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WARNER MUSIC GROUP ANNOUNCES RAFT OF NEW DEALS
& OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS




Last week, Warner Music Group (WMG) and Spotify announced they had entered into a new partnership which will see the two companies develop a series of original podcasts built around WMG’s vast and diverse artists’ and songwriters’ catalogs, featuring some of the biggest names in music. Fans will get to experience the stories behind some of the biggest hit songs and get an inside look at the work of their favorite artists and songwriters.

The news follows WMG’s recent launch of the BLK In America podcast by Topsify, which sees influential Black artists like Rico Nasty, Chaka Khan and Keedron Bryant discussing what it means to be Black in America. Today, WMG produces various podcasts from across its network including Duran Duran’s WHOOOSH!, curated and hosted by Simon Le Bon; the Prince official podcast in collaboration with his estate; Robert Plant’s Digging Deep; the Good Ol Grateful Deadcast hosted by musician Rich Mahan and Relix contributing editor Jesse Jarnow; The Rhino Podcasts, telling stories of legends like Aretha Franklin, Todd Rundgren and John Densmore of The Doors; Warner Chappell Music’s Final Sessions, a series chronicling the long and fascinating narrative behind the release of Harry NilssonLosst and Founnd; Grandson’s XXWhy show interviewing other artists and activists; as well as cultural hit show Uproxx’s People’s Party hosted by Talib Kweli.

Jonathan Serbin
Out of Warner Music Asia, last week brought the launch of the first Pan–Asian dance label, Whet Records. The brainchild of Jonathan Serbin, the CEO of Warner Music Greater China, the label will work with both emerging talent and established DJs and producers, providing a distribution platform and an array of marketing and management services to help its artists grow their fan base throughout the region. Whet Records’ China division will be led by Zoe Yang, who has worked across the largest EDM events in the region, including Ultra Music China and EDC China. She reports Serbin, who has over 20 years of experience in the dance music business. He was formerly the CEO of Mixmag Asia, and has executive produced a series of successful electronic albums, featuring collaborations between major Asian and Western artists. The label’s first signing is Lizzy Wang, who has been twice ranked the No.1 DJ in China by DJane Mag (2020, 2021). Lizzy was the first female Chinese DJ to perform at Ultra and has appeared at a number of marquee festivals and large–scale events. She is also an accomplished producer, having written and recorded a number of tracks that have landed on the Chinese charts. Her first single on Whet Records is “Flexy,” which features Warner Music Norway’s Julie Bergan on vocals.

Alizzz
Warner Music Spain and Warner Chappell Music Spain have renewed recording and publishing deals with one of Spain’s most respected artist, producer and songwriting talents, Alizzz. Alizzz is known as a recording artist in his own right, but has also collaborated with acts such as C Tangana and Rosalia. Alizzz also has his own record label, Whoa! Music, which he set up in 2019 and runs in partnership with Warner Music Spain. The label signs and develops Spanish and Latin American artists from the “new pop” scene, including Coral Casino, Paula Cendejas and Robie. Alizzz first broke through as an artist nearly 10 years ago with his debut single “Neon Lights.” He went on to release a string of successful singles, such as “Booty” and “No Te Debí Besar,” and enjoyed a high–profile live career, headlining Sónar Festival’s 25th anniversary event in 2018. At the same time, his production/songwriting career began to grow, including a collaboration with C Tangana on his debut album ÍDOLO as well as the duo working together on Tangana’s follow–up album El Madrileño. The album has just become the first from a Spanish artist to enter Spotify’s global Top 10, as well as going to No.1 in Spain. Alizzz has also collaborated with Amaia, Maikel Delacalle, Pedro and Rosalia. In total, he has generated two Diamond, 18 Platinum and 11 Gold certifications internationally for his production work.

