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SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCHES
RCA RECORDS GREATER CHINA




Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has unveiled the launch of RCA Records Greater China, whereas the new label will focus on signing artists in the Greater China region and will expand the company’s presence across the region.
Andrew Chan
SME stated that RCA Greater China will invest in artists looking to “broaden their artistic and commercial opportunities across streaming, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, NFTs, the metaverse and beyond.” RCA Records Greater China will support artists with the growth of their fanbases within the region and capitalize on the company’s eco-system of talent to explore international partnerships, collaborations and releases for acts who are export ready for an international audience.

Andrew Chan, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, Greater China said, “We’re delighted to announce the launch of RCA Records Greater China which is the first in a series of labels we plan on launching in the region. With China achieving over 30% growth in recorded music revenue in 2021 and leading the Asian market, there is plenty of room for artists and music labels to grow. RCA Records Greater China will improve our ability to create quality, diverse music and products that help artists stand out and compete effectively in the attention economy.”
Kevin Foo
The company has also announced the appointment of Kevin Foo to the role of Managing Director of the new label, whereas he’ll report to Andrew Chan. Foo will retain his current position where he oversees SME Taiwan’s operations, which includes his support and management across Singapore, Shanghai, and Taipei.

Foo brings over 20 years of experience across music, entertainment and talent management. He successfully launched the careers of several Asian artists, including Linying, Charlie Lim and The Steve McQueens, and played a key role in the success of local superstars Eric Chou, Jolin Tsai, Lay Zhang, and Weibird.

RCA Records Greater China will have its key team based in Shanghai and will focus on developing domestic A&R and local-language artists in the region, with its own specific artist repertoire. The label says it will also be making key hires across various departments including A&R, digital marketing, Web3, data/analytics, gaming, digital licensing, talent development and more.

RCA Records Greater China has also unveiled that Taiwanese aboriginal singer/songwriter A-Lin has signed with the label. A-Lin is a 5x Golden Melody Awards nominee and 7x winner of the KKBox Music Awards. In addition, the company also recently released Chinese superstar singer, songwriter, designer, producer and director Jackson Wang’s Chinese single “Jackson Wang,” and will continue to distribute his Chinese album.


NETTWERK EXPANDS U.S. & AUSTRALIA A&R TEAMS



Nettwerk Music Group’s A&R reach continues to expand globally with the addition of some key industry players to its team, including Meg Tarquinio, Spencer Kelley, Marshall Altman, Mark Abramowitz, Eric Robinson, and Dan Medland.
Meg Tarquinio joins Nettwerk as VP Strategy & A&R after a decade in music tech. During an eight-year stint at Spotify, she created hundreds of the platform’s playlist brands and drove key developments like algotorial playlists, and the pitch tool. Most recently, she led music programming at Twitch, inspired by the creative and commercial opportunity the platform poses for artists.
Prior to joining Nettwerk as A&R, Spencer Kelley founded Color Study in 2014 as an artist management company, which he later expanded by launching a joint venture record label with Ultra Music. Kelley worked as an A&R, encouraging collaboration across genres and helping to orchestrate releases featuring artists such as Maisie Peters, Kygo, Lisa Hannigan, and Novo Amor. Color Study was acquired by Sony Music in 2021.
Marshall Altman, who joins Nettwerk as VP, A&R, is a Nashville-based record producer, songwriter, and A&R executive. As a producer, he has worked with Natasha Bedingfield, Brooke Fraser, Ingrid Michaelson, Cheryl Cole, and more. As an A&R, he has worked with Katy Perry, OneRepublic, Citizen Cope, and Switchfoot.
Eric Robinson joins Nettwerk as Director, A&R. He is a Grammy-nominated record producer, mixer, engineer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He has worked with Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, Sara Bareilles, Kygo, Sia, and more.
Dan Medland, who joins as Australia Strategy & A&R, is a 20-year veteran of the music industry working in artist management with many artists over the years, such as Passenger, Ladyhawke, and Gin Wigmore.


