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BMG NAMES ANDREAS KATSAMBAS EVP, LATIN AMERICA & CANADA
AND POSTS STRONG START TO 2019




BMG has announced Andreas Katsambas as EVP, Latin America and Canada, a newly–created role that will see him leading the growth of the company’s recordings and publishing infrastructure in the territories while driving revenues. Based in New York, Katsambas will report directly to CEO, Hartwig Masuch.

Andreas Katsambas
Said Masuch, “BMG international’s network is already the biggest outside the established majors. This appointment marks the beginnings of a second–stage rollout of our services around the world. Further territories will follow as our business continues to grow.”

Around 50% of BMG’s revenues currently come from the US. Katsambas’ appointment is designed to drive further scale in the Americas.

In Latin America, Katsambas will lead BMG’s strategic efforts, business development, and the set–up of further infrastructure to support its recorded music releases. BMG already counts partnerships in the region including with Seitrack, a full label services operation based in Mexico City, with new partnerships to be developed in major key markets including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. In Brazil, Katsambas will work closely with BMG GM, Jasmina Zammit. In Canada, Katsambas will assume a similar role, setting up infrastructure in both Toronto and Montreal to support U.S. and international repertoire. Newly appointed Sr. VP Global Recordings, Jason Hradil, will manage all repertoire releases there.

Katsambas will now also lead Latin music initiatives for BMG including its recent deals with the Goldstar and El Equipo labels, and direct signing Malu Trevejo, together with responsibility for the newly–formed Trojan Jamaica label.

Katsambas came to BMG in 2017 with its acquisition of his The End Records label. He previously served as BMG’s Sr. VP Global Recordings in the U.S., where he was responsible for overseeing marketing campaigns for both inbound/outbound international recordings. He has played a key role in developing international collaborations between the U.S. and BMG’s international territories in both the U.K. and Continental Europe and helping to create/define an infrastructure for global recordings in the U.S.

Alongside the announcement of its expansion in Latin America and Canada, BMG also revealed continued growth for the company overall in the first half of 2019, with double–digit increases in revenue and operating EBITDA. Revenues increased 11.4% year–upon–year to €269 million, largely led by organic growth, with operating EBITDA, increasing by 16.7% to €49 million. The fastest growth came from BMG’s recordings division, with revenues from publishing operations also increasing strongly. The share of total revenues attributable to digital formats rose to 56%, a result of the continuing growth in the digital streaming arena. BMG’s recordings business saw a number of successful releases for the first half of 2019 from artists including Keith Richards, Kylie Minogue, Lil Dicky, Avril Lavigne, Dido, The Cranberries, AJR and Adel Tawil, as well as No.1 albums by Jack Savoretti (U.K.) and Kontra K (DE). Additionally, new record contracts were finalized with The Shires, Seeed, the Zac Brown Band, Sugar Ray and Richard Marx. On the publishing side, successes included Lewis Capaldi, whose worldwide hit “Someone You Love” has sold more than three million copies, and Juice WRLD, who garnered his first U.S. No.1 album. In February, BMG songwriters were behind a record 24 No.1’s across the Billboard charts. New publishing agreements included those with Cage the Elephant, AnnenMayKantereit and Jason Duke. Among the major transactions over 2019’s first half were an extension of the company’s relationship with Black Sabbath, the launch of the new Trojan Jamaica label and an extension of BMG’s global music publishing partnership with Latin music label DEL Records. BMG also launched its 15th international office, in Hong Kong, to build its footprint in the Asian market.


UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING GROUP UNVEILS
SONGWRITER, ARTIST & EXECUTIVE UPDATES


Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has announced that 15–time Grammy Award–winning artist, songwriter, and record producer, Alicia Keys, has been signed to an exclusive administration deal. Under the new partnership, UMPG will support Keys’ music, both current catalog and future works, for creative opportunities worldwide.
Alicia Keys With The UMPG Team

One of the most influential and talented musicians of her time, Keys has sold more than 65 million records, as well as 30 million albums worldwide. As a songwriter, she has penned chart–topping hits including “Fallin,” “My Boo,” “No One,” “Like You’ll Never See Me Again,” “You Don’t Know My Name,” “Empire State of Mind,” and others. Across her six highly–acclaimed studio albums, Keys has garnered four No.1 debuts on the Billboard 200; two No.2 debuts; and all of her albums have topped Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip–Hop Albums chart.

Said UMPG Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, “At the beginning of her career, I was fortunate to have signed Alicia to her first music publishing deal at age 14. We shared tremendous success together over time and our relationship grew from a professional, publisher–songwriter relationship into a deep, personal friendship. Now, it is an honor to bring Alicia into my UMPG family. In the many years I’ve known Alicia, she has risen to become of the biggest names in music and an icon in art and culture whose songs are celebrated by fans around the world. I respect her tremendously as a songwriter, producer, performer, artist, mother, businesswoman, and as a person who is in control and standing in her power. Our UMPG global team looks forward to delivering outstanding creative opportunities in support of her timeless music.”

Additionally, UMPG has finalized a new agreement with Konrad DantasKondzilla firm. The Brazilian executive and creator rolled–out Kondzilla in 2012, initially as a YouTube channel, and it has become widely recognized for delivering Brazilian funk music to the masses. Under the Kondzilla umbrella are divisions for music video production, label/publishing operations, licensing and a lifestyle content website. With almost 600 titles from over 50 artists, Kondzilla’s catalog includes hit songs such as “O Grave Bater, Encaixa and Rabiola“ (MC Kevinho); “Oh Quem Voltou” (Dani Russo); “Pega A Receita” (MC Dede & MC Kevinho); “Solteiro Até Morrer” (MC Kekel); and “Abusadamente” by (MC Gusta & MC DG). Its YouTube channel counts over 50.6 million subscribers and sits as Brazil’s most popular channels as well as one of the top 10 globally. Its 1,100 videos have collectively generated more than 25 billion views.

Stephen J. Dallas
In staff updates, UMPG has named Stephen J. Dallas as Sr. VP, Business & Legal Affairs and Digital Business Development. Dallas will report to David Kokakis, Chief Counsel, Business Affairs for UMPG and Digital Rights Management for UMG/UMPG, while based in the company’s Santa Monica headquarters. Dallas had previously been with Warner Chappell Music where he held the role of VP, Digital Legal Affairs & Business Development and was behind deals with Apple Music, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, Facebook, SoundCloud, Pandora and Genius. His resume also includes time with law firms Thelen, Reid & Priest, LLP, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.


