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MIA RODRIGUEZ INKS WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH WMG’S ATLANTIC RECORDS



Burgeoning global Australian singer and pop cultural influencer Mia Rodriguez has signed a worldwide record deal with Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records in association with City Pop which is an imprint of her management company Chugg Music based in Sydney. The deal was finalized earlier this year and formally announced a few days ago. The agreement will see Mia’s future releases come through City Pop/Atlantic Records for the world, ex–Australia, where she will continue to release music via City Pop.

Mia Rodriguez
Mia stated, “So excited to announce that I’m now officially signed to Atlantic Records. They have so many amazing artists that I’ve looked up to my whole life, and I’m so excited to be a part of the family. The next few years in my life are gonna be insane, I just know it!”

Mia Rodriguez received her first international support outside of Australia through A&R Worldwide who helped introduce her music and her management to key global label heads and A&R executives in the U.S. and around the world, as well as helping Mia secure her first multi–media support outside of Australia. A&R Worldwide received Mia’s music from Michael Chugg, Founder, Chugg Music when she recorded her first single.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide helped advise Mia’s management on potential label partners including sending her music to Aton Ben–Horin, Global Vice President, A&R, Warner Music Group worldwide. Aton said, “I learned about Mia from my dear friend Sat [Bisla] at A&R Worldwide, who always keeps me up to date with any new talent that he is excited about. Early last year, he sent me one of Mia’s videos and I immediately fell in love with her special vocal tone, captivating star presence and edge.”

Sat Bisla said, “I’m delighted that Mia has found the perfect home for her music with amazing partners that include Aton Ben–Horin; Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, Atlantic Records; Julie Greenwald, Chairwoman & COO, Atlantic Records and my longtime friend Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records who along with his A&R team have signed many artists we’ve discovered and developed over the past 23 years. I’d also like to thank Monte Malone, Sr. VP, A&R Worldwide and Joe Arnold, VP, A&R Worldwide for their early belief and support with Mia.”

To coincide with her release, Mia has released an acoustic version of her breakthrough single “Psycho,” which was originally released last year. The single garnered Mia a Triple J Unearthed “Artist of the Year” nomination. Mia’s first release via City Pop was “Emotion,” which was released back in 2019 and helped the 18–year–old garner over two million followers on TikTok and over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Mia Rodriguez signing adds to the plethora of A&R Worldwide success stories it has helped support or secure via label, publishing and/or synch deals for Australian artists, which includes The Temper Trap, Sia, Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, Sheppard, Rob Dougan (Clubbed To Death), Vassy, Motor Ace, San Cisco, Lime Cordiale, Gotye, Missy Higgins, All Mankind, Airbourne, Birds of Tokyo, Hungry Kids of Hungary, The Boat People, The Cat Empire and Howling Bells, to name but a few.


RED BULL RECORDS ADDS NEW ENERGY TO ITS EXECUTIVE TEAM
& APPOINTS NEW CHIEF MARKETING AND CREATIVE OFFICERS



Red Bull Records has appointed two new members to its leadership team. Nikki Cox will serve as the label’s Chief Marketing Officer, leading the organization’s efforts across marketing, digital, publicity and streaming. With two decades of experience in music and entertainment, Cox formerly served as Vice President of both Global Commercial Marketing and International Marketing at Capitol Records. She also served as Head of Promotions & Publicity at EMI Music Australia before relocating to Los Angeles in 2014.

Nikki Cox & Storme Whitby–Grubb
Storme Whitby–Grubb will serve as Chief Creative Officer, overseeing all creative activations, content and special projects. With a career spanning twenty years in artist management and creative production, Whitby–Grubb has developed creative campaigns and concepts for clients, including Interscope Records, Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, and various artists. An alum of The British Council’s Creative Entrepreneur program, Whitby–Grubb previously was the Founder and Managing Director of a London/Los Angeles–based live production company, management company, and most recently, Los Angeles–based creative agency Imagu Creative.

Cox and Whitby–Grubb join Red Bull Records’ leadership team and will oversee the Marketing and Creative departments, respectively, reporting to Managing Director Greg Hammer. Rounding out the leadership team are Kenny “Tick” Salcido, Senior Vice President / Head of A&R; Kamruz Mohager, Controller, Finance and Peter Torres, Vice President, Operations.

“We’re excited to bring Nikki and Storme’s depth of experience to our team at Red Bull Records. These are two incredible executives who bring a wealth of knowledge and a wide array of skills to their respective roles and will help to develop and guide the careers of our diverse roster,” says Hammer. “With Nikki and Storme joining our leadership team alongside Kenny ‘Tick’ Salcido, Kamruz Mohager, Peter Torres, and myself, we will be able to offer cutting–edge artists more tools and resources than ever before.”

This year also sees the label expanding its growing and diverse roster. With a number of new signings and activations to be announced, this year sees the release of several new projects from rising hip–hop artist Blxst, Gold–certified rock band Beartooth, alt–pop quartet The Aces, indie singer–songwriters Gavin Haley and sad alex, rapper pineappleCITI, and others.


WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC SIGNS GLOBAL DEAL
WITH ANDERSON .PAAK & FINALIZES DEAL WITH ONENOTE RECORDS



Warner Chappell Music, in partnership with Dr. Dre’s Hard Workin’ Black Folks, has finalized a worldwide administration agreement with four–time Grammy–winning songwriter, rapper, singer, producer, director and multi–instrumentalist Anderson .Paak. His latest project brings .Paak together with fellow Warner Chappell songwriter and superstar Bruno Mars in the new duo, Silk Sonic. Their debut single, “Leave The Door Open” recently hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 and has garnered over 350 million global streams, peaking at No.1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs and R&B Streaming Songs charts.

Anderson .Paak
Warner Chappell Music Co–Chair and CEO, Guy Moot, and Co–Chair and COO, Carianne Marshall, said, “Anderson .Paak is a true music man who’s bringing back funk and soul with style and originality, earning him a massive global following. He’s been wildly successful as a songwriter, producer, and performer, and his incredible versatility has landed him collaborations with a diverse range of top artists as well as a raft of awards for his solo work. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the Warner Chappell family and proud to represent him and his phenomenal repertoire of songs.”

Warner Chappell Music President of A&R, U.S., Ryan Press, noted, “Anderson .Paak is already at the top of his game, and yet he continues to reach higher and higher. He effortlessly brings an optimistic and feel–good vibe to every song he releases, and his latest hit with Bruno Mars is well on its way to becoming one of the top songs of the summer. He truly exemplifies everything a great songwriter can be, and it’s an absolute honor to get to be a part of his journey.”

.Paak has also built up a list of collaborations with the likes of Mac Miller, J. Cole, Snoop Dogg and Chance the Rapper, making his SNL debut with Kendrick Lamar in 2018. 2018 saw the release of his hit single “Bubblin” which won him his first Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 2019. Two more Grammy wins followed in 2020 with Best R&B Album for Ventura and Best R&B Performance for his song “Come Home (featuring Andre 3000).“

In October 2020, .Paak was named as Vans’ first ever Global Music Ambassador. The partnership includes exclusive footwear and accessory collections inspired by .Paak’s Southern California roots that came out in November and December respectively, along with the release of his song “JEWELZ,” co–produced by Timbaland and featuring glimpses of his Vans collection throughout its accompanying music video. .Paak also served as one of the global judges for the brand’s Vans Musician Wanted competition.

Warner Chappell Music also announced a sub–publishing agreement with Sri Lankan publisher and record label, OneNote Records. The deal sees Warner Chappell Music Malaysia assuming oversight of all publishing for OneNote’s roster, marking the first time a Sri Lankan music company has partnered with any Warner Music Group division. Having launched in 2017, OneNote Records rolled out as a division of Ceylon Records Music and focuses on blues, country, jazz, rock and film scores. Becoming fully independent in 2018, the company is home to major Sri Lankan songwriters such as Ravindu Panagoda, Suvindu Atapattu and Rashmidu Bandara.


TUNECORE EXPANDS FOOTPRINT INTO SOUTHEAST ASIA


TuneCore has officially launched operations across Southeast Asia (SEA). TuneCore is owned by Paris–based Believe which currently operates in 50+ countries. Collectively, the two companies distribute a significant share of the world’s digital music. Earlier this year, TuneCore launched operations in LATAM and Africa, bringing its total presence to 14 countries in 4 continents, marking the company as the independent DIY distributor with the largest global footprint.

TuneCore distributes music to a network of over 150 digital stores and streaming services worldwide. The company also counts 14 localized and fully translated websites, including Southeast Asian languages Thai and Bahasa (Indonesia). The Vietnamese and Mandarin (simplified and traditional) versions of the website are expected to be added later this year, bringing the total to 16 languages for 2021.

TuneCore’s operations in Southeast Asia will be led by Cyrus Chen, who joined the company in late 2020. Prior to TuneCore, Cyrus worked with organizations such as Changi Travel Services and eatigo International, where he was responsible for conceptualising and executing strategic plans that reinforced brand image and helped companies develop integrated business strategies to scale across regions.

Said Faryal Khan–Thompson, VP, International, TuneCore to whom Cyrus will report, “In the Southeast Asia market, the music industry is growing at a steady pace, with the number of potential music listeners in Asia exceeding 3.5 billion. With Cyrus at the helm, TuneCore is uniquely positioned to help independent artists in Southeast Asia grow their fan base through the company’s game changing education, best in class tools and wide–ranging global reach, all while allowing artists to keep all rights to their music and earn 100% of their revenues.”

Commenting on TuneCore’s expansion, Cyrus said, “I am honored to join TuneCore and work with Faryal and the larger team to introduce the company’s services to Southeast Asia. We are an emerging music market with vast potential and a diverse population of varying cultures and languages. TuneCore’s parent company Believe entered the market in 2013 and has since developed a deep understanding of each country’s local music scene.”

