EPIC RECORDS ANNOUNCES SYLVIA RHONE AS CHAIRMAN & CEO
Sony Music Entertainment has promoted Sylvia Rhone to Chairman and CEO of Epic Records. Rhone will report to Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, while leading the overall creative direction and management of the label, overseeing a roster of chart–topping artists including Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, Future, 21 Savage, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and French Montana.
In making the announcement, Stringer said, “Sylvia is a trailblazing and iconic executive who has played a critical leadership role in driving Epic’s recent artist development success. Her wealth of experience and passionate support of artistic vision will help us further grow the reach of Epic’s roster around the world.”
“I am excited to continue my amazing journey at Epic Records supported by Rob Stringer’s vision and leadership,” stated Rhone. “Everything we do is a testament to our incredible artists who set the bar of the entire Epic culture, inspiring our dedicated executive team every day and enriching the legacy of this great label.”
Rhone had most recently been serving as President of Epic Records since 2014, where she has guided the release of a number of hits such as Travis Scott’s acclaimed 2018 album Astroworld; Camila Cabello’s debut album Camila, and the hit single “Havana;” a string of No.1 albums from Future; and a pair of hit albums from 21 Savage. She has also overseen a diverse range of emerging talent.
In an industry career spanning over four decades, Rhone’s tenure at Sony Music followed at eight–year–stint with Universal Music Group, where she was President of Universal Motown Records and Executive Vice President at Universal Records from 2004. From 1994 to 2004, Rhone was Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group’s (WMG) Elektra Entertainment Group, becoming the first African American woman to be named Chairman of a major record company. Prior to Elektra, she held various senior roles with WMG, ABC Records and Ariola Records. Her career began at Buddah Records in 1974.
DEF JAM ANNOUNCES DJ MORMILE AS EVP, WEST COAST &
JEFF BURROUGHS AS SR. VP, MARKETING
Def Jam Recordings has announced additional veteran leadership appointments to its management team in widely–respected industry veterans, DJ Mormile, and Jeff Burroughs, for its LA and New York City offices, respectively. The announcement was made last week by Paul Rosenberg, Chairman and CEO, Def Jam Recordings.
Mormile, an LA–based hit–maker and manager who counts producer Mike Will Made It, West Coast rapper YG, and trap artist Soulja Boy among his clients, steps into the role of Executive Vice President, West Coast. The new role will see Mormile working closely with Def Jam’s artists and managers, its Santa Monica–based executive team, and within the creative community as a whole while reporting to Rosenberg. He also brings his own label venture to the company, where he will sign and develop talent exclusively for Def Jam Recordings.
DJ Mormile & Jeff Burroughs
In his role as Sr. Vice President of Marketing, Burroughs brings his over two decades of executive–level experience as a marketing veteran and entrepreneur to direct marketing activities coming out of Def Jam’s New York City headquarters. He will be tasked with leading Def Jam’s team of product managers in creating and executing strategic campaigns on behalf of the label’s diverse roster of established and emerging artists. Burroughs will report to Scott Greer, EVP Marketing & Commerce, and Rich Isaacson, GM & EVP.
Mormile is a 14–year alumnus of Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records, having started in the Urban A&R Department in 1998. He was promoted to Head of the Urban A&R Department in 2005, and after four years rose to Head of Interscope’s entire Urban Music Department, where he remained until 2012. He joins Def Jam after a three–year stint as Sr. Vice President of A&R at Columbia Records, beginning in 2015.
Burroughs comes to Def Jam from Rise Entertainment, the LA–based marketing, consulting and brand strategy firm that he founded and led. His career began at Bad Boy Entertainment in 1995, where he was Executive Vice President. During his five–year–tenure, the company became one of the highest grossing conglomerates in the entertainment industry with ventures such as Sean John Clothing, Ciroq, Justin’s Restaurants and Blue Flame Marketing. In 2004, Burroughs transitioned to RCA Records as Sr. Vice President. As Head of Commercial for Simon Cowell’s SYCO in 2011, Burroughs pioneered the first ever product developed for a TV show; the introduction of the ultra–premium X headphones, a JV with Sony Electronics which became the most successful headphone launch in Sony Electronics history. This led to successful integrated marketing campaigns for The X–Factor with Pepsi, GM, Sony Electronics and Verizon.
SONY/ATV FINALIZES WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH MUSTARD
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has finalized a worldwide deal with Grammy–winning songwriter, artist and producer, Mustard. Based in LA, Mustard is one of the hottest and most influential hit–makers in contemporary R&B and hip–hop, having worked with acts such as YG, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Drake, Migos, Chris Brown, Nipsey Hussle and Big Sean. He also picked up Best R&B Song honors at this year’s Grammy Awards for co–writing Ella Mai’s multi–platinum Billboard No.1 hit, “Boo’d Up.”
Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Jon Platt said, “Mustard is an amazing songwriter and producer, whose talents have underpinned countless hit records by some of the world’s biggest artists. Jennifer and I are excited to welcome him to the Sony/ATV family and look forward to what is shaping up to be a significant next phase of his already successful career.”
Jennifer Drake, Mustard & Jon Platt
Sony/ATV Sr. Director, A&R Jennifer Drake commented, “Mustard’s creative talent transcends his reputation as a hit–making super producer. With Ella Mai, he has also demonstrated a rare gift for identifying, cultivating and developing a new generation of stars. It’s a vision we completely support and anticipate a long and successful partnership with him.”
With his breakthrough hit coming as the co–writer and co–producer of Tyga’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hit “Rack City” in 2012, Mustard has since become one of the R&B and hip–hop world’s leading creatives. Among his credits are included Big Sean’s Billboard Hot R&B/Hip–Hop Songs chart–topper, “I Don’t Fuck With You;” Rihanna’s global hit “Needed Me;” and Lil Dicky and Chris Brown’s 2018 hit “Freaky Friday,” which topped the U.K. singles chart and reached the Billboard Hot 100&’s Top 10. He also co–wrote and co–produced a large part of YG’s debut album, My Krazy Life, which reached No.1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip–Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts and debuted at No.2 on the Billboard 200.
Via his label imprint, 10 Summers Records, which he launched in partnership with Interscope Records, he discovered British–born R&B artist and Sony/ATV songwriter Ella Mai. Other honors include winning Songwriter of the Year at the BMI R&B/Hip–Hop Awards.
A successful recording artist himself, Mustard’s latest single, “Pure Water” featuring Migos, was released in January. A third studio full–length is expected for release this summer and including features from 21 Savage, Quavo, Meek Mill and Rich Da Kid. He is also one of the main producers on a forthcoming album from Meek Mill, and the late Nipsey Hussle, and will serve as executive producer for YG and Ella Mai’s next albums.
MARIAN WOLF NAMED VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL WRITER SERVICES
& CHINA FOR BMG
BMG has revealed the promotion of Marian Wolf to Vice President, Global Writer Services & China. Based in LA, Wolf will now oversee the day–to–day operations of BMG’s Global Writer Services for the international publishing roster. He continues reporting directly to Thomas Scherer, EVP, Marketing & Repertoire, Los Angeles.
Wolf came to BMG in 2011, based in their Berlin offices, before relocating to LA in 2014. With BMG, he has played a key role in developing the Global Writer Services business, driving songwriter service in the U.S., EU and Asia. He has been a driving force behind the integration of BMG’s creative teams worldwide in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, GSA, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Italy and Spain. His song placements and writer collaborations include numerous No.1 records globally for BMG songwriters, with many successes for songwriters outside their home markets. Additionally, he has helped develop analytical publishing management tools that incorporate collaboration between teams in Investments, Income Tracking, Business & Legal Affairs, Finance, and Administration.
Over the past several years, Wolf has been heavily involved in building BMG China’s creative business. With recent releases including Kris Wu’s latest China chart–topping album Antares, alongside No.1’s from Will Pan, Chris Lee, TF Boys, and others, he has helped generate new and significant revenue streams for BMG songwriters, and A&R services for leading Chinese artists. Additionally, alongside BMG China’s Head of A&R and Marketing, Leon Lin, and Alice Li, Manager A&R, he has developed innovative business models including BMG’s global songwriter series SoundLab and Star Academy, as well as strategic partnership projects with Xiami/Youku and Momo.
Wolf has also been responsible for synergistic opportunities between BMG and parent company Bertelsmann’s platforms, including collaborations with European broadcast and content leader RTL (RTL, Vox, Stylehaul), while managing a diverse U.S. writer roster that includes international signings Jessie J, Kim Petras, and Dave Gibson among others, as well as the acquisition of Sharon Vaughn, Carl Falk and other catalogs.
Scherer said, “Marian’s time at BMG has been and is exceedingly consistent with our core values, approach and strategy. His work creating an integrated and collaborative international team around the world has helped raise our game in music publishing and develop songwriters and artists careers on a global scale. We congratulate Marian on this well–earned and well–deserved promotion!”