WARNER MUSIC ACQUIRES MINORITY STAKE
IN POLAND’S BIG IDEA EVENT PROMOTER




Warner Music Poland (WMP) has unveiled that it has taken a minority stake in BIG Idea, one of the country’s leading concert and festival promoters. Big Idea has organized concerts across Poland and works with leading talent agencies which have drawn over three million attendees to see performances of both domestic and international acts including Machine Gun Kelly, Anderson .Paak, Lauryn Hill, The Game, Mobb Deep, Denzel Curry and many others.
The agreement will see the two companies working together to create new events and festivals, as well as expand the line-ups of BIG Idea’s current Yass! Festival and other live experiences. The two companies are also poised to expand and collaborate on BIG Idea’s merchandising business and booking operations, as well as further enhancing and developing its NFT-powered live entertainment platforms.
WMP says that the new deal comes on the heels of its expanding roster of Hip-Hop artists and signings. Polish Hip-Hop act White Widow who are managed by BIG Idea recently signed a recording contract with Warner Music Poland as part of this close partnership between the two companies. The new agreement will see almost two dozen acts sign directly with, or be distributed by Warner Music Poland. Warner’s stated that all of the artists on its roster will have opportunities to provide various NFT collectibles and experiences through BIG Idea and its collective partners.
In addition to doing events, merchandise and other business, BIG Idea also has a burgeoning artist and booking management part of its eco-system that works with the likes of Young Multi, Vkie, NOON, Rizi Beizeti, and Yung Adisz.
BIG Idea was founded in 2012 by Slawek Ostruszka (a live entertainment executive) who is involved with CLOUT Festival in Warsaw, the first ever festival in Poland focused on worldwide Trap music, and has brought global acts such as City Morgue, Jack Harlow, Key Glock, Ferg, Fivio Foreign, SoFaygo and others to the market.


ZACH KATZ JOINS FAZE CLAN AS PRESIDENT & COO



Zach Katz, former president of BMG in the US, and former CEO of Raised In Space, is joining eSports giant FaZe Clan as President & COO. As President and COO, Katz will report to Lee Trink, FaZe Clan CEO & Chairman of FaZe Clan’s board.
Zach Katz
FaZe Clan is an eSports media platform based in Hollywood, CA and represents professional gaming ‘clans’ across multiple interactive entertainment titles including Call of Duty, FIFA, Counter-Strike: Global Offensice, Fortnite Battle Royale, PlayerUnknown’s Battlgrounds, FIFA, and others. FaZe Clan’s YouTube channel has almost 9 million subscribers and over a billion video plays.

FaZe Clan also runs a successful supplement division, and recently unveiled its plans to go public via a merger with a US-based SPAC - B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp. The combined company is expected to have an implied equity valuation of $1 billion inclusive of nearly $275 million in cash on its balance sheet.

Katz began his career as a music attorney, then moved into music management working with songwriters and producers. He also co-founded and served as CEO of the record label and music publishing company Beluga Heights, which partnered with Sony Music, and then with Warner Bros. Records. Katz also served as Executive Vice President, CCO, and then President of Records, Publishing and Operations of BMG in Los Angeles before co-founding and serving as CEO of music-tech investment fund Raised In Space Enterprises, which was co-founded by Scooter Braun.

In his new role at FaZe Clan, Katz will oversee the company’s content, talent, merchandise, sponsorships, consumer goods and eSports businesses.


A&R WORLDWIDE — “EXPOSED”



Each week, A&R Worldwide’s newsletter goes back in time with memorable and defining moments in our 20+ year history. However, we’d also like to share your key and prolific images that have yet to be “exposed.” Click HERE to submit your photo to our team for potential exposure!

HAVING A HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: A&R Worldwide has a knack for bringing together creatives, influencers, entrepreneurs, executives and others together in meaningful ways across the world. Having a memorable bonding moment at an A&R Worldwide dinner event are (L-R) actor Drew Van Acker (Pretty Little Liars, Devious Minds), Marian Wolf (VP, Global Writer Services & China, BMG), Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide/MUSEXPO), world-renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold and singer/songwriter Tara Lee.



GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…


WARNER MUSIC ASIA SIGNS MONGOLIA’S MRS M: Warner Music Asia’s Asiatic Records has made its first move into Mongolia by signing rapper Mrs M. Mongolia, which has a population of just over three million, has boasted and active and vibrant rap culture for almost twenty years. Mrs M first broke through in 2017 following her viral hit “Bang,” which was released internationally. Mrs M is one of the flagship artists on Asiatic Record’s Asiatic.wav compilation project, which is a newly launched EP series that highlights Asia’s up-and-coming hip-hip and R&B artists. Mrs M’s first release with Asiatic Records is “ Daughter of Khan,” a collaboration with US-based Hip-Hop producer Harry Fraud.

A&R BUZZ HEATS UP WITH SAHARA: Emerging Australian singer/songwriter Sahara Beck continues to garner label, publisher, booking agent and synch interest internationally. The talented young artist has been working with producer Konstantin Kersting (Tones & I, Mallrat). Last week she was named the winner in the “Unsigned Category” and second place for the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) category for the International Songwriting Competition. In addition, she’s garnered radio support internationally, and landing support on a number of playlists on Spotify, as well as having her music synched with NBC Television (Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce), a Haagen-Dazs TV advertisement starring Bradley Cooper, a major Queensland Tourism TV campaign and others. Sahara has also just released a brand new reimagination of the Wheatus classic, “Teenage Dirtbag” The A&R Worldwide supported artist is managed by Rachael Dixon.

Sophie Hall
Alyssa DeBonis
4AD EXPANDS UK & US MANAGEMENT: 4AD has announced that it’s made key hires to the label management team in the US and UK. Alyssa DeBonis and Sophie Hall have been appointed as the company’s new US and UK label managers. 4AD is part of the Beggars Group. New UK label manager Sophie Hall joined 4AD in 2013 as a Junior Product Manager. In her Global Product Management role, Hall has worked on successful album campaigns for acts such as The National, Big Thief, Dry Cleaning, and Grimes. In her new London-based role, she will be spearheading 4AD campaigns in both the UK and the world (ex-US). She will continue to work closely with all Beggars Group offices and licensees to help deliver campaigns on a global scale. Alyssa DeBonis, who is based in New York, began with 4AD 10 years ago as an intern, eventually becoming 4AD’s West Coast manager and A&R. In her new role, she will oversee the label’s US team and manage all campaigns, working alongside artists, their managers, and the wider Beggars Group staff.

(Pictured L-R) are Max Mönster (Management), Niels Eberhardt (BMG), Ben Bazzazian, Marc Johlen (BMG) and Ilke Ulusoy (Management)
SIGNING WITH BMG – DAS GUT: Bazzazian, one of Germany's most renowned producers, has signed a global publishing deal with BMG, entering his first publishing partnership in over 15 years. The deal covers the producer's entire catalogue of songs, including Ich Rolle Mit Meim Besten, Das Geld Muss Weg, and Haus am Meer, as well as future works. Bazzazian has worked closely with German rapper Haftbefehl for many years – from his debut album Azzlack Stereotyp (2010) to Russisch Roulette (2014) to the Top 10 success Das Schwarze Album (2021) – and has produced for some of Germany’s best-known artists, including Till Lindemann, Miss Platnum, K.I.Z, Gentleman and Schmyt. Together with Farhot, he also forms the producer duo Die Achse In 2019, he worked as a musical supervisor on the Netflix series Skylines, for which he was awarded the prestigious Grimme Prize in 2020. The jury particularly praised the “furious handling of music in the series.” Bazzazian is currently working on a producer album.

SIGNING WITH HIS PEERS: Peermusic UK has unveiled the signing of the award-winning songwriter and producer Brian Higgins to an exclusive worldwide music publishing deal, which includes his future works. Higgins is the Founder of Xenomania, which is an independent record label and music company based in London, that has co-written and produced over 35 Top UK and international hits for artists including Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Cher (he co-wrote her global hit “Believe”) and many others. The deal was brokered with the support of Nigel Elderton, President Europe & Managing Director, Peermusic UK and Mike Sault, Head of A&R, Peermusic UK. Sault has originally signed Higgins to Warner Chappell back in 1997 when he was an A&R Manager at the company.

