SONY/ATV & TWENTYSEVEN MUSIC PUBLISHING
CONTINUE CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP
Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TwentySeven Music Publishing, led by industry executive Barry Weiss and songwriter–producer Jenna Andrews, have extended their creative partnership and signed Platinum–selling singer–songwriter Jimmie Allen to a worldwide publishing deal.
Since launching in 2019, TwentySeven has signed major talent including Jade Thirlwall and Leigh–Anne Pinnock from Little Mix; Mike Sonier, co–writer of the global hit “July” by Noah Cyrus; songwriter–producer Black Mayo, known for crafting Platinum single “Valentino” by 24kGoldn and Gold single “Pull Up” by Lil Mosey; rising Atlanta rapper Baby Plug; and recent signing KBFR, known for his single “Hood Baby,” which has become a viral sensation.
Jimmie Allen, the JV’s latest signing, is a celebrated country music singer, songwriter and artist known for his No.1 singles “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To” from his debut album Mercury Lane, which topped the country charts and the Billboard Hot 100. Allen made history with the album’s success as the first Black artist to launch their career with two consecutive No.1 hits on country radio. Allen’s success has only continued with his latest release, Bettie James, a collaborative EP that features the likes of Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Nelly, Noah Cyrus, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rita Wilson, Tauren Wells and Tim McGraw.
Sony/ATV Chairman & CEO Jon Platt said, “Barry and Jenna continue to be first–rate creative partners for Sony/ATV and I’m eager to continue our work together. It is also an honor to support the career of Jimmie Allen, as he continues to break down barriers in music and inspire a new generation of fans.”
Barry Weiss and Jenna Andrews said, “We’re delighted to continue our relationship with our partners at Sony/ATV – Jon Platt and Jake Fain are model partners. Jimmie Allen is a generational talent that has a huge career ahead of him. He’s just getting started.”
In other Sony/ATV news, the Nashville office has extended its worldwide publishing agreement with the multi–Platinum, award–winning singer, songwriter, artist and producer, Jon Pardi. Pardi is one of today’s top country music artists known for popular songs including the 3x Platinum, multi–week No.1 single “Dirt On My Boots,” 2x Platinum, No.1 singles “Head Over Boots” and “Heartache On The Dance Floor,” and Gold–certified single “Heartache Medication,” which garnered a No.1 spot. Recently, he partnered with country music artist Thomas Rhett on the No.1 single “Beer Can’t Fix,” and his critically–acclaimed album, Heartache Medication, is nominated for ACM’s Album of the Year category this year, making him a double–nominee as both an artist and producer.
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST SETS SIGHTS ON U.S.
WITH THE AMERICAN SONG CONTEST
Leading European TV show and music competition, the Eurovision Song Contest, is making its way to the U.S. with the announcement of the American Song Contest, set to take place during the holiday season of 2021.
Overseeing the brand’s entry into America are some of the leading global entertainment, music and television executives including Anders Lenhoff, Peter Settman, Ola Melzig and Christer Björkman. Making up the U.S. team is Ben Silverman, the producer and television executive who led the American version of The Office to global recognition, and is also the creator of The Biggest Loser, as well as finding and packaging Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Ugly Betty, Jane The Virgin and others. Silverman and his team at Propagate Content hold the long–term license to run the competition in the U.S.
The format of the American Song Contest will look to position the artists head to head against other states’ representatives in a series of 5–10 televised qualifier competitions, leading to semi–finals and ultimately, the Grand Final.
Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, comments, “The Eurovision Song Contest’s unique legacy dates back 65 years and its worldwide popularity is still rising. It’s time for America to experience this spectacle, through its sister competition, the American Song Contest. Love of music is universal and celebration of music in different genres and styles can transcend boundaries and unite people. We are excited to have found the right partners to offer another series that our fans across the globe can fall in love with and to share this unique competition with the American people.”
The American Song Contest producer Anders Lenhoff, on behalf of his producing partners Björkman, Melzig and Settman, said, “Imagine if music was an Olympic sport and artists from all over the world came together to compete for the gold. That’s the Eurovision Song Contest. The American version will be different than anything seen before on U.S. television, marrying the fanfare and excitement of March Madness and the NFL playoffs with the artistry and beauty of world–class performances. The American Song Contest is a competition that happens to be televised, rather than a contest created to make a television show. And it’s open to all singers with a song, whether they are amateur artists or already signed to a major record label. No one is excluded from the competition.”
