GREG MARELLA NAMED PRESIDENT OF PROMOTION & EVP
OF CAPITOL MUSIC GROUP
Highly–respected music executive Greg Marella has been promoted to President of Promotion and Executive Vice President of Capitol Music Group (CMG). The promotion was announced last week by the company’s Chairman & CEO, Jeff Vaughn, to whom Marella reports. In his elevated role, Marella will maintain oversight of the planning and execution of promotion strategies for the company’s portfolio of labels. In his broader CMG EVP role, he will help strategize and navigate CMG’s future as a key member of Vaughn’s executive management team. Marella is based in Hollywood’s Capitol Tower.
Marella has built and led a promotion team that has garnered over 40 No.1 singles across all genres in just the past two years. Recent No.1s include hits by Halsey, Lewis Capaldi, Lil Baby, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Niall Horan, Migos, Marshmello, Queen Naija and Maggie Rogers, as well as the latest No.1, “Lemonade,” from Internet Money.
According to Vaughn, “Greg’s elevation to President of Promotion reflects the impressive track record of breaking hit records he and his team have built over the past several years. Greg has a keen understanding of how promotion strategy fits into the larger picture of artist development, and he will play a key role in shaping our company’s future as a member of our executive management team. I know everyone at the Tower joins me in congratulating Greg on this well–deserved promotion.”
Marella commented, “I’m incredibly proud to be leading a promotion team that is so passionate and committed to advocating for our artists and music that are the heart and soul of CMG. The company is in great hands with Jeff and Michelle [Jubelirer, CMG President & COO] at the helm, and I’m excited and committed to helping our company reach new heights as a member of the executive management team.”
Marella joined CMG in 2016 from Kemosabe Records, where he was that company’s EVP of Promotion for three years. Prior, he spent 16 years with Interscope Geffen A&M and MCA Records in senior promotion positions. His career began at Priority Records in 1995 as West Coast Regional Director of Promotion. Some of the artists Marella has been associated with across his 25–year career prior to CMG include Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, Juicy J, Mary J. Blige, K–Ci & JoJo and blink-182.
SONY MUSIC FINALIZES ACQUISITION OF KOBALT’S AWAL
& NEIGHBOURING RIGHTS
Sony Music Entertainment (SME) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Kobalt Music Group Ltd (Kobalt) to acquire Kobalt’s recorded music operations, including AWAL, and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights. Under the acquisition, AWAL and Neighbouring Rights will become a new division within SME’s suite of independent artist and label services offerings and will be enhanced by the technology and network of SME’s independent music distribution company, The Orchard. Lonny Olinick will maintain his role as AWAL’s CEO.
AWAL will continue to sign, develop and market its own artists. The firm’s services include global marketing, creative, synch and brand partnerships, radio promotion and distribution as well as access to real–time comprehensive music analytics. Connecting AWAL with The Orchard builds upon SME’s expanded support and services opportunities for record labels as well as DIY artists. As part of SME’s global company, AWAL’s roster of artists will have the ability to access an expanded network of resources and partnerships worldwide. Additionally, AWAL artists will be able to capitalize on SME’s and The Orchard’s global distribution footprint.
In making the announcement, Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group said, “Our investment in AWAL’s continued growth gives us another level of service to offer the independent music community. With their flexible solutions to building artist careers, together we will offer creators more exciting choices to connect with their audience worldwide.”
Lonny Olinick, CEO, AWAL said, “The AWAL team has futuristically enabled artists to deliver their creative vision since its inception. Now, as part of the global Sony ecosystem, we can dramatically expand on this vision for them. We are also excited to build on our innovative neighboring rights as well as DIY platforms with extended support from The Orchard.”
Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights division, led by CEO, Ann Tausis, is the leading administrator of neighboring sound recording rights with its direct relationships with global collection societies. The Neighbouring Rights business has grown to represent more than 2,000 performers. With this agreement, SME artists and The Orchard distributed labels will be able to partner with Neighbouring Rights to capitalize on its infrastructure and collection network.
The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory and closing conditions.
PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC FINALIZES ACQUISITION OF SUN RECORDS
On October 1st, 1949 Sam Phillips signed a lease on a storefront at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis and on that day, music would forever be changed. In 1952, Phillips’ Sun Records would establish itself as a label where artists would be treated with respect and honesty. When music producer and label executive, Shelby Singleton, purchased the iconic label from Phillips for an undisclosed sum, he maintained that environment. Now more than seven decades later, Primary Wave Music has acquired the legendary recording company.
The multi–million–dollar deal encompasses some of the best–known master recordings for legendary artists such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, The Dixie Cups and others, as well as all of the music publishing owned by Sun, and the iconic Sun Records logo and all other trademarks owned by Sun, including that of Nashville’s Sun Diner. John Singleton, President of Sun Records, will remain with the label, and will now have additional resources provided by Primary Wave under the terms of the deal. Primary Wave will help expand the Sun Records brand by providing access to their internal infrastructure which includes marketing, branding, digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film & TV production.
“We are extremely pleased to pass the Sun Records baton to Primary Wave and are confident that they will continue to reach new heights for the crown jewel of the music business created by Sam Phillips, which my brother, Shelby, and I have kept alive and relevant for the past 50 years” says John A. Singleton, President of Sun Entertainment Corporation.