Sylvain Delange, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Believe commented, “TuneCore’s deep commitment to champion independent artists from all four corners of the world is in line with our vision [at Believe] to propel artists’ growth. There is an opportunity for TuneCore & Believe to further contribute to the growth of the thriving Southeast Asia independent artists community and help them take advantage of the exponential growth to come in the digital space while still allowing musicians to continue to maintain control and ownership of their work.”


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



John Dexter, President, International A&R, Reliant Music, Canada tells A&R Worldwide that the company is expanding its operations into Europe. Reliant has hired Angelique Pattikawa–Thenu as its new Vice President A&R, Reliant Music Europe. Angelique will be based out of the company’s new office in Amsterdam and will represent, run and develop Reliant Music Europe’s business and creative efforts. Prior to joining Reliant Music Europe, Angelique spent 13 years as label manager at Spinnin’ Records and prior to that was a creative executive at peermusic in Holland.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has unveiled the launch of Tuff Gong Collective (TGC). The new set–up is a JV with Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies with an official press release stating the entity will be a “global partnership that encompasses new film and television projects, as well as recorded music from artists signed through the venture.” The new venture is helmed by the daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, Cedella Marley, an award–winning recording artist, producer, author and fashion designer. In addition to her role as CEO for the Bob Marley Group Of Companies, Cedella serves as Director of the Bob Marley Foundation and oversees Marley Holdings. Via Polygram Entertainment, TGC will also be a part of new film and television projects with UMG. Among the current projects revealed are a feature animation project with Walt Disney Co., being written by Kenya Barris. Cedella Marley and UMG’s Head of Film and Television Development and Production, David Blackman, are set to produce the film alongside E. Brian Dobbins (Principato–Young Entertainment).

In Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) news, Grammy–nominated producer/songwriter/artist Tommy Brown has been signed to an exclusive, global publishing deal. The co–creator of numerous chart–toppers, Brown worked with Ariana Grande on all six of her studio albums including executive producing the most recent album Positions which went to No.1 and features Billboard 100 No.1 song “Positions” and hit “34+35” which peaked at No.2. Brown also co–produced global hits “Holy” by Justin Bieber feat. Chance the Rapper, “Ice Cream” by BLACKPINK feat. Selena Gomez, “thank u, next,” “7 rings” and “Boyfriend” by Ariana Grande, “Make Believe” by Juice WLRD, “Candy” by Machine Gun Kelly feat. Trippie Redd, “Dinero” by Jennifer Lopez feat. DJ Khaled & Cardi B, “Rich” by Megan Thee Stallion, and produced several songs on Meghan Trainor’s second album Thank You, among other credits.

Gaming platform Esports Player League (ESPL) has added Warner Music Asia as an exclusive music partner marking the most recent in a round of collaborations bridging the gap between music and gaming. The new arrangement will allow ESPL to embed Warner Music songs into its platform, reaching over 600 million users worldwide. Based in Singapore, ESPL’s most significant markets are India, South East Asia and Latin America. The current focus for gamers is across AAA mobile games, Brawl Stars, Call Of Duty: Mobile, Free Fire, Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile with new titles expected for release later in the year.

Which global visual media conglomerate is about to go on a massive expansion with its music supervision and licensing needs? A&R Worldwide has learned that there will be a significant sea change as it pertains to the way music is created, licensed and music supervised in some of the world’s top emerging markets. Stay tuned!

Last week, Sony Music Publishing (SMP) unveiled the promotion of Ian Holder to Sr. VP, Creative. Based at the company’s New York office, Ian will continue to contribute to the company’s A&R initiatives throughout the U.S. and will help lead its growing presence in Atlanta, Georgia. He’ll also continue discovering and attracting new talent, as well as advancing new opportunities for SMP’s songwriters. During his time at the company, Holder has signed and developed prominent songwriters including Moneybagg Yo, Lil Tjay, Lil Durk, Felisha King, Bordeaux and Non Native, AXL Beats, Buddah Bless and LilJuMadeDaBeat. Over the last year, Ian also signed Jack Harlow, the breakthrough artist known for his hit “WHATS POPPIN,” and continues to work closely with him on upcoming projects. Prior to joining Sony Music Publishing in 2017, Holder spent ten years at BMI, where he was Director of Writer & Publisher Relations. During his time at BMI, he signed celebrated artists including Post Malone, Frank Ocean, Rae Sremmurd, Kiiara, MadeinTYO, Pusha–T, Sage The Gemini, Tyga and The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (Rick Ross, Drake, Nas, 2 Chainz). Before his time at BMI, Ian worked in A&R at Columbia Records.