Triari “Ari” Senawirawan
In Warner Music’s Indonesia offices, Triari “Ari” Senawirawan, has been named as the new Managing Director for the company. Starting the role May 1st, he will report to Simon Robson, President, International, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group. Senawirawan comes to Warner from Visa Indonesia, where he led the company’s marketing strategy and consumer digital engagement, bringing with him experience across the marketing, branding and advertising space with a number of leading companies and agencies. Senawirawan takes on the new role with the departure of Toto Widjojo, who will step down at the end of the month having been serving as MD since 2014. Senawirawan’s career began working with a number of advertising agencies such as Publicis Groupe, TBWA Worldwide and Ogilvy, before heading to the brand marketing arena in 2006 when he joined Microsoft Indonesia as Corporate Marketing Communications Group Head. In 2010, he transitioned to Nokia Indonesia, taking on the role of Head of Marketing – Brand Management, Digital Strategy & Consumer Insight. He then stepped into senior marketing roles at wireless provider Telkomsel and financial services group DBS, before joining Visa as Sr. Director – Country Head of Marketing in 2017.


RED BULL RECORDS PROMOTES CHARLES “CB” BURKS III
TO VICE PRESIDENT A&R



Red Bull Records has promoted Charles “CB” Burks III to VP of A&R. Burks joined the company in 2019 after previously working at Universal Music Group label 10:22PM as a Director of A&R, with additional past roles at Epic Records and Atlantic Records.

Charles “CB” Burks III
Reporting to Red Bull Records’ Kenny Salcido, Burks will continue to oversee artist development and foster new musical talent. Red Bull Records’ new executive hirings and promotions are off the back of a recent run of successes, including the breakout achievements of label partner and rising hip–hop artist Blxst.

Blxst released his debut EP, No Love Lost, in September, followed by its deluxe release in December, the release has generated over 160 million streams globally, with its hit single “Overrated” breaking into the Top 30 at Rhythmic and Urban radio.

This year also saw the celebration of alumni artist AWOLNATION’s 10th anniversary of their debut album, Megalithic Symphony, in March, with its single “Sail” earning a Diamond RIAA certification.


TENCENT MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP REVEALS LEADERSHIP SHIFTS


Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) has named Cussion Kar Shun Pang as TME’s Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and Zhu Liang (Ross Liang) as the company’s new CEO and a member of the Board. Prior to this appointment, Liang served as VP of Tencent Holdings Limited where he was responsible for overseeing a number of major online platforms including QQ and Qzone. Prior to that role, Liang was the GM of QQ Music from 2014 to 2016. As the CEO, Liang’s primary responsibility is to oversee TME’s QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, WeSing and long–form audio business.

Cussion said, “I am delighted to have Ross join our team as the CEO. Ross’ proven track record in building successful online entertainment platforms and social ecosystems, combined with his breadth of experience delivering strong results through successful expansion into new business areas, makes him ideally suited to accelerate our evolution into an all–in–one online music and audio entertainment destination in China. TME is very well positioned for the secular growth opportunities within online music and audio that lie ahead of us. I remain as engaged and committed to the Company’s long–term success as ever, and I am excited to work with Ross, along with the Board and our entire senior management team, to build on our strong momentum to drive the next phase of growth for TME.”

Ross Liang said, “It is a true honor to lead this extraordinary and innovative company as CEO. I believe TME’s dedication towards driving a sustainable industry development, outstanding product and technology offerings, and innovative business models, combined with the most talented group of people in the industry, uniquely position the Company to capitalize on the exciting opportunities within online music and audio entertainment. I look forward to working in close partnership with Cussion, the Board and the senior management team, to build on our strong foundation to better serve our users, artists and content creators, provide the best career experiences for our people, and create long–term value for our shareholders.”

Additionally, James Gordon Mitchell has been appointed as the Chairman of compensation committee of the Board. Tong Tao Sang, TME’s current Chairman of the Board, will resign from the positions of Chairman of the Board, Chairman of compensation committee and all his roles as a director or an officer of affiliates of the company. As the company’s newly appointed Executive Chairman, Cussion will be responsible for setting the Company’s long–term strategy, overall coordination and management of the Board and the Company.


LIVE NATION UNVEILS NEW LIVESTREAMING ROLLOUT
& ADDS SHERRI SOSA TO PRESIDENT OF VENUE NATION



Live Nation Entertainment and Veeps, the artist–first livestream platform led by Co–Founders Joel and Benji Madden (Good Charlotte), have announced they have started equipping 60+ concert venues across the U.S. to offer turnkey livestreaming. This new Veeps setup gives any artist playing at one of these venues the ability to livestream their event seamlessly to fans worldwide. Live Nation’s network of physical shows alongside Veeps’ industry leading technology, will provide artists the opportunity to offer fans more ways to experience live concerts, including virtual admission to sold out shows, access to events happening around the world, exclusive content, and features such as backstage and front row viewing angles.