GOING PROPERLY HYPERION: Proper Music Group has announced a global supply chain deal with classical label Hyperion. The agreement will see Proper take on responsibility for warehousing, picking, packing, shipping, invoicing and cash collection across Hyperion’s international network of distribution partners. It will simplify and streamline global distribution for the label, whose impressive and diverse classical catalogue includes some of the finest classical musicians performing today, appearing on over 1,800 titles. The catalog includes Liszt’s complete piano music on 99 CDs performed by Leslie Howard, and numerous complete song repertoire collections by Schubert, Schumann, Fauré and its highly successful Romantic Piano Concertos’ series which is currently at Volume 85. Proper will also provide fulfilment for the label’s direct to consumer sales, improving the overall customer experience. Hyperion joins Absolute Label Services, ADA, AWAL, Believe, Cherry Red, Concord, Epitaph, Hospital, INgrooves, Kartel, Orchard, Redeye, RSK, Snapper and SRD as part of Proper’s distribution roster, which continues to grow.

SYNCHING INTO POSITION: Tyler Bacon, President & CEO of Position Music, has officially announced the hiring of Caitlin Haurie as the Burbank, CA-based company’s new Sr. Director, Creative Synch, Ads & Brands. Prior to joining Position Music, Haurie was the Sr. Director, Synch at MNRK Music Group, and prior to that she was Sr. Manager of Synch at Downtown Music Holdings. Haurie brings a bevy of experience, knowledge, and connections to the Position Music synch staff. In her career, Haurie has worked on high-profile projects and campaigns for Disney+, NordicTrack, Applebee’s, Panera, Apple, Google, and more. Haurie will report to Emily Weber, Vice President, Head of Synch. With Haurie aboard, the synch team at Position Music now has 11 full-time employees working solely on synchronization and music licensing. The hiring of Haurie marks another high-profile organizational move for the Position Music executive team.

SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING GOES TO THE “MAX”: Sony Music Publishing (SMP) has announced that it has a worldwide administration deal with the multi-Platinum songwriter and recording artist MAX. As part of the deal with SMP, Max has also launched a new partnership with the global publisher under the guise of Colour Vision Publishing, and has unveiled that the first signing to the new entity is Los Angeles-based musician Cody Dear. Max who has a long standing relationship with South Korean megastars BTS has co-written their forthcoming single “Yet to Come,” and also has worked with BTS band member Suga for the songs “Blueberry Eyes,” and the track “Burn It” with AGUST D.

SERENADING $6 MILLION: Serenade, an eco-friendly music NFT marketplace whose business model support artists by creating new revenue streams from unique fan experiences, has announced new investment and plans to expand its global operations following a successful past six months. The company has revealed a new $6 million (USD) fundraise that will further invest and help grow its artist and partner rosters across the UK and Australia, as well as in the US, where the company will be entering the market and launching a dedicated office. The company has been supported by several high-profile music industry investors, including senior management figures from Atlantic Records UK, Secret Sounds, Future Classic, UNIFIED Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman. The group has also been joined by Matt Gudinski and Johann Poniah of Mushroom Group and former Powderfinger front man Bernard Fanning.

REVVING UP THEIR RPM IN ATLANTA: ONErpm the digital distribution service and fan engagement platform founded in 2010 by Emmanuel Zunz and Matthew Olim, has announced the opening of its Atlanta, GA office which will be run by music industry veteran Orlando McGhee who takes on the role of Head of Urban Music. McGhee began his career as a Special Assistant to the COO of the City of Atlanta. He then transitioned into the music business by working with the production trio Organized Noize (ONP), and then became Vice President of BME Recordings. Whilst at BME, McGhee played a key role in developing artists such as Lil Scrappy, Crime Mobb, and Trillville, and eventually joined Warner Bros Records as VP of A&R. Also joining the ONErpm team in Atlanta are new Project Manager, Nick Love and new Head of Urban A&R executive Glenn ‘Guccio’ Teague. The company’s Atlanta office currently oversees artists including Cuban Doll, Goodie Mob, Ceelo Green, Deitrick Haddon, Lobby Boyz (Jim Jones & Maino), Bigbabygucci, Method Man, Bizzy Crook, and Caskey.

