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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 806




MUSEXPO “The United Nations of Music” ( has announced the dates for its 24th global edition event, which will return to “The Media Capital of The World,” Burbank in California from March 17 – 20, 2024. MUSEXPO also delivers a series of events which includes the Global Synch Summit, A&R Summit, and several high-profile awards events.

The event will be held at the inspiring Castaway venue for an ultimate networking, creative and business experience. Castaway is fast becoming one of Southern California’s most provocative and exciting special events properties and upscale restaurants, featuring breathtaking views and a renewed positive energy and vibe, ready to deliver a world-class experience to 2024’s attendees.

Burbank is home to some of the world’s most recognized music and media companies including film/TV studios, record labels, publishing companies, radio stations, music supervisors, synch companies, and more including The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Comics Studios, Disney Music Group, Freemantle Media, ABC Television, Hollywood Records, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Studios, DC Comics, Freeform TV, peermusic, iHeartRadio, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Insomniac Games, Legendary Films, The CW Television Network, NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios, KPWR “Power 106” Los Angeles, Position Music and A&R Worldwide’s headquarters to name just a few. The city of Burbank is once again set to welcome 2024 delegates to this long-time epicenter of music creativity and innovation as the event unites artists, industry, and fans alike.

MUSEXPO deliver an unparalleled overview of the global music business from A&R, publishing, digital, AI, streaming, brands, synch, live, management, distribution, multi-media, technology, marketing, radio, and much more, in an intimate networking experience that its flagship event is world renowned for, while also delving more deeply into the most important aspect of our global music business – the songs and the artists.

With more opportunities than ever for delegates to interact and connect with the local Los Angeles music community, as well as their global counterparts, MUSEXPO will feature numerous unique and innovative opportunities and platforms to foster creative opportunities and commercial realizations.

The event will include the special honorarium which is the MUSEXPO “Lifetime Achievement Award”and the highly coveted “International Music Person of The Year Award” during two special VIP Awards Gala Luncheons. In addition, the event will present the “International Media Person of The Year Award” in association with Visit Burbank and City of Burbank “The Media Capital of The World” during a private VIP Gala Dinner presentation – honorees will be unveiled soon.

“After a very successful MUSEXPO 2023, whereas numerous showcase artists were signed to US and international deals, many business agreements were brokered and priceless new relationships were formed, we look forward to helping unite artists, executives, and the global music business alike.” states Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO.

Previous “Int’l Music Person of the Year” awards honorees have included Monte Lipman, Co-Founder & Chief Executive, Republic Records & Avery Lipman, Co-Founder & Chief Executive, Republic Records; Grammy & Emmy Award-Winning & Oscar nominated global hit songwriter Diane Warren; Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive & President Music, EA Games; Daniel Glass, President & Founder, Glassnote Entertainment Group; Alexandra Patsavas, Music Creative + Production / Original Series Netflix; George Ergatoudis, Head of Music, UK & Ireland, Apple; Kevin Weatherly, Sr. Vice President Programming, “World Famous KROQ” Los Angeles; Jimmy Steal, VP of Brand & Content, “101.9 The Mix” WTMX Chicago, Lisa Worden, Vice President, Rock & Alternative, iHeartMedia, and Program Director of ALT 98.7; Mamie Coleman, Executive VP & Head of FOX Entertainment Music; Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, Atlantic Records & President, ATCO Records; Joel Denver, Founder & President, All Access Music Group and numerous other global music and media influencers!

MUSEXPO will also continue to welcome the créme de la créme of global showcasing talent to its stage that has previously welcomed then unsigned or unknown artists such as Katy Perry, LMFAO, Jessie J, Caity Baiser, Teddybears, Frank Turner, Robyn, Lime Cordiale, The Temper Trap, Forest Blakk, Sheppard, Audur, Jack Savoretti, Thomas Azier, Missy Higgins, Laleh, Erik Hassle, Gavin James, Birds of Tokyo, Avalanche City, Gin Wigmore, Ida Maria, and many others prior to their global success.