Last week, Apple unveiled Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, a global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators alongside free shows on Apple Podcasts. Commencing next month, listeners in over 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions that include a number of perks curated by creators, including ad–free listening, access to additional content and early or exclusive access to new series. Also, next month, listeners will be able to discover channels, groups of shows curated by creators with unique titles, descriptions, and artwork. Listeners will be able to browse free channels as well as paid channels and channels that provide additional benefits for subscribers. Using iOS 14.5, listeners can access a redesigned Apple Podcasts app featuring an enhanced Search tab that provides quick access to Top Charts and categories as well as a number of other features. Starting today, all creators can access an updated Apple Podcasts Connect dashboard, which has new features that make it easier to manage shows on Apple Podcasts, including the ability to edit metadata, schedule and manage show availability, organize shows into channels, manage multiple users and roles, and learn how listeners are engaging with their shows through new performance metrics and visualization tools. From Apple Podcasts Connect, creators can enroll in the new Apple Podcasters Program, providing access to the tools needed to build and distribute premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts.

Following a year–long negotiation, Casey Wasserman has finalized the acquisition of Paradigm Talent Agency’s N. American live music representation operations and has unveiled Wasserman Music, building on Paradigm’s music division. Wasserman Music will be led by industry veterans Marty Diamond, Jonathan Levine, Jackie Nalpant, Sam Hunt, Corrie Martin, Lee Anderson and Matt Rodriguez. Additionally, Tom Windish, Joe Rosenberg and Lori Feldman will support the business development, operational and marketing initiatives, as well as working across branded entertainment. Paradigm maintains representation of talent and literary clients while actively connecting with strategic partners for its Talent and Literary division.

The music publishing catalog of Patrick Leonard, a Grammy–nominated songwriter, producer, and longtime Madonna collaborator, has become the latest acquisition for Primary Wave Music. Under the deal, Primary acquired Leonard’s rights in his music publishing and recorded music catalogs, as well as his master royalties as a producer. Encompassed in the multi–million–dollar deal are Leonard’s share of a number of hits from the legendary Leonard Cohen as well as Leonard’s share of songwriter royalties from his work with Madonna including hits such as “La Isla Bonita,” “Frozen,” and “Like A Prayer.” Leonard is also an accomplished producer working with a number of award–winning singers throughout his career including Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac and others. The deal will also see Primary Wave enter into go–forward deals with Leonard to administer his publishing as well as distribute his masters on all future projects.

As part of their 15th anniversary year–long celebration, Primary Wave Music has announced the launch of “Primary Writers.” In this new series, some of the most talented songwriters, producers, and artists in the industry will give viewers an inside peek at what it’s like to be a musician. Featured artists include Holly Knight, Georgia Ku, Keeley Bumford (Dresage), Emily Phillips, Jo Blaq and more who will share stories from their careers, the songwriting process, give advice and answer some frequently asked questions. The bi–weekly series will air across all of Primary Wave’s social media channels throughout the year, and each new video will be added to the “Primary Writers” series YouTube playlist on Primary Wave’s YouTube channel.

WME Legends Group has finalized a management deal with the Estate of the Notorious B.I.G. The deal sees the firm partnering with the iconic rapper’s mother, Ms. Voletta Wallace. The management deal comes after last month’s unveiling of WME Legends, a management firm focusing on estate and brand management. Before his untimely death in a 1997 drive–by shooting at 24–years–old, Biggie Smalls recorded two albums, Ready to Die (1994) and Life After Death (1997), as well as the 1995 collaborative full–length, Conspiracy, with Junior M.A.F.I.A. Posthumous releases include Born Again in 1999 and 2005’s Duets: The Final Chapter. In 2017, Faith Evans released a collaborative album, The King & I, featuring Biggie. He received four Grammy nominations as well as winning Rap Artist of the Year at the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, Best Rap Video for “Hypnotize” at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2020. Biggie: I Got a Story To Tell is the most recent film focusing on the life of the rapper, released on Netflix last month, and is executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs and Voletta Wallace, with co–producer credits for Wayne Barrow, Biggie’s former manager.

In other WME news, the agency has tapped veteran partnerships executive Dana Jeter as a music agent. Having previously served as Sr. Manager of Talent and Development for ViacomCBSMTV Entertainment Group and BET Digital platforms, Jeter’s role at WME will see her focusing across the hip–hop and R&B space for the agency. Before joining ViacomCBS, Jeter was Sr. Producer, Brand Partnerships at Complex Networks. Her career began in the publicity and radio promotions departments at Def Jam, Interscope, JIVE and RCA Records. In 2013, Jeter supported the launch of Revolt TV’s talent relations division, booking talent for Revolt events.

Influence Media Partners has revealed investment in a collection of select copyrights from the catalog of Ali Tamposi, the Grammy–nominated, multi–Platinum songwriter whose works have been performed by the likes of Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, BTS, Cardi B and others. According to an official press release, Influence Media will “manage the copyrights, drawing on its leadership team’s vast experience on all sides of the recorded music monetization spectrum.” The partnership with Tamposi marks the first acquisition for the female–centric fund, co–founded with Municipal Employment Retirement System, which maintains an initial value of up to $100 million in investable capital. The financial terms for the Tamposi deal were not revealed.