“Sun Records is the original home to some of the biggest legends in music,” said Larry Mestel, CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music. He continues, “Sam Phillips treated all of his artists with the utmost respect and provided a space of creativity unlike no other. His vision for Sun aligns perfectly with the creative ethos of Primary Wave, and I am overjoyed that this historic label is now a part of our family.”
Sun Records was launched amid a growing number of independent labels. As a businessman, Phillips was patient and willing to listen to almost anyone who came in off the street to record. Memphis was home to a diverse musical scene with gospel, blues, hillbilly, country, boogie, and western swing all represented. Capitalizing on this range of talent, there were no style limitations at the label. In one form or another Sun recorded them all. Then in 1954, Sam found Elvis Presley, an artist who could perform with the excitement, unpredictability and energy of a blues artist but could reach across regional, musical and racial barriers. He helped form the beginnings of the Sun “sound” by infusing Country music with R&B. Elvis’ success attracted even more ground–breaking talent to Sun. Listed among his contemporaries and label mates were Johnny Cash, the inimitable Jerry Lee Lewis, and the “Rockin’ Guitar Man,” Carl Perkins. These four soon became known as the Million Dollar Quartet. Right behind them came Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Bill Justis, Harold Jenkins (a.k.a. Conway Twitty) and other equally well–known musical talents. International fame eventually made its way to all of the acts with success translating across the Pop, R&B and Country charts. In early 1969, Sam began negotiations with Shelby Singleton for a deal to purchase Sun. A successful music producer, Shelby had got his start at Mercury Records in regional radio promotion, eventually becoming Head of A&R before leaving in 1966 to start his own company. In July of 1969, Sam and Shelby finalized their deal and Sun Records was sold. Shelby would soon move the label to Nashville, adding it to Singleton’s already existing stable of labels with SSS International and Plantation. Shelby and his partner/brother, John, managed the label group until Shelby passed in 2009 with John continuing to guide the legacy of Sun.
One of the most important figures in the history of rock, Sam Phillips has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, Blues Music Hall of Fame, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, R&B Foundation Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Radio Hall of Fame and Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC ANNOUNCES DAVID WOIRHAYE
AS EVP & GLOBAL CFO
Warner Chappell Music has named David Woirhaye as the company’s new EVP and Global CFO, effectively immediately. In his new role, he’ll report to Guy Moot, Co–Chair & CEO, and Carianne Marshall, Co–Chair & COO. In partnership with Warner Chappell’s leadership team, Woirhaye’s focus will be towards providing financial guidance and support to the global business in order to maximize growth.
Moot and Marshall shared, “We’re delighted to welcome David to our Warner Chappell family. As we continue to grow our global business and find new opportunities to super–serve our songwriters, his background and deep knowledge of the music industry and catalog management will be a huge asset for us. We’re looking forward to working together and continuing to make the best financial decisions for our business and our songwriters.”
Woirhaye added, “Warner Chappell has built a truly global and collaborative company with a forward–thinking culture to drive value for its songwriters. I’m extremely excited to join such a talented team and look forward to helping expand these efforts even more. I also want to thank Guy, Carianne, Eric Levin and Steve Cooper, along with the rest of the Warner Music Group executive team, for this incredible opportunity.”
A respected music and finance executive, Woirhaye originally came to Warner Music Group (WMG) in 2005. He spent the last five years as Sr. VP, CFO, Rhino Entertainment and Global Catalog Management at WMG, where most notably he defended Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” in federal court. He also supported the label’s legendary catalogs of iconic artists and bands, including Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Grateful Dead, the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. In his role as CFO at Rhino, he helped guide the company through intense deal negotiations and established a strong financial infrastructure that accelerated growth, among other responsibilities.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
The Tencent–led consortium has moved forward on its option to acquire an additional 10% of share capital in Universal Music Group (UMG) bringing its total ownership to 20%. Vivendi finalized the sale recently in a deal based on an enterprise value of €30 billion for the major music company. According to an announcement, the cash generated via the transactions might be used by Vivendi for the reduction of its financial debt as well as acquisition financing. In the wake of the strategic transaction, a listing for UMG is said to be forthcoming no later than early next year.
In other strategic moves, South Korea’s Big Hit Entertainment, the firm behind the global group BTS, has revealed that it will invest 70 billion won ($63 million) into YG PLUS, a subsidiary of YG Entertainment, another K–pop agency and one of Big Hit’s largest competitors. Positioned as a “strategic collaboration,” the move is said to be seeking synergy between the two companies, tapping into each other’s artist IPs for various projects. Additionally, Big Hit is moving to build upon its fan community offering through a partnership with Naver, which is investing 354.8 billion won ($320 million) in beNX, a Big Hit tech subsidiary, via a third–party capital increase and the acquisition by beNX of Naver’s V LIVE operations.