Leading up to the live broadcast of the competition, Propagate Content and the American Song Contest producing team will launch The American Song Contest Academy, a group composed of music professionals based in the U.S. that represent all genres and backgrounds. The members will create juries of artists and music industry leaders who, alongside regional audiences, will choose top talent from all 50 states to compete. The representatives of each state can be either solo artists, duos or bands of up to 6 members.
The American Song Contest is set to take place months after the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Eurovision Song Contest is known for having launched the careers of a diverse range of artists, including previous winners Celine Dion and ABBA. Recently, both Justin Timberlake and Madonna released their new singles on the Eurovision stage as interval acts.
BMG NAMES TIM REID SR. VP, REPERTOIRE & MARKETING
BMG has announced the promotion of Tim Reid to Sr. VP, Repertoire & Marketing, for BMG Recorded Music, tasked with leading the development of BMG Recorded Music’s focus in R&B and Hip–Hop in the U.S. Based in Los Angeles, Reid reports directly to Thomas Scherer, BMG’s EVP, Repertoire & Marketing, Los Angeles.
Said Scherer, “Tim made an immediate impact when he joined BMG, contributing to the incredible expansion, growth, and success of our frontline recorded business in R&B and Hip–Hop. He is an exceptional and highly respected executive inside the artist and management community. Tim is a great leader for his fast–growing department, and we look forward to further strengthening and building on BMG Recorded Music’s ambitions to be the leading destination for artists in Rap/Hip–Hop and R&B who want to build their own empire and amplify brands on a global scale.”
Reid is responsible for partnering with some of today’s most respected artists including Anthony Hamilton, Keyshia Cole, Big K.R.I.T., DeJ Loaf, Terrace Martin, Ledisi, Ayo & Teo, and DJ Infamous, alongside recent Grammy–nominated act India.Arie, and R&B icon Charlie Wilson. Upcoming projects include Derez De’Shon, Ayo & Teo, Ledisi, DeJ Loaf and Lil Dicky’s upcoming new studio album.
A longtime BMG executive, Reid was responsible for helping launch BMG’s Recorded Music U.S. success with Janet Jackson’s return, Unbreakable, in 2015, which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. His work with BMG partner Commission Music has helped expand BMG’s footprint in Rap/Hip–Hop with artists including Lil Dicky, MadeinTYO and Derez De’Shon, among others.
Early in his career, Reid served as Head of Marketing for Priority Records before going on to serve as VP of Marketing at MCA Records. Reid then transitioned to Interscope Geffen A&M Records and served as marketing consultant for both Jill Scott’s Blues Babe Records and Common’s Think Common Music. Prior to joining BMG in 2014, Reid was VP of Product Management for INgrooves Distribution.
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 MEGA DEAL SMILE: Music, media and technology entrepreneur Troy Carter, Founder, Q&A (pictured left) was all smiles with Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide, during a pre–pandemic gathering of innovative minds in Stockholm, Sweden.
Troy Carter is a leading global executive and entrepreneur whose experience expands across all facets of music, media and technology. He is the Founder of Q&A, a music and technology company based out of Culver City, CA, as well as the Chairman & CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment management company vested in pop culture worldwide. Troy is a digital and social visionary who has managed artists such as Lady Gaga, John Legend, Meghan Trainor and Lindsey Stirling amongst others. Troy was also former Global Head of Creator Services at Spotify, as well as being involved in a number of other companies and organizations.
Carter began his career in Philadelphia, PA working for Will Smith and Overbrook Entertainment. In 1995, Troy joined Bad Boy Entertainment where he worked with Notorious B.I.G., and, in 1999, formed the boutique talent management company, Erving Wonder, which was acquired by the Sanctuary Group in 2004.
A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla first met Troy in 2010 via their mutual attorney friend, Bernie Resnick. Sat was made aware of an opportunity through his relationship at Google in Silicon Valley, CA when the tech giant was seeking a global artist with millennial appeal to help launch Google Chrome. Sat suggested they look at working with Lady Gaga and introduced Troy, her then manager, to his close friend in Google’s Android technology division, who subsequently set–up a meeting with Google’s CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt. From there, Google went on to finalize a substantial agreement with Lady Gaga for the worldwide launch of Google Chrome.