A&R WORLDWIDE IN INDIA –
ONE OF THE WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING MUSIC MARKETS




A&R Worldwide’s President & Founder, Sat Bisla, made his eleventh annual trip to India, which continues to evolve as one of the world’s fastest growing music, streaming, live, synch, digital and publishing markets. A&R Worldwide has had an active presence in the market for the past decade and a strong relationship with many of the key stakeholders and creatives in the local market, which continues to show impressive growth year upon year.

Below is a pictorial overview of A&R Worldwide’s recent trip to India.

A MUSICAL TREAT IN MUMBAI, INDIA: Pictured (l–r) are Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO); legendary Indian singer/songwriter Kailash Kher and Mandar Thakur (COO, Times Music, India). DISCUSSING THE EVOLVING INDIAN MUSIC, MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS were Sat Bisla and Indian music industry pioneer and entrepreneur Vijay Nair.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC: Pictured (l–r) are Tarsame Mittal (Founder, All About Music India) and Charles Caldas (CEO, Merlin). ADDING SOME MUSICAL SPICE TO THEIR CONVERSATION were (l–r) Anuj Gupta (Events Manager, Gaana), Anurag Rao (CEO, Canvas Talent) and Sat Bisla.
ENJOYING THE NORWEGIAN AND INDIAN VIBES IN MUMBAI were (l–r) Sat Bisla, Helene Broch (Head of International, Music Norway) and Kathrine Finnskog (Managing Director, Music Norway).
CONVERSING ABOUT THE GROWING DIGITAL MARKET IN INDIA (l–r) are Sat Bisla, Khushboo Ponwar (Head of Business Development – India, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, Apple Music), Anurag Rao and Reynold D’Silva (Founder & Chairman, Silva Screen Group). THREE’S COMPANY, FOUR’S A CROWD: Having a joyful conversation were (l–r) Sat Bisla, Reynold D’Silva and Amarpal Gaind (Head of Strategy, Silva Screen Group).
DISCUSSING BREAKING ARTISTS AND GLOBAL A&R are Sunil D’Sa (Founder & CEO, 9122 Records, India) and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla. SPEAKING ABOUT THE BURGEONING LIVE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS IN INDIA were Sat Bisla and Dhruv Sheth (Managing Partner, OML, India).



GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Walter Jones & David Gray
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) announced today that David Gray and Walter Jones have been named Co–Heads, A&R. Gray has relocated to New York City and Jones will continue to be based in Santa Monica. As UMPG continues to accelerate its global publishing strategy, the appointments strengthen the company’s top creative leadership. Helming UMPG’s bi–coastal U.S. hubs, Gray and Jones will collaboratively oversee A&R creative strategy for signed songwriters, artists and producers; lead the team in finding and developing the best rising talent; and support legacy talent in providing opportunities to further their careers. In addition, the executives will lead the growth of UMPG’s creative teams across coasts. Jody Gerson, UMPG Chairman and CEO, said, “David and Walter are accomplished A&R executives who have helped develop some of the brightest creative talent. David is a respected and experienced executive who has built tremendous success with Shawn Mendes, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Logic. Walter is an excellent leader and trusted publishing A&R for H.E.R., Quavo, Lil Baby and Metro Boomin. Together, they form a strong partnership and lead the best A&R team in the industry.”

Rodney Shealey & Theda Sandiford
In a strategic move to strengthen and restructure the top levels of its executive leadership team, Def Jam Recordings has promoted the widely–respected label veteran Rodney Shealey to Executive Vice President of the label, and has promoted Theda Sandiford to Sr. Vice President, Commerce, it was announced today by Paul Rosenberg, Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG). In his newly expanded role, Shealey will work closely with Def Jam’s artists, managers and partners to design and execute strategies across all platforms. Shealey will now oversee Def Jam’s marketing department while continuing to run its urban promotion division. At the same time, Sandiford, who has excelled within UMG in the fields of marketing, sales, and international commerce, will now head Def Jam’s growing commerce and digital marketing initiatives. Both Shealey and Sandiford, who are based in New York, will report directly to Rosenberg.

Parlophone Records has named Ina Rasinger (formerly Jedlicka) and Jin Jin as A&R Director and Sr. A&R Manager, respectively. Rasinger will join Parlophone on January 15th from Sony Music Germany where she was Head of A&R for the Columbia label and has built a reputation for building English artists out of Germany. Among her signings are included James Arthur, as well as recent work with Rhodes and Richard Fairlie. She was also behind the signing of Tap Management’s Grace Carter to Sony. Jin Jin assumes her new role immediately, bringing the multi–Platinum songwriter to the Parlophone team. Jin Jin has written with the likes of Jax Jones, Raye, Madison Beer, Sigala, David Guetta and Yebba as well as others. She co–wrote the Jess Glynne U.K. No.1’s “Hold My Hand” and “Not Letting Go” by Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne, as well as “Real Love” (No.2) and “Right Here” (No.6). She will continue to lead her publishing and management company, Jinsing.

Mark Fry has been appointed to the newly created post of VP, Warner Music Nordics. Fry’s new role will see him working with Jonas Siljemark, President, Warner Music Nordics, to support the teams across the region. Fry will also maintain his role as Managing Director of Warner Music Finland, which he’s held since 2017, and operate out of the company’s Helsinki office. Having joined Warner Music Finland in 1997, he rose to become Head of Promotion before parting ways in 2001 to found Miidia, a digital rights management company. He then joined Sony Music Finland as Marketing Director in 2004 and returned to Warner Music Finland in 2008 as Marketing Director. In 2012, he added additional responsibility for Warner Music’s marketing campaigns across the Nordics. Fry was then named Managing Director of Warner Music Finland in 2017. Under his leadership, the company has remained the leading record company and domestic live agency in Finland. Fry also played a key role in Warner Music’s acquisition, earlier this year, of Monsp Records, the rap and hip–hop specialist, and one of Finland’s largest independent labels.

A joint co–publishing agreement has been finalized between Warner Chappell Music and Artist Publishing Group, and singer/songwriter Ava Max. Ava Max’s “Sweet But Psycho,” released last year, made its way to the top of the charts in over 25 countries. The worldwide deal encompasses the artist’s full catalog as well as future works.

In other Warner Chappell Music news, the publisher has signed a worldwide publishing deal with John Paul White, a former member of The Civil Wars. Among White’s collaborations and writing credits are included work with acts such as Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Rodney Crowell, Eli Young Band, Ronan Keating and The Steel Drivers. White released his full–length, The Hurting Kind, in April which was co–produced by Alabama Shakes band member, Ben Tanner, and featured co–writes with Bobby Braddock and Whisperin’ Bill Anderson. White is co–managed by Vector Management’s Brad Oldham and Mom+Pop’s Michael Goldstone.