Widely–successful writer/producer Fraser T Smith has tapped Three Six Zero as his global management team. Managed out of London by the firm’s Partner Phil Sales, Fraser T Smith joins a global roster of that also includes Calvin Harris, Will Smith, Willow Smith, MK and BloodPop. Credits for Fraser T Smith including co–writing, mixing and producing seven No.1 singles in the U.K. and two No.1 singles in the U.S., in addition to contributing to 18 No.1 albums as well as overseeing last year’s BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Allstars No.1 single. Among the artists he’s worked with are Adele, Stormzy and Dave. Previously, Fraser T Smith was looked after by Empire Artist Management. He finalized a global publishing deal with Warner Chappell last
Former long–time Warner Chappell Music A&R executive, Marc Wilson, has launched United Songs Entertainment – Publishing & Management. During his time at Warner Chappell, Wilson signed some of the company’s biggest hit artists and songwriters including Lizzo, Steve Aoki, Ian Kirkpatrick, Sean Douglas, Sir Sly, Alec Benjamin, Judah & The Lion, Joe Kirkland, Buzz and Sam DeRosa. “I’m so extremely excited and grateful to build a company from the ground up, it has been my dream since day one! I want to continue to champion and nurture the next group of future songwriters,” said Wilson. Among United Songs Entertainment’s first clients are artist LUVK (pronounced “Luck”) and producer/songwriter Chris Doss.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a new deal with renowned, multi–Platinum, award–winning songwriter Mark James, renewing his long–standing alliance with Screen Gems/EMI spanning roughly five decades. The company has also secured extended rights for three of his top songs, “Suspicious Minds,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and Grammy–winning “Always on my Mind.” Hall of Fame songwriter James is known for writing hit songs across countless genres, including those for Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Blue Swede, Brenda Lee, Mac Davis and B.J. Thomas. His music has also been recorded by artists such as Bill Withers, Lou Rawls, Johnny Winter, Michael Bublé, Jay–Z, Nancy Wilson, Sonny & Cher, Waylon Jennings, The Partridge Family, The Pet Shop Boys, Martina McBride, Petula Clark, The Fine Young Cannibals, Bush and Dwight Yoakam, among others. James’ songs have been featured in several major motion pictures, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Reservoir Dogs, Honeymoon in Vegas, Practical Magic, Kramer vs. Kramer, Intolerable Cruelty, Frequency and Blackhawk Down. His songwriting legacy has earned him honors in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, New York Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nashville Country Hall of Fame, and will soon find induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Storyglass, the U.K. podcast production company launched in June of last year which brought together Bertelsmann’s U.K. content operations Fremantle, Penguin Random House U.K., BMG and DK, has named Steve Carsey as Managing Director. Carsey comes to Storyglass from Audible and, according to an official press release, will helm the new business “in its development, production and distribution of creatively dynamic, editorially ambitious and commercially valuable podcasts for a global audience.” Carsey reports to Bob McCourt, Chairman of Storyglass. He brings to the role experience from a number of senior positions throughout the industry, including Chief Creative Officer at ITN Productions, Director of Programmes for Banijay’s Initial, and Deputy CEO at Steadfast Television. Having most recently spent six years at Audible, he served as Sr. Director for International English (Originals) and pushed through over 200 podcasts and original audio series.
Leading toy company, LEGO, and Universal Music Group (UMG) have unveiled their first collaboration since finalizing their partnership in April of last year. The new app and toy experience, under the banner of LEGO VIDIYO, brings together technology, licensed music and physical toys to empower kids to create their own music videos on a safe and moderated social platform. VIDIYO targets kids between the ages of 7 and 10, and focuses on combining real songs and augmented reality (AR) technology to generate unique music videos implementing specialized mini–figures and BeatBits, which are scannable 2x2 square LEGO pieces, to unlock digital effects. The BeatBits are chosen in–app to offer users the ability to tap into a collection of settings, audio/visual effects and dance moves for their 60–second videos, with the option to trim videos to shareable lengths. New AR technology allows for users to interact with mini–figures in real–life and big scale, all the way down to mini–figure–size scale, as well as the ability to style their LEGO band members, design album covers and additional features. The app’s song catalog will be looked after by UMG. Aligning with LEGO’s efforts to make VIDIYO a safe space for children, all clips will run through a moderation process before being approved for the app’s content feed. All videos will be able to live in–app and shared with family and friends, though wider sharing will require content to not include personal information, so videos with actual kids shown will not be allowed to make their way to the public feed.
Following the departure of radio promotion veteran Joe Riccitelli, RCA Records recently announced the promotions of two executives to fill the space of the former Co–President. Announced as the new Heads of Promotion are Sam Selolwane, a hip–hop and R&B specialist who has worked on campaigns for acts such as Chris Brown, SZA, Usher and others, as well as Keith Rothschild, an expert in the pop/rock space whose work includes that with Brown, Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat.
Liberty Media is making its way into the music acquisitions arena with the launch of a new company, which has raised $575 million. Liberty Media Acquisition Corporation (LMAC) has closed its IPO, which raised 57,500,000 units at $10/share with the stock listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. According to LMAC, the firm is seeking acquisitions across the media, digital media, music, entertainment, communications, telecommunications and technology industries. The management team is fronted by Greg Maffei with other members from Liberty Media Corporation’s current management team joining. In addition to its ownership of F1, Liberty Media’s portfolio includes large stakes in SiriusXM and Live Nation.
5K Records, launched by 2K Management CEOs Moe Bah and Kilo Jalloh alongside producer JAE5, has named Oksi Odedina as General Manager. The 2K Management roster counts JAE5, J Hus, Young T & Bugsey, and others. Partnering with 5K Records for a joint venture is Sony Music Entertainment. The label was formed in 2020 and is working with a collection of new signings including Keeya Keys, King Promise and emerging artist Robin Knightz. Odedina joins the new operation from Warner Records, where she held the post of Sr. Marketing Manager.