LAUNCHING A NEW DIVISION: International talent management firm YMU has announced the launch of a new US entertainment division, which will be overseen by renowned booking agent April Tombs who has been named Managing Director, YMU Entertainment, US. Tombs spent an extensive amount of time at UTA where she helped oversee activities and partnerships for clients such as Queen Latifah, Brooke Shields, Hilary Duff, Jenna Dewan, Anthony Anderson and others. She is also joined by former ICM agent Jared Greenwald and former UTA colleague Spencer Goldstein who have joined the YMU US team. YMU’s client roster includes personalities from music, film, TV and beyond (Graham Norton, The Rolling Stones, Pentatonix, Common, Steve Aoki, Clint Dempsey and more), and hopes to replicate the broad success of its extensive UK team within the US. YMU Group currently has offices in London, New York, Manchester, Washington and Los Angeles.

BMG EXPANDS DOCUSERIES BUSINES: U2, Elton John, David Bowie, Ringo Starr, Nick Cave, Joan Jett, and acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe are among a star-studded cast set to pay tribute to the genius and pioneering influence of Marc Bolan (T.Rex) one of the greatest rock composers and musicians of all time in the latest feature-length documentary from BMG. The film was financed, and executive produced by BMG, written and directed by Ethan Silverman, produced by Bill Curbishley and Ethan Silverman, and is represented by Submarine Entertainment with Dan Braun as Executive Producer and International Sales Agent. The film looks at where Bolan was headed musically and artistically before his life was cut short in a tragic accident at the age of 29. A folk-pop troubadour, Glam Rock’s metal guru, a pop star who burned as bright as any, a brilliant guitarist, the 20th Century Boy, style icon, and poet. Bolan was many things, but his golden era was in the late sixties and seventies when he was the biggest selling singles artist since the Beatles. Tragically he died in 1977 aged just 29, after a car crash in Barnes, London. In 2020, Bolan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

RESERVOIR INKS SOME ROXY MUSIC: Independent music company, Reservoir Media, has announced a worldwide publishing deal with Roxy Music’s lead guitarist, musician and songwriter-producer, Phil Manzanera. The deal includes works from Manzanera’s catalog, which features songs by Roxy Music, as well as Pink Floyd, Tim Finn, and Brian Eno, amongst others, plus future works. Manzanera rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the guitarist for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Roxy Music. In addition to his legacy with Roxy Music, Manzanera has contributed to widely over the years as a writer, producer, and artist, working with the likes of Steve Winwood, David Gilmour, Brian Eno, Robery Wyatt, and more. Additionally, Manzanera has released 10 studio albums under his own name, making his debut in 1975 with Diamond Head and, most recently, collaborating with New Zealand singer and musician Tim Finn on Caught by the Heart in 2021.

SIGNING WITH BDI: Independent publisher BDimusic has signed emerging artist and songwriter Ellysse Mason to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal. Signed to LAB Records, Mason has accumulated 430,000 followers across her social media channels, with 200,000 monthly Spotify listeners and over 4 million total streams. Alongside her loyal fanbase, Mason has also gained industry support with regular international and regional radio play including BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, as well as being championed by BBC Introducing. She has also sold-out headline shows at The Deaf Institute, Band On The Wall and Manchester Academy 3. In 2021, Mason appeared at festivals such as Live At Leeds and Dot To Dot (Bristol and Nottingham) and is due to play at Kendal Calling 2022 and 110 Above.

CZECH MATE WITH UNIVERSAL: Universal Music Group is expanding its business in the Czech Republic as part of the newly established Universal Music Central Eastern Europe structure. Strengthening relationships between national companies, this move aims to support the Czech music market in the long term, creating more international opportunities for UMG’s regional artists. Universal Music’s Czech team is led by managing director, Tomas Filip, and is strengthened by recent A&R hires under the leadership of Marcel Vysin and Jiri Kouba. Labels to be relaunched under Universal Music Czech Republic include Capitol Records, Island Records, Skybox, Def Jam, SinglTon, and Virgin Music Label & Artist Services.

