MIKE SMITH JOINS MERCURY UK AS PRESIDENT
Mercury Records President Jason ILey has signalled an ambitious new chapter at the Universal label, announcing a series of significant appointments led by the arrival of Mike Smith as President, Music.
THE THREE “MERCURYTEERS”: Pictured (l-r): Clive Cawley, Jason ILey and Mike Smith..
Smith, one of the UK music industry’s most respected executives with an impressive track record in both music publishing and as a record label boss, joins the company in September. Reporting to ILey, he takes on a broad creative role at the label which includes leading an A&R department which has enjoyed recent success with Chase & Status, Nero, Amy Macdonald, Noah & The Whale, Pixie Lott and Maverick Sabre. For 2012, the team has highly-anticipated releases lined up from Jake Bugg, Kristina Train and The Gaslight Anthem.
Alongside Smith’s appointment, Clive Cawley has been promoted to the position of Managing Director of Mercury. Cawley, previously label manager of Vertigo, steps up after 11 years at Mercury in which he has enjoyed creative and commercial success with artists including Metallica, Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, The Killers and Mark Knopfler. Cawley also reports to ILey in his new role, which is effective immediately and will see him steering the Mercury team as they deliver new releases from the label’s UK signings alongside US artists The Killers, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean and Ne-Yo as well as ongoing campaigns for Amy Macdonald, Maverick Sabre, Justin Bieber and Rihanna.
Jason ILey stated, “With Mike and Clive, Mercury has two incredible ambassadors. Clive has long been respected for his talent and loved for his irreverent humour. Mike is an exceptional record-maker and I’m delighted we now have him on our side despite being one of the industry’s true gentlemen he’s proved a very tough competitor in the past. These appointments strengthen our team at one of the most exciting times in Mercury’s history.”
ILey’s growth plan also sees the move of Elliot Taylor from Universal’s central sales team to the position of Commercial Director for Mercury. Additionally, Rachael Paley is returning to the label as Senior Marketing Manager after two years away at Rhino and Warner Music.
Smith commented, “I am delighted that Jason has created a strategic music role for me in which I am able to utilise the accumulated knowledge from my time in music publishing and running a major label. Mercury has some of the greatest artists in the world on their roster and I am thrilled to be part of their excellent team."
Of his new role as MD, Cawley says, “I see this as an incredible opportunity at what is a challenging time for our industry but a particularly exciting time for new artists. I’m really looking forward to continuing Mercury’s growth, and clearly with Jason and Mike I’m in formidable (and very tall) company.”
GLOBAL A&R INTEREST HEATS UP ON SAN CISCO
Perth, Australia’s teen indie sensation San Cisco is the focus of intense A&R interest from multiple labels on both sides of the Atlantic. The quartet was first featured in the A&R Worldwide newsletter back in 2010 when they were known as King George and garnered their first ever radio play in the world for their demo recording “Rocket Ship” (the new single from San Cisco) on the influential global tastemaker radio program Passport Approved during the same year. The band changed its name to San Cisco last year.
The talented four-piece are managed by the highly-respected Australian-based manager Phil Stevens (John Butler Trio, The Waifs) who tells A&R Worldwide he has been overwhelmed with the genuine interest and passion for the band from labels all over the world.
San Cisco has garnered strong support as of last year on the highly influential Triple J Radio in Australia as well as being added into official rotation for the first time in the US on KCMP “The Current” in Minneapolis, MN by Program Director Jim McGuinn (noted for helping break Mumford & Sons and many other acts in the US). They are one of the biggest A&R buzz acts to come out of Australia since Gotye.
Formed in 2009, the Fremantle quartet composed of Jordi Davieson (guitar, lead vocals), Josh Biondillo (guitar, vocals), Nick Gardner (bass) and Scarlett Stevens (drums, vocals) signed to Albert Productions, home of AC/DC and Megan Washington, in November of last year for publishing
They recorded their sophomore EP, Awkward, with producer Steve Schram (Little Red, Cat Empire, Little Birdy), with the title track as the first offering. "Awkward" is a call and response song between lead singer Jordi Davieson and drummer Scarlett Stevens which is completely fictional, according to the band.