A wide range of venues will be optimized for livestreaming including iconic clubs, theaters and amphitheaters located along regular tour stops. Among the first venues set to go live are The Fillmore in San Francisco and Philadelphia, House of Blues in Chicago and New Orleans, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, and amphitheaters such as Shoreline Amphitheater in California and The Gorge in Washington. The Wiltern is already set up and will be debuting a series of 10 streamed shows on Veeps starting May 7th.

Sherri Sosa
In other Live Nation news, Sherri Sosa has been tapped to lead the company’s roster of owned and operated venues across the U.S. under its newly unveiled Venue Nation business. In her role as President of Venue Nation, Sosa will oversee all operations, business development and marketing for the venue management company’s portfolio of 100+ venues in the U.S. Sosa will work closely with Bob Roux, President of Live Nation Concerts and Tom See, COO of Venue Nation, to oversee operations, growth and development of the venue management business, as well as key artist and partner relationships.

Sosa is a seasoned veteran with over 25 years of experience working across entertainment, hospitality and venue operations, spending the last 18 of those years with Caesars Entertainment Corporation. In her roles, she has overseen the growth of brands including the Flamingo, Paris, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Harrah’s New Orleans and others, as well as the cultivation of a new brand identity in the Linq in Las Vegas.


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Poo Bear has finalized a JV with Def Jam Recordings for his Bearthday Music label. A close Justin Bieber collaborator, Poo Bear played a significant role in Bieber’s 2015 Purpose full–length and has also worked with Usher and Dan + Shay, as well as playing a part in the remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito.” With close to 300 major songwriting and production credits across his career, the singer–songwriter–producer has also worked with the likes of Skrillex, Diplo, J Balvin, DJ Khaled, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and others.

Warner Music UK announced last week Brooke Salisbury has been named GM of ADA UK. Salisbury, who joined ADA UK in 2020 as Marketing Director, continues reporting to Howard Corner, Managing Director, ADA UK. Salisbury will assume oversight of day–to–day operations while working alongside Corner across overall strategic direction. Additionally, she will lead the marketing and digital teams to execute creative strategies for Abra Cadabra, Central Cee, KSI and OFB, as well as ADA–distributed partner labels including BMG, Defected, VP and Mascot. Salisbury came to ADA UK from Domino Recording Company, where she held the post of Head of Marketing, guiding campaigns and catalogs for acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Jon Hopkins and others. She also played a key role across initiatives such as the label’s global digital marketing team. Prior to Domino, she spent time with EMI Australia and Cooperative Music before taking up the Label Manager position out of Domino’s Australian office, transitioning to the label’s London office in 2015.

Chugg Music has welcomed its first signing in two years with Melbourne’s Teenage Dads added to the roster for management and to the Chugg Music record label. Composed of four high school friends, Jordan Finlay, Vincent Kinna, Connor McLaughlin and Angus Christie, Teenage Dads began putting out music in 2019 and soon after caught the attention of Lime Cordiale, also on the Chugg Music roster. Lime Cordiale then brought Teenage Dads along as support for their Australian Robbery tour in 2019 and 2020. Teenage Dads are marking the signing with two shows at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney next week.

Spotify revealed last week an expansion to its virtual event listing feature that was unveiled last fall. The growth comes in the form of partnerships with StageIt, Mandolin, NoCap and nugs.net, presenting Spotify users with events taking place across each platform. Alongside concert listings from the four platforms, Spotify will add details on their events in user recommendation emails, push notifications and across the On Tour section of artist profiles within the app. Available to users across Android, iOS or desktop, users can be directed from the Spotify app directly to event listings on the respective platforms for further information and ticket purchasing. For those that have opted–in, notifications will go out to users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, for virtual events 24–48 hours before they take place. At its launch in September, the virtual events listing only took information from Songkick and Ticketmaster.

In other Spotify news, the platform announced its newest offering in the form of the limited release Car Thing, a new smart player to bring audio content on the platform to cars. Currently available to eligible users in the U.S. on an invite–only basis, Car Thing allows users to play their favorite audio more efficiently. Controlling the device can be done in a variety of ways including voice, touch or physical controls. The device itself features a touch screen as well as four preset buttons.