Alibaba has made moves to take over a minority stake in NetEase Cloud Music through a $2 billion purchase of Kaola, NetEase’s e–commerce division. The acquisition is pending certain closing conditions but when final would see Alibaba, alongside the Jack Ma–backed investment group Yunfeng Financial, investing around $700 million into NetEase Cloud Music under its latest funding round. Having launched in 2013, NetEase Cloud Music reports more than 800 million registered users, though hasn’t confirmed the number of active monthly users. NetEase had partnered with Alibaba’s Xiami streaming offering last year as they looked to share their content libraries.

Reservoir has finalized a deal to bring U.K.–based music company Blue Raincoat Music and its subsidiary Chrysalis Records, to the Reservoir portfolio. The deal encompasses master rights to Chrysalis Records’ entire catalog of hits including Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Generation X’s “Dancing With Myself,” and others. Founded in 2014 by former Chrysalis Music CEO, Jeremy Lascelles, and Grammy–winning record producer Robin Millar, Blue Raincoat Music is home to a standalone operating record label that houses the Chrysalis Records catalog. Chrysalis Records represents more than 20,000 recordings including iconic British and American rock and pop tracks from the 60s – 90s. Alongside Sinead O’Connor and Generation X, the catalog, acquired via divestment from Warner Music Group in 2016, counts recordings from the likes of The Specials, Debbie Harry, Suzi Quatro, Lucinda Williams, The Waterboys, Ultravox, and Everything But The Girl. Lascelles and Millar will maintain their roles running the Chrysalis Records label, as well as Blue Raincoat’s day–to–day operations. Blue Raincoat’s management and publishing divisions are not altered by this deal and will continue to operate separately under its existing structure.

In other Reservoir news, the company has added a key creative executive to its team in James Cheney, who joins as VP of Creative and A&R. Based in LA, Cheney will look after songwriters for the company, as well as sign and develop new talent alongside the Creative teams in LA, New York, Nashville and London. Marking his first signing at Reservoir is Grammy–winning writer/producer/artist, Rami Dawod, in a deal that will see Reservoir representing future works for the creative. As one–half of RCA Records’ production duo Jarami, Dawod garnered the 2019 Grammy for “Best Dance Recording” for co–writing and co–producing “Electricity,” performed by Mark Ronson and Diplo’s supergroup, Silk City featuring Dua Lipa. Other writing and production credits include Camila Cabello’s 3x–Platinum, No.1 hit “Never Be The Same,” as well as “You & Me” by Marc E. Bassy, and Frank Ocean’s “Chanel,” “Biking,” and “Lens.” With Jarami, Dawod has released two EPs, Sketches and Sketches II, and a number of impressive singles including “Post Mates (feat. Cautious Clay),” released last month. Hailing from Sweden, Dawod is based between Stockholm and LA. Cheney joins Reservoir with more than 15 years of creative experience, most recently at Spirit Music Group. Across his career, he has overseen award–winning and notable acts including The RZA, The Roots, The Matrix, Brian Lee, DJ Mustard, Jeff Gitelman, and others. Cheney has been working with Dawod for the past three years, guiding his creative development as writer/producer. Pictured l–r are Reservoir EVP Creative Donna Caseine, Cheney, Dawod, and Reservoir Founder & CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi.

Apple Music has rolled out a web app offering which makes the platform available to any desktop computer browser, eliminating the former requirement of an iTunes download on PC or Mac. For the moment, only current Apple Music subscribers outside of China can access the web browser version, though Apple did reveal that in the future, users will be able to sign up for the platform via the web app as well. The design of the web player is similar to the upcoming Apple Music app release with Mac OS Catalina in the fall. Features of the web app includes access to play songs from your computer library and playlists from the iCloud Music Library though, Apple Music friends and Beats 1 are currently not available. Apple commented that these features will eventually roll–out to the web app.

Apple Music also recently released exclusive live EPs from Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi and Omar Apollo, recorded at Apple retail stores worldwide across the summer as part of Apple Music’s Up Next Live, a series of intimate performances from past and present Apple Music Up Next artists. The monthly Apple Music Up Next initiative showcases the best new artists globally, with one artist identified by Apple Music tastemakers and editors, to feature across the platform and raise awareness. Apple Music Up Next also includes a deeply curated companion playlist full of emerging talent across genres. Each artist on the Up Next Live roster has been featured as an Apple Music Up Next artist in the monthly program or through the playlist. All shows were hosted after hours in local Apple stores in Milan, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Paris, London, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Performances commenced in July with Bad Bunny at Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan and finished in Washington D.C. with a performance by Khalid at Apple Carnegie Library.

The first half of 2019 saw the U.S. recorded music industry growing by 18%, reaching $5.4 billion in retail, it was recently revealed by the RIAA mid–year report. The overall growth is an increase over last year’s mid–year report which saw growth of 10% and maintains the continued double–digital growth that commenced in 2016, led by subscription streaming. Streaming accounted for 75% of total revenue last year with this year’s report posting 80% market share for the sector with streaming revenue reaching $4.3 billion, up 26% over the six–month period. Total paid subscriptions in the U.S. reached 61.1 million with an average of over 1 million new subscribers signing up monthly. Also seeing a surprising increase was physical product which grew 5% to $485 million with vinyl itself increasing 13% to $224 million, accounting for 46% of total physical revenue. The physical growth reported was a result of the reduction in returns of physical product which, on a gross basis would see revenues decreasing over the period. In other sectors, digital sales continue to fall, decreasing 18% in the first half of the year. To see the full RIAA mid–year report, click HERE.

A new electronic music imprint has been launched as Last Nite under Sony Music’s Arista Records banner. Helming the new set–up is Matt D’Arduini who takes on the dual roles of Last Nite’s GM, and Sr. VP of A&R for Arista. D’Arduini reports to David Massey, Arista’s President & CEO. Also joining the new imprint are Sony Music international acts Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dom Dolla, Dynamo and Sigala. D’Arduini’s experience in the dance music space saw him serving as A&R Director at Robbins Entertainment where he signed Afrojack, and Def Jam’s 4th & B’Way Records.

