite and Reebok.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s Nashville office has announced it has renewed a worldwide co–publishing agreement with Grammy–nominated songwriter–producer Jaren Johnston. Johnston has penned top charting songs for the likes of Keith Urban, Jake Owen, Billy Currington, Tim McGraw, Frankie Ballard and Drake White. Over the last year, Johnston has been working on new songwriting projects with Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Lee Brice and Jake Owen. He is also an in–demand producer and has recently produced for Steven Tyler, Dierks Bentley, Hannah Dasher, Kelleigh Bannen, Muscadine Bloodline and others. Alongside his successful songwriting career, Johnston is also the primary writer and lead singer for his band The Cadillac Three, known for country singles “Crackin’ Cold Ones with the Boys” and “The South,” featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli.
TikTok delivered its first Music Takeover Weekend this past weekend with a round of in–app activations that featured acts Ellie Goulding, Anne–Marie and Mr. Eazi. The series of TikTok Lives was accompanied by playlists on the Discover and Sounds page, featuring curated picks from the featured artists including their latest releases and songs that have been inspiring to them across their careers. The Takeover offering becomes the most recent music campaign to make its way to TikTok Lives. Additional acts to make use of the platform to connect with fans more recently include KSI, Tinie, Ashnikko and Robyn who took the opportunity to talk about life while in lockdown while raising money for Help Musicians’ COVID–19 fund.
In other TikTok news, the social media platform has finalized a multi–year agreement with the NMPA (National Music Publishers’ Association). According to a statement, the deal encompasses prior use of music works on the TikTok platform and puts in place a “forward–looking partnership.” The new deal signals a shift in the relationship between the NMPA and TikTok following last year’s call to Congress to investigate the video sharing platform as a result of licensing concerns. The agreement offers NMPA members the opportunity for a new revenue stream, giving them the option to opt–in to the licensing framework, with a retroactive start date of May 1st of this year.
Primary Wave Music Publishing has finalized a deal to acquire a stake in the music publishing catalog and master recordings of Devo. The acquisition includes some of the Grammy–nominated band’s biggest hits such as “Whip It,” “That’s Good,” “Girl U Want,” “Freedom of Choice,” and others. Devo will now have access to Primary Wave’s publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, marketing, licensing, synch opportunities and film & TV production. Formed in 1972 by Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo is considered to be one of new wave’s most innovative bands. The first incarnation of Devo included Casale (bass), Mark Mothersbaugh (vocals), and Mark’s brothers Bob (lead guitar) and Jim, who played homemade electronic drums. Jerry’s brother Bob joined as an additional guitarist, and Jim left the band, to be replaced by Alan Myers. The group’s big break came with their score for the short film The Truth About De–Evolution, which won a prize at the 1976 Ann Arbor Film Festival. When the film was seen by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, they were impressed enough to secure the group a contract with Warner Bros. Following 1979’s Duty Now for the Future, the band’s mainstream success came with 1980’s Freedom of Choice, which contained the Gold–selling single “Whip It.” They continued to release music throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, and in 2007, Devo returned to release their own material with the single “Watch Us Work It,” a song for Dell Computers that played during the Superbowl. By the end of 2009, work resumed on a new album and it was announced that they had once again signed with Warner. An internet campaign where fans got to choose the full–length’s 12 tracks inspired the 2010 effort, Something for Everybody.
WME and Endeavor Content are initiating a round of over 30 actions based around the #ChangeHollywood initiative, led by Michael B. Jordan and Color of Change, which provides guidance on actions that can be implemented by studios, production companies and agencies to invest in anti–racist content and authentic Black stories. Among the initiatives WME and Endeavor Content are set to engage in are a $5 million commitment to community programs and inclusion initiatives across the next three years; partnerships with select colleges for the recruitment of students from underrepresented demographics; disclosing the company’s diversity numbers; providing an inclusion rider template to all agents and clients; hiring independent security for company events; investment into Black creative–led film/TV projects; and guidance for script readers and assistants to identify content that includes implicit and harmful bias. The announcement comes as WME has recently rolled–out other initiatives seeking to promote inclusion such as the Summer Series, a virtual program which offers access to students who may not benefit from direct entry to the entertainment industry.