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Universal Music Central Europe has named Maciej Kutak as Managing Director for Universal Music Poland (UMP). The appointment will see Kutak taking over the duties of Jan Kubicki who parted ways recently to spend more time on his own projects, which include a JV label partnership with UMP under the banner of Magic Records. Kutak was most recently with Sony Music, holding the role of Managing Director, Eastern Europe, since 2014. With Sony, he oversaw the company’s operations in 10 countries across Eastern Europe. Prior, he was with Viacom International as a VP. Kutak’s career began in publishing including roles at Axel Springer and Bauer Media Poland, before he headed to Viacom in 2010. With UMP, Kutak will be based in Warsaw and report to Frank Briegmann, President & CEO Central Europe, Universal Music and Deutsche Grammophon.
In other Universal Music Group (UMG) news, the company has tapped Apple Music staffers JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian as Sr. VP’s of Artist Development for the company. Having both been with the Global Artist Relations Team at Apple since the streaming platform rolled out, the duo will work with UMG’s repertoire sources in over 60 countries to develop and execute long–term development strategies for UMG’s roster. They will be based out of UMG’s Santa Monica, CA global headquarters. With Apple Music, Corsini and Hovsepian supported the launch and programming of Up Next, Apple Music’s new artist initiative, in addition to programming select playlist and Beats 1 shows such as Best of The Week and others.
Multi–Platinum, Grammy Award–winning performer, songwriter and producer Richard Marx has finalized a new global recordings and catalog deal with BMG. This summer, Marx is set to release the first new song from his upcoming studio album, due later this fall, marking his first new album in five years. Last week, in celebrating the 30th anniversary of his chart–topping, worldwide hit album, Repeat Offender (originally released April 26th, 1989), Marx released Repeat Offender Revisited via BMG, a collection featuring newly–recorded studio, live and acoustic versions of songs from the original album. Additionally, BMG has digitally re–released several catalog titles including Stories To Tell (2010), A Night Out With Friends (2012), Marx’s first–ever holiday album Christmas Spirit (2012), his last studio release Beautiful Goodbye (2014), and Now and Forever: The Ballads (2014). Marx’s three–decade–long career has seen him reaching sales of over 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his self–titled debut which went Top 10 on the charts and spawned four Top 5 singles, as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The follow–up, Repeat Offender, reached No.1 and was certified quadruple–platinum with two No.1 singles. When both Rush Street and Paid Vacation went platinum, Marx achieved a seven–year string of successes. To–date, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach Top 5 on the Billboard charts. As a songwriter and producer, Marx’s credits include songs “To Where You Are” (Josh Groban), “This I Promise You” (NSYNC), and “Love Hot Summer” (Keith Urban), as well as a Grammy Award for Song of the Year for co–authoring Luther Vandross’ “Dance with My Father.”
Live Nation’s China operations have announced a new Chairman in veteran Chinese music executive Song Ke. Ke will be based in Beijing and will lead the overall Live Nation business in the territory, focusing on domestic artist touring, management and venues. Ke joins Live Nation China (LNC) from Alibaba Music where he also held the role of Chairman. His early career saw him founding the label Rye Music, and later assuming the lead role for Warner Music Group’s Chinese operations, prior to setting up Taihe Rye Music in 2004. He was named Chairman of the China Music Industry Committee (CMIC), a nonprofit trade group, in 2014. With Ke’s attention on the domestic operations, LNC’s Managing Director Edward Liu will maintain oversight of the international business.
In other Live Nation news, the firm has broadened its portfolio further in acquiring an interest in New England’s Levitate Music & Arts Festival as it looks to expand its music footprint in the region. Launched in 2013, Levitate was founded by Levitate Surf Shop owners Daniel and Jessica Hassett alongside Ineffable Music’s Thomas Cussins. It has since evolved into a multi–day event that attracts over 30,000 attendees annually in July. This year’s seventh edition, set for July 12th–14th, will feature performances from Tedeschi Trucks Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Damian Marley and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Levitate becomes one of over 100 festivals in the Live Nation stable.
Warner Music has launched a new affiliate in Peru, one of the fastest–growing music markets in Latin America. Based in Lima, Warner Music Peru will be led by Country Manager, Angela Sarmiento Vera. Sarmiento Vera assumes the role having worked at Warner Music Colombia for the last six years in various marketing roles. She reports to Maria Mercedes Montejo, General Manager, Warner Music Andean Region. Sarmiento Vera’s career began at Grupo Editorial Norma, a book publishing company based in Colombia before heading to Bogotá–based PR agency, Fabiola Morera. She joined Warner Music Colombia in 2012 as Head of Press and TV, before becoming Label Marketing Manager and eventually, Director of Marketing.