Epic First Dates” has been launched as a new collaborative initiative between Live Nation and Tinder to see $30 all–in concert tickets offered to people using the dating app. The discounted ticket offer extends to 12 U.S. tours including performances from Meek Mill & Future, The Chainsmokers, Logic, A$AP Ferg and others. To access an “epic first date” Tinder users must swipe right on tour profile cards as they appear within the app which will then allow them to access a link for a dedicated page featuring complete tour and ticket details. Currently set to run through October, the partnership marks the second collaboration between Tinder and Live Nation following their Festival Mode initiative earlier this year.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a worldwide deal with singer, songwriter and producer King Princess. At just 20 years of age, the Brooklyn native (born Mikaela Straus) is fast emerging as a leading pop music figure. King Princess was exposed to music from a very early age, watching and learning from her recording engineer father Oliver Straus. She relocated to Los Angeles to focus on her music and caught the attention of Mark Ronson who made her the first signing to his new Columbia Records–affiliated label Zelig Records, which in February last year released her debut single, “1950.” The song has to–date garnered over 200 million streams and reached the Top 20 of Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in the U.S. where it was certified Gold by the RIAA. The track featured alongside her second single “Talia” on debut EP Make My Bed, while the release of “Pussy Is God” late last year further added to the excitement around the artist. Singles “Cheap Queen,” “Prophet” and “Ain’t Together” have followed this year, and she co–wrote and performed on the song “Pieces Of Us,” which featured on Mark Ronson’s recent hit album Late Night Feelings. Her own debut full–length, Cheap Queen, will be released by Zelig/Columbia Records next month and will feature contributions from Tobias Jesso Jr., Father John Misty and The Dap–Kings. Following appearances this year at Coachella, Boston Calling and the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, she spent the summer performing in N. America and Europe, including at Glastonbury Festival, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Firefly Music Festival. She will perform at the Austin City Limits Festival on October 4th, the day before beginning a N. American tour in Dallas, TX.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has also announced the promotion of Kristina Hedrick to VP, U.S. Business Development. She will be based in the company’s New York head office and report to John Pires, Sr. VP, Business Development. In her new role, Hedrick will oversee the analysis of U.S. songwriter deals and will be the initial point of contact for the A&R and Business and Legal Affairs divisions when evaluating U.S. business development opportunities. Hedrick came to Sony/ATV in 2009 after graduating from Fordham University School of Law and initially worked across business development and finance. Following the 2012 acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, she focused on business development full time and was promoted to Sr. Director, Business Development in 2018. She started her music publishing career in 2001 as an assistant at Cherry Lane Music Publishing where she rose to Director of Income Tracking.

Full–service merch company, Kontraband, has been acquired by Sony Music UK to see Kontraband collaborating with Sony Music’s labels and rosters while joining forces with its own U.S. merch division, The Thread Shop. Kontraband is led by Paul Entwistle and Justin Smith who have over two decades of experience across merchandise sales, production and distribution worldwide. Among the artists Kontraband has worked with are included Camila Cabello, Kylie Minogue, Iggy Pop, Bring Me The Horizon, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Happy Mondays, Paolo Nutini, PJ Harvey, The Streets, Keane and others.

On the retail side of Sony’s portfolio, the company has released details for a reboot to its iconic Walkman device. The Walkman NW–ZX507 features a hi–res touchscreen with the digital music player including WIFI streaming capability via an Android app as well as the ability to store downloaded music via a microSD slot and USB port. The 64GB offering of the device boasts 20 hours of battery life and a 3.6–inch HD screen. The device will hit the European market in November at a retail price of €830.

As of last Wednesday, Latin American users of Facebook and Instagram were offered the capability to include music with their Stories. Long–anticipated, the update made its way to 15 countries across Latin America including Music Stickers, Lip Sync Live and the option to include songs on a Facebook profile. Music integration was first rolled out to Instagram Stories in select territories in June. It is expected the delay in reaching other parts of the world is due to the licensing of music for the social platforms. Alvaro de Torres, who oversees Facebook’s Latin America music publishing business development, commented that Facebook has secured partnerships with local labels, publishers and collection societies in Latin America for the licensing in the region.

In other music/social media integrations, Spotify has revealed a new option for users to share the music they’re listening to directly to Snapchat Stories, or to their friends. The new offering works for tracks, playlists, albums, artists profiles and podcasts and is available through the share menu within the Spotify app. As a recipient, you also have the option to swipe up on the screen after being sent a Snap through the Spotify integration to access information on the song and listen to it on Spotify. An exact timeline for the new feature hasn’t been revealed but Spotify stated in a blog post it would be rolling out to iOS and Android devices soon.

In what they claim is a first–ever globally, Samsung and pop/R&B act Mabel collaborated for a vertical stage gig for the grand opening of Samsung’s new KX event space in London. The event saw Mabel performing on three levels of an almost 30–foot–high vertical stage which, according to a press release, was “perfect for that Instagram story shot.” Spearheaded by Universal Music U.K.’s Globe brand partnerships division, the collaboration between Mabel, Samsung and Iris was driven by research that revealed 79% of smartphone users gravitate towards vertical videos. Following its launch event, the Samsung KX space, at 22,000 square–feet, will welcome a range of live events and multi–sensory experiences moving forward including yoga classes, cooking workshops and more, powered by Samsung technology.

Kobalt has announced a pair of staff changes with the appointment of Johan Land as Chief Product Officer, and the promotion of Dominique Keegan to VP of Creative. Land steps into the role as current CPO, Simon Dennett, takes on a non–executive board seat with Kobalt’s AMRA collection society. Land had previously been serving as a product leader in Silicon Valley, most recently with Waymo where he oversaw the roll–out of the first commercial self–driving car service. Land’s resume also includes time in the Google arena, with YouTube as well as a number of other roles, and as the founder of a number of firms across e–commerce, real estate valuation and online gaming, and others. Land will be based in Kobalt’s London offices. Based in New York, Keegan steps into his new role having previously served as Sr. Director, Creative. He joined Kobalt in 2012 as Creative Director with a focus on artist signings and song pitching. Among his recent signings are included Marshmello, Duke Dumont, Tuff City Records and Loud Luxury. Before coming to Kobalt, Keegan held roles at Tuff City Records, Gee Street Records, V2 and RCA. He also founded indie label Plant Music in 1997 and co–owned regarded dance music venue Plant Bar in the East Village from 1999–2004.

Mumbai–based record label 9122 Records has signed Kiwi indie–pop duo The Response for the release of their brand–new EP, Open Doors. Following the release of international projects such as DJ Snake’s Premiere Classe Records, Tara McDonald (U.K.), Trinix (France), Veronica Fusaro (Switzerland) and others, 9122 adds the duo to their roster for an exclusive India release of the 5–track EP. Composed of vocalist/guitarist Andrew Knopp and multi–instrumentalist Victoria Knopp, The Response write, produce, record, mix and master all of their own music. On the live front, the duo has shared the stage international acts including Baio (of Vampire Weekend fame), Deep Sea Diver, Big Scary and Kate Boy, as well as performing local festivals such as Electric Avenue. The Response were discovered by 9122 Records’ Founder, Sunil D’Sa, via the A&R Worldwide newsletter earlier in the year.