MAKING A SWITCH: Colombian star J Balvin has split with his longtime agency, WME, to join the UTAx roster. UTA will represent Balvin in all areas. WME previously played an integral part in Balvin’s global expansion, booking tours in the US, Latin America, and the European touring markets. J Balvin has been the face of massive campaigns for brands like McDonald’s and Jordan in addition to topping the charts. Balvin has grossed over $20 million in live sales and has sold over 300,000 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. UTA currently represents Bad Bunny, Karol G, and Anitta among other marquee Latin Acts. Balvin is signed to Universal Music Latin and is managed by Scooter Braun’s SB Projects and Fabio Acosta.

IN SYNCH WITH GHOSTWRITER: Ghostwriter Music, a production, publishing, and sound design company, has announced the hiring of Tim Hare as the organization’s Sr. Director of Synch, effective immediately. In his new role, Hare will lead Ghostwriter Music’s synch department for advertising and television. In addition, he will have heavy involvement working in tandem with internal A&R staff to develop the company’s catalog and artist series, as well maintaining a strong focus on business development for the entire company. Hare has worked in the music industry on the creative side as a musician/composer and on the business side for a combined 20 years. Before joining Ghostwriter, he was VP of Business Development for Alibi Music Library and prior to that worked for Extreme and Sonic Librarian. Hare has also worked in tour production and artist management for Foreigner, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and The Smashing Pumpkins.

ADDING EUROS TO THEIR VOICY: Voicy, an online content platform for discovering, creating and sharing sound-clips and sound-effects, has secured a €1.2 million (euro) pre-seed round led by Oliver Samwer’s Global Founders Capital. Senior executives from a host of leading tech companies including Twitch, Spotify, Deezer, Snapchat, Booking, Uber, Reddit, Acast and Tesla also contributed to the round. The funding will be used to grow Voicy’s team, develop its partnership network and expand its presence across Europe and the US. In just over a year, Voicy has built a community of 1.1 million regular users who have created a database of 125,000 unique sounds totaling an average of 35 million monthly plays. On top of that, 10,000 new sounds are added each month. Voicy has also recently signed a partnership with Viber with users having sent over 20 million audio messages, which have been played together 100 million times in only three months.

LET’S GET DIGITAL: Julia Hummel has been appointed to the new role of Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development at Warner Music Canada. Hummel joins from Amazon Music Canada, where she was head of Artist & Partner Marketing, leading the company’s strategy around digital, social, livestreaming, and brand partnerships. In her new position at Warner Music Canada, Hummel will help the label’s artists leverage the opportunities opening in the Web3 universe, as well as working to continue to strengthen relationships with its existing digital partners. She will be based in Toronto and will report to Andy West, EVP and General Manager of Warner Music Canada.

ROBOMAGIC LIVE ACQUIRED: Outback Presents, the US independent promoter, has acquired Rob Hallet’s Robomagic Live, expanding its global touring offerings. Outback Presents was launched in 2019 by Vaughn Millette in partnership with Mike Smarkdak, Founder of the Nashville-based Outback Concerts. Rob Hallett established AEG Live’s UK office in 2005 and founded Robomagic in 2015 following his exit from the company. Robomagic became part of Live Nation in 2018 before becoming independent in 2020. The companies have outlined their “joint mission to create more equitable touring opportunities in partnership with artists,” with further details to be released in the coming weeks.

IT’S THE REAL THING: Coca-Cola is expanding Coke Studio™, a music platform that builds on the program originally launched in Pakistan in 2008, to a global stage. The global Coke Studio program is digital-first, always-on and provides an opportunity for emerging talent to partner, create and deliver moments of musical magic to new audiences. Its first moment will come to life through a global film titled The Conductor, which features seven artists collaborating to reimagine the iconic Queen track “A Kind of Magic.” Coke Studio and The Conductor are the newest expressions of Real Magic™ – the new global brand philosophy that Coca-Cola introduced late last year. The core of the platform is the belief that our differences make the world a richer place in which to live – and that “Real Magic” happens when we come together through shared experiences, both digitally and in real life. Read more HERE.