San Cisco has been busy gigging in the last year with showcases at both the FUSE Festival in Adelaide and Big Sound in Brisbane. They’ve also performed at Big Day Out, Laneway, Groovin’ the Moo and even supported the likes of The Grates, Architecture in Helsinki and Kimbra.
San Cisco has almost a dozen offers from labels in the US and Europe combined and Stevens is sure to sign the band with one of the various interested parties within the next few weeks.
For more information, log on to http://www.facebook.com/sanciscomusic.
ZACH KATZ JOINS BMG IN LA AS EVP CREATIVE NORTH AMERICA
BMG has announced that it has named Zach Katz Executive Vice President, Creative, North America, effective as of August 1, 2012. He will oversee BMG Chrysalis’s Los Angeles-based creative staff and direct efforts to attract, develop and sign new talent, as well as manage the current roster. He will report to Laurent Hubert, President, Creative & Marketing BMG Chrysalis North America, and work closely with the other members of the North America creative executive team including Richard Blackstone, Venus Brown, Darrell Franklin and David Hirshland. He joins BMG from Beluga Heights, a company he founded in 2006.
“Zach is a highly-respected player with a proven track record in signing and developing top talent. He will be a great asset to our team moving forward,” said Laurent Hubert.
“I am honoured and grateful for the opportunity to join the leadership of one of the most forward thinking and fastest growing companies in the world of music. I am committed to helping support the culture and environment at BMG Rights Management where our clients can reach their greatest heights and truly impact the present and future musical landscape. BMG has one of the most internationally active rosters, and I look forward to maximizing the synergy of our worldwide creative team,” said Zach Katz.
Zach Katz began his career in 1996 as a music attorney representing recording artists, producers, songwriters, labels, publishers and distributors. He turned his focus to music development in 2001 when he joined Groove Attack USA as the founding GM of their US operations. From 2002 to 2005 he worked closely with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, managing Rakim and the label’s top producers and songwriters, overseeing artists/producers responsible for sales of 50 million records and securing endorsement deals with brands such as Reebok and Hennessey. In 2005, he discovered, developed and continues to manage super-music producer Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem, producer of multiple chart-topping records including three worldwide No.1 hits. J.R. Rotem produces for Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Maroon 5, Britney Spears, Shakira, Akon, Ne-Yo, Sean Kingston, Jason Derulo, Rick Ross and Ludacris among others.
In 2006, Zach Katz co-founded Beluga Heights, a record label and publishing company, with partners J.R. Rotem and Tommy Rotem, where he has been serving as Co-CEO/Co-President, Co-A&R, and Co-Executive Producer across the label’s catalogue which includes co-publishing rights for Evan Bogart, Jason Derulo, and Sean Kingston, among others.
(Photo: Natasha Melman)
SONY MUSIC ENT’T AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES NEW JV LABEL
Sony Music Entertainment Australia has announced the signing of a long-term joint venture record label deal with Stu MacQueen and Gregg Donovan, Directors of management company, Wonderlick Entertainment.
Under the deal, Stu and Gregg and Sony Music Entertainment will work together to identify, develop and champion exciting new talent for the local and international music markets.
Stu and Gregg have built one of the most successful artist management companies in Australia, representing many of Australia’s leading recording artists including - Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke, Grinspoon, Airbourne, Marvin Priest and The Paper Kites along with exciting new artists Max & Bianca and Jackson McLaren. The management company remains a separate entity.
Commenting on the deal, Denis Handlin AM, Chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and President Asia Sony Music Entertainment said, “The JV label with Stu and Gregg further builds on Sony Music’s leadership and success in identifying and developing local talent. Gregg and Stu are among the most successful managers in the market today and we look forward to working with them to bring exciting new acts to the Australian market and beyond to continue to build Australia’s music heritage.”