Besides Troy’s incredible trajectory across music, media and technology, he has also appeared as a guest “shark” on the popular TV program Shark Tank, which helps entrepreneurs secure funding and support from successful business executives who run multi–million and billion dollar companies.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
After parting ways with his role as BBC Radio 1’s Controller last year, respected broadcast executive Ben Cooper’s next steps have been revealed as he takes on duties as the new Group Director, Content & Music with Bauer Radio UK. At Bauer, Cooper is tasked with introducing new creative projects, building audiences and generating advertisement. Cooper’s new role will see him joining the Radio Exec UK, working with Managing Directors and Content Directors to bring on and develop new talent.
Marking the final head of station appointment for the BBC’s pop music portfolio is Faron McKenzie who was announced as the new Head of BBC Radio 1Xtra last week. Having joined the BBC in 2017, McKenzie has supported the evolution of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network by spearheading key marketing campaigns such as the first–ever paid strategic partnership with GRM Daily and LinkUp TV for BBC Three’s The Rap Game series, as well as between Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Refinery29. In his marketing manager role with Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, McKenzie has been key in the commissioning and development of a number of BBC Sounds podcasts including 1Xtra’s Brave Conversations, How To Thrive and Dope Black Dads. Most recently, McKenzie oversaw the BBC’s debut Creative Diversity Xperience (CDX), working closely with BBC Director of Creative Diversity, June Sarpong, and Head of Creative Diversity, Miranda Wayland. Prior to the BBC, McKenzie was with Disrupt, a youth marketing agency. He will commence his new duties in early September.
Last week, EKKO Music Rights and Kobalt Music Publishing announced a global strategic agreement that will support EKKO Music Rights’ growth as the most ambitious indie music publisher in Korea and Sweden. The strategic partnership encompasses investment, publishing, creative and administration for several years. EKKO has been generating attention in the Korean and Asian publishing industry with a string of hit releases as well as contributing to five tracks on Super M’s No.1 hit album in the U.S. in 2019. Already in 2020, EKKO has placed songs on all top five selling K–pop albums in the first half of the year including albums from BTS, Seventeen, Baekhyun, NCT 127 and NCT Dream. EKKO has also expanded its reach with offices in Korea, Japan, Sweden and the U.S., with plans to open an office in SE Asia in the near future. EKKO’s partnership with Kobalt will also provide investment in possible publishing assets across the U.S., Europe and Asia.
peermusic has announced a promotion for Spencer Lee, Managing Director of Asia Pacific, to see the executive adding duties as President for the region. Lee currently maintains oversight of territories including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and The Philippines. The new role will add oversight of the publisher’s operations in South Korea which peermusic reveals is the company’s third largest territory in terms of revenue. Lee came to peermusic in 2018 following over two decades at Hong Kong’s PRO, CASH, as Deputy CEO. Lee will report to Mary Megan Peer, Deputy CEO, peermusic.
Hotly–tipped British alternative act Sea Girls have signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing with support from both the U.K. and U.S. teams. The former A&R Worldwide featured unsigned act, signed with Polydor U.K. A&R executive Ollie Hodge last spring and recently inked a U.S. deal with Island Records VP A&R, Daniel Werner. Sea Girls are managed by Jon Chapman and Rachel Chapman at Radiate Management who have been developing the band for the past several years. Sea Girls’ debut album, Open Up Your Head, is set for release this Friday.
Capitol Records executive Arjun Pulijal has been promoted to Sr. VP of Marketing for the company, it was announced last week. In his new role, Pulijal leads the label’s marketing department, assuming oversight of the design and execution of marketing campaigns for the full roster of established and emerging talent on CMG’s flagship label, led by President, Jeff Vaughn. Pulijal had previously served as VP of Marketing for the label and is based at the company’s Capitol Tower headquarters in Hollywood. Among Pulijal’s many successes is the campaign for Paul McCartney’s 2018 Egypt Station, the artist’s first No.1 album debut of his career. Pulijal has also led marketing efforts for Beck since he first came to Capitol six years ago, with the artist’s Morning Phase album winning five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 2015. That was followed by 2017’s Grammy–winning Colors, which saw Pulijal creating the Webby Award–nominated #BECKWOW Instagram campaign. Other artists for which Pulijal has overseen campaigns include Halsey, Arcade Fire, Maggie Rogers, Troye Sivan, Norah Jones, Elton John, Nine Inch Nails, Lewis Capaldi and Vince Staples.