Prominent Indian songwriter, artist and social media influencer Ananya Birla is currently in Nashville, TN writing and recording with renowned U.S. A&R executive, producer, engineer and songwriter Ron Fair (Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Pussycat Dolls, Vanessa Carlton) and songwriter Jenna Andrews (BTS, Drake, Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez, Benee). Ananya Birla is managed by former Maverick Management President Greg Thompson who earlier this year joined Big Loud Management as its President & Partner. Thompson was recommended as a key manager candidate and introduced to Ananya Birla by A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla at one the company’s pre–Grammy dinner events last year in Beverly Hills, CA.

One of the world’s most rapidly growing music, technology, licensing, distribution and companies is on the hunt for a senior global leadership position. A&R Worldwide has learned that a handful of candidates are being considered for this highly influential and lucrative role.

Widely–respected radio host, Annie Mac, has revealed she is parting ways with BBC Radio 1 following 17 years with the broadcaster. Mac, whose last show will air July 30th, first joined Radio 1 in 2002 as a production assistant on Zane Lowe’s show. She assumed duties for her own show two years later before taking over the Friday night slot where she’s remained since. Her tenure at the station saw her strongly supporting dance music, getting behind established acts and helping break emerging talent. Mac revealed in a statement that she will rejoin the radio broadcasting arena “when the time is right.” Her debut novel, Mother Mother, will be released on May 27th. Mac also hosts the podcast Changes. Taking over for Mac’s programming duties will be Radio 1 hosts Clara Amfo, Jaguar and Danny Howard. Also announced last week by Radio 1 was the exit of Diplo’s long–running Diplo and Friends show on the station.

Relentless Records has launched a new sub–label focusing on dance music under the banner of 21NHG. The new label, whose name nods to the address of West London’s Notting Hill Arts Club, will sign and develop talent from across the dance and electronic genres. Marking the label’s first release is the track “Deeper” feat. Darla Janehouse from duo Leftwing : Kody, now available across all DSPs. Among new signings to the label are DJ/Producer Ejeca and UKG DJ/producer, Higgo.

Deezer has finalized a strategic partnership with Globoplay, the biggest Brazilian video streaming platform. The deal sees all Globoplay’s users offered the option to subscribe to Deezer Premium for free for one year, providing unlimited access to all of Deezer’s Premium features. The move marks the first phase of a larger strategic partnership that will encompass marketing, content and technology. The partnership’s next steps will deliver Brazilian viewers a collection of new exclusive original content offerings. The two companies are also looking at ways to further integrate video and audio entertainment. Just this year, Globoplay built upon its business, launching a hub for online audio content, such as podcasts. The new partnership also brings commercial opportunities to Deezer through Globo, who has been named as a strategic partner of The Voice Brasil for 2021.

Kilimanjaro Live has tapped promoter Joff Hall to join the firm. Hall takes on the new role after four years at TEG MJR (formerly The MJR Group) where he programmed numerous shows across TEG MJR’s venue portfolio, as well as promoted full tours for acts such as Culture Club, Dream Theater, Blue Oyster Cult, Joan Collins, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Static X, Madeleine Peyroux, Daniel O’Donnell and others. Prior to MJR, Hall was at VMS Live, programming in–house for clients that at the time included Manchester Academy, Liverpool Olympia and Norwich UEA, working with artists including Gary Numan, The Flaming Lips, Garbage, The Fratellis and Soul II Soul. Hall also programmed a large portion of the company’s outdoor projects, working with The Human League, Will Young, Texas, Kaiser Chiefs and Primal Scream.

One of continental Europe’s leading music publishers are on the cusp of acquiring one of the U.K.’s most lucrative independent music publishing catalogs which contain some “under the radar” mega–hits. The deal was initiated with the support of A&R Worldwide and is on the cusp of being finalized in the coming days.

UTA has added rapper Lil Wayne to its roster for representation across all areas. Lil Wayne is currently at work on his next full–length, I Am Not A Human Being III, set for release later in the year. The artist will remain with his label Young Money Entertainment/Republic Records. The newest entry in the I Am Not a Human Being series was revealed by Lil Wayne after releasing No Ceilings 3 last year. The first I Am Not A Human Being was released in 2010, with its sequel arriving in 2013.

Fender’s third annual Fender Next class has been unveiled for 2021. The artist development initiative supports 25 acts from around the world who have been leaving a mark with guitars via their music and culture. Chosen artists receive a Fender guitar, amp and more, as well as support in the form of 360–marketing via the Fender multi–channel platform. Included in the Fender Next Class of 2021 are Alex Hall, Alfie Templeman, Ambar Lucid, Arlo Parks, Ayron Jones, Beach Bunny, Blue DeTiger, Cain, Drax Project, Fiokee, Foushee, Gabriel Garzon–Montano, Griff, Hannah Dasher, Hitsuji Bungaku, Holly Humberstone, Lime Cordiale, Noreh, Nova Twins, Remi Wolf, Ritt Momney, Sports Team, Stand Atlantic, Supsended 4th and Tendre.