Launched five years ago, Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio has remained as the platform’s most popular station, in terms of total listening hours, since it was unveiled. The hyper–personalized music station bases its song selection around the tracks that users have thumbed–up to let Pandora know which ones they love the most. Thumbprint Radio takes the users thumbed–up songs from across all of their stations, or anywhere on Pandora, since they first became a Pandora user, mixed with a constantly updating collection of new songs that Pandora curates, to create a single personal station that’s as unique to each user, and that continues to grow and evolve based on listening preferences. Over 50 million Pandora users have now listened to Thumbprint Radio, collectively spending more than 2 billion hours streaming their Thumbprint Radio stations, which together have been driven by more than 1 billion thumbs. Thumbprint Radio has played over 4.5 million unique songs, representing over 300,000 unique artists.
Spirit Music Group and Spirit Music Nashville have finalized a multi–faceted deal with four–time Grammy–winning artist/songwriter, Joy Williams. The agreement encompasses the acquisition of compositions from Williams’ various catalogs, including her work as part of The Civil Wars, in addition to several masters for which she maintains control. At the same time, Spirit will administer the artist’s most recent 2020 Grammy–nominated solo full–length Front Porch, and future compositions. The catalog counts the song “Safe & Sound,” a co–write recorded with Taylor Swift.
Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Found.ee (pronounced FOUN–dee), the comprehensive advertising and digital marketing platform that provides artists, managers and labels with a range of tools to build, target and optimize promotional campaigns. The transaction sees Downtown acquiring the IP and technology that supports the Found.ee platform. Used by over 25,000 artists and labels globally, the Found.ee platform was developed specifically to provide powerful ad tech tools that deliver more effective digital advertising campaigns across online, mobile, social and audio channels. Found.ee allows users to develop custom interactive ads, related promotional tools and analytics that can improve the effectiveness of digital campaigns while empowering creators to more directly identify and engage with fans. Downtown subsidiary CD Baby, which is a minority investor in Found.ee, already uses the platform to drive its existing promotional and marketing capabilities for its artists. Found.ee’s CEO, Jason Hobbs, will join Downtown following the transaction closing, which is expected to be completed by the end of Q1.
Nearly two years since the launch of Mac DeMarco’s record label, he has finalized his first artist signing, Tex Crick. The Australian–raised, New York–based artist will release his album, Live In...New York, through Mac’s Record Label on March 26th. This will be the first album launched by the label besides DeMarco’s own music. The lead single, “Sometimes I Forget,” gives fans a teaser of the upcoming album along with a music video directed by Monika Mogi at Muira Beach in Japan. DeMarco first garnered attention with his solo debut in 2012, the Rock and Roll Night Club EP. The Brooklyn–based indie label, Captured Tracks, signed DeMarco and released three full–length studio albums, all of which reached the top 30 of the Billboard 200, with two achieving No.1 on the Independent Albums chart. DeMarco’s fourth studio album in 2019, Here Comes the Cowboy, was then released on his newly created Mac’s Record Label, a partnership with Caroline.
British rock outfit Yonaka have left their deal with Atlantic and have joined the Believe roster under a new artist services agreement as they release a new single, “Seize The Power.” The Brighton quartet put–out their debut full–length, Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow, in 2019 and count over 430,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
WME have added widely–successful hip–hop agents, Caroline Yim and Zach Iser to their team as the pair parts ways with CAA after almost three years. Yim and Iser joined CAA in 2018 following a lengthy bidding war to bring the agents to the agency when they departed ICM Partners, bringing with them SZA, Future, Anderson .Paak, Daniel Caesar, Rae Sremmurd, ScHoolboy Q, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, The Internet and Willow Smith. At WME, Yim and Iser become Partners and Co–Heads of Hip–Hop/R&B alongside James Rubin and Kevin Shivers. A roster of acts heading to WME with the two agents is yet to be revealed.
A first–look deal has been finalized between Sony Pictures TV and fast growing Asian culture firm, 88rising. The deal sees the two partnering for the development of multi–platform scripted series focusing on Asian and Asian American culture. Alongside the partnership announcement, 88rising has tapped Alex Lin, former Imagine and NBC executive, as its first development executive for film and television. Having launched in 2015, 88rising has quickly evolved from a record label for pan–Asian artists to a music, media and events firm whose 2018 Asian music festival, Head in the Clouds, became the first of its kind in the U.S. The company also rolled–out a SiriusXM channel in December and is working its way towards the big screen with forthcoming film projects such as We Stan, a comedy focusing on K–pop fans the firm is producing alongside A–Major Media and rapper/actor Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, as well as a currently–unnamed feature written and directed by Justin Chon and set to feature Rich Brian, a rapper from the 88rising roster.
peermusic has appointed Matt Phipps–Taylor as Chief Information Officer, it was announced last week by Ralph Peer II, Executive Chair, peermusic; Mary Megan Peer, CEO, peermusic; and Bill Gorjance, CFO, peermusic. Phipps–Taylor will report jointly to Mary Megan Peer and Gorjance and will be based out of peermusic’s London office. In his new role, Phipps–Taylor will lead strategic technology and data initiatives for the company. He will assume oversight of the technology and data platforms used across peermusic’s global network of music publishing and neighbouring rights companies operating from 38 offices in 31 countries. Phipps–Taylor brings over twelve years’ experience in building and running data management and analytics capabilities, including a background in the recording, neighbouring rights and publishing sides of the music business. Prior to peermusic, he served as Chief Data Officer at PPL, where he oversaw data strategy, analytics and business intelligence, data architecture and governance, and led PPL’s involvement in various global industry data initiatives and partnerships such as serving on the board of Digital Data Exchange (DDEX). Prior to that, he worked at Deloitte Consulting in the U.K. and U.S. Matt Phipps–Taylor’s hiring comes as peermusic’s current Chief Information Officer, Jeff Witcher, departs after 18 years with the company.