A new partnership has been finalized between Simon Fuller, Founder of XIX Entertainment and creator of the widely–successful Idol franchise, and TikTok for the launch of a new talent search seeking to form a new global music group. Fuller’s search for undiscovered artists to be part of the group will be drawn from an in–app audition process on TikTok. Audition details will be unveiled via the TikTok app. Last week also saw an executive order issued by President Trump that would essentially ban the TikTok app in the U.S. if not sold to an American company within a 45–day time period. TikTok has countered saying that the executive order came with “no due process or adherence to the law.” At the moment, Microsoft is in talks with parent company ByteDance regarding an acquisition of the U.S., Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand operations for TikTok.
Sony Music revealed figures for its fiscal Q1 last week that showed a 12.4% drop year–upon–year in recorded music revenue, hitting 98.086 billion yen. The period also experienced a decrease to sales in the music sector which decreased 12%, year–upon–year, and was attributed to a drop in sales as a result of the global pandemic. Additionally, decreases to ad–supported DSP and music licensing revenue, as well as lower visual media sales in Japan, a drop in physical media sales (physical music sales fell by 42.2%), and the hits taken by the live sector, also affected the major. Streaming revenues helped with the negative impact as revenues from DSPs increased slightly by 3.64% to 68.9 billion yen. Sony anticipates a 7% decrease, year–upon–year, to its music operations for the 2020 financial year, due to the ongoing pandemic.
Warner Music Group (WMG) also felt the impact of COVID–19 on its revenue as the company revealed its fiscal Q3 overall revenue fell 4.5% (3.1% at constant currency) to $1.010 billion. Following the trend, WMG’s digital revenue sector saw growth, increasing 11.1% (13.4% at constant currency) to $720 million. Recorded music revenue saw a 5.7% decrease (4.2% in constant currency) to $861 million with physical sales falling by 46% to $51 million, year–upon–year. WMG’s publishing operations, Warner Chappell, saw an overall increase to revenue of 1.4% year–upon–year (or 2.8% in constant currency), reaching $149 million with digital revenue growth offset by decreases across performance, synch and mechanical.
Unsurprisingly, figures revealed by Live Nation last week for Q2 of 2020 showed a steep drop in revenue as the live industry continues to take a heavy hit from the ongoing global pandemic. The live entertainment leader saw revenue falling 98% year–upon–year for the quarter with adjusted operating income loss posted at $431.9 million on revenue of $141.8 million from its concert division. Despite the continued lockdown, Live Nation expressed optimism for a healthy return to live events “when it is safe to do so” as the promoter revealed that 86% of those who have purchased tickets to postponed shows are holding onto them for the rescheduled dates. Accounting for tickets currently held by fans for rescheduled shows, Live Nation revealed that its sold, to–date, 19 million tickets for over 4,000 concerts and festivals, set to take place next year. The promoter also shared the success of its Live From Home virtual concert offering which generated 67 million viewers across 18,000 concerts and festivals for the most recent quarter.
Respected artist manager Jennifer Tolman has taken on a new role as CEO of Streamline Talent Group, a full–service entertainment group based in Los Angeles. The company represents musicians, television personalities, technology entrepreneurs and influencers, and focuses on developing talent via a myriad of eco–systems to help their creativity and businesses flourish. Tolman was most recently at Vector Management representing Avril Lavigne and Rachel Platten among others. She previously held positions at WME and Paradigm Talent Agency.
Amazon Music is looking to bring its users a trip to the music vault with its new [RE]DISCOVER offering. The initiative launched last week with its featured “Artist of the Month” as Bob Marley. The Marley feature comes as his 75th birthday is celebrated throughout the year and includes a curated playlist of his music as well as the tech firm’s Official Bob Marley Amazon Store which is offering up exclusive merchandise and artwork, streaming links, and download/physical music products. The new storefront comes as Amazon Music HD prepares to deliver its exclusive stream of Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers, later in the year. [RE]DISCOVER also features 50 additional new artist playlists which include those for acts such as Alanis Morissette, AC/DC, The Chicks and Drake.
Spotify has rolled–out a new dance/electronic playlist offering under the banner of track IDs. Alongside the Spotify team, the playlists are co–curated by two of the world’s leading DJs including Nina Kraviz, Carl Cox, Black Coffee, Aluna, Jayda G, Honey Dijon, Gerd Janson, Green Velvet, Amelie Lens, MK and Pan–Pot. The playlists will see the featured DJs sharing tracks they’ve incorporated into their sets counting recognizable hits as well as unreleased music. The new offering adds to ten new sub–categories which were unveiled earlier this summer counting DJ (which hosts DJ–related content including the track IDs playlists), House, Techno, Electronica & Chill, Bass, Disco, Trance & Progressive, Mood and Workout, as well as podcasts diving into the dance/electronic genre. Spotify also recently revealed a Global Club Music playlist curated by DJ Sliink (Jersey Club), as an answer to the producer’s call for more diversity across the DSP.