Over the past 18 years and multi-continental events, some of the world’s most influential music, media and technology executives have participated at MUSEXPO, including: Andrew Kronfeld – Executive Vice President, Universal Music Group; Bob Shennan – Director, BBC Radio; Chad Hurley – Co-Founder, YouTube; Chris Barton – Co-Founder, Shazam; Craig Kallman – Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records Group; David Massey – President & CEO, Arista Records; Harvey Goldsmith – Founder, Harvey Goldsmith Presents; Jake Wisely – Chief Publishing Executive, Concord Music; Jason Flom – CEO, Lava Records & Lava Music Publishing; Jeff Smith – Head of Music, BBC Radio 2 & 6 Music (UK); Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live!); Jo-Charrington – Co-President, EMI Records (UK); Korda Marshall – Founder & President, Infectious Records (Mushroom Music Group); Larry King – the late Legendary Radio and Television Broadcaster/Interviewer; Martin Dodd – manager of the world’s No.1 songwriter Max Martin; Marty Diamond – Head of Music, Wasserman Music (Coldplay, Eminem, The Black Eyed Peas); Maureen Kenny – Sr. VP of A&R, Atlantic Records; Michael Chugg – President & Founder, Chugg Entertainment (Australasia); Michael Rapino – Chairman & CEO, Live Nation Entertainment; Mike Knobloch – President, Film Music & Publishing, Universal Pictures; Neil Warnock – Global Head of Music, United Talent Agency; Nigel Lythgoe – Executive Producer, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance; Peter Edge – Chairman & CEO, RCA Records Group; Rebeca Allen – Co-President, EMI Records (UK); Richard Russell – Founder, XL Recordings (UK); Sarah Stennett – CEO, FAE; Savan Kotecha – Songwriter/Producer (The Weeknd, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry); Scooter Braun – Founder, SB Projects (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Usher); the late Seymour Stein – Co-Founder, Sire Records; Sir Lucian Grainge – Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group; Tom Anderson – Co-Founder, MySpace; Troy Carter – Founder & CEO, Q&A Media Holdings.; (The Black Eyed Peas); and Zane Lowe – Apple’s Music 1; amongst thousands of others.

MUSEXPO was born out of the inspirational and organic dinners launched by A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla (also the founder of A&R Network – the global A&R division of Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation) and The New Music Network; the predecessor to iHeartMedia), and Dave Holmes (who managed Coldplay’s global career for over 20 years). The dinners were launched back in 1999 in an effort to bring the global music, media and technology communities together in a meaningful manner.

Registration is now open for MUSEXPO at

Information on showcase artist submissions, event partnership/sponsorship opportunities, direct flights to Burbank Airport and conference discount hotel room bookings within the Burbank, CA area is available at

For More Details Contact:

Celebrating Republic Records co-founders’ global success at MUSEXPO is (L-R) Monte Lipman (Founder & CEO, Republic Records), Sir Lucian Grainge (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group Worldwide), and Avery Lipman (Co-Founder, President & CEO, Republic Records).


Longtime A&R friends and music colleagues (L-R) are Pete Ganbarg (President of A&R, Atlantic Records & President ATCO Records – MUSEXPO 2023’s “International Music Person of The Year”), Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO) and Craig Kallman (Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records).


Officials from the City of Burbank, County of Los Angeles, and California State Assembly present official proclamations to Mamie Coleman, Executive Vice President & Head of FOX Entertainment Music (pictured second from right) for her contributions to music, sync and global pop culture at MUSEXPO.


MUSEXPO coordinates strategic conversations and opportunities for delegates to meet with executives from A&R, music publishing and sync. The networking events recently drew a capacity crowd and have led to countless creative and business opportunities, as well as priceless new opportunities.


MUSEXPO hosted an exclusive Netflix global keynote with two of their top music executives. Pictured (L-R) are Alexandra Patsavas (Head of Music, Original Series, Netflix) and Amy Dunning (Vice President Music Creative/Production, Netflix).


Over the years, MUSEXPO showcases have helped many artists get signed or launched onto the global stage (Katy Perry, Jessie J, Forest Blakk, Gavin James, LMFAO to name but a few). Coldplay’s Chris Martin (pictured right) showed up at one of MUSEXPO’s showcase nights to check out new emerging talent. A&R Worldwide VP Joe Arnold (pictured left) extended MUSEXPO’s renowned hospitality to Chris and other guests.


Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) has announced the elevation of four of its esteemed senior executives to critical new roles, reaffirming the label’s commitment to strong leadership and continued success. The promotions come as a testament to the executives’ outstanding contributions in propelling Interscope Geffen A&M to the forefront of the music industry.

Michelle An, previously Executive VP, Head of Visual Creative, has been appointed as President of Creative Strategy. In her new capacity, An will spearhead the company’s overall visual creative vision, collaborating closely with IGA artists to bolster their global brands. Her responsibilities will encompass video production, photography, packaging, advertising, and live shows, as well as film and television projects. Furthermore, An will closely cooperate with Executive Vice President of Pop & Rock Marketing, Xavier Ramos, to oversee the label’s pop/rock marketing endeavors.

Gary Kelly, formerly CRO & Global Head of Streaming Strategy, has been named General Manager of Interscope and Executive VP & Chief Revenue Officer, IGA. In his expanded role, Kelly will maintain his oversight of the team encompassing revenue, digital marketing, international operations, and physical production. Additionally, he will continue to lead the label’s thriving direct-to-consumer business.

Pictured clockwise from top left are Michelle An, Gary Kelly, Nicole Wyskoarko, and Sam Riback.

Sam Riback, previously Executive VP of A&R, assumes the position of President of A&R, reaffirming his dedication to the pop and rock genres. Riback will work closely with the IGA partners and his own staff to identify and sign the next generation of culture-defining artists, further bolstering the label’s position as a hub for groundbreaking talent.