The Prince Estate has partnered with Warner Bros. Records (WBR) and Tidal for the upcoming release of a special 15–track set called Originals on the late artist’s birthday, June 7th, which will be exclusively available on Tidal for 14 days. The full–length will feature Prince’s recordings of tracks he wrote that were initially released by other artists. Of the 15 songs included, only one, Prince’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” has previously been released. The set’s programming was a collaboration between Troy Carter on behalf of the estate, and Jay Z. Scheduled for release by WBR on June 21st through all other streaming and download partner outlets, as well as on CD, Originals will also be presented as a 180 gram two LP set, and limited edition Deluxe CD/LP offering, on July 19th.
Despite posting lower first–quarter earnings, SiriusXM revealed that it has seen increases to its subscribers across its satellite radio offering, as well as music streaming platform, Pandora. At the end of March, SiriusXM reported subscribers had reached 34.2 million, a net increase of 132,000 for the quarter, including 29.1 million self–pay users. Pandora, which SiriusXM acquired in February, saw growth of 246,000 net self–pay subscribers over the first quarter bringing total self–pay subscriber numbers to 6.2 million, with total Pandora subscribers reaching 6.9 million. First quarter earnings for SiriusXM reached $162 million, with the same period last year generating $289 million. The most recent figure includes $76 million in acquisition and other charges.
It was announced last week by Position Music’s President & CEO, Tyler Bacon, that the company has finalized a publishing deal with singer, songwriter, poet, filmmaker and humanitarian, Michael Franti. The new arrangement sees Position Music working closely with Franti to maximize opportunities for his new music in film, TV, advertising and gaming outlets. As an artist, Franti began writing music in the 80’s to process the political landscape, unique sounds, and ideas of his Bay Area upbringing. He formed Michael Franti & Spearhead in 1994, touring and releasing a number of albums. The band released their full–length, Stay Human, in 2001 and followed it with a number of notable releases including the No.1 Billboard single “The Sound of Sunshine” (2010) and albums All People (2013) and SOULROCKER (2016), which reached No.4 and No.5 on the Billboard Rock Album chart, respectively. Michael Franti & Spearhead recently released their latest album, Stay Human Vol. II, (Thirty Tigers) in addition to Franti’s award–winning, self–directed documentary, Stay Human, and are currently on a headlining tour while co–headlining dates with Ziggy Marley, and supporting dates with Sublime with Rome.
Paradigm Talent Agency has added award–winning musician/producer/author/photographer and entrepreneur, Dave Stewart, to their roster for global representation across all areas. Stewart’s career has spanned four decades and has seen him generating album sales of more than 100 million, including his work with Annie Lennox as half of the widely–successful duo the Eurythmics. As a producer/songwriter, credits for Stewart include work with the likes of Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Gwen Stefani, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Katy Perry, Sinead O’Connor, Joss Stone and others. Among his many recognitions are Grammy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice, MTV Video Music and Brit Award wins, as well as an induction into the UK Hall of Fame. Stewart has also scored and written/produced music for a number of film projects and is the creator and executive producer of the forthcoming songwriting competition TV series, Songland, on NBC. He also, alongside late Microsoft Co–Founder Paul Allen, created and co–founded the Hospital Club in London and the new hClub in Los Angeles.
Thomas Fiss has been named VP of Strategic Marketing, N. America for AWAL. Fiss will be based in the company’s LA office will overseeing creative multi–channel marketing for AWAL’s artists. Fiss comes to AWAL with over a decade of experience in the music and partnership marketing arenas. He had most recently served as a department head of the Life is Beautiful Music Festival, managing the strategy and execution of brand partnerships. Prior to starting his career in marketing, he had been signed as an artist to Capitol Records in the U.S.
In other AWAL news, the company has finalized an exclusive worldwide agreement with LA–based indie label, SideOneDummy Records. The deal sees SideOneDummy benefiting from AWAL’s marketing, A&R, promotion, distribution and licensing support for its current roster and catalog. Launched in 1995 by Joe Sib and Bill Armstrong, SideOneDummy went through a significant restructuring last year and has been behind the launch of careers for acts such as Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello and Title Fight. The current roster counts Xavier Rudd, Rozwell Kid and Nahko And Medicine For The People, with the label having released the annual Warped Tour compilation set since 1998.
Continuing what has been a tough entry into the Indian market, Spotify has received notice from the country’s oldest record label, Saregama, to pull down its entire catalog from the streaming service within the next week and a half. According to the lawsuit filed by Saregama, the label stated it had been negotiating a copyright license with Spotify while allowing the company to upload content prior to its Indian launch, but had never signed a contract. Spotify has amicably agreed to remove Saregama’s music from the platform. This news comes following an injunction by Warner Music Group, just days before Spotify was set to roll–out in India in February, to block the DSP from illegitimately using its publishing rights. The Warner dispute is currently an ongoing matter.