Apple Music recently unveiled a series of virtual listening parties that look to recreate the album listening party experience for fans. Acting as an eventized extension of some of Apple Music’s popular playlists, the virtual listening parties look to incorporate everything from unreleased tracks, to special guests and surprise performances and will also provide fans the chance to chat live with their favorite artists. The series launched last week with Today’s Hits Presents Victoria Monét. Leading into the release of her critically–acclaimed new project JAGUAR, the talented singer/songwriter spent last Thursday evening with 1,000 of her closest Apple Music fans to share new music from the project before it drops, learn more about the inspiration for each song and chat directly with Monét in real time during a live Q&A that was moderated by Apple Music host, Nadeska. Monét makes the leap from songwriter to artist having been responsible for some of today’s biggest hits including chart–topping tracks for acts like Nas, T.I., Chloe x Halle, Brandy and Ariana Grande, earning four nominations at this year’s Grammy Awards for her work on Grande’s thank u, next.
DDEX, the international standards–setting organization dedicated to improving the exchange of data and information across the music industry, announced last week that Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown) has joined as a Charter member. Downtown has appointed Scott Williams, Chief Technology Officer of its subsidiary, CD Baby, to the board of directors. Membership to DDEX is open to any organization with a business interest in digital media content and currently counts more than 1200 members worldwide. DDEX now has eight families of standards that support the entire arc of digital music operations from initial recording through distribution and reporting as well as other types of business transactions in particular sectors of the industry. The standards are being used by all the major players in the digital music industry, as well as most smaller organizations and startups.
Instagram has revealed its new Reels video offering as it looks to compete with TikTok. Reels has been in a testing phase for months in countries such as Brazil and India. The feature provides users the ability to shoot, edit and post 15–second video clips paired with sections of music or audio. The videos live on a new portal as part of the Explore page on Instagram. While the social platform has long provided users the option to post short videos, the new Reels offering brings new video creation/editing tools, a number of which replicate the TikTok experience. Reels will make its way to users in 50 countries.
Following the recent Facebook announcement that it had reached licensing deals to bring music videos to the platform, Snap Inc. revealed last week that it’s also finalized licensing agreements for the roll–out of a new music video offering. The service, which is set for a trial run in New Zealand and Australia before going global, will allow users to add music from a curated catalog to their Snaps. For those on the receiving end of a Snap featuring music, a swipe option will be available for the to view album art, song title and artist name. Additionally, a “Play This Song” link will direct to Linkfire for track listening on preferred platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud. Warner Music Group is the only major that has reached a licensing deal with Snap, with the NMPA and Merlin also having finalized partnerships.
Dame Shirley Bassey has signed with Decca Records as she prepares to record and release her “grand finale” full–length with the label. Bassey’s career spans seven decades, with her first No.1 single coming in the ‘50s, making her the first Welsh singer to top the chart. Since then, she’s released 70 albums, selling nearly 140 million records, and among her recordings counts three of the most iconic Bond themes with the title tracks from Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Dame Shirley became the first–ever recipient of a BRIT Award for Best British Female Solo Artist in 1977, as well as the Légion d’ honour in 2003, and Silver Clef Award in 2017. In 2019, she garnered honors as the first musician to be awarded the Freedom of The City of Cardiff, as well as a Damehood for her services to performing arts in 2000. The 83–year–old’s newest album, currently untitled, will mark her first release in more than five years and will bring together new tracks written just for her, in addition to those chosen by her as a reflection of her life and career.
Mojo Music & Media has acquired a 50% interest in the complete publishing catalog of Rick Nielsen, the Co–Founder and principal songwriter for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Cheap Trick. The deal, which covers over 400 songs spanning five decades, features 20 Billboard chart hits such as “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me,” “Dream Police,” “Voices,” “If You Want My Love” and “Can’t Stop Fallin’ Into Love.” Over the course of their career, Cheap Trick has sold more than 20 million albums and performed over 5,500 live shows. In addition to writing or co–writing nearly every song Cheap Trick has recorded, Nielsen has also contributed songs to projects by Rick Derringer, Dave Grohl and House Of Lords. He has guested live, or in the studio, with the likes of The Yardbirds, The Who, John Lennon, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe and Foo Fighters. The Mojo marketing team, working closely with Nielsen, have authored an extensive multi–year plan to revitalize his song catalog via covers, samples, synchs and collaborations, while promoting his story and brand via film, TV, theatrical and custom retail projects.