Departures from BBC Radio continue as Editor Rob Littlejohn exits the broadcaster after 15 years to take over production duties on Fire In The Booth and the Charlie Sloth Rap Show on Apple’s Beats 1 platform. Littlejohn came to the BBC in 2002 and has garnered awards as a content editor for Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and Asian Network. He was also a member of the team that rolled–out 1Xtra, taking on the role of editor for the station in 2011. Littlejohn has heavily supported some of the station’s biggest live events such as the 1Xtra Live 4–City Tours, which played a key factor and 1Xtra’s audience crossing the one million listener threshold, and helped spearhead the station’s coverage of Hackney 2012 (Sony Silver Award), 1Xtra’s Summer Sound–Clash events and 1Xtra’s U18 club night tours. He has also been a driving force for talent development across 1Xtra and Radio 1, Sloth included.
BBC Music has revealed a collection of new music documentaries to broadcast over the coming months which will cover a diverse range of genres such as soul, funk, jazz, gospel, pop, afrobeat, hip–hop and grime. The offering will also feature a number of new presenters and narrators including U.K. rapper Rodney P, British soul singer Mica Paris and Game of Thrones actor Jacob Anderson. The set rolled–out last week with Rodney P’s Jazz Funk which aired on BBC Four. Additional documentaries include Gospel According to Mica, Top of the Pops: The Story of 1990, Ronnie’s: Ronnie Scott & His World Famous Jazz Club, The Real Thing in Everything – The Real Thing Story and Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes. Moses Boyd is also set as the presenter for the return of Jazz 625. Next month’s programming will welcome When Bob Marley Came To Britain, with BBC Arena: Fela Kuti – Father of Afrobeat set to air later in the year, as well as others.
BBC Radio & Music recently revealed a furthering of its commitments to diversity and inclusion, as it looks to be a leader in the audio space for providing an inclusive culture, diverse teams and representative program. As a first in the radio industry, BBC Radio is committing £12 million of its existing commissioning budget over the next three years specifically towards diverse and inclusive content. The funds will cover new programming commissioned by network radio and BBC Sounds, open to both in–house and independent production companies to compete for. The qualifying commissions will create content across criteria including diverse stories and portrayals, diverse production teams and talent and diverse–led companies. BBC Radio is also asking suppliers in the independent sector to meet a 20% diversity target in their teams; investing in creating more opportunities for emerging, diverse audio talent; and launching BBC Sounds Lab this fall as a new initiative to give emerging audio creators the support they need to turn their ideas into a podcast outside of the existing commissioning structure.
Driven by increased use of its platform as a result of the coronavirus situation, Snapchat parent company, Snap, revealed an increase to revenue for Q2, reaching $454 million which marked a 17% boost over the same period last year. The rise in revenue signaled that advertising on the platform remains healthy despite the shutdown having negatively impacted the marketing sector early on. Snap also revealed a net loss of $.23/share. Daily users on Snapchat also increased 17% year–upon–year, reaching 238 million. The platform now reaches over 100 million U.S.–based users and is seeing increases in emerging territories such as India which experienced an increase to DAUs of 100% year–upon–year. Snapchat’s Discover offering, which delivers entertainment and news content, saw an increase as well with 45% more users now watching a show each day over the same time last year. Additionally, the daily average number of users over 35–years–old on the platform that viewed Discover content also rose by 40%.