In other Spotify news, the streamer has revealed Q1 results for 2019 which includes premium subscribers reaching the 100 million user milestone. Despite reporting that most metrics surpassed or reached the high end of its expectations, monthly active users reached mid–range estimates at 217 million, an increase of 26% year–upon–year. In reaching the 100 million threshold, Premium subscriber growth was at the high–end of expectations, increasing 32% year–upon–year. Subscriber growth was led by promotions in the U.S. and Canada such as the Family Plan, the Google Home Mini offer, and a decrease in price on the Hulu discount bundle. Following its recent launch in India, Spotify’s footprint has expanded to 79 countries. Growth was also experienced for the quarter across total revenue (€1.511 billion, an increase of 33% year–upon–year); Premium revenue (€1.385 billion, an increase of 34% year–on–year); and ad–supported revenue (€126 million, an increase of 24% year–on–year). Spotify Publishing Analytics, offering publishers data on when their songs are added to playlists and which playlists are behind boosts in listening, has seen forty major publishers making use of the offering to–date. Operating expenses increased 30% to €420 million with operating losses reaching €47 million, marking a smaller loss than anticipated. Spotify expects Q2 monthly active users to reach 222–228 million, Premium subscribers to reach 107–110 million and revenue of €1.51–€1.71 billion. For 2019 overall, Spotify is anticipating 245–265 million monthly active users, 117–127 million premium subscribers and total revenue of €6.35–€6.8 billion.
Video social media platform, TikTok, has been allowed to re–engage with the Indian market following an Indian court lifting a recent ban on the app last week. The court stated that TikTok could resume operation in the territory under the condition that the platform does not host obscene videos, which, if violated would be considered contempt of court. The ban on the app had been put in place earlier this month as a result of the Madras High Court’s concern that pornographic content was present on such platforms.
Leading Latin independent, DEL Records, has entered into a new long–term global partnership with BMG. The new agreement sees BMG serving as the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for each of DEL’s publishing entities – DEL Melodies, DEL World Songs and DEL New Music. BMG has been the publishing administrator of the DEL catalog since 2016. Founded in 2008 by CEO Angel del Villar, DEL Records focuses on Regional Mexican music, having launched the careers of chart–topping, award–winning artists Gerardo Ortiz, Luis Coronel, Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes and Regulo Caro.
A&R Worldwide has learned that veteran industry executive Xavier Ramos has joined the world’s largest esports organization, FaZe Clan, as VP of Creative Development. Ramos reports directly to FaZe Clan’s CEO in his new role as the firm continues its growth globally. Ramos’ background includes a number of executive roles in the marketing departments of Warner Bros. Records (WBR) and Interscope Records, including his most recent role as Sr. VP of Marketing at WBR.
TuneCore revealed today that it has posted a record $1.5 billion in download and streaming revenue, with TuneCore artists generating $83 million in Q1 2019, a 21% boost over the same time last year. Distribution income for artists last year reached $308 million, an increase of 28% year-upon-year. Additionally, TuneCore’s 250,000 artists generated total streams and downloads of 199.3 billion in 2018, a jump of 83% from 2017. At the same time, TuneCore reported growth of 42% to publishing administration royalties collected with YouTube monetization generating 48% more in new income over 2017. Other key global streaming figures from TuneCore included showing significant growth to the heavy metal and J–pop genres as two of the fastest worldwide at 154% and 133%, respectively. Streaming growth in Africa continues with the region seeing a jump of 146%, with the next fastest territory, Asia, at only 52% growth. The growth on the African continent looks to be led by Morocco and South Africa, with the countries showing increases in streaming for 2018 of 243% and 125%, respectively.
Management firm Tap Music has added Aimee Jessiman to their team as a senior day–to–day artist manager. Reporting to Founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millet, Jessiman will look after day–to–day artist activities. She comes to Tap from Modest Management where she represented acts such as Katherine Jenkins, Astrid S, Diana Vickers and others.
APA has announced the promotion of Steve Lassiter to Co–Head of Worldwide Music for the agency. Having joined APA in 1998, Lassiter most recently served as Partner, Sr. VP and Head of Concerts for APA Nashville. His new role will give him oversight of operations for APA Music’s concerts division, alongside Worldwide Music Co–Heads, Bruce Solar and Steve Martin. Among Lassiter’s roster of clients are included acts such as Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, David Lee Murphy and Kansas. With more than four decades of experience in the country music arena, his career began as a production assistant and promotion representative for Nashville’s Sound Seventy Productions in the late ’70s. Lassiter also currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the National Association of Talent Directors (NATD).