ATC Live has tapped agent David “Skully” Sullivan–Kaplan who joins from UTA and brings along a roster that includes Larkin Poe, Steel Pulse, Polica, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Holding Absence, Hollie Cook and Lottery Winners. Alongside his almost twenty years of experience booking headline tours and festivals worldwide, he has also finalized a number of brand partnerships for his artists with Chanel, Hermés, Aquascutum, Goose Island and Twitch. Sullivan–Kaplan’s career began at The Agency Group in New York before he relocated to London. He also spent over a decade as the drummer for the band Razorlight.

Singer–songwriter, Kurt Vile, has joined the roster at Verve Records, ending an 11–year, six–album stint at Matador. Vile is reportedly working on an album for the label, set to be released in 2022. Vile started releasing EPs independently in 2003 before putting out his debut album, Constant Hitmaker, in 2008. His third album, 2009’s Childish Prodigy, was his first release with Matador. His most recent release, 2020’s EP Speed, Sound, Lonely KV, featured a collaboration with the late John Prine on “How Lucky.” Other collaborations for Vile include those with War on Drugs and Dinosaur Jr.

Which Los Angeles–based attorney is on the cusp of finalizing a prominent new deal for his A&R executive client, which will see the respective label also start bolstering–up its overall A&R team within the coming months? In addition, at the recommendation of A&R Worldwide, a veteran West Coast–based A&R executive is taking on a new role at one the most influential major record labels in the U.S. Who said there are no new A&R gigs during a pandemic!

Hamburg–based concert and festival promoter, FKP Scorpio, and Berlin–based booking agency, Area One, are joining forces with immediate effect under the banner, FKP AREA ONE. Folkert Koopmans, CEO of FKP Scorpio, is taking over the management of the newly founded agency which will be based in Berlin, together with Joe Rambock and Thorsten Schauf. Marv Thomas, who has long been working with Rambock and Schauf will continue to do so for FKP AREA ONE. The agency Area One has made a name for itself with rock and metal tours and concerts by well–known artists such as Slayer, Volbeat, System Of A Down, In Flames, Queens Of The Stone Age, Bullet For My Valentine, A Day To Remember and Machine Head. Schauf and Rambock’s artist roster also includes leading British pop acts such as Ellie Goulding, Hurts, Belle & Sebastian and Bastille, as well as Germany’s biggest country rock band The BossHoss.

Aden Forte who is one half of the Aussie Grammy–nominated electronic duo Feenixpawl has taken on a new A&R role at Teamwrk Records in Australia. Teamwrk’s current artist roster includes the likes of MLBRN, Liam Ferrari, Yung Gwopp, Moji and Masked Wolf who recently inked a multi–album deal with New York City–based Elektra Records (a division of Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group).

Indie publisher GUESSTIMATE Publishing has brought on Nils Ruzicka as Sr. A&R Manager. Ruzicka, who until recently led the publishing activities at Kontor Records, has also made a name for himself as a songwriter and producer for Zucchero, Michael Patrick Kelly, Tom Jones, Jason Derulo and Mousse T. In addition to his role as an active signing A&R manager, Ruzicka will primarily be responsible for worldwide co–writing sessions with Anglo–American, Australian and South African management and publishers, as well as evaluating the repertoire in these territories. At the same time, this marks the implementation of a new, unique global creative strategy at Guesstimate. Moving forward, Ann Sophie Ballé will not only be in charge of writers such as Charlott Boss, Megan Ashworth and YouNotUs, but will also primarily take care of the South–East Asian partners in Japan and South Korea and, as of July 1st, will be responsible for all creative cooperation partners in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The majority of the local regular writers will continue to be looked after by A&R manager Patrick Liegl, who himself, as a successful exclusive writer for Guesstimate and producer for many EDM acts, has been in close contact with most of the artists under contract for years. Liegl also looks after a large portion of the writers who are jointly published with other publishing companies.

The BRIT Awards, taking place next month at the O2 Arena, is set to welcome a crowd of 4,000 people to the ceremony, marking the venue’s first live show in over a year. The event is part of the Government’s Events Research Programme and will implement COVID testing initiatives to monitor how live shows can move forward without social distancing. 2,500 tickets have been gifted to frontline workers by the music industry, with the BRITs inviting key workers from the Greater London area. While the crowd will not be socially distanced or required to wear masks in the arena, they will have to present a negative test when arriving and provide contact information for NHS Test And Trace.

Climate Live launched their global youth–led climate concerts on Saturday which is gearing up to take place in 43 countries worldwide on October 16th. Led by members of Fridays for Future youth climate groups, who organize the school strikes started by Greta Thunberg, Climate Live will be bringing young people from across the globe together through music to unite in the fight for climate justice and the race to safeguard the future of the planet. Climate Live’s line–up and venues for the October concerts will be announced soon. On Saturday, Climate Live launched with 24 hours of live music streams, alongside projections, talks and other action across the globe, kicking off in Japan. Saturday’s special live performances and actions took place globally, in countries such as Portugal, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Colombia and others.