Peter Cohen, Supervising Talent Producer with American Idol, has informed A&R Worldwide that the iconic TV series is returning for its fourth season on ABC. The show is currently seeking talented singers, songwriters, and artists of all styles and genres, ages 15–28, and will be holding virtual invite–only auditions throughout the summer. Recent American Idol finalist and Warner Nashville artist Gabby Barrett currently has the No.1 song, “I Hope,” on the Billboard Hot Country Chart and the No.1 most streamed country song (367 million total streams), while Hollywood Records/Red Light Management artist Alejandro Aranda, who performed original music on the show, counts 670,000 Instagram followers, and recently released his critically acclaimed debut full–length, Exit Form. The show that spawned Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert, among others, has sold more than 60 million albums and 250 million singles in the U.S. and has seen its artists garnering 12 Grammy Awards. For more information regarding auditions, contact Peter Cohen at email@example.com.
The ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) division of ViacomCBS has revealed a round of key leadership promotions for its Youth & Entertainment operations. All of the executives report to EVP of VCNI’s Youth & Entertainment brands, Kerry Taylor. Rising to VP of Brand & Content Strategy is Kelly Bradshaw who most recently held the role of VP & Brand Lead for MTV U.K., Northern & Eastern Europe. Craig Orr transitions from VP, Commissioning & Development, MTV International, to VP, Content & Development, VCNI Youth & Entertainment and Kate Sils, who oversees digital for Nickelodeon International, adds Youth & Entertainment brands to her remit as VP of VCNI Digital & Multi–platform. Additionally, Jemma Yates’ role grows with her promotion to VP of Programming & Acquisitions, VCNI Youth & Entertainment, having previously served as VP of Content for Comedy Central and Paramount Network International.
Native Tongue has announced the signing of Melbourne act Thornhill. The five–piece have dominated on all fronts since the release of their debut album, The Dark Pool, in 2019. They’ve garnered significant streaming numbers, sold–out a national headline tour, completed a European run with Wage War, and have taken the coveted Feature Album slot on triple j. Adding to the success of the album, it was announced this month that The Dark Pool has been nominated for Best Independent Heavy Album at this year’s AIR Awards.
SINGLE MUSIC, the leading music distribution toolkit for Shopify, continues to expand with their innovative app that allows direct–to–consumer sales for artists, labels and merch companies as they introduce a new feature, bringing ticketed live streams into an artist’s existing store. Artists are now able to sell tickets and perform a live stream, along with a built–in moderated fan chatroom, directly from their store. Tickets can be bundled with a merch item or to raise money for a charitable cause. Since launching the live stream ticketing platform this past April, SINGLE MUSIC artists such as Michael Franti, Dance Gavin Dance, Underoath, Dashboard Confessional and others have sold over 65,000 tickets and received over $1.5 million in 100% commission–free merch and ticket bundle sales. SINGLE MUSIC has also aligned with companies to offer optional add–on services including an SMS Virtual Photobooth, Virtual Meet & Greet, Vinyl Record Pressing, Call to Actions for social causes (including voter registration, petitions, etc.) and more.
The Grammy Museum announced last week a trio of newly created senior leadership roles as part of a staff restructuring. Taking on the role of VP, Finance & Administration is Hilary Fahlsing with David R. Sears assuming the title of VP of Education for Grammy in the Schools, and Lynne Sheridan becoming VP of Artist Relations, Programs & Content. The three executives will begin their new duties as of August 1st and will continue reporting to the Grammy Museum’s President, Michael Sticka. Previously, Fahlsing served as Director of Finance & Administration, Sears as Executive Education Director, and Sheridan as Sr. Director of Public Programs & Artist Relations.