Starting May 2nd, Vice Media will commence bringing a number of its sites including Noisey, Broadly, Tonic and Waypoint, under the Vice.com banner. The new main page structure marks a re–branding initiative which is set to be unveiled this Wednesday. Music–centric channel Noisey will maintain its name and branding as it transitions away from being its own independent publication and sees its music news editorial absorbed into Vice. The move comes as part of a larger Vice Media restructuring, led by CEO, Nancy Dubuc, who took over leadership from Founder Shane Smith last year. Dubuc revealed earlier this year in a memo to staff that the broader plans include a layoff of 10% of the company’s team as it seeks to minimize spending and focus its diverse portfolio into five targeted areas of growth including studios, news, digital, television and Virtue, the firm’s in–house advertising agency.
Chart–topping Puerto Rican trap artist, Anuel AA, has finalized a direct distribution agreement with The Orchard. The new relationship will encompass global physical, digital and video distribution for Anuel AA’s 2018 full–length studio effort, Real Hasta la Muerte, as well as his upcoming album release. Real Hasta la Muerte made its way to No.1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, remaining there for two consecutive weeks and as of last week was at No.6 40 weeks following its release.
The Invitational Group, Milk & Honey Management, UMPG Australia, Island Records Australia and APRA AMCOS recently hosted their 10th Annual Songwriting Invitational in Ubud, Bali. The songwriting camp was curated by writer/producer Oak Felder and sought to inspire collaborations between some of the world’s biggest songwriters, producers and artists in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. In addition to Felder, the Bali 2019 camp also welcomed other leading creatives and artists including Sebastian Kole, Lauren Jauregui, Noah Cyrus, Jojo, August Rigo, Dinah Jane, Arlissa, Sophia Messa, Boi, Azul, Shungudzo Kuyimba, Tushar Apte, Mayila, KIAN, Ecca Vandal, Jason “JG” Gilbert, Ryosuki Sakai, Jenna Andrews, Khris Riddick “The Rascals,” Michael Sonier, Michael Fatkin, Andy Hopkins, PJ Wolf and Isabella Kearney–Nurse. Past collaborations for the Songwriting Invitational have produced a number of chart topping hits with an A+ list of attendees that included Nick Jonas, Steve Lillywhite, Demi Lovato, Armin Van Buuren and Oliver Heldens.
Fierce Panda has signed indie–goth quartet Desperate Journalist to its Fierce Panda Songs publishing arm via a joint venture agreement with Bucks Music Group. The JV between Bucks and Fierce Panda sees Bucks providing upfront investment, creative synch services and back–end administration for Fierce Panda Songs, as well as ongoing support, advice and expertise. Desperate Journalist released their third album, In Search Of The Miraculous, in February this year, following the releases of their self–titled debut full–length in 2014, and 2017’s Grow Up. The band have received strong support from the likes of Line Of Best Fit, The Quietus, Q Magazine, The Skinny and Uncut. They also sold–out London venue The Garage in April and the rest of the year sees the band performing across the U.K. and Germany.
Fuse Media, the largest independently–owned cable network, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it struggles to compete with the continued growth of the video–on–demand market within its target demographic of millennials and multicultural audiences. Bankruptcy documents revealed that Fuse had a net revenue of $114.7 million last year, driven by affiliate fees and ad revenue. In addition to battling with consumer trends, the company was dropped by Comcast at the start of the year and is currently in court with DirecTV over a dispute around the DirecTV’s affiliate agreement. Fuse is also facing the servicing of its existing debt, which bears an outstanding principal balance on its senior notes of $242 million. Among the unsecured creditors, Fuse counts Showtime Networks, Buena Vista Television, Universal Studios, Comcast and MGM Studios, all being owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As it celebrates its 20–year milestone, Townsend Music has become the first D2C company to gain direct chart eligibility in Germany. One of the world’s leading D2C music partners, Townsend provides not only online stores for artist clients but a number of additional, tailored and innovative e–commerce solutions, including pop–up shops and “D2C On Tour” campaigns, selling chart eligible album pre–orders at concerts. Among the diverse range of artists Townsend works with are Tom Walker, Kylie, Courteeners, Dido, The Darkness and Oh Wonder. The news marks the first time that artist’s D2C sales will be accepted by GFK Entertainment, the body that publishes the German music charts, adding to Townsend Music’s current chart eligibility in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Eire, France, New Zealand and Australia. The company has also rolled out a brand–new website this month bring its special products into one centralized location, to complement the existing individual artist stores powered by Townsend.