On the signing of the deal Stu MacQueen commented, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Sony Music. Gregg and I have been working towards creating the business model that we feel is right for the challenges of today’s music industry. We already have the management and publishing arms and this exciting new label venture with Sony completes the picture for us.”
Gregg Donovan added, “The first artists signed to the new label are Life Down Here and Max & Bianca. We are looking forward to working closely with Denis and the team at Sony Music to build the recording careers of these talented artists and to create a powerful label roster in the coming months and years. We intend to be a progressive and artist friendly label”.
In 2007 Stu MacQueen teamed up with Gregg Donovan to form Wonderlick Management and the two set about rapidly expanding Gregg’s existing management roster. Since joining forces they have successfully expanded into the area of music publishing and now recording.
OVERTON NAMED GM OF NEW INDIE LABEL GROUP
Former A&R director at XL, Hannah Overton, has been appointed general manager of a new UK and Europe division of indie label group Dead Oceans / Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian.
Overton will head the group’s London office, whilst maintaining a creative and A&R focus. In addition, Laura Sykes joins the UK team from Ninja Tune as head of European sales and Digital Strategy.
Mike Holdsworth has been named European projects director, while Tom Davies has joined the team full time as European marketing and Product Manager.
In the firm’s New York office, Jon Coombs has been promoted to Associate Director of A&R as Melanie Sheehan joins from Sonic Boom Records in Seattle as Product Manager.
The New York and London offices will both report into the group’s Headquarters in Bloomington, Indiana, which will be headed by Managing Director Nick Blandford.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Former Universal Music Group Publishing worldwide Chairman & CEO David Renzer will announce details of his new music venture soon. Renzer told A&R Worldwide that the company will be investing substantial equity in music publishing and related rights. Formal details of the new venture will be unveiled soon via a formal press release Renzer told A&R Worldwide.
Daniel Glass President Glassnote Entertainment tells A&R Worldwide that his label Glassnote Records recently signed California based Robert DeLong.
Universal Music Publishing recently announced a slew of new signings over the past few months including: Young Jerz, Roll The Tanks, Dion Primo, Irma Pany, S*A*M Hollander, Jason Hill and Mike Elizondo.
It has been announced that both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will not return as judges for the next season of American Idol. There have also been rumors that original judge Randy Jackson will also exit the show, but that has not been confirmed as of yet.
The Black Eyed Peas have set a new digital record according to the RIAA. The sales of their single, “I Gotta Feeling,” have now exceeded 8 million, which is now the biggest digital single to date. The Black Eyed Peas have sold more digital sales than any other act, with over 22 million total.
ALLACCESS.COM, the radio and music industry’s No.1 one-stop destination for radio and music information, has announced the debut of its new ALL ACCESS DOWNLOADS system. The system is an ultra-fast listen and download interface that delivers watermarked broadcast-ready WAV file music -- and other desired file formats -- with no hoops and without file conversions for all in radio. A web-based program, ALL ACCESS DOWNLOADS is available now on ALLACCESS.COM on the popular “COOL NEW MUSIC PAGES” in each music format. The system allows you to download or stream songs immediately, without going through an additional login to a third-party player. ALL ACCESS DOWNLOADS is currently available in the U.S. and Canada, via a permission-based recipient list that is approved by record labels and other music providers.
Former Warner Bros. Records and Grand Royal Records A&R executive Kenny “The Tick” Salcido has joined the A&R team at Red Bull Records in Santa Monica, CA. Kenny was brought into the fold recently by Red Bull Records’ Greg Hammer and David Burrier. Kenny has a great track record of discovering and developing new talent and is well-liked within the music community. He’s also worked in music supervision for MTV and VH1. A&R Worldwide welcomes back Kenny to one of his greatest passions – A&R!