Reservoir Holdings, Inc. (Reservoir) and Roth CH Acquisition Co. II, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company with $115 million in trust, announced today the signing of a definitive agreement for a business combination that will result in Reservoir becoming a public company. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be renamed Reservoir Media, Inc. and is expected to remain listed on the NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol “RSVR.” In connection with the merger announcement, the companies executed definitive agreements with institutional investors, including funds managed by Caledonia, for a common stock PIPE of $150 million at $10 per share. Upon closing of the transaction, Founder & CEO, Golnar Khosrowshahi, will maintain leadership of the combined company. Reservoir will be the first independent music company to go public in the U.S., and also the first female founded and led music company to be publicly traded in the U.S.

Respected producer, musician and industry executive, Rob Cavallo, has set–up Done Deal Management alongside music technology platform Vydia. With Co–Founder, Ben Schechter, Cavallo has brought on pop–country group The Olson Brothers to the company’s roster. Across Cavallo’s career he’s served in executive posts with Warner Music Group, and has produced for artists such as Green Day, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Eric Clapton, the Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Matthews Band, Kid Rock, Jawbreaker, Alanis Morissette, Black Sabbath, Phil Collins, Paramore, Lil Peep, Shinedown, Meat Loaf, and an early version of Maroon 5. His work as a producer has resulted in sales exceeding 160 million records worldwide and has garnered him three Grammy wins. Most recently, he collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the Broadway adaptation of School of Rock. At launch, Cavallo will serve in an A&R/management capacity while offering guidance and label services when needed. Vydia’s platform provides labels with a full suite of services encompassing global distribution, analytics, rights management, payments, revenue reporting and marketing. The platform is a premium partner for DSPs including Spotify, Apple, TikTok, Vevo, YouTube and Facebook.

Smash!Bang!Pow! is setting up for the re–opening in Denmark and has named Xenia Grigat as Sr. Promoter with responsibilities for international artists. Grigat will take on her role at Smash!Bang!Pow! on October 1st. Grigat has vast experience as a promoter in Denmark, having worked for 13 years with DTD Concerts (formerly Beatbox) and most recently at Luger Denmark. She has previously worked with artists such as The National, FKA Twigs, First Aid Kit, Idles, Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Caribou, Sigrid, Moses Sumney, Robyn, Lisa Hannigan, Jungle, King Krule, Jamie xx, Hozier, The Knife and Foals. Additionally, Smash!Bang!Pow! has hired Katrine Kamp as Promoter Coordinator, a role which commenced April 1st. Kamp brings several years of experience with international acts and festivals at DTD Concerts. Smash!Bang!Pow! is under the umbrella of leading European promoter, FKP Scorpio Group.

Cooking Vinyl has announced the formation of a new department to optimize and grow its catalog offering to artists and labels. The company counts long term relationships with artists such as Frank Black, Billy Bragg and The Orb as well as recent successes with new releases by The Prodigy, Passenger and Alison Moyet. The new initiative will see an increased focus on the long–term sales of artists currently signed to the label as well as an aggressive acquisition policy to boost the roster. The new department will be helmed by catalog industry veteran Steve Bunyan. During his time running catalog teams at Union Square Music and BMG, Bunyan worked with artists such as Madness, Slade, Fatboy Slim, The Kinks, Black Sabbath, Supergrass and Kylie Minogue as well as labels World Circuit, Trojan and Strictly Rhythm.

In signing news, Cooking Vinyl Publishing has finalized a deal with writer, producer and multi–instrumentalist Jacob Attwooll for an exclusive worldwide songwriting agreement. The deal covers Attwooll’s catalog of songs since he parted ways with his previous publisher, BMG, including singles with Island RecordsEmily Burns, as well as his future works. London–based, Attwooll has landed songs on multiple No.1 albums over the past five years, collaborating with the likes of Dua Lipa, Raye, ZieZie, Aitch, Tre–Jean Marie, Plested, TMS, Lostboy, Romans, MNEK, Linnea Sodahl and Caroline Ailin, among others. His previous cuts include “You” by Hamzaa, “I Won’t Let You Down” for HRVY, “One More Time” for Craig David and “Praying” for Tom Grennan, while his song “Size” was cut by Fleur East and featured in the national ad campaign for U.K. department store Debenhams. Most recently Attwooll has been heavily involved in YMU–managed artist Emily Burns’ project, including writing a number of singles. Other notable releases of late include with K–pop acts TWICE and Tomorrow X Together as well as U.S. artists NEA and Eben.