Sony Music Masterworks has launched XXIM RECORDS, an all–new imprint focused on the development of innovative, progressive instrumental music from around the world. XXIM features a bespoke roster of a new generation of artists whose work explores and integrates neo–classical, post–rock, electronic and ambient sounds, among others. The label is based in Berlin with additional A&R support in New York and arrives with an international line–up of highly talented musicians. It includes compelling newcomers Eydís Evensen, an Icelandic pianist and composer, and Uèle Lamore, a Franco–American composer, conductor, producer and arranger, as well as the genre–bending Icelandic band Hugar and the Berlin electro–acoustic duo Stimming x Lambert. News of additional signings will follow.
The services division of Apple reported an all–time high for revenue during the final quarter of 2020. This division of Apple represents all sales from Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud, App Store and additional software products. A 24% revenue increase was observed from the $12.7 billion brought in by the first fiscal quarter to the $15.8 billion reported from the last quarter of 2020. Growth in the services revenue helped drive Apple’s record level quarterly sales of $111.4 billion. Apple’s new line of iPhones accounted for $65.6 billion of that quarterly report. Apple has prioritized keeping its device users within its ecosystem by providing a plethora of media and utility apps as the services division is the second largest behind iPhones. TV+ was launched by Apple in 2019 with a number of exclusive original series. The service bills customers at $5 per month for its first year of availability and those who subscribed at launch have had their free trial extended through July 2021. In addition, people who buy a qualifying Apple product receive a one–year subscription to Apple TV+ for free. Through Apple’s new subscription bundle, Apple One, users can access TV+ as well as other services such as Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ and iCloud. The company is also considering expanding its services division with a podcast subscription product. Last week Apple reported it has over 620 million subscriptions which is a sizable increase from 140 million this time last year.
Wise Music Group has finalized the acquisition of music publishing rights to classic songs by The Zombies. The acquisition comes under the purchase of the Marquis, Verulam and Mistletoe Melodies publishing companies from The Bocu Group. Songs encompassed include writer Rod Argent’s 1964 U.K. and U.S. hit “She’s Not There,” in addition “Tell Her No,” “Care Of Cell 44” and “Time Of The Season.” The latter was sampled by Eminem in his single “Rhyme Or Reason.” The deal includes additional tracks which were performed by the likes of Nat King Cole, Patti Page, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Arthur Alexander, The Beatles, Cilla Black and others.
Riptide Music Group has tapped Repost by SoundCloud, an artist services business providing tools and services to help creators grow their careers, to support its new record label. This deal will see Repost provide a tiered menu of label services and tools, including distribution, creative marketing and monetization services tailored for specific Riptide artists and releases. Primarily known for music publishing and synch licensing, Riptide rolled–out its record label quietly last year as a natural evolution of the company.
A&R Worldwide has learned that Mike Tunnicliffe, who until last year was the EVP/Head of Universal Music Group & Brands, where he oversaw the label’s new business activity related to brand partnerships, strategic marketing alliances and marketing programs for advertisers in the U.S., has taken on a new role as VP & Head of Sales at Songtradr. Tunnicliffe had also previously been a contributing writer for A&R Worldwide’s weekly newsletter for its synch and brands editorial content whilst he was an advertising and brands executive at Saatchi & Saatchi.
Loop Media, Inc., a media company that gives consumers and businesses fully integrated 360–degree music video and other premium content experiences, has announced that former MTV and Universal Music Group (UMG) executive Darcy Fulmer will be the company’s new Head of Music. In her role, Fulmer will be responsible for overseeing a team of curators and one of the world’s largest content libraries for music videos, with a mandate to create compelling programming for Loop Media’s apps for business, mobile, and television as well as its collection of 24/7 music video channels on TV. Previously, Fulmer was the Music Director at KROQ–FM Los Angeles, CA and Director of Music Programming for VH1, MTV and MTV2. As VP of Music for MTV Interactive, Fulmer supervised the creation of 100 digital radio channels. In addition, Fulmer was Sr. VP of Music and Talent for Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris’ Farmclub, and a music consultant for Napster and Revolt TV.
Ninja Tune affiliate Big Dada is rebooting as a label led by Black, POC and minority ethnic staff. According to a statement, the label will be releasing records from Black, POC and minority ethnic artists. Well–known for its background in the hip–hop genre, Big Dada was launched by Will Ashon in 1997 before he parted ways with the company ini 2014. Among the label’s achievements are two Mercury Prize wins for 2009’s Speech Therapy from Speech Debelle and 2014’s Dead by Young Fathers. Other acts to release music via Big Dada include Roots Manuva, Dels and Kae Tempest. The relaunch includes a new logo and a website update, including a resource section for music industry advice spanning a range of topics such as legal, distribution and mental health as well as published editorial. The label will also sell merch from sustainable clothing company Rapanui, finished by Black–owned independent embroiderers based in London.