Super Hi–Fi has been issued a broad patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cover its MagicStitch technology. The audio curation platform, driven by AI, created MagicStitch to “stitch” together music and other audio content, removing dead air in between tracks and creating a more seamless listening experience. In a press release, Super Hi–Fi revealed that a number of its partners have implemented MagicStitch for use across billions of songs and audio transitions, with partners including Universal Music Group, iHeartMedia, Peloton and the Associated Press. The platform creates the stitched–together content by analyzing trillions of unique audio qualities to create a seamless flow of audio across music, news, weather, ads and other programming.

As it continues its push into the podcast arena, Spotify is encouraging users to now create their own podcast content. The invitation comes in the form of a “Create Podcast” found within Spotify’s podcast library. When selected, users are sent to the Anchor app, a company which Spotify acquired earlier in the year, which provides free tools for the creation of podcasts such as recording, editing, background music and voice messaging. Currently available in Brazil, it’s not been confirmed if the new button will be rolled out permanently to a wider audience. In other Spotify podcast updates, the streamer has tapped David Rhodes, former President of CBS News, to come on board as a consultant for a larger focus on the platform’s news programming. Other past roles for Rhodes include those with Fox News and Bloomberg. At the same time, Amy Hudson also joins Spotify’s team to help build out its sports programming offerings. Hudson had previously been with Facebook, working across sports partnerships.

In other Spotify news, the executive departures continue with the confirmation that Global Head of Music, Nick Holmstén, is set to part ways with his role and assume an advisory role with the streamer moving forward. Assuming leadership over the music team until a replacement is found is recently–arrived Head of Music Strategy, Jeremy Erlich, and Marian Dicus, VP, Global Head of Artist & Label Services. Holmstén came to Spotify in 2013 following the company’s acquisition of his Tunigo music discovery startup. In his role as Global Head of Music, he led the more than 100 staffers behind the operation of the platform’s over 5,000 owned and operated playlist along with label and artist relations.

Paradigm Talent Agency has signed multi–Platinum–selling, two–time Grammy–winning vocalist and artist LeAnn Rimes for representation globally across all fields. Rimes is also represented by manager Darrell Brown (Prodigy Management) and publicists Yvette Noel–Schure, Christina Garvin and Edwin Banacia (Schure Media Group). At 14 years old, Rimes garnered the Grammy for Best New Artist, making her the youngest recipient of the honor, and at 37 has sold over 44 million units globally. Among her other recognitions are included 12 Billboard Music Awards; two World Music Awards; three Academy of Country Music Awards; one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. Out of the 52 singles she has released throughout her career, Rimes’ record “How Do I Live,” continues to rank No.4 on Billboard’s “Greatest of All Time: Hot 100 Songs,” and Billboard lists it as the No.1 “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs By Women.” Fifteen of Rimes multi–genre singles are Top 10 hits, including “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” which went No.1 in 11 countries.

Dean James, Co–Founder and former CEO of MAMA Group, has joined forces with Gavin Aldrich, Founder of Campus Group, for a new global live experience and events firm under the banner of BeSixth. With headquarters in London and Sydney, and U.S. operations soon to be revealed, BeSixth will count over 40 global staffers and specialize in the music and entertainment arena. The BeSixth portfolio includes London venues Oval Space and The Pickle Factory as well as Campus Group, a global youth agency focused on connecting with students via creative brand experiences and integrated campaigns, and its BELive production division. Among its services are included brand activations, experiential, live content, event sponsorship, event production, festivals, pop–up shops, artist partnerships and stunts.

Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) has named industry veteran Cara Donatto to the role of EVP, Head of Media Strategy & Communications for Interscope Geffen A&M Records. In her new role, Donatto will lead communications strategy and execution for IGA and its associated labels, overseeing the publicity team and the company’s roster of artists. She reports to IGA Chairman & CEO, John Janick, and Vice Chairman, Steve Berman. Donatto most recently served as Sr. VP, Publicity at Atlantic Records where she spearheaded media campaigns for acts such as Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe and Missy Elliot. Prior to Atlantic, Donatto was Director of Media & Artist Relations at Island Def Jam Records. Her career began in magazine publishing as Manager of Publicity for Vibe and Spin magazines. She will be based out of IGA’s headquarters in LA.

On Thursday, September 26th, Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) will hold its second annual Celebrating Ambassadors of Peace (AOP) event at the Holmby Hills home of noted entertainment attorney and CCFP Advisory Board member, Gary Stiffelman, Esq. Last year’s event saw the CCFP honoring Scooter Braun, Geffen RecordsNeil Jacobson, and Warner Music Group’s Aton Ben–Horin. The honorees for this year including Aaron Bay–Schuck (CEO & Co–Chairman, Warner Records); Jacqueline Saturn (President, Caroline Music/CMG); Troy Carter (Founder, Q&A and Atom Factory); Walter Kolm (former President of Universal Music Latino and now manager of Maluma, Carlos Vives, and Wisin among others); and special artist honoree, Ziggy Marley. The honorees were selected for their commitment to championing artistic freedom and advancing the idea that music and the arts are a powerful force for building cultural bridges. Over two hundred leading entertainment industry executives are expected to join the event, which will feature special musical performances. For more information on the Celebrating Ambassadors of Peace, click HERE.

Madison House booking agency and management firm has revealed expansion in the hiring of a round of agents as well as the launch of a new office located near Monterey, CA in Pacific Grove. Among the new hires are included senior agents Brian Swanson and Brent Tactic, as well as junior agent Chris Palmer. The new office adds to Madison House’s headquarters in Boulder, CO as well as locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; and Oakland, California.

It was revealed last week that LiveStyle’s (formerly SFX) CEO, Randy Phillips, has parted ways with his role as he takes on a consultant role for the company’s investors as they look to sell additional assets. Phillips had been brought on–board at LiveStyle to help turn the company around, a task in which he was successful as in one year he helmed the company from $30 million in losses to $20 million in earnings. In departing his role, Phillips will turn his full attention to the management of boy band Why Don’t We.

Widely successful pop–punk outfit, blink–182, have parted ways with BMG and joined the roster of Columbia Records as they prepare for the release of their newest full–length, Nine, later this month. While at BMG, blink–182 generated their first ever U.K. No.1 album with 2016’s California. The set also reached the top of the charts in the U.S. and marked only their second full–length to achieve the status, and the first since 2001’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket.