NEW SAN FRANCISCO FESTIVAL: Goldenvoice has announced details of a brand-new festival called Portola, to take place in San Francisco this September. Portola, which is set to be held on September 24th and 25th at Pier 80 in San Francisco and has unveiled a lineup of headliners including The Chemical Brothers and Flume with support from Kaytranada, Jamie XX, Charli XCX, James Blake, M.I.A. and many more. Organized in association with event management company, Non Plus Ultra, Portola will take place only a month and a half after Outside Lands 2022 and a week before Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Portola’s name is in reference to the Portola Festival of 1909, which signaled the reopening of the city after the 1906 earthquake, drawing an estimated one million people to its opening parade. The new festival is one of many events announced by Goldenvoice, including This Ain’t No Picnic, Palomino, and California Vibrations.

DANMARK BUYS SECRETLY NOORD: Danmark Music Group has acquired the operations of Secretly Noord, the Scandinavia-based digital distribution arm of independent distributor Secretly Distribution. Secretly Distribution will become an equity partner in DANMARK as part of the deal. Secretly Noord’s team will become DANMARK’s Nordic team with offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo, and the Norwegian and Swedish labels supported by Secretly Noord will have a new home at DANMARK. DANMARK was founded in 2005 by Dan Hougesen and Mark Wills, and currently services over 10,000 artists and labels worldwide. Secretly Noord was formed in 2019 when Secretly Distribution joined forces with Nordic technology group NoordRights.

FASTEST GROWING MUSIC REGION IN THE WORLD: The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has detailed its view of Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) growth and plans for its first ever regional chart. The organization reported back in March that the MENA has achieved 35 percent music-industry growth in 2021, against 31.2 percent for Latin America and 18.5 percent globally. The IFPI last month commissioned a survey of 1,560 United Arab Emirates residents between the ages of 16 and 44. This study found that the country’s roughly 10 million citizens enjoy an average of 22.5 hours’ worth of music per week (22 percent above the international average), with 54 percent of individuals having stated that they “typically listen to at least one Middle Eastern genre.” The IFPI’s regional chart will be expected to launch soon and will be tested in Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates as a result of the five largest streaming services in MENA – Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify, and YouTube. Spotify arrived in MENA in November 2018 and Apple Music became available in Morocco and a number of other nations in April 2020.

ADDING SOME LIME TO UMG: LimeWire, a digital collectibles marketplace has struck its first major music label partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) and will collaborate on making digital music collectibles accessible to a wider audience. UMG artists, as well as many of its iconic record labels including: Interscope Records, Republic Records, Def Jam Recordings, Capitol Records, Motown Records, Geffen, EMI, Virgin Music and more, will be able to leverage the LimeWire marketplace as an additional platform to explore unique ways to engage with fans through digital music collectibles and Web3, and generate new revenue streams. As part of this partnership, UMG will provide licenses that will allow LimeWire to partner with UMG artists in order to launch innovative music based NFT projects utilizing the LimeWire marketplace. Read more HERE.



IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mike Caren, Taylor Jones, Chris Price, Julian Palmer, Charlie Pinder, Michael Chugg, Gavin Sheppard, Rak Sanghvi, David Glick, Ollie Hodge, Summer Marshall, Jens Markus-Wegener, Farhad Zand, and Sat Bisla.


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. Sometimes it’s hard to believe things unless you see them happen with your own eyes. Click HERE to see some unique, crazy and unexplainable moments caught on camera from around the world.


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



Brothers Pat, Doug and Andy Reeves had hopes of trading in their life of farming in rural New York for success in their true passion, which is music. Together, they are known as the emerging trio Council, and their hard work has begun to pay off. They recently gained both local and national attention for their unique sound and charismatic performances. They’ve played numerous successful shows at the mainstays in New York City, and have opened for the likes of The Kooks, Angels and Airwaves, The All-American Rejects and The Strumbellas. Their music has amassed over 25 million streams on all platforms and featured throughout the 2018 Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and the Premier League, to name a few. They will be performing a showcase at Rockwood Music Hall - Stage 2 on June 7th, as well as a number of shows this summer. Discover their sync-friendly single “Rust To Gold (Council’s Version)” HERE, and contact Andre Morris at am@schuremediagroup.com, Jeff McClusky at jmcclusky@jmapromo.com or David Perl at david.perl@emersonblakeent.com, as Council are available for management, label, publishing and for a booking agency.