A new campaign to encourage established artists to support grassroots music venues has been launched under the banner Passport: Back to Our Roots. Spearheaded by Sally Cook, Director of Operations at Band on the Wall, and Stephen Budd, creator of War Child’s Passport: Back to the Bars and Passport: to BRITs Week series, Passport: Back to Our Roots has partnered with Music Venue Trust to raise much needed funds to safeguard the futures of grassroots music venues struggling to survive the COVID–19 pandemic. Passport: Back to Our Roots is a nationwide series of exclusive shows encouraging established artists to perform a one–off intimate show at a U.K. grassroots music venue. Artists can nominate a venue that holds personal significance for them, or the campaign will help match them with a participating venue. All shows will take place on a date to be confirmed, based around the easing of COVID–19 restrictions on public gatherings. Entry to shows will be available via a prize drawing, which launches on Monday August 3rd and will be run in partnership with Crowdfunder. For a £5 minimum donation to the campaign, music fans will be entered into a prize drawing to win entry to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest. 80% of all money raised will go to the Music Venue Trust, who will distribute half of the amount to the host venue with the remainder going into their Crisis Fund, benefiting all venues in need of financial support. The remaining 20% will be directed to Inner City Music, the charitable organization that operates live music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester, which is responsible for the administration of the project and will cover its overheads.
Sentric Music Group has signed alternative rock outfit, Lanterns On The Lake, to an exclusive songwriting agreement. The deal encompasses the band’s latest album, Spook The Herd (released in February via Bella Union), its predecessor Beings (2015), and future works for the next three years. Formed in Newcastle in 2007, Lanterns On The Lake have received critical acclaim for both Spook The Herd and Beings, with support from Mojo, Uncut, Long Live Vinyl, The Line Of Best Fit, Q, DIY and others. They have sold 40,000 albums worldwide across four studio LPs and will embark on a U.K.–wide headline tour in 2021.
Los Angeles–based publicist Alexandra Greenberg has joined Le Bureau Export as U.S. Consultant. A music industry veteran, Greenberg’s experience spans over two decades and includes work with Red Ant Entertainment, People’s Revolution and MSO PR. In 2019, she formed her own company, Falcon Publicity, and is a go–to resource for many things beyond the media landscape as a behind the scenes connector. As a U.S. Consultant for Le Bureau Export, Greenberg will work under the supervision of Louis Hallonet, Head of Popular Music. She will guide Le Bureau Export’s members willing to develop their project in the U.S. and support their search for local partners. Greenberg strengthens Le Bureau Export’s Popular Music team which also includes César Mathieu, who supports Le Bureau Export’s members navigation of formalities related to a business trip, and Emmanuel Legrand, Editor and U.S. Market Watch Consultant, supervised by Margaux Demeersseman, Research Studies Manager.
Widely–respected guitarist and founding member of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, passed away last week at the age of 73. The British musician was ranked among the likes of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page before succumbing to drug problems and mental illness. Green was well–known in the U.S. for writing “Black Magic Woman” which eventually became a global hit for Carlos Santana. Having taken over Clapton’s role in the respected British outfit, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, he went on to co–found Fleetwood Mac in 1967 and was considered the band’s leader and creative force. His drug use reached a peak in 1970 that eventually led to his departure from the band. He rejoined Fleetwood Mac for a short period in 1971 before parting ways for good. His life transitioned into a collection of odd jobs and treatment for mental illness before he returned to music in the late ’90s with the formation of the Splinter Group. He recorded a handful of records and made live circuits around Europe and the U.S. until 2010 when he stopped performing publicly.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Joe Guzik, Mike Caren, Jon Pleeter, Shabz Naqvi, Shani Gonzales, Charlie Lycett, Shabs Jobanputra, Neil Warnock, Raphaella Lima, Ken Bunt, Rob Cross, Jonathan Dickins and Zane Lowe.