Leading Korean talent agency, SM Entertainment, has revealed plans to roll–out its own blockchain network with a native cryptocurrency as it looks to counter push–back from shareholders and a drop in stock price. The announcement was made by Joo Sang–sik, the Director of the company’s tech division, CT–AI Labs, who stated that the blockchain network would provide fans an opportunity to be further involved in the entertainment arena through the investment into artist’s work via cryptocurrencies. Joo offered limited insight on the technology though did reveal that SM Entertainment is in talks with potential partners on the building of the network while exploring both public and private blockchains. The move marks the second time a blockchain solution has been explored in the K–pop world with Ko–fun having launched in 2018 as a platform offering a vehicle for K–pop–centric crypto transactions on a blockchain.

FKP Scorpio Sverige, part of the international FKP group, has joined forces with Swedish promoter Woah Dad Live. Last week the new partners teamed up for Swedish artist Håkan Hellström’s record–breaking sell–out of four Ullevi stadium shows (each with a capacity of around 70,000) in just a couple of hours. The partnership also counts two Rammstein stadium shows and a Björk concert announced last week, among others. One of Europe’s leading festival and concert promoters, FKP Scorpio is behind events such as Southside, Hurricane, Best Kept Secret, Greenfield (CH) and Provinssi (FI) with Woah Dad Live promoting artists such as Robyn, Juice Wrld, Håkan Hellström, Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Smash Fest, Daze Days and others. The deal sees FKP Scorpio Sverige acquiring 100% of Woah Dad Live (from Telegram Studios) with Woah Dad Live’s executives Niklas Lundell and Joel Borg entering as shareholders and board members of FKP Scorpio Sverige. Both brands will maintain operations under their own names with the two companies jointly producing and presenting all future events.

In continuing to do battle with the secondary ticketing market, See Tickets has rolled–out a highly secure and non–transferable digital ticket alternative. The offering places a dynamically refreshing barcode on each digital ticket, specific to a customer’s account, mobile device and the See Tickets app. Marking the debut of the new alternative will be tickets for the upcoming Declan McKenna tour. Among See Tickets’ clients in the music space are included Glastonbury, SJM Concerts, Kilimanjaro, Universal Music Group, Alexandra Palace, One Inch Badge and Communion Music. The firm also launched an ethical resale platform, Fan to Fan, in 2017 which has since moved over 35,000 tickets. Other bespoke anti–secondary initiatives include those for Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys.

Marathon Music Group has named James Farrelly as Global Trade Marketing Director. Farrelly joins the company from Ministry of Sound Recordings/Sony Music UK where he was Streaming/Digital Strategy Manager. Other past roles include senior positions at Believe Digital and the Association of Independent Music (AIM). Reporting directly to Founder & Chairman Paul–René Albertini and General Manager Pru Harris, Farrelly will play a key role in identifying and developing global marketing opportunities for the company’s roster across all of its related imprints including Marathon Artists, House Anxiety, Mahogany Recordings, DMY Recordings, MOVES Recordings, Crux Global and Dearfach. He will take the lead on Marathon’s global relationships with DSPs and will develop and implement digital trade marketing related strategies for the roster that includes acts Courtney Barnett, POND, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, CocoRosie, Hazel English, Alaskaslaska, Jamie Isaac, Baaba Maal, Model Man, Afro B, Naira Marley and Skengdo X AM, as well as a partnership with the largest urban festival, Afro Nation. He will also assume an executive board member role for the Marathon Artists Labs start–up incubator and accelerator program.

Tina Suca has joined the team at Emporium Presents as Chief Operating Officer, bringing with her over 20 years of industry and management experience. Emporium is led by Partners Dan Steinberg and Jason Zink with majority ownership maintained by Live Nation Entertainment. Having joined the Live Nation portfolio in October of last year, Emporium has added a number of employees to its firm. Suca’s new role will see her taking on oversight of the company’s business operations, tasked with enhancing scalable processes and systems to move forward growth of the company. Suca had been serving as BSE Global’s VP of Industry Relations, a role that saw her looking after BSE’s West Coast office, supporting the booking initiatives for all of the company’s properties. Other past roles include executive posts with ArenaNetwork, SMG’s Nassau Coliseum, The Forum and The Wiltern.

A new exclusive distribution deal has been finalized by Entertainment One (eOne) and producer/A&R exec Sha Money XL’s Teamwork Music label. Formerly the President of 50 Cent’s G–Unit Records until 2007, Sha Money XL went on to hold roles as VP of A&R at Def Jam, and then EVP of A&R at Epic Records. His most recent role saw him working with the management team behind Joyner Lucas. On the production side, credits for Sha Money XL include work with artists such as 50 Cent, Juvenile, Mac Miller, Lloyd Banks, Mobb Deep, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Slim Thug, Snoop Dogg, G–Unit, Tupac Shakur and others. The Teamwork Music roster currently counts developing acts Tedy Andreas and Eubanks with new full–length albums set for both in October and November, respectively.

Austen Adams has been tapped by Big Loud to serve as Chief Operating Officer across its publishing and recorded music operations. Prior to his new role with Big Loud, Adams served a 15–year–tenure with entertainment law firm Dickinson Wright where his clients included artists and music industry professionals. Before joining the firm, he was a road manager and day–to–day artist manager. Adams’ appointment comes following the recent departure of Big Loud Records’ President, Clay Hunnicutt, who joined the team at Big Machine Records as General Manager.

Brisbane, Australia’s BIGSOUND festival and conference event wrapped up last week and, in addition to continuing to highlight some of the best Aussie acts across its showcase stages, the event also shined a spotlight on the music tech arena. BIGTECH 2019 welcomed nine entrepreneurs from the music tech space to showcase their work to the public, along with a panel of judges, for a grand prize of $5,000 cash, supported by Warner Music Group. Taking home the inaugural honors this year was streaming analytics/payment platform, Paperchain. According to their website, Paperchain generates real–time performance data from distribution channels and immediately prices each data point, breaking down revenue by song, artist and territory.

Linkfire has announced a new partnership with Nigeria–based streaming and digital download platform, Boomplay. The partnership will allow artists, managers, and their teams to see conversion data from the service to view what fans do after clicking on a Linkfire smart link, providing data on how to better market to and reach listeners in Africa. The integration will roll–out in early September. Linkfire’s partnership comes as the African region is experiencing a considerable increase in cell phone usage, seeing the population, especially the youth, adopting music streaming more heavily. Boomplay sits as one of the largest DSPs servicing the African markets with primary operating regions including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. They also count the biggest African music catalog in the world with more than 6 million African tracks available, representing 80% of their catalog and 75% of all streams from their more than 53 million users. Linkfire automatically populates links to a range of streaming, download, artist websites, and more using just one service link or ISRC/UPC code, rather than requiring each link be entered manually. Artists and their teams can then share a single Linkfire smart link with fans, who can select their preferred service to access content. Based on location, Linkfire’s tools and data services offer global marketing insights on engagement, streams, downloads, and fan preferences across all traffic sources.