Native Tongue has announced the signing of songwriter Liam McGorry, the driving force behind bands such as Saskwatch and Dorsal Fins. McGorry recently unveiled his newest musical endeavor with Ex–Olympian. Named after the neon sign that adorns Borsari’s Corner in Melbourne’s Lygon St, Ex–Olympian also reflects those times we all need to shift things forward into a new phase. In partnership with two Melbourne icons, Northside Records and Remote Control Records, Ex–Olympian’s debut release is a new 7” record that features “Voices in My Head” and “Lilac Youth.”
Transgressive Publishing and Warner Chappell Music have finalized a new worldwide publishing agreement with Loyle Carner. Carner’s work has seen him nominated at the BRITs and shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. His sophomore full–length, Not Waving, But Drowning, reached No.3 on the U.K.’s Official Album Charts last year with 64,360 sales. Carner’s best–selling single, “Ain’t Nothing Changed,” counts sales of 151,746 and he maintains more than 1.9 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Cameo has tapped veteran industry executive Brandon Frankel to oversee strategic partnerships for the company and app that provides a platform for users to share personalized video messages from celebrities. Frankel’s career started as a freelance writer for small publications at 14–years–old and saw him garnering an Atlantic Records internship right after high school. He eventually became a full–time staffer for the label, initially as a college marketing rep, before transitioning to artist development. In 2010, he headed to the Nashville office of CAA where he developed tour marketing campaigns for the likes of Zac Brown Band, Sugarland and Brantley Gilbert. He headed to the Windish Agency in 2014 to launch the firm’s brand partnerships division and was promoted to Sr. VP of Brand Partnerships when Windish was acquired by Paradigm. He parted ways with Paradigm in 2017 to start Contra Inc. and was most recently consulting for Sony Music Masterworks.
American Express has revealed a $1 million initiative under the banner of 2020 Music Backers Fund to help support the Australian music industry affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund launched after American Express commissioned research into the music sector which revealed that 91% of Australians see the music industry as an important piece of the local economy. The research also showed that 84% of those employed in the music industry are suffering from a loss of income. The new fund will donate grants ranging from $2,000 – $50,000, split across three categories for those needing support to continue moving forward, for the support of new ideas, and for the support of innovative projects. The initiative also features a “Nominate A Mate” opportunity for the public to recognize industry workers they feel are deserving.
Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium is gearing up for the return of artists to its stage later this week with the launch of a new Live From the Ryman weekly concert series. The series will roll–out initially as a livestream event with plans to eventually welcome small audiences following social distancing and other safety protocols, for fans, artists and Ryman staff. The series kicks–off Friday with a performance from For King & Country with additional shows in the six–week series from Cam, Chris Janson, Scotty McCreery, Brett Young and Old Crow Medicine Show. The concerts will continue to be produced by the same team behind the weekly Saturday live broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry that had taken place prior to the global pandemic.
The catalogs of Blondie Co–Founders, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, have become the latest to join the Hipgnosis portfolio as the company has acquired 100% of the duo’s work. Encompassing 197 songs, the deal covers royalties from the writer’s share and neighbouring rights. Blondie’s catalog includes six U.K. and four U.S. No.1s with sales of more than 40 million worldwide. “Call Me,” “Heart Of Glass” and “One Way Or Another” all count more than 200 million streams globally. Harry also counts a successful solo career that’s produced five studio albums.
Elbow, Everything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting and The Slow Readers Club are the first artists to announce gigs for Passport: Back to Our Roots, the new campaign to raise money for U.K. grassroots music venues at risk of closure. The artists will be playing one–off, intimate shows at venues on dates to be confirmed, when it is safe to perform with no social distancing. Entry to the shows will be via a prize draw which will run for two weeks starting Monday, August 17th through Crowdfunder. For a £5 minimum donation to the campaign, fans will be entered to win entry to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest. Elbow will be returning to Night & Day, three decades after they first performed at the Manchester venue, while Public Service Broadcasting will be performing at The Amersham Arms in New Cross, Everything Everything at Esquires in Bedford, and The Slow Readers Club at Hebden Bridge’s Trades Club. 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 crisis. 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 go to Inner City Music, the charitable organization that operates the respected music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester.