Kirill Lupinos, a former A&R Worldwide supported artist (known as Dzham) and more recently the founder of Russian Federation independent label Effective Records tells us that his client Imanbek (real name Imanbek Zeikenov) has signed with ICM Partners agents Simon Clarkson and Paul Gongaware for N. America, as well as with Paul McQueen at Primary Talent for the rest of the world. Imanbek won a Grammy this year for the best remixed recording of his viral remix of SAINt JHN’s single “Roses,” which spent 23 weeks at No.1 on the dance and electronic charts. The 20–year old Imanbek is a producer from Kazakhstan’s northern region of Pavlodar who has also collaborated with the likes of Marshmello (via the Usher collaboration, “Too Much”), as well as with David Guetta on Bang, the collaborative EP with Rita Ora.

Beatport has rolled–out a month–long residency curated by world renowned Palestinian DJ and producer Sama’ Abdulhadi to spotlight the burgeoning dance music scene in the Middle East. The series kicked off today with a livestream featuring artists from The Union, the Palestinian collective Sama’ co–founded. All sets will be streamed via Beatport’s Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. The residency was originally scheduled for earlier this year but was postponed when Sama’ was detained while filming one of the performances in Jericho at a public venue that also contains a mosque. Sama’ was jailed for eight days despite receiving official written permission to film at the location, which had previously hosted concerts and events. Over the course of the month, Sama’ will showcase a lineup of talent that has shaped dance music in the Middle East. The guests are either part of the current Union or friends of the collective. The Union is a safe space for everyone who can identify themselves with the scene, including musicians, producers, DJ’s, visual artists, dancers and for those who would like to contribute.

TrillerNet, owner of the global short–video app Triller, announced last week it has reached an agreement to acquire customer engagement platform Amplify.ai. TrillerNet will tap into Amplify.ai’s AI–powered customer engagement technology to launch new business verticals bringing together technology, entertainment and brands. Amplify.ai is currently integrated with the Triller platform, which provides Triller users, influencers and brand partners an array of powerful AI–based tools and analytics to enhance, track and monetize their content. Via the acquisition, TrillerNet is now able to offer brands and advertisers a unique, fully comprehensive branded content experience, starting with influencer–created short–form content from the app which is pushed through the wider internet, while using Amplify’s AI tools to properly match the content to consumer, and ultimately program and distribute long–form branded content. With the new integration, brands will have access to more comprehensive dashboards while creators and influencers will also have access to these enhanced analytic tools to better understand where and how to maximize the value of their content. At the same time, the company has named Amplify.ai Co–Founder & CEO, and current TrillerNet non–executive board Chairman, Mahi de Silva, as the new CEO of TrillerNet. Mike Lu, current TrillerNet CEO, will transition to President of TrillerNet and TrillerNet Co–Owner, Bobby Sarnevesht, will maintain his role as Executive Chairman of TrillerNet.

A deal has been finalized between South by Southwest (SXSW) and P–MRC, a JV between Penske Media Corporation and MRC, to see P–MRC becoming a long–term partner and stakeholder in the festival. The announcement was made yesterday (April 18th) via a joint release from the companies. P–MRC’s portfolio counts brands such as Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Variety and Vibe. The release stated that P–MRC will deliver “media expertise and new avenues for discovery” to Austin, Texas–based SXSW while also seeking to expand the SXSW brand with additional events and business models. It is reported that P–MRC will assume a 50% stake in the business.

Hi–Res streaming platform, Qobuz, has revealed it will be opening in six new countries with launches in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Qobuz was available in 12 countries with the total now reaching 18. Launched in France, Qobuz has been available in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the U.S. since 2019.

The David Gresham Record Company has announced they will be releasing and publishing South African group Young Mbazo worldwide starting with single “Alloheim,” followed by second single “Will Love You (My Thanana).” Young Mbazo is composed of a third–generation version of Amambazo whose mission and music are still the same as their legendary fathers and grandfathers from Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Formed in 2009 by Babuyile Shabalala, the son of Ladysmith Black Mambazo member Msizi Shabalala, Babuyile approached his cousin about starting a contemporary version of indigenous acapella music. The Young Mbazo combines traditional Isicathamiya with hip–hop, R&B, jazz and soul influences. The group have already won the KwaZulu Natal Young Achievers award for Best Traditional Music Group and are hoping to follow in the footsteps of their Grammy–winning family. Young Mbazo are currently in the studio working on their debut album, while continuing to perform in KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.