Veteran entertainment attorney, Bernard Max Resnick, Esquire, has recently been recognized with several honors and appointments including, for the 15th consecutive year, being named to the Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers” list, for the field of Entertainment and Sports Law, as published in Thompson Reuters. Resnick was also honored with an appointment to the Board of Directors of the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards which discover and champion youth and emerging composers globally. Additionally,for the 5th consecutive year, Resnick was honored with an appointment to the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Hall of Fame national selection committee. Resnick’s firm, Bernard M. Resnick, Esq., P.C., has earned more than 100 Gold, Platinum, multi–Platinum, and Billboard No.1’s, as well as Grammy, Eurovision, BDS, MTV, Dove and other awards for deals negotiated and drafted on behalf of the firm’s clients, representing sales of more than 170,000,000 records.
SoundExchange has revealed four new appointments to its Board of Directors with the additions of Mitch Glazier (Chairman & CEO, RIAA), Alasdair McMullan (Sr. VP Business & Legal Affairs, Universal Music Group), entertainment attorney Laurie Soriano, and Jeff Walker (EVP & Head of Business and Legal Affairs, Sony Music’s Global Digital Business Division).
Successful Scottish composer and original Nightcrawlers band member, Ross Campbell, has sold his publishing catalogue to Dutch music company, CTM. Among the catalog’s works are included the widely–successful house track, “Push The Feeling On,” released in 1992 by the Nightcrawlers. The song became a global hit, reaching No.3 in the U.K., No.7 in France, No.6 in Germany, and reaching the Top 10 in a number of other territories. The song was also sampled by Pitbull for his hit “Hotel Room Service,” which saw the work again having Top 10 chart success in many countries worldwide in 2009, making it to No.8 in the U.S. Additional new recordings, making use of “Push The Feeling On” are expected for release by well–known artists later in the year.
GL Music Publishing Scandinavia and The Netherlands’ Roc–A–Ville Publishing have announced a new co–publishing venture to deliver globally their combined publishing and A&R management services for songwriters, producers, artists, music labels and management companies. The collaboration will see the two co–publishing a boutique roster of talent, with GL Music handling administration worldwide, as well as synch representation, A&R and song pitching, and Roc–A–Ville focused on delivering creative services both to the roster, as well as to clients across labels and management firms with respect to sessions, A&R’ing and exploitation of masters.
The newly–independent IMPEL has named music lawyer Sarah Williams as its CEO. IMPEL is the new collective licensing agency representing digital publishing rights. It is 100% owned and controlled by its members, which include a number of leading independent publishers such as Bucks Music Group, Beggars Music, Reservoir Music, Kassner Music and Truelove Music. Williams’ career spans law, politics, conflict resolution and the nonprofit sector. She runs her own legal and business affairs consultancy, Big Picture Legal. Her work in the music and entertainment arena began in 1992 when, at the peak of the Acid House/Techno/House wave, she started advising a number of dance labels. Over the years, Williams has represented a wide range of clients including artists, creators, labels, publishers, promoters, distributors, film and TV production companies, and other media businesses within the creative industries. In recent years, she has specialized in publishing, consulting for leading publishers such as Sony/ATV, Universal, Warner/Chappell and Concord Music. She has also worked with the Music Publishers Association. Williams’ appointment comes following the confirmations of Bucks Music Group’s Simon Platz and Beggars Music’s Andy Heath as IMPEL Chairman and President respectively.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: David Wolter, Joey Arbagey, Jeff Sosnow, Sharon Dastur, Michael Goldstone, Alex Patsavas, Doug Mark, Ron Cerrito, Troy Carter, Dina LaPolt, Mark Needham, Mio Vukovic, Samantha Cox, Richard Griffiths and Ben Cooper.