IAMSOUND tells A&R Worldwide that they have signed LA’s very own Lord Huron, and we will be releasing the debut full-length album Lonesome Dreams on October 9th. Lord Huron have released two very well-received EPs and have been at work finishing up their LP. Lord Huron is the musical and visual projected created by lead singer and Michigan native-turned-Angeleno Ben Schneider. Their previous EPs have been praised by the likes of NPR, Pitchfork and LA Times. The band will be supporting Lonesome Dreams with a headlining US tour this fall.
Clear Channel recently announced the lineup for the second annual iHeartRadio Festival, which sold out in a record breaking eight minutes. On September 21st and 22nd, the concert will include performances from some of music’s biggest starts of today. That lineup includes Aerosmith, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Usher, Green Day, No Doubt, P!nk, Linkin Park, Calvin Harris and a host of others. Additional details can be found at http://www.iheart.com.
Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed Jens Kessler to Chief Information Officer, it was announced last week by Boyd Muir, UMG’s Executive Vice President and CFO, to whom he reports. Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Kessler will be responsible for all aspects of UMG’s Global Information Technology (IT) division, managing the strategy, development and implementation of all country and regional IT systems.
Tim Smith, MD, CBA Music Group (former MD Imagem Music Publishing UK) informs A&R Worldwide that he is working with the exciting new young talent called Ryan Keen. Longtime A&R Worldwide friend and colleague (UK-based attorney) Gary Mandel is the lawyer. Things are going very well with Keen in the UK. For more information, log on to www.ryankeen.co.uk.
Kickstarter, the US-based crowd funding website will launch in the UK this autumn.
British artists and fans will be able to raise funding through premium pre-sale opportunities directed at fans via the service.
pigFACTORY CEO Keatly Haldeman tells A&R Worldwide that his company now exclusively administers the publishing for all songs that Tesla has written and represents all of Tesla’s songs and later recordings for synch licensing. In addition, pigFACTORY through the help of A&R Worldwide has now signed Brisbane, Australian-based Alibrandi managed by Zac Gould. The deal was finalized recently.
A major European booking agency and label is in the process of signing a North American artist to a substantial multi-faceted deal. The opportunity for the act has been created by the joint efforts of A&R Worldwide in Beverly Hills and its A&R Worldwide Germany-based team in Bavaria. Formal details of the deal will be announced in the next few weeks.
Alia Fahlborg, Executive VP, Nettwerk Producer Management tells A&R Worldwide that Chris Lord-Alge is finishing Green Day’s forthcoming 3 album release on Warner Bros. Records. Fahlborg represents a great roster of producers, mixers and engineers.
International music star Shaggy has announced the launch of his new label called Ranch Entertainment Inc. The new label will be based in Valley Stream, Long Island as well as Kingston, Jamaica and will specialize in reggae fusion releases primarily in the digital realm.
Myisha Brooks has been promoted to VP, Publicity within Universal Republic Records.
Brooks will report to Jay Wilson Sr. VP and Head of Publicity and will devise, implement, and supervise all-encompassing media campaigns for an expansive roster of acts.
Universal Music Latin Entertainment has announced that it will continue to work with regional Mexican singer Larry Hernandez for a few more albums. The singer renewed his deal recently.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Nathan Graves, Keith Armstrong, Miles Leonard, Sam Mumford, Gary Chen, Ralph Simon, Byron Cooke, Andrew Jeffries, Jeff Watson, David Goldberg, Nic Harcourt, John Lenac, Peter Leak and Mike Smith.