The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Latin Recording Academy, has named Tanya Ramos–Puig President of the organization. Over the past two decades, Ramos–Puig has led a career focused on improving educational opportunities and life outcomes for youth in the most under–resourced communities. Having previously held key leadership roles at Pencils of Promise, Education Pioneers and The Children’s Aid Society, she has served as a dedicated advocate for educational equity. In her new role, Ramos–Puig will report to the Board of the Foundation and the CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. Additionally, music industry veteran Manolo Díaz, who led the successful establishment of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation as its Sr. VP, will continue to serve the Foundation as part of its Board of Directors. Under Díaz’s leadership, and with the support of artists including Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Vives, Julio Iglesias and Juanes, the Foundation allocated over $5.7 million in scholarships, assisting over 255 gifted music students worldwide, while donating musical instruments to schools in need and providing generous grants to researchers, anthropologists, musicologists, scholars and institutions to further the research and preservation of Latin music.

Lyte has partnered with Life Is Beautiful to host reservations for single–day tickets to the three–day festival in Las Vegas, scheduled for September 17th – 19th. Life Is Beautiful’s three–day ticket launch on March 12th has resulted in significant demand and the potential of high ticket prices on the secondary market. Lyte’s technology confronts this re–selling issue with its reservations system, instead of queuing in lines and forcing festival goers to compete with other fans, automated ticket–buying bots, and professional scalpers as they try to buy tickets, fans simply reserve the tickets they want with their credit card and their orders are fulfilled, all in partnership with the official ticketer for the event. After postponing in 2020 due to the pandemic, Life Is Beautiful is slated to return to Downtown Las Vegas with a lineup that includes Billie Eilish, Green Day, Tame Impala, Haim, A$AP Rocky and others.

Italian distribution company and record label Artist First has announced a significant investment in renowned live booking agency Colorsound. Colorsound was founded over forty years ago in Milan by Antonio Colombi and represents a roster of high profile Italian artists such as Ornella Vanoni, Le Vibrazioni, Patty Pravo, Roby Facchinetti and Riccardo Fogli. This is Artist First’s first major investment in the live music sector and signals its move to continue building a full service offering for both its domestic and international clients. It follows the recent purchase of digital agency Officine Orange and the launch of its own studio complex. Founded by Claudio Ferrante in 2009 Artist First has 50 employees in Milan and also counts offices in London, overseen by industry veteran, Charlie Rapino. The company works with artists such as Italian stars Andrea Boccelli and Gazzelle, alongside a number of successful international acts. Artist First also distributes a wide range of labels including Carosello, one of the largest independents in Italy. The parent company of Artist First, A1 Entertainment Spa, has a significant shareholding in 432 Srl, the management company that represents Italian artists Le Vibrazioni, Francesco Gabbani and Tricarico, among others.

Senbla, one of the U.K.’s leading promoter and producing firms, backed by Sony Music, announced today the strategic majority acquisition of live music and production business GEA Live. Based in Amsterdam, GEA Live has been developing and producing shows worldwide since 2003, most notably the late Ennio Morricone live concert business for the final six years of his career, which included more than 100 arena concerts in Europe to 800,000 fans, with a combined box office take of over 80 million euros. The core of GEA Live’s business is the development and exploitation of IP in a live setting including official legacy tours such as Elvis Live on Screen, or career highlights productions with composers like James Newton Howard and Giorgio Moroder, as well as in–concert productions of well–known television and film franchises. The new alliance will see Senbla collaborate with GEA Live on a range of endeavors including the Live in Concert version of Netflix’s hit series Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, a space project with the European Space Agency with never–before–seen footage and music by film composer Ilan Eshkeri, as well as an all new arena spectacular curated by the late legendary film composer Ennio Morricone.