Vivid Seats, a digital ticketing marketplace has agreed to go public with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which has valued the company at $1.95 billion. New York–listed Horizon Acquisition Corp, which is a blank–check firm backed by sports tycoon Todd Boehly, will merge with the ticketing firm and provide it with $769 million in gross proceeds. In addition, it will also receive a private investment of $225 million from investors that include Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC., as well as Eldridge Industries LLC. Vivid Seats is led by Stan Chia, Chief Executive, who helps facilitate the buying and selling of sports, event and concert tickets. The company is said to be looking to differentiate itself from rivals through a new rewards program and which will offer nine per cent cash back on certain transactions.

Lyte has announced new updates to its executive team in the midst of significant growth over the past five months. Among the updates are Lyte’s Wendi Sturgis being named President, and Krystle Jackson joining the executive team as Chief of Staff to CEO Ant Taylor. These elevations come on the heels of major Lyte news and partnerships, including with Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful music festival, its first booking agency partnership with Mint Talent Group, and an additional $5 million in Series B funding (bringing the total to $38 million). Lawrence Peryer, who was named Chief Strategy Officer earlier this year, will also sharpen his role to focus on Corporate Development.

ONErpm and Big Circle Music have entered into an exclusive marketing and distribution partnership. In April 2020, Founder, CEO, and Grammy–winning songwriter, Carlos Battey, and music industry veteran/CFO Darryl Johnson, created Big Circle Music Group to bring R&B music to the forefront of pop culture. The company joins Carlos’ Grammy–winning songwriter’s ability with Johnson’s 30+ years as an executive, musician and on–air radio personality. Following last year’s acclaimed single “Do It Again,” Jackie’s Boy released his new track “NO LIFEGUARD” via ONErpm last week, followed closely by a new EP THE SHOW on May 28th.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has completed its first–ever monthly distribution of mechanical royalties. The organization’s distribution, its first connected with the new blanket license established by the Music Modernization Act of 2018 (MMA), included royalties from the use of musical works by U.S. DSPs during January 2021. It did not include any historical unmatched royalties. The royalty pool for all usage data reported to The MLC totaled over $53 million when calculated at the applicable statutory rates. The MLC was then able to match approximately 80% of the royalties reported to musical works registered in its public database. Once the matching work was completed, The MLC established which uses were covered by voluntary licenses between the DSPs and copyright owners and then carved out of each DSP’s blanket license, after which The MLC determined that the remaining amount of mechanical royalties owed by DSPs to the MLC totaled over $40 million. Of the royalties collected, $24 million in matched royalties was paid by The MLC to its Members while $16.4 million is currently pending distribution.

Beatport announced last week that they will begin accepting Bitcoin as payment from customers beginning in June, becoming the first major digital music retailer to make the move. Beatport has also signed a partnership with Crypto.com to drop an expertly curated NFT, titled “Music for Future Dance Floors.” Exclusive, unreleased tracks from world–renowned DJ/producers Sasha, Charlotte De Witte, Boyz Noize, Pan–Pot, a new collaboration between Nic Fanciulli and Alec Monopoly called “Sold As Seen,” and a bonus track from Sama’ Abdulhadi, are featured with visual art from Berlin–based Leif Podhajsky. This rare collection, the first of a series of A/V compilations planned from Beatport, also features emerging artists including Alignment, Third Son, Anna Lann and Risa Taniguchi that will join each established star in mini drops priced at $303 each. All ten tracks will then be packaged with bonus material as a 10–of–10 auction, and will include the bonus track, four guest passes to one show for each artist and extra visual content. A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to charity, including a carbon offset donation from Beatport. Beatport is also partnering with Crypto.com as the payment gateway for its customer facing Bitcoin product.

Expanding on the suite of services offered at Vydia, the independent distributor has teamed up with Heavy Hitters Music Group (HHMG) to offer synch placement opportunities to artists. Vydia has seen recent streaming success following a placement of JPOLND’s “The End” in Netflix’s hit show Bridgerton. HHMG is a boutique song catalog and music publisher that exists to service all broadcast and non–broadcast media and primarily the ever–expanding film, television, video game, and advertising industries. Vydia, who also recently partnered with Royalty Exchange, is constantly looking for opportunities to provide more tools and new revenue streams for label and manager clients. Leading this partnership was Vydia Label & Artist Services Manager, Liz Eason.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Todd Jacobs, Eric Greenspan, Denis Ladegaillerie, Michelle Jubelirer, Tom Whalley, Tarsame Mittal, Nicky Stein, Steve Moir, Rachel Kurstin, Sol Parker, Madonna Wade–Reed, Gary Calamar, Hiten Bharadia and Tom March.


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 lives. Life can be full of surprises and have its fair share of jackass moments. Click HERE and enjoy a bellyful of laughter at someone else’s expense!