Jody Williams has revealed he will part ways with PRO BMI from his role as VP of Creative in Nashville, which he has held since 2006, at the end of this year. With BMI, Williams led the increase of the organization’s market share among country songwriters as well as the launch of a new office in Austin, TX. BMI revealed that upon his departure, Williams will maintain a consultant role through the year as he works to make his way back into the music publishing space. With BMI, Williams has worked closely with the likes of Maren Morris, Josh Turner, Liz Rose, Robert Earl Keen and Kix Brooks, as well as others. He also spearheaded the Nashville–based Partnerships and Events division for BMI. Williams’ most current stint with BMI marked his third, having initially joined in the 70s a mail clerk before entering the music publishing arena. He returned to BMI in 1987, eventually becoming Assistant VP of Writer/Publishers Relations before parting ways again to lead MCA Music Publishing Nashville. He then founded his own Jody Williams Music publishing operation, which he sold to ole, before returning to BMI.

Leading Rap music figure, Rick Ross, has launched a new Facebook Instant Game to tie–in with his latest album, Port of Miami 2. An untapped way of offering fans a new music experience, Port of Miami 2: Born to Drive is available via Facebook’s recently launched Games tab. Soundtracked by the recently released Port of Miami 2, with in–game billboards promoting the record, the Facebook Instant Game was conceptualised by Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative, Columbia UK and London–based digital creative agency, PHANTOM, to give fans a taste of what it might be like to cruise around Rick Ross’ native Miami. A sequel to 2006’s Platinum–certified, Port of Miami, which featured the instant anthem “Hustlin’,” Ross’ latest release marks a major milestone for the rapper. Recent singles including “Act a Fool” (feat. Wale) and “Gold Roses” (feat. Drake) have generated more than 20 million streams. Additional collaborators on the full–length include Meek Mill, Lil Wayne, Denzel Curry, and the late Nipsey Hussle. Ross is set to launch a 14–date N. American tour of the album, on September 23rd, and has already appeared in the U.S. via an ESPN takeover and a slot on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. His memoir Hurricanes was also released on September 3rd.

Empire has launched a Nashville division with the indie music label/distributor/publisher tapping Eric Hurt as the operations VP of A&R. Having previously been with Black River Entertainment as Sr. Director of Creative, Hurt will be tasked with signing and developing talent in Nashville, reporting to Empire’s CEO & Founder Ghazi Shami, and working closely with the firm’s global team. He will also maintain his role in guiding the career of Willie Jones, the rising country/hip–hop act and former X Factor contestant, whom he played a key role in signing to Black River Publishing last year.

London–based DBTH Capital Ventures has raised €35 million in an initial funding round as the firm sets to focus on investment into companies in the music rights technology space. Launched in 2018 by veteran music executive Virginie Berger, the firm is seeking to invest into areas such as blockchain and AI while forming strategic partnerships with music stakeholders such as labels, managers and DSPs. Investors have not been revealed with Berger commenting that the fund is set to merge with a U.S. family office counting “nearly $5bn in assets under its control.”

Ingrooves has announced the appointment of Jen Bontusa to VP, Label & Artist Partnerships. In the newly created role, Bontusa will be tasked with growing Ingrooves’ client base and onboarding and maintaining new client relationships. Reporting to EVP & GM, Amy Dietz, Bontusa will also establish an Ingrooves office in Nashville. Marking a return for Bontusa to Ingrooves, she previously worked in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters from 2005 to 2018, rising to the position of Sr. Director, Label Development. Most recently, she served as VP of Brand Strategy at Centric Entertainment, where she oversaw the development and implementation of marketing and branding for artist campaigns. She has over 15 years of artist services and product management experience and has worked with artists such as The Lumineers, Oasis, Dolly Parton, Mazzy Star, Against Me!, Jamestown Revival, Thievery Corporation, Peaches, Kate Nash and others.

A&R Worldwide has learned that Stockholm, Sweden–based Playground Music Scandinavia AB, has acquired labels Gaea Records, Soliti Records and Brus och Knaster, as well as the Exogenic group of labels. The new acquisitions join Playground’s catalog of label’s that already counts Diesel, Uniform Beat, Mega Records, Masa Music and Roxy Recordings.

Sentric Music Group recently revealed a round of new hires and staff promotions. Among the promotions are included Simon Pursehouse who rises from Director of Music Services to Global Director of Music Services. The new role sees Pursehouse focusing on generating creative opportunities for Sentric’s network of writers, both traditionally signed and across their sub–publishing and 28–day user base, while also committing more time to his executive–level duties as part of the senior management at Sentric. Sabine Douglas is also promoted from her prior role as Head of Product Partnership & RightsApp to Head of Business Operations. Her new responsibilities include working across all divisions to implement new workflows and business processes aligned with Sentric’s commercial vision, developing strategic objectives across the business, and integrating new opportunities. She also maintains management of RightsApp and Sentric’s development team. Among the new hires for Sentric are included Ashley Smith as Finance Manager and Luke Montague as Royalty Manager. Sentric’s Finance Director, Stuart Chandler, has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors, while Head of Rights Management, Phil Rose, has been appointed to the Board of the Music Publishers Association.

Tech–enabled production music startup Soundstripe has garnered an additional $2 million in financing from Craft Ventures, only a few months after raising a $4 million Series A Investment. Craft is led by David Sacks, founding COO of PayPal and Co–Founder/former CEO of Yammer, and Bill Lee, a leading founder and investor. Additional investments for Craft Ventures include eSports favorite Cloud9, as well as others. Soundstripe has already exceeded 2019 growth expectations and has identified several new opportunities to deploy the additional funding. The additional $2 million from Craft will allow Soundstripe to continue building its presence in the production music space, where its unique subscription model has resulted in more than 2 million “micro–licenses” issued in over 130 countries since its launch in 2016. The funding will also allow the company to invest further in music acquisitions and partnerships, while expanding relationships in that space, especially with producers, songwriters, and engineers.

Closing with its inaugural live show, the AIM Independent Music Awards recognized leaders from the independent music community last week. Hosted by Lauren Laverne, the ceremony saw South London MC Dave garnering two of the biggest awards of the night with Best Independent Album for Psychodrama and Best Independent Track for “Funky Friday” (feat. Fredo). IDLES took Best [Difficult] Second Album honors for their sophomore full–length Joy as an Act of Resistance, as well as UK Independent Breakthrough. IDLES’ creative home, Partisan Records were also recognized as Best Independent Label. Manchester–based label Scruff of the Neck were named Best Small Label, with Jade Bird recognized with the International Breakthrough award. Taking Best Video honors was Hot Chip with the visual for their track “Hungry Child.” Freya Ridings garnered the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist while Scotland’ Gerry Cinnamon was recognized as Best Live Act, having successfully gained the most support in the public vote. Confessin’ the Blues, a compilation curated by The Rolling Stones and released by BMG, received Best Creative Packaging. Industry recognitions included Merlin CEO, Charles Caldas with the Indie Champion award, while Eleven Seven Founder Allen Kovac received the Innovator award. Other award honors were received by Debbie Harry (Outstanding Contribution to Music); Georgia (One To Watch); and Johnny Marr (Pioneer Award).