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. This week, we show you some great moments that no jack ass could ever fake. Click HERE to watch some amazing moments of death defying skill and luck!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK" – CAPTAIN STU
Cape Town’s Captain Stu is one part ska, one part funk, a mix of punk and soul with a lot of African flavor. This eclectic, urban mix of music started in 2002 when the band originally formed. Since their start, they’ve delivered three studio releases: The Untold Tales (2005), The Adventures of Captain Stu (2009) and their latest EP, Free Music. Produced by the legendary Neal Snyman (David Bowie, Crowded House, Rollo), the five song EP is the perfect summer soundtrack and goes for an excellent price--absolutely free and available to fans on their website. Their music has been compared to the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and Rancid which can be heard with the lead track, “The Day.” The band has already generated radio support on national network 5FM as well as many local stations. For available opportunities with Captain Stu, contact Sophie Doherty firstname.lastname@example.org for details. You can “The Day” by clicking HERE.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" –
Sébastien Tellier has been releasing music for over ten years. The French singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist caught the ears of label mates Nicolas Godin and Jean-Beno๎t Dunckel, better known as Air and with the help of management, was signed to Record Makers. Tellier teamed up with French DJ Mr. Flash to produce this fourth studio album, which is the follow up to 2008's Sexuality. My God Is Blue is a concept album that further examines his dream of a model community called l’Alliance Bleue. The twelve tracks feature spiritual messages and includes a collaboration with Daft Pun’s Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo. The music video to “P่pito Bleu,” directed by Sanghon Kim and Mathieu Tonetti is a visual journey that is magical and reminiscent to the movie Tron. You can view the clip HERE.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 7/14/2012
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Saturday, July 14th 2012: The two-hour weekly import show. As heard on KCSN “88.5FM” Los Angeles; KNRK Portland (now with a “Passport Approved Daily” segment on KNRK Portland); KCMP “The Current, Minneapolis; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; “YRockOnXPN” WXPN Philadelphia; WEQX Manchester, VT/Albany, NY and on www.indie1031.com and www.moheak.com in the United States. Also, on the worldwide web and twice weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart), Allgauhit-FM Bavaria Germany, Euro Trash Music South Africa, as well as, a regular feature on Japan’s national radio network Tokyo FM.
Listen to this two-hour show by clicking HERE:
LADYHAWKE “Sunday Drive” (Island, New Zealand)
KIDS ON BRIDGES “Dancing in the Dark” (Rise International Music, UK)
PEAR SHAPE “Coca Cola Kid” (Unsigned, Australia)
TENEK “What Do You Want” (Toffeetones, UK)
FRIENDS OF EMMET “13th Floor” (Unsigned, Ireland)
MUMIY TROLL “Not Tomorrow” (The Village, Russia)
TEDDYBEARS “Tek It Down” (Sony Music, Sweden)
FRACTURES “Ride” (Unsigned, UK)
ZULU WINTER “Silver Tongue” (PIAS, UK)
KIDFORCE “Brunettes (Do It Better)” (Slice Me Nice, Russia)
THOMAS AZIER “Red Eyes” (BMG, Germany)
HOT CHIP “Look At Where We Are” (Domino, UK)
TAILOR “Step Back” (Just Music, South Africa)
LIFE DOWN HERE “All That You Are” (Unsigned)
THE TEMPER TRAP “London’s Burning” (Liberation, Australia)
CALI “Yours Always (Chris Elliot String Mix)” (Unsigned, Ireland)
VIKUNJA “Strangers” (Unsigned, Sweden)
IGNITION “Daddy’s Girl” (Unsigned, UK)
THE CHEVIN “Blue Eyes” (SO Recordings, UK)
SAN CISCO “Awkward” (Unsigned, Australia)
THE FLUXX “She Cries” (Unsigned, Norway)
VIERKANTTRELAGER “Das Neue Gold” (Unter Schafen Records, Germany)
NINA NESBITT “Apple Tree” (Unsigned, UK)
U.T.R.B “Pressure” (Unsigned, UK)
MAKESHIFT INNOCENCE “Your Body” (P3 Music, Canada)
CITIZENS! “(I’m In Love With Your) Girlfriend” (Kitsune, UK)
ALL MANKIND “Simple Desire” (SO Recordings, UK)
THE HEAVY “What Makes A Good Man?” (Counter Records/Ninja Tune, UK)
SCHMIDT “In The Photo Booth” (Warner Music, Germany)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Rachel Sermanni, Animal Kingdom, Young Lyre, Ladyhawke and Blackchords.).