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

Dublin’s rising star Shobsy impresses with his latest genre-blending single “Driven.” Known for his soaring falsetto and a knack for fusing together contemporary and classic soundscapes to produce modern takes on 80s pop, Shobsy refuses to tread lightly in any of his releases, and “Driven” is the latest shot of adrenaline to add to his already-eclectic discography. The former lead vocalist in the acclaimed rock band State Lights, Shobsy delivers “Driven,” a song inspired by the feeling of being toyed with by someone you have fallen in love with; it captures the mood of the crossover, where sexual tension meets true commitment. Last month, Shobsy performed on Ireland’s biggest television show, The Late Late Show, where he produced a mesmerizing performance of Bronksi Beat’s “Smalltown Boy,” which racked up over 100,000 views within 24 hours. He’s earned praise and support from Earmilk, ROTD, Pop Matters, Today FM and HotPress who described Shosby with ‘Powerhouse vocals that rival the enchanting beauty of Freddie Mercury & George Michael.’ Enjoy the visual for “Driven” HERE, and contact Dave Reid at dave@broadcastmanagement.net, for available opportunities with Shobsy.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 5/22/2022


“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 22nd, 2022: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, Germany; NINETYSIX Radio (Indonesia); JioSaavn (India); 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:

SINGLE BY SUNDAY – “Help” (Unsigned, Scotland)
FLYCKT – “Jonny Boy” (Dumont Dumont, Sweden)
DEAF HAVANA – “Kids” (SO Recordings, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Shut Me Up” (Unsigned, Sweden)
OSCAR ANTON W/DANI – “Homesick” (Filature, France)
SEA GIRLS – “Paracetamol Blues” (Polydor, UK)
LUKE NOA – “Your Smile Should Have Been Mine” (Humming Records, Germany)
CRAWLERS – “I Can’t Drive” (Modern Sky, UK)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “Chasing The Morning” (Cloud Hills, Sweden)
COYLE GIRELLI – “Do You Wanna Dance?” (Unsigned, UK)
ADÉLAIDE – “Moments” (Unsigned, Germany)
BELLWETHER – “Kaiba” (Good Intent, Australia)
TELENOVA – “Why Do I Keep You?” (BMG, Australia)
MODERNLOVE – “Follow You” (Akira, Ireland)
BAKER GRACE – “Pressure” (Unsigned, N. America)
BEAUX – “Guard Down” (Dirty Hit, UK)
LAUREN WALLER – “Nothing But Life” (Unsigned, N. America)
DOLORES FOREVER – “Baby Teeth” (Sweat Music, Sweden)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “The Backburner” (Modern Sky, UK)
DANNY BALDURSSON – “Nothing Matters” (Unsigned, Faroe Islands)
CLUB BEIRUT – “Physical” (Unsigned, Scotland)
JACK FLANAGAN – “Skyhorse X Skyhorse” (Modern Sky, UK)
BLOSSOMS – “Sulking Poet” (Virgin EMI, UK)
SUNDARA KARMA – “Oblivion” (Chess Club, UK)
REST FOR THE WICKED – “Devils Delight” (EMI/UMG, Australia)
INHALER – “My Honest Face” (Polydor/UMG, Ireland)
CHARLOTTE JANE – “10 Percent” (RCA, Germany)
CASSIA – “Motions” (BMG, Australia)
THE SHERLOCKS – “Plastic Heart” (Unsigned, UK)
MICHAEL ALDAG – “Teenage Drama” (3 Beat, UK)
COACH PARTY – “Weird Me Out” (Chess Club, UK)
ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Colour Me Blue” (Chess Club, UK)
GOOD LEKKER – “Belligerence” (Good Intent, Australia)