Soundstripe is joining forces with Medal, the leading platform on desktop and mobile for recording and viewing gaming clips and videos, to provide its creators with fast, easy access to fully licensed music to soundtrack their video game recordings. The partnership continues Soundstripe’s expansion into video game content, following the launch of its Twitch music extension in 2020. Now, Medal users will have access to a curated catalog of music from Soundstripe, with a diverse selection of high–quality tracks in popular gaming genres such as hip-hop, EDM and chill. With Medal, users start a game, click a button, and then receive a link to their recorded content that they can edit and post to Medal, or export to their social media or video sharing website of choice. Through the app and website, users can post clips, save their favorites, interact with other creators, and discover and share new music from clips, now including royalty–free tracks from Soundstripe.

ConvertKit has acquired FanBridge, a leading email marketing platform serving musicians since 2006. The combined platform will help musicians and other creators grow their audience while building a direct relationship with those fans through email and selling digital products and services. ConvertKit has a long history serving customers in the music industry such as multi–Platinum recording artist, Tim McGraw. The team also amplifies the voices of new and established artists through a well–known YouTube series titled Creator Sessions. FanBridge will add thousands of musicians to the ConvertKit customer base. The combined team will pursue new opportunities to partner with leading music agencies and managers like 7S Management and Primary Wave as a result. Alongside the FanBridge acquisition, ConvertKit’s investment in supporting musicians in 2021 includes commitments to develop new features including integrations with Spotify and BandsInTown, digital tip jars, and others.

PIXELYNX is a new gaming venture centered around the growing “direct–to–avatar” ecosystem created by regarded musicians and technologists Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5), Richie Hawtin (Plastikman), and music industry executives Ben Turner, Dean Wilson and Inder Phull. The company, based in London and Los Angeles, is focused on creating a bridge between digital collectibles, gaming and virtual worlds. In development for over six months, PIXELYNX will work with clients to digitize their brands into collectible goods for use in gaming and virtual worlds and is already creating a portfolio of virtual worlds for a range of clients. Describing the company’s long–term function as the “portal into the metaverse,” its founders will use their experience and networks to help drive the shift into a more autonomous and decentralized entertainment world.

CCS Rights Management, a leading global independent music publishing, rights administration, and creative services company, recently announced the launch of a new neighbouring rights division and the conclusion of exclusive, worldwide deals with emerging talent Tate McRae, children’s entertainment leader Spin Master Ltd., and Montreal–based record label, Higher Reign Music Group. The agreement with Spin Master significantly expands the companies’ existing relationship which, over the last eight years, has seen CCS as Spin Master’s publishing administration company. CCS Neighbouring Rights is led by respected industry veteran, Lee–Anne Wielonda, CCS Manager of Neighbouring Rights, who previously established and managed the neighbouring rights department of Canadian rights management organization, ACTRA RACS for two decades. Wielonda joined CCS in 2019 and has since secured 40 new signings. The company has direct affiliations with neighbouring rights management organizations in 30 territories.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Tyler Polzin, Sunil D’Sa, Benjamin Weeden, Ron Fair, Marnie Dunstan, Neil Jacobson, Debra Herman, Shabz Naqvi, Melissa Thomas, Terry McBride, Daniel Schmidt, Jody Gerson, Laura Segura, Jenn Tolman–Hurst and Ron Perry.


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. Most people love to watch some form of skating or participate in it; however, very few of us enjoy car skating on black ice! Click HERE to see an incredible collection of bumper cars on ice melded with a few spine–tingling near misses.


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– DEAD POET SOCIETY



Dead Poet Society – not to be confused with the 1989 film Dead Poets Society, is a four–piece rock band that originally formed in 2013 as students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. With a lineup that includes Jack Underkofler (vocals/guitar), Jack Collins (guitar), Will Goodroad (drums) and Dylan Brenner (bass), the quartet have a range of musical influences that include Coldplay, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, St. Vincent and Tyler, the Creator. Listening to the band, not all of those influences are detectable on their largely self–produced debut album -/-, which was released last month on Spinefarm Records. The album also features a handful of tracks co–helmed by studio veteran Alex Newport, best known for his work with Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, Bloc Party and Frank Turner. According to Collins, the goal for the band is to make someone feel something they haven’t felt before. Experience their current single “.CoDA.” HERE, which is earning airplay on a number of stations, including Matt Pinfield’s “New & Approved” on KLOS Los Angeles, KEGL Dallas, WRIF Detroit, KUPD Phoenix, KIOZ San Diego, WXTB Tampa, WJRR Orlando and more, and is going to be featured on an upcoming live session for Daniel P. Carter’s BBC Radio 1 Rock Show. Dead Poet Society is also scheduled to perform at some major European festivals late summer and a national U.S. tour in the fall with full details to be announced. Contact Jeremy Hammond at jeremy@westernfrontmusic.com, as Dead Poet Society is available for synch and brand opportunities.