SoundExchange has announced the appointment of Jessica Goldenberg, VP, Digital Strategy & Business Development for Warner Music Group (WMG), to its board of directors. Goldenberg brings expertise across both the legal and strategic sectors of the music industry. In her current role at WMG, Goldenberg leads recorded music deal negotiations and manages relationships with many of the world’s largest streaming platforms; spearheads new partnerships; and is a key contributor to the company’s global digital strategy.
A round of promotions has been announced by Denis Handlin across Sony Music’s Australian A&R, promotions, brand partnerships and synch/licensing operations. On the A&R front, Marietta Ouzas, who had been serving as Sony Music Entertainment’s Manager of Victorian Promotions and Australian Artists Marketing and Development, has taken on the new role of Sr. Director of A&R. Ouzas appointment also signals an expansion to Sony’s Melbourne A&R team, who will report to her. Additionally, Fenella Wagener and Tammy Hofbauer are named Sr. Directors of National Promotions. Both will report to Wayne Ringrow for Australian repertoire, and Grant Donges for international, with Wagener based in Melbourne, and Hofbauer in Sydney. The pair take on oversight of the promotions team across the country. In the synch/licensing divisions, Sophie McArthur becomes VP of Streaming Strategy and Partner Development for ANZ, taking on responsibility for the brand partnership and synch/licensing teams.
Australian trade body, ARIA and PPCA, has confirmed Annabelle Herd as the collection organization’s next CEO. Herd assumes her new role today and takes over for Dan Rosen who parted ways with the organization after a decade to take over as President for Warner Music Australasia. Herd, who becomes ARIA’s first female CEO since it launched in the early 80s, most recently spent 16 years with Network 10 as Chief Operating Officer, a role that saw her leading broadcast operations, group strategy, corporate and internal communications, and interstate markets as well as policy, regulatory, compliance and government affairs, and lobbying and stakeholder relations. Prior to that, she spent time in senior government positions which eventually saw her serving as Sr. Advisor (Broadcasting and Copyright) and Acting Chief of Staff for then Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon. Richard Alston AO. Additionally, long–time executive Lynne Small has been promoted to COO of ARIA and PPCA, where she reports to Herd. Having been with the organization since 1996, Small was most recently serving as GM.
Australia’s FBi Radio recently revealed the winners of the 2020 FBi Sydney Music, Arts & Culture (SMAC) Awards. This year’s awards celebrated Sydney’s best and brightest as voted by FBi Radio listeners, acknowledging the efforts shown by local creative communities in responding to the ongoing and unprecedented challenges of 2020. The winners were unveiled during a live broadcast on 94.5FM last week. Hosted by FBi Radio broadcasters Grace Farrell and Darren Lesaguis, the awards featured live performances from Barkaa and Ziggy Ramo. Ziggy Ramo was also awarded Record of the Year for Black Thoughts, as well as Song of the Year for “April 25th,” becoming the first winner in the history of the SMAC Awards to win both categories. FBi Radio also awarded Vanessa Turnbull–Roberts with the 2020 SMAC of the Year. A proud Bundjalung Widjabul woman, activist, writer, emerging leader and recipient of the Young People’s Human Rights Medal, she demonstrated fearless leadership as the systemic disadvantage faced by First Nations people was brought into sharp relief last year. Additional winners included Barkaa (Next Big Thing); Dobby – “I Can’t Breathe (feat. Barkaa)” (Best Video); Blackfulla Book Club (Best Pandemic Pivot); Moreblessing Maturure (Best Artist); NIRIN (Best Arts Program); and A Little Lagos (Best Eats).
DistroKid announced last week a new product under the banner of Upstream which provides record labels and artists a new way to connect. Upstream allows artists who opt–in to automatically share their streaming data with approved record labels with Republic Records becoming the first label revealed to participate in Upstream. At the same time, DistroKid has named music industry veteran Ché Pope to lead the new Upstream initiative. Pope previously served as A&R at Warner Music and was COO at G.O.O.D. Music. A Grammy–winning producer, Pope has worked with the likes of Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Teddy Riley, Dr. Dre, Hans Zimmer, A$AP Rocky and The Weeknd.
Music distribution and label services firm Ditto, which has processed over $1 billion in royalties to–date, has unveiled Opulous, a pioneering peer–to–peer platform to help increase artists’ access to capital while bypassing traditional institutions. As the first–ever decentralised finance (DeFi) offering backed by music as an asset class, Opulous will operate as a loan pool which artists can borrow from and also contribute to. For those borrowing, the loan is guaranteed against the artist’s past streaming revenues with the copyrights they own held as collateral. Meanwhile, artists and other investors will be able to pay into Opulous’ Music Copyright Pools, earning 10% per annum on any contributions they make. Opulous will tap into blockchain technology to connect investors with artists needing a loan, driving fresh investment into an industry that is set to double revenues over the next decade. Smart contracts will automate monthly premium and interest repayments and direct profits straight to investors. It will onboard staking from other parties to enable the widest possible backing. Open to anyone, not just Ditto users, Opulous is currently in development by Ditto and RandLabs. Opulous is being built on Algorand’s public blockchain, founded in 2017 by cryptographer Silvio Micali as an open source public blockchain based on a pure proof–of–stake consensus protocol that supports quick, efficient and secure transactions worldwide. Opulous has already raised $1.5 million in its seed round of funding and a minimal viable product (MVP) is expected in two months.