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



Since the age of 10, Nelson Elle became almost obsessed with words. She would read books and write her own short stories, later moving on to poetry. When she eventually started adding melodies to her lyrical work, the artist you hear today started to take shape. She grew up in Hollywood during the 90s, in a home filled with music, specifically the likes of Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston and Eminem. Her father, with his Broadway background, seized every opportunity to sing for his family. In the early 2000s, Nelson moved with her mother and brother to a small city in western Sweden but continued to visit California and her father and work for six months at a time. The creative young artist with a deep old soul has recently released a brand new single titled “Smile,” which is one of those tunes that makes you happy, while bringing you to tears at the same time. A track that makes you want to dance and break free, but also keeps you on the verge of a breakdown. Listen to “Smile” HERE by the best kept secret from the Swedish music scene, Nelson Elle, and contact Patrik Larsson at patrik@playgroundmusic.com for synch and licensing opportunities and additional information.


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

Boy Destroy is a Swedish emo/trap, alt–pop artist, musically influenced by the likes of My Chemical Romance and Jeff Buckley. At the tail end of last year he released his debut single “Warpaint,” which detailed the scars and the digital apathy of young lives. The track collected praise from BBC Radio 1, Apple Music 1, Alternative Press, Rock Sound Magazine, Gigwise, Wonderland Magazine and many more, as well as global radio support on the influential Passport Approved program. He has recently released his debut EP, Warpaint, which is a collection of stories from his sometimes troubled life. The latest offering, “Favourite” is a multi–hued chronicle showcasing his genre bending prowess; influenced by 90s alternative rock which soundtracked his teen years. Brooding and genderless, the accompanying visuals for “Favourite,” directed by Zoe Que (Johnossi, Sinead O’Brien, Grant) are a dark and twisted take on stereotypical pop videos. Playing with the concept of fame and fangirls, the video explores the phenomenon of an obsessive, one–sided and detached love affair where Boy Destroy is left disempowered. Experience the video for “Favourite” HERE and contact manager Filip Wilén at filip@budfox.se as Boy Destroy is available for publishing and booking opportunities as well as discussions on label licensing.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 4/25/2021



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, April 25th, 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:

INHALER – “Cheer Up Baby’” (Polydor, UK)
BOY DESTROY – “Favourite” (Budfox, Sweden)
YOSHI FLOWER – “Boys Don’t Cry” (Interscope, N. America)
THE PALE WHITE – “That Dress” (Unsigned, UK)
ALLDAY – “After All This Time” (Teamtrick, Australia)
WORLD’S FIRST CINEMA – “The Woods” (Unsigned, N. America)
SUNHILL – “Sunday” (Black Valley Records, Sweden)
DANNY BALDURSSON – “Tears” (Unsigned, Faroe Islands)
THE HARA – “Black Soul Ceremony” (Unsigned, UK)
PAPER IDOL – “Tightrope” (Unsigned, N. America)
DED RABBIT – “Gotta Get Outta This Place” (Unsigned, Scotland)
MY LIFE AS ALI THOMAS – “My Red Golden Sun’” (Warner Music, Thailand)
D’ARCY SPILLER – “Wolf Blood’” (Mushroom Music, Australia)
THE VICES – “Looking For Faces” (Mattan Records, Holland)
STEREOTIDE – “All Together” (Unsigned, Germany)
LOVEBREAKERS – “Family Man” (Little Rocket / Sabbath City, UK)
TIM SCHOU – “Comeback” (Iceberg Recods, Denmark)
LOTTERY WINNERS feat. FRANK TURNER – “Start Again” (Modern Sky, UK)
BALTHAZAR – “On A Roll” (Munich Records, Belgium)
PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION – “The Back Seat’” (Unsigned, UK)
SLIDE – “Floating” (Slip N Slide Mix) (Unsigned, Sweden)
FINN ASKEW – “Peach” (Unsigned, UK)
THE RUBENS – “Masterpiece” (Ivy League Records/Ditto/Humming, Australia)
THE CLOCKWORKS – “Enough Is Never Enough’” (Creation 23, UK)
JEREMY LOOPS – “By The Way” (Universal, South Africa)
THE TERRYS – “Our Paradise” (Unsigned, Australia)
CADMIUM – “Juvenile Mind” (Unsigned, N. America)
LINN KOCH–EMMERY – “Hologram Love” (Welfare Sounds, Sweden)
COACH PARTY – “Everybody Hates Me” (Chess Club, UK)
AMELIE PATTERSON – “Everything, Nothing” (Unsigned, Canada)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Life In Three Part Harmony” (Wiretrap Records, Australia)
SAM JOHNSON – “Shoulder To Cry On” (Universal, UK)
7 DAYS IN ALASKA – “Hurts ike Bullets” (Sony Music, Norway)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Connell Cruise, Lottery Winners, Jeremy Loops, My Life As Ali Thomas and Roosevelt)