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

From the remote area of the Faroe Islands comes one of 2021’s most promising artists, Reiley. Just two short years ago, Reiley uploaded his first TikTok which exploded to the tune of 10 million views. With the help of A&R Worldwide, Reiley’s music and management were introduced to Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, Atlantic Records who signed Reiley to a worldwide record deal. His videos have captivated a massive audience comprising over 11 million followers and generating an excess of 100 million likes in just one year. The young talent has a goal of being an artist that pushes boundaries and defines what it is to be a pop male artist in 2021, creating a 360–degree experience. Outsized personality, sky scraping vocals, and towering presence drive his debut single “Let It Ring.” The track was written and produced by Lostboy (Zedd, Bebe Rhexa), Lauren Aquilina (Rina Sawayama, Olivia O’Brien) and JHart (Jennifer Lopez, Camilla Cabello), and features the first–ever licensed sample of the instantly recognizable official iPhone ringtone. The bold new visual for “Let It Ring” was self–directed by Reiley and Nicholas Lam (Monster X, Nick Jonas) and can be seen HERE. For press information on Reiley, contact Ted Sullivan at Ted.Sullivan@atlanticrecords.com and for other inquiries, contact David Grant at David.Grant@atlanticrecords.com.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 4/18/2021



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, April 18th, 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:

BOY DESTROY – “Favourite” (Budfox, Sweden)
THE PALE WHITE – “That Dress” (Unsigned, UK)
PAPER IDOL – “Tightrope” (Unsigned, N. America)
LOTTERY WINNERS feat. FRANK TURNER – “Start Again” (Modern Sky, UK)
DANNY BALDURSSON – “Tears” (Unsigned, Faroe Islands)
SUNHILL – “Sunday” (Black Valley Records, Sweden)
ALLDAY – “After All This Time” (Teamtrick, Australia)
FINN ASKEW – “Peach” (Unsigned, UK)
THE HARA – “Black Soul Ceremony” (Unsigned, UK)
YOSHI FLOWER – “Boys Don’t Cry” (Interscope, N. America)
BALTHAZAR – “On A Roll” (Munich Records, Belgium)
DED RABBIT – “Gotta Get Outta This Place” (Unsigned, Scotland)
MY LIFE AS ALI THOMAS – “My Red Golden Sun’” (Warner Music, Thailand)
INHALER – “When It Breaks’” (Polydor, UK)
STEREOTIDE – “All Together” (Unsigned, Germany)
LOVEBREAKERS – “Family Man” (Little Rocket / Sabbath City, UK)
EUT – “What Gives You The Kicks” (Unsigned, Denmark)
PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION – “The Back Seat’” (Unsigned, UK)
SLIDE – “Floating” (Slip N Slide Mix) (Unsigned, Sweden)
THE VICES – “Looking For Faces” (Mattan Records, Holland)
JEREMY LOOPS – “By The Way” (Universal, South Africa)
THE RUBENS – “Masterpiece” (Ivy League Records/Ditto/Humming, Australia)
THE CLOCKWORKS – “Enough Is Never Enough’” (Creation 23, UK)
CADMIUM – “Juvenile Mind” (Unsigned, N. America)
COACH PARTY – “Everybody Hates Me” (Chess Club, UK)
IAMJJ – “Your Parents House’” (Mermaid Records, Denmark)
THE TERRYS – “Our Paradise” (Unsigned, Australia)
7 DAYS IN ALASKA – “Hurts ike Bullets” (Sony Music, Norway)
LINN KOCH–EMMERY – “Hologram Love” (Welfare Sounds, Sweden)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Life In Three Part Harmony” (Wiretrap Records, Australia)
SAM JOHNSON – “Shoulder To Cry On” (Universal, UK)
TIM SCHOU – “Comeback” (Iceberg Recods, Denmark)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Cadmium, Sunhill, 7 Days In Alaska, The Terrys and Danny Baldursson)