Bucks Music Group has finalized an administration agreement with Gaga Music for the U.K. and Ireland. Founded by Grant Gillies, Gaga Music is an Australian music company with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Today, it administers a diverse range of independent music copyrights through a network of like–minded partners. Among the Australian and New Zealand artists that Gaga Music has worked with are included Fazerdaze, Wolf & Cub, The Middle East, Holly Throsby, The Cat Empire, Hayden Calnin and Hockey Dad.

Leading software/hardware provider for computer–based music production, Native Instruments, has announced it will be letting go of 20% of its staff across all its locations as part of a larger initiative to centralize its global business operations. This will account for about 100 of the firm staffers, the bulk of whom are based in the Berlin headquarters for Native Instruments. The company revealed that divisions affected will include sales and distribution, marketing and product management, administration and engineering. According to a press release, team members affected were notified August 29th and provided severance packages as well as outplacement services. Among the Native Instruments portfolio of products are Komplete, Maschine, and Traktor.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mike Walsh, Evan Lipschutz, Curtis Serna, Tom Windish, Sunil Perkash, Holly Knight, Marcus Spence, Robin Bissell, Paresh Ghelani, Dave Jordan, Mike Daly, Tina Fasbender, Sara Qazi, Ashley Waldron, Bob Lefsetz and David Wolter.


JACKASS OF THE WEEK

Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E–mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Everyone loves surprises, however, sometimes they may not pan out the way one had hoped. Click HERE for a smorgasbord of failed surprises!


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



Blurring the lines between pop, R&B and rock and roll, Jack Gray doesn’t think of music in terms of genre and his charming debut EP, Nights Like This (Warner Music Australia), proves his point. A few short years ago, a manager heard his material and reached out to create new recordings. Little did Gray know at the time, those recordings landed him a development deal with Warner Music, who quickly added him to the famed 50 Songs in 5 Days songwriting camp. Gray made such an impression, the event organizers offered him a publishing deal on the spot. Musically compared to contemporaries ranging from Jack Garratt and James Blake to Frank Ocean and The 1975, his productions show little regard for traditional distinctions between acoustic and electronic elements, frequently combining both into an ambitiously modern blend that feels instantly familiar and boldly adventurous all at once. He just announced a North American tour this October along with U.K. artist Maisie Peters. One of his standout tracks “Fools,” is a radio–friendly alt–pop gem showcasing the 20 year–old’s many talents! Listen HERE and contact Jim Sabey at jim@jaystreet.net, as Jack Gray is available for synch, touring and feature opportunities.


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

At just 22 years–old, Emmi King has thousands of established fans through the U.S., U.K. and Germany, in addition to a successful debut album under her belt. The Berlin–based chanteuse is far from your average young artist; she’s a multi–instrumentalist, who plays the drums, guitar, bass and piano. When Emmi is in the studio, she sings and plays all the instruments on her own. In times of expressionless talent shows and superficial statements, Emmi breathes new, refreshing and pulsating life into today’s music scene with a bold sound that leaves listeners captivated by her talent. Emmi was personally invited by multi–Platinum producer Kerry Brown and Linda Perry’s We Are Hear Management to open for Los Angeles–based rockers Dorothy (Roc Nation) in Boston, and has toured with the world dominating funk rockers Mother’s Finest and surf–rocker Donavan Frankenreiter. Emmi is working on the finishing touches of her upcoming EP as she unleashes her latest gem, “Million Dollar Movie.” The song was written about finding love that would consumer her, just like one seen in a million–dollar movie. Experience the talents of Emmi King with her new video for “Million Dollar Movie” HERE and contact info@anrworldwide.com, as Emmi King is available for synch, branding, label, publishing and booking opportunities.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 9/8/2019



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, September 8th, 2019: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 60 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; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; 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; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; 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 (iHeartRadio) 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, JioSaavn.

Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:

LOLA MARSH – “Echoes” (Anova Music, Israel)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Badger” (Unsigned, Sweden)
VINCI – “Lions” (Unsigned, Ireland)
LARKINS – “Sugar Sweet” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
KIDDO X GASHI – “Coming Down” (BLNK Music, Sweden)
SAM JOHNSON – “Medicine For My Brain” (Unsigned, UK)
POST–PARTY – “Love You Everyday” (Unsigned, Ireland)
DOTAN – “Numb” (7 Layers, Holland)
SOPHIE & THE GIANTS – “Waste My Air” (Unsigned, UK)
TIM SCHOU – “Beat Around The Bush” (Iceberg Records, Denmark)
SPEAKER FIRST – “If It Ain’t You” (Vulcan, Indonesia)
BITTER’S KISS – “Just Like Heaven” (Unsigned, N. America)
LUNA BAY – “Call The Night” (Unsigned, UK)
MOONLIGHT BREAKFAST – “Summer” (Kiez Beats, Romania)
GO GO BERLIN – “Love Me” (Heartbeat Music, Denmark)
LILLY AMONG CLOUDS – “Love U 4ever” (Wintrup, Germany)
ROE – “Girls” (Fictive Kin, N. Ireland)
MADS LANGER – “Me Without You” (Sony, Denmark)
THE WHITE LAKES – “Wolves” (Ditto Music, UK)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Trade It In” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
TREE LINED STREETS – “No Friend Of Mine” (Unsigned, Ireland)
TEN TONNES – “Counting Down” (Warner Music, UK)
YOUNG BRAVES – “1984” (Unsigned, UK)
BLOW – “Dancing Waters” (DDM Recordings, France)
YONAKA – “Rockstar” (Atlantic, UK)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “We Are Stars” (3Beat/Universal, UK)
VIDEOCLUB – “En Nuit” (Unsigned, France)
LOST IN STEREO – “Adrenaline” (Unsigned, Scotland)
IVY FLINDT – “Seal My Lips” (Unsigned, Germany)
SEA GIRLS – “Damage Done” (Unsigned, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Fool’s Mirage” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
BLITZ UNION – “Revolution” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Sophie & The Giants, Palace, Imogen Mahdavi, Young Braves and Callum Beattie)