Led by Grammy–winning composer, orchestrator, conductor and musician Jeff Elmassian, and his Partner/Creative Director Dave Chapman, music and sound design company Endless Noise has launched the Endless Noise Music Library, counting a strategic partnership with SoundCloud to provide a uniquely curated compilation of artists from their platform. Initially comprised of 2,000 tracks, including 500 songs, representing highly–curated music tracks pulled from the works of Elmassian, Chapman, and dozens of their in–house and freelance composers, the new Endless Noise Music Library plans to build itself up to 5,000 tracks, with a goal to update tracks annually. The new Endless Noise Library has already provided tracks for a number of high profile clients and film, TV, commercial and kids projects.
Strong Management Founder/Co–Owner Vaughn Lewis and Co–Owner Kenny Gabor have joined forces with Davis Entertainment Group Founder Steve Davis, to form the new joint company Unchained Management, Music & Media. Based out of NYC, the company’s roster will combine their current rosters which include Big Chocolate, Brothers Born, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, CKY, The Contortionist, Disfiguring The Goddess, Entheos, Esmé Patterson, Havok, Killswitch Engage, Light The Torch, Lorna Shore, Loss Becomes, Memphis May Fire, Ministry, Monster Magnet, Oxymorrons, Queensryche, Revocation, Serpentine Dominion, Temple of the Black Moon, The Agonist, Through The Eyes of the Dead, Times of Grace, Whitechapel and William Elliot Whitmore. In addition to continuing to build upon the success of their existing clients, the new firm will look to evolve their portfolio beyond management across the entertainment arena.
Music industry entrepreneurs Bob Murray, Zack Dekkaki and Ric Wake have collectively Co–Founded Loki Artist Group, a new progressive global entertainment company. The main focus of the new group is to assist music companies with financial, business, and creative support to build and implement new fundamentals for future success. Loki Artist Group launches with two recording studios (one in Los Angeles, CA and one in Toronto, Canada), a management firm under the banner of Elev8 Global Entertainment, and a record label and publishing division. Loki Artist Group will seek new artists, songwriters, and producers to sign for management, as well as new music ventures to partner with the assets they provide. The company will offer A&R, artist development, digital promotion, social media management and marketing, as well as licensing and synch services. Elev8 Global Entertainment, which recently joined with Loki Artist Group, has been providing full–service talent management, led by Murray, for musicians and artists since 2007. Their current roster includes Jorge Blanco, Jonathan Antoine, Shaun Jacobs, Anna Chase and J Broadway.
As the world approaches a year since the full weight of the pandemic hit, pausing live concerts and festivals, German act April Art have been doing their part to support all technicians, crews, clubs, and others affected by the shutdowns. As new regulations for a safe return to in–person events are navigated, small and medium–sized businesses especially prepare to feel the economic effects and uncertainties as a result of limited capacities within venues and festivals. A Germany–wide campaign, “Kulturgesichter,” which also runs under the umbrella of German music business alliance #AlarmstufeRot, is seeking to generate awareness of those within the live event workforce who otherwise sit behind the scenes through black–and–white photos. In the video for April Art’s single “Break the Silence,” the band shows photos of people affected by this campaign. Numerous well–known German musicians have also joined the video such as Scorpions singer Klaus Meine, metal queen Doro Pesch, Henning Wehland (H–Blockx) and musicians from the bands Avantasia, Grave Digger, Subway To Sally and Saltatio Mortis. The campaign is also supported by the radio station Rock Antenne. Upon its recent premiere on Facebook, the “Break The Silence” video was shared over 1,200 times and viewed more than 100,000 times in just hours. Click HERE to see the video for “Break The Silence.”
Soundstripe has named Sourav Nayak as VP of Finance. The new role sees him responsible for overseeing the company’s financial strategy, capital raising, product pricing, financial planning and analysis, and treasury, while reporting to Co–Founders and Co–CEOs Micah Sannan and Travis Terrell. Prior to Soundstripe, Nayak served as VP of Finance at Arcadia, a clean energy start–up. During his time at Arcadia, Nayak led the finance organization and helped raise more than $60 million in capital to help drive the growth of the company that saw its revenue and member base expand more than 4x across his tenure. Prior to Arcadia, Nayak spent six years at WGL Holdings, where he was a Director within the Corporate Development group. He has also previously held positions at Nova Capital Partners, in the Treasury and Proprietary Lending groups at American Express, and as a Sr. Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.
The newest edition of the A&R Registry, The Film/Television Music Guide and The Music Publisher Registry have just been released to start 2021. The update of the registries provides the most current contact information for executives and companies in the realm of major and independent record label A&R teams, the music supervision community and the music publishing arena. You can order your copy online at www.musicregistry.com or by contacting Ritch Esra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Patrik Larsson, Maureen Kenny, Daniel Parmar, Ryan Roy, Gabz Landman, Naim Ali, James Foley, Julie Pilat, Jason Flom, Jeremy Yohai, Cassandra Gracey, Tom Windish, Ollie Wards, Janine Scalise–Boyd, Sunil Perkash and Tricia Holloway.