Soundstripe has announced the promotion of 20+ year customer service veteran Tia Watkins to Director of Customer Support. Watkins has been with Soundstripe since October 2017, when she was the company’s second hire in its Customer Care department. Beginning as a Customer Care Concierge, she worked her way up to Customer Support Manager in January 2019. Now, as Director of Customer Support, Watkins will be tasked with strategizing the branch’s growth, optimizing the timeliness and efficiency of member support, and overseeing the branch’s projects. She will be based in Soundstripe’s Nashville office.
Jaxsta Limited, the world’s largest public–facing, dedicated database of official music credits, recently revealed that Jaxsta Pro, its B2B subscription platform, has surpassed 50,000 members. Among the members are songwriters, artists, engineers, and producers, as well as music industry professionals such as artist managers, record label representatives and industry association employees. Additionally, tens of thousands of artist profile pages have been claimed, meaning there is now a green “verified” tick on the profile pages of artists and industry professionals including P!nk, Tool, John Legend, Shakira, Harry Styles, the Ramones, Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Grammy–winning mastering engineers John Greenham and Emily Lazar, and Grammy–winning songwriter Serban Ghenea, as well as others. By claiming their profile, Jaxsta Pro members can add their bio, image, social links and contact details to their profile. Users also have access to valuable features such as charts and chart alerts (for artists and non–artists), an international events calendar, market research and more.
Absolute Label Services has announced a deal with indie label Earache Records. Absolute and Earache finalized their partnership earlier this year and have been working together under the radar, with Absolute providing physical retail, marketing and distribution, as well as digital marketing, for the label in the U.K. The announcement comes after Earache and Absolute scored their second album chart hit of the year, with Those Damn Crows’ Point Of No Return becoming a Top 20 LP in the U.K. in February, and Massive Wagons’ House Of Noise reaching No.9 at the end of last month. Founded in 1985 by Digby Pearson, Earache’s original focus was on grindcore and punk and has since gone on to release genre–defining albums across death metal, industrial, thrash, blues rock, country, black metal and more. Since 2012, the label has seen particular success on the U.K. Albums Chart with releases from The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and Rival Sons. The label was followed with divisions in publishing, management and live, with Earache having curated stages at some of the U.K.’s biggest festivals such as Glastonbury and Boomtown.
Heavy Hitters Music revealed last week the passing of its President, Cindy Badell–Slaughter, on August 5th at age 59 in Los Angeles, CA from metastatic lung cancer. A memorial event will be held at a later date when her life can be safely celebrated; at this time, her family asks for space to grieve privately. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to RYTMO (Reaching Youth Through Music Opportunities), an organization she deeply cared about. Cindy first became active in the music licensing industry in the mid–1980s at Lorimar Productions/WB, working on shows such as Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Full House and Perfect Strangers. She moved on to be Director of Music Clearance for Evan M Greenspan, handling their many syndicated and prime time series, feature films, and on–air promotion for Fox. She then spent 10 years at CBS Television as Director, Music Operations West Coast, overseeing shows such as Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Survivor, the CSI series, as well as movies for television, mini–series and on–air promotion for CBS and UPN. In October 2007, she and her husband Bill took over Heavy Hitters Music. In August 2018, Cindy and Bill joined forces with Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME), whose focus and values amplified their work at Heavy Hitters. Cindy’s passion for music, working with artists, and the Film and TV music industry was matched only by her dedication to working with youth and mentoring the next generation of the music industry.
Widely–respected British record producer, Martin Birch, has passed away at the age of 71. Birch’s work helped shape the sonic identity of the early days of the heavy metal genre which saw him working on albums from acts including Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Deep Purple and many others. His career began in the late 60s and early 70s when he worked as an engineer with the likes of Jeff Beck, Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac, the latter for which he was involved with five of their early full–lengths. Having stepped away from the board in 1992 after he produced his tenth consecutive album for Iron Maiden with Fear of the Dark, his list of credits also counted projects with Blue Öyster Cult, Gary Moore, Faces and Skid Row among others.