JACKASS OF THE WEEK
Have you ever sent a personal IM to the wrong screen name, 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. We’ve all heard the phrase, “take things in moderation,” right? Unfortunately, some folks didn’t get the memo. Click HERE to see some moments with folks who’ve had more than a bit of their share of moderation!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– CALLUM BEATTIE
Just two short years ago, Callum Beattie released his debut single, “We Are Stars.” The Scottish singer–songwriter has amassed 3.5 million Spotify streams on the song to date, followed by his second single “Man Behind The Sun,” which earned airplay at BBC Radio 2. As his career was seeing highs, his personal life began to see some lows, including ending his decade–long relationship with his girlfriend and making the decision to relocate to Berlin. As he transitioned to Berlin to refocus on his songwriting, he collaborated with songwriters Michael Ochs and David Juergens, and the result is the glorious upbeat track called “Connection.” The track is his first taste of new music since his well–received pair of EPs, 2017’s We Are Stars and last year’s Miracle, as well as his performances at Glastonbury, BST Hyde Park, T In The Park and The Great Escape. He just finished a European tour alongside The Kooks and Blossoms and is working on his forthcoming debut album due this Autumn in addition to a U.K. tour. Listen to Callum Beattie’s “Connection” HERE and contact manager Rob Swerdlow at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and all inquiries.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – BLITZ UNION
Blitz Union is a new visionary music project and creative force that combines infectious EDM elements with electrifying Rock and Roll. Their message is poignant – as their lyrics highlight alarming issues that humanity faces in today’s uncertain world along with a sense of urgency, whilst providing hope and inspiration, while colored with irony and a touch of exaggeration, hyperbole and irony as well. Blitz Union features a creative power force that consists of Mark Blitz, Schtorm, Governor, Necroduster and Shodushi and collectively they aim to recruit fans worldwide, empowering their message, creating positive social change and furthering their call to action. The band’s latest EP was recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles, forging a truly unique and global sound, however, Blitz Union doesn’t just create music–they create an experience, a movement and a natural union. Together this Union shares a common message and belief, which is found in their indelible creed of “Spirit. Vision. Power. Desire. Action.” Discover their talents via their incredible visual for their single “Revolution” HERE and contact email@example.com, as Blitz Union is available for label, publishing, booking and synch opportunities.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 4/28/2019
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, April 28th, 2019: The weekly import show. Heard on over 70 radio stations on six continents weekly including: The World Famous KROQ 106.7FM Los Angeles, Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; KNRK–FM Portland OR; KNDD “The End” Seattle WA; KCJK–FM “Alternative x1051” Kansas City MO; WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” NY 107.7FM; WZRH–FM New Orleans; KHTB Salt Lake City, UT; KBZT–FM 94.9FM San Diego CA; KKDO “94.7FM” Sacramento CA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix AZ; KRML “102.1FM” Carmel CA, KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno CA; KMAX Windsor/Ft. Collins, Colorado; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; KVNV–FM Reno NV; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; East Radio–FM Shanghai, China; KAFA “97.7FM” Colorado Springs, CO; KVNV “NV89” Reno, NV; KSKI–FM, Sun Valley/Twin Falls, ID; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, New York; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia, WRUR 88.5FM Rochester New York; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY and on The Independent FM (iHeart Radio) in the United States and many others. Also, on the worldwide web and twice–weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany, as well as streaming on one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms, Saavn.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
THE VITRIOTS – “Rehab” (Sureshaker, Australia)
TEN TONNES – “Lucy” (Warner Music, UK)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Miracle” (Le Café de la Danse/Wagram/MVKA, France)
LONGFELLOW – “Iscariot” (Unsigned, UK)
SHE DREW THE GUN – “Paradise” (Skeleton Key Records, UK)
SPORTS TEAM – “M5” (Holm Front, UK)
BALTHAZAR – “Wrong Vibration” (Play It Again Sam, Belgium)
ALEX LAHEY – “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” (Dead Oceans, Australia)
CIRCA WAVES – “Times Won’t Change Me Now” (Prolifica, UK)
BAKER GRACE – “Numb” (Unsigned, N. America)
SLOAN PETERSON – “Here” (Mirror Records, Australia)
CALLOW YOUTH – “Did It Really Matter” (Waterskin Records, UK)
LAUREN WALLER – “Quicksand” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE RAH’S – “Land of The Dreamers” (Unsigned, Scotland)
HOT LIKE SUSHI – “Bitch Repellent” (Unsigned, Switzerland)
BLACK HONEY – “Crowded City” (Fox Five Records, UK)
TRUE TIDES – “Automatic” (Faction Records, Ireland)
BLACK FUTURES – “Me.TV” (Sony, UK)
TEDDYBEARS – “Give It All Up” (Unsigned, Sweden)
STICKY FINGERS – “Not Done Yet” (Sureshaker, Australia)
WHENYOUNG – “Never Let Go” (Virgin/EMI, Ireland)
MICHEL YOUNG – “Talk Talk” (Unsigned, Sweden)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Less Is More” (SO Recordings, UK)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “I Forgot Your Name (But I Like You)” (Clouds Hill, Sweden)
LIME CORDIALE – “Money” (Chugg Music, Australia)
RAT CITY FEAT. ISAK HEIM – “Kind Of Love” (Sony Music, Norway)
JOAN – “Drive All Night” (SNAFU/Universal, Sweden)
KIM CHURCHILL – “After The Sun” (Rufus Nomad, Australia)
TUNDRA – “Navy Red” (R.E.P.E.A.T. Records, UK)
EMME LENTINO – “Oxygen” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
TREE LINED STREETS – “Transformation” (Unsigned, Ireland)
BENE – “Soaked” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
TROPHY EYES – “Lavender Bay” (Hopeless Records, Australia)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Kim Churchill, Lauren Waller, Sticky Fingers, Michel Young and Tree Lined Streets)