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. Everyone enjoys the element of surprise; however, when it’s not expected it can be a royal pain in the behind! Click HERE for a sample of some unwelcome surprises that create some loud yells, screeches and screams from the unsuspecting victims of these pranks.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– THE CLOCKWORKS
Formed in Galway, the four–piece outfit The Clockworks were brought together by a mutual appreciation of both past and present music. Two years ago they relocated to London and grabbed the attention of industry veteran Alan McGee through Instagram, where the man who launched the careers of Oasis, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Super Furry created a DIY label called Creation23. The Clockworks have since impressed audiences throughout Europe, performing at a number of festivals, including Eurosonic and Electric Picnic where they supported Kings Of Leon in Liverpool. Their latest single, “Enough Is Never Enough,” has been compared to the likes of IDLES and The Hives, which follows the lives of separate but interconnected individuals in society. The track pulls together the fragments of our fractured society and creates a vivid collage that depicts its failings in one painstaking picture. Listen to “Enough Is Never Enough” HERE and for more information on The Clockworks, including all inquiries, contact the band at email@example.com as they are currently seeking label and publishing opportunities.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – DRY CLEAN ONLY
Queens, New York’s very own punk/pop/punk trio Dry Clean Only began playing music together in their early teens and haven’t looked back since. Vocalist Joey Wunsch, bassist Connor McClelland and drummer Ronnie Bruno performed at numerous venues–ranging from house parties to school dances to playing many of the iconic venues in and around New York City and the East Coast. The energetic three–piece have supported Andrew W.K., Hawthorne Heights and Wheatus. When their momentum started to swing into full speed, they were forced to hit the pause button on live performances and recording due to a series of broken bones. Luckily, the band put their misfortunes behind them and return with new music. The guys have just put the finishing touches on their upcoming sophomore album, which is filled with obsessive hook–laced songs that reflect the joy and humor that the band injects into everything that they do. Dry Clean Only unleashed their latest single “Lonely Love” along with the accompanying visual, as part of their plan to release a single and visual per month this year. Enjoy the video for “Lonely Love” HERE and contact Raymond McGlamery at firstname.lastname@example.org, as the band is available for label, publishing, synch and brand opportunities.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 1/31/2021
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, January 31st, 2021: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, Germany; JioSaavn (worldwide); Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; WZRH–FM New Orleans, LA; 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); 96.2 ZFM The Netherlands; WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, OH; 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; Rock 96.5FM Zambia; 897 FM Bratislava, Slovakia; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, NY; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia; WRUR 88.5FM Rochester, NY; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY; KZND Anchorage, AK; KQCJ Quad Cities, IL; Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany; Indie Xfm Los Angeles and on The Independent FM (iHeartRadio) in the United States, as well as many others internationally.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
LINN KOCH–EMMERY – “Hologram Love” (Welfare Sounds, Sweden)
EAU ROUGE – “I Know That You Know” (Riptide Records, Germany)
TEN TONNES – “Girl Are You Lonely Like Me” (Unsigned, UK)
JEREMY LOOPS – “Til I Found You” (Universal, South Africa)
THE VICES – “Boy” (Mattan Records, Holland)
THE LULU RAES – “Not For The Weekend” (Sony Music, Australia)
DOTAN – “There Will Be A Way” (7 Layers, Holland)
JUPITER’S BEARD – “Stella” (Unsigned, UK)
THE SWOONS – “If It Keeps You Up At Night” (Unsigned, N. America)
POLISH CLUB – “Just Talking” (Unsigned, Australia)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Keep It Together” (Universal Music, South Africa)
BOY DESTROY – “Warpaint” (Bud Fox, Sweden)
SAM JOHNSON – “Nineteen” (Universal Music, UK)
DEVON – “Why Do We Wake Up (Before The Good Bit)” (Universal Music, UK)
GOLD MEMBER – “Chilli & Cocoa’” (Sureshaker, Australia)
SOMEBODY’S CHILD – “Top Drawer Romance” (Somebody’s Child Records, Ireland)
THE CLOCKWORKS – “Enough Is Never Enough’” (Creation 23, UK)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “Moving On From Yesterday’” (Cloud Hills, Sweden)
MELLAH – “Hitchin’” (Columbia Records, UK)
PACIFIC – “State Of Mind” (Unsigned, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Loosie” (Unsigned, Sweden)
ALLDAY – “After All This Time” (Teamtrick, Australia)
CRUCCHI GANG – “La La La io non ti amo non mi ami Aha Aha Aha” (Universal, Germany)
LOVEBREAKERS – “Family Man” (Little Rocket / Sabbath City, UK)
MONTA – “Cold Wind” (Blickpunkt Pop, Germany)
DED RABBIT – “Gotta Get Outta This Place” (Unsigned, Scotland)
MARQUIS DRIVE – “Spaceman” (Creation 23, UK)
HAUSKEY – “Silver Lining” (Unsigned, Australia)
THE PALE WHITE – “Glue” (Unsigned, UK)
BLAKE ROSE – “Lost” (Propeller Recordings, UK)
MY LIFE AS ALI THOMAS – “Rinn” (Warner Music, Thailand)
ADÉLAIDE – “Silent Hope” (Unsigned, Germany)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Forest Blakk, Devon, Ten Tonnes, Pacific and Waiting For Smith)