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. Life is full of surprises, some of which can be funny, terrifying, unpredictable, or just jackass worthy! Click HERE for a collection of surprises – you just don’t know want visual failure you’re going to get!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– SCHOOL OF X
Over the last few years Rasmus Littauer, the man behind School of X, has self–produced two breakout EPs, toured the world with his solo project and as the drummer for MØ. On the heels of his emotional 2019 EP Destiny, School of X released his debut album, Armlock, in May. Sonically, the self–produced album comes in part from including more collaborations in the writing and recording process, which was mixed by Chris Tabron (The Strokes, Erykah Badu, Beyoncé), and falls between School of X’s explosive 2017 debut EP Faded and his more intimate EP, Destiny. He is respected in Copenhagen’s local underground scene, while simultaneously accompanying one of Denmark’s biggest pop icons. His latest release, “Forgot Me On The Moon,” is a landmark song of changing perspectives and turning pain into gratitude. Experience the single HERE and contact Kristoffer Rom at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rasmus Littauer at email@example.com for all inquiries regarding School of X.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – SYCCO
Brisbane’s Sycco (pronounced ‘psycho’) is an incredibly talented 18–year–old emerging singer, songwriter and producer. At the tail–end of 2019, she released “Peacemaker” which helped earn her way to being listed as one of the 20 artists to watch in 2020 by Pilerats Future Stars. The freshly minted triple j Unearthed Level Up Grant recipient releases her new song, “Dribble” on WILDER, the singles label launched by renowned booking agent Tom Windish in 2019, and Future Classic, the label behind Flume, G Flip, and Sophie. “Dribble” marries vibrant indie–rock sensibilities and groove–tinged electronic disco production, topped off with Sycco’s soothing neo–soul–leaning vocals. Lush in detail, irresistible, and with a bit of out–of–time charm, she puts each of these styles together with a wistful ease. Sycco has earned praise from NME, Ones to Watch and triple j, receiving high placement on Spotify Australia’s New Music Friday playlist and gracing the cover of the popular Front Left playlist, as well as being named Apple Music’s New Artist of the Week. Sycco is quickly establishing herself as one of Australia’s most promising new artists. Discover her talents and experience the visual for “Dribble” HERE and contact Claire Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or Summer King at email@example.com for all inquiries regarding Sycco.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 7/26/2020
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, July 26th, 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:
ROBERT GRACE – “Fake Fine” (Sony, Ireland)
THE HARA – “Tokyo Hit” (Sign Of The Times, UK)
SLIDE – “Hello Spirit” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
LAURAN HIBBERD – “Old Nudes” (Unsigned, UK)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Moonshine” (Le Café de la Danse/Wagram/MVKA, France)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “When I’m Back Alone” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
MELLAH – “Family Fun” (Columbia Records, UK)
JAMES DEACON – “Rain On Me” (Bad Future, South Africa)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Lines of Love” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
DEVON – “Belong 2 U” (Universal, UK)
LARKINS – “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” (Good Soldier, UK)
GINA BROOKLYN – “No More Hiding” (Unsigned, N. America)
LUNA BAY – “Misunderstood” (Unsigned, UK)
LAUREN WALLER – “Best Coast” (Ginge Binge LLC, N. America)
DRY CLEAN ONLY – “Lonely Love” (Unsigned, N. America)
SCHOOL OF X – “Forgot Me On The Moon” (Tambourhinoceros, Denmark)
NUALA – “Split Down The Middle” (Unsigned, UK)
JEKYLL – “The Escapist” (Fierce Panda, UK)
ROOSEVELT – “Sign” (Greco–Roman, Germany)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Mouth Of A Tiger” (3Beat/Universal, UK)
NOËP – “Young Boy” (Propeller, Estonia)
SEA GIRLS – “Do You Really Want To Know” (Polydor, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Keep It Together” (Universal Music, South Africa)
TWIN STRANGER – “Crushed” (Unsigned, Wales)
ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Happiness In Liquid Form” (Chess Club, UK)
STEREOTIDE – “Someday” (Unsigned, Germany)
JAMES HOLT – “Pendulum” (63 Steps Records, UK)
ADÉLAIDE – “Paintings In The Sky” (Unsigned, Germany)
MARTHAGUNN – “It’s Over” (Communion, UK)
AJ HANS – “On My Own” (Unsigned, UK)
TYNE–JAMES ORGAN – “Hold Me Back” (Dew Process/Universal, Australia)
EMME LENTINO – “This Is My Lullaby” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Emme Lentino, Twin Stranger, James Holt, Kodaline and Freeda)