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. Animals can be unpredictable, loving and sometimes just bonkers! Click HERE for a collection of funny moments with dogs, cats and more two, four and other multiple–legged creatures.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Devraj Sanyal, Jonas Siljemark, Paul Harris, Ed Millett, Tracy McKnight, Allison Kaye, Nick Gatfield, Alex Hackford, Jeff Sosnow, Lonny Olinick, Monti Olson, Nick Raphael, Jacqueline Saturn, Daniel Glass, Thaddeus Rudd, Joe Cuello and Richard Griffiths.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– BLU DETIGER
It’s not often that you come across a talent that not only catches your attention, but also impresses on a first impression–Blu DeTiger is that talent. She is a multi–instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, performer, bass virtuoso and so much more. Born and raised in New York City, she’s been slaying it on the bass guitar since she was 7–years–old. Not even legally old enough to be allowed in clubs, Blu has been a staple in the NYC club, fashion, and creative scenes since she started DJing when she was 17. As of 2020, she’s been a touring member with multiple artists, including Fletcher, The Knocks, Caroline Polachek and more. Blu has DJ’d internationally and walked in Kid Super’s NYFW show. Her single “Tangerine” distinguished her from the rest, with her art–pop funky flair. Her new song, “Figure It Out,” which was written nearly a year ago, is the beginning of a string of new releases from this emerging force of nature. Discover Blu DeTiger’s talent by listening to “Figure It Out” HERE and contact Asmarina Zerabruk at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and all inquiries.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – TWO YEAR VACATION
Two Year Vacation is a quintet founded in Gothenburg, who makes rhythmic radio–friendly indie pop, with musical influences ranging from ABBA to Fatboy Slim through early Daft Punk, MGMT, Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend. After releasing a pair of self–released EPs, Two Year Vacation joined forces with the Hamburg–based label Clouds Hill and Warner Music Germany. The result was their debut album Slacker Island, released last year. The album delivered a number of successful singles and earned over four million streams. This year, Two Year Vacation released the singles “Don’t Know Anybody Else” and “Never Been To Paris,” as well as their four–track EP, Bedroom Rock. They just unveiled their latest single, “Getaway,” the first track from their upcoming album Laundry Day, set for release on October 31st. Experience the visual for “Getaway” HERE and contact Daniel Hansson at email@example.com, as Two Year Vacation are available for booking and other opportunities.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 8/9/2020
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, August 9th, 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:
HOCKEY DAD – “In This State” (Farmer &ammp; The Owl/BMG, Australia)
ROBERT GRACE – “Fake Fine” (Sony, Ireland)
VISTAS – “Everything Changes In The End” (Unsigned, Scotland)
THE HARA – “Tokyo Hit” (Sign Of The Times, UK)
SLIDE – “Hello Spirit” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
LUNA BAY – “Misunderstood” (Unsigned, UK)
KEIR – “Rose” (Vertigo Berlin, UK)
THE LULU RAES – “Can’t Run No More” (Verge/Sony, Australia)
DEVON – “Belong 2 U” (Universal, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Keep It Together” (Universal Music, South Africa)
GIANT ROOKS – “What I Know Is All Quicksand” (AR Entertainment, Germany)
THE LOTTERY WINNERS – “Headlock” (Modern Sky, UK)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Lines of Love” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
BLACK SATELLITE – “Void” (Unsigned, N. America)
BLU DETIGER – “Figure It Out” (Unsigned, N. America)
DOWN FOR TOMORROW – “Emily” (Good Intent, Australia)
FLAWED MANGOES FEATURING WILL JAY – “Fatal Flaw” (Unsigned, N. America)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “When I’m Back Alone” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
LARKINS – “Are We Having Any Fun Yet?” (Good Soldier, UK)
NUALA – “Split Down The Middle” (Unsigned, UK)
MELLAH – “Family Fun” (Columbia Records, UK)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Moonshine” (Le Café de la Danse/Wagram/MVKA, France)
STEREOTIDE – “Someday” (Unsigned, Germany)
SEA GIRLS – “Do You Really Want To Know” (Polydor, UK)
JAMES DEACON – “Rain On Me” (Bad Future, South Africa)
TWIN STRANGER – “Crushed” (Unsigned, Wales)
AJ HANS – “On My Own” (Unsigned, UK)
BLANKS – “Dance Alone” (Unsigned, Holland)
INHALER – “Falling In” (Universal Music, Ireland)
JAMES HOLT – “Pendulum” (63 Steps Records, UK)
SYCCO – “Dribble” (Future Classic/Wilder Records, Australia)
DRY CLEAN ONLY – “Lonely Love” (Unsigned, N. America)
LAUREN WALLER – “Best Coast” (Ginge Binge LLC, N. America)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Alfie Templeman, Sycco, Sea Girls, Gizmo Varillas and School Of X)