Nicole Wyskoarko, formerly Executive VP of A&R, takes on the role of President, A&R with a continued focus on urban music. Her responsibilities will entail overseeing the urban A&R team, collaborating closely with the company’s various label partners, and nurturing the growth of their extensive roster of artists.

John Janick, Chairman & CEO, Interscope Geffen A&M, expressed his admiration for the four executives, acknowledging their pivotal roles in the label’s consistent success. “Each of these four executives has played an integral role in propelling Interscope Geffen A&M to become one of the most consistently successful music and culture companies in the world. These promotions recognize their innumerable contributions and ensure our success for years to come.”

Steve Berman, Vice Chairman, IGA, also applauded the achievements of the promoted executives, praising their exceptional leadership skills and their dedication to empowering artists. “Michelle, Gary, Sam, and Nicole are true leaders in our industry,” remarked Berman. “They have each built incredible teams that help to empower our artists to have the very best chances of global success.”


Warner Chappell Music (WCM) Mexico has signed a global publishing deal with the charting Latin act Yng Lvcas. The deal was brokered with the help of Warner Chappell’s Carlos Andrea.

Yng Lvcas recently released “La Bebe (Remix),” which amassed 418 million views on YouTube in only three months since its release and peaked at No.1 on its Global Top Songs chart. His newest EP, Six Jewels 23, is the third regional Mexican album to debut on Billboard’s Top Latin Album chart – also marking his second time peaking at No.5 on the chart.

Yng Lucas

Carlos Ruíz, Managing Director, WCM Mexico, commented, “It is impressive how Daniel’s amazing talent has led him to achieve a global hit at such a young age. We are very thankful to him and his team for trusting Warner Chappell to accompany him in his journey as a songwriter. His career will be full of hits that will be celebrated as great music born in Mexico for the whole world to hear.”

Gustavo Menéndez, President, U.S. Latin & Latin America, WCM, added, “Daniel is a rare talent, and we’re super excited to be walking alongside him from the beginning, in what I’m sure will be a long and successful career.”

A Guadalajara, Mexico native, Yng Lvcas got his start in music after performing at his high school musical when he was 15 years old. From then on, he worked on developing his songwriting skills and started vlogging and DJ’ing. In 2021, he released his eight-track corridos EP, Wup? Mixtape1, which featured the reggaeton song, “La Bebe.” The song became viral on social media and in 2023, the remix debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100, marking his debut on the chart. It also charted on Billboard’s Global 200 at No.2, positioned itself at No.3 in the Top 50 Global Spotify list, and hit the Top 50 in more than 15 countries. Renowned global DJ and producer David Guetta recently released his EDM remix of “La Bebe.”



Singapore-based music fund blackx (a company that was established last year) has secured a global music rights publishing deal with renowned Singaporean singer-songwriter Tanya Chua. The agreement encompasses the management of Chua’s extensive repertoire of musical intellectual property rights.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone for blackx, which was launched with an initial funding of $100 million (US

Tanya Chua

D) in late September of last year. Earlier this year, the fund acquired the catalog of Taiwanese songwriter Frances Wang (Zhong Yan). Now, with the partnership with Chua, blackx will be responsible for overseeing the management of her musical IP rights, including her hit tracks like “Letting Go,” and her latest critically acclaimed album, DEPART, which earned multiple accolades at Taiwan’s 2022 Golden Melody Awards (GMA), which is Asia’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards in the Mando-pop industry, including “Album Of The Year” and “Best Mandarin Album.”

Chua has an impressive track record, having been awarded the GMA for “Best Female Singer” (Mandarin) a record-breaking four times. Her popularity is evident on Spotify, where she boasts nearly 1.4 million monthly listeners.

The deal with blackx also extends to cover Chua’s future compositions and songs. Additionally, blackx will manage the rights to other artists’ top hits composed by Chua, including names like Carla Bruni, Jolin Tsai, Jam Hsiao, A-Mei, Eason Chan, Na Ying, and more.

Both Chua and blackx’s CEO, Tan Chee Meng, expressed excitement about the partnership, emphasizing the goal of enriching the music industry through innovative experiences while fostering new talent and connecting with audiences on a deeper level.

A&R Worldwide Exposed

Each week, A&R Worldwide shares a snapshot of creatives and executives that we have collaborated or worked with in various music markets around the world, albeit in recent or previous times!


A&R Worldwide met the ultra-talented A&R and executive Briony Turner, Co-President, Atlantic Records, UK back in 2006 when she was a young creative at This Is Global – the London, England-based independent music publisher. Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide met Briony through their close mutual friend Nick Shymansky who was Amy Winehouse’s longtime manager, and, also a respected A&R executive at Simon Fuller’s company 19, Polydor and Island Records. A&R Worldwide introduced Nick and Briony to the then unsigned and unpublished Los Angeles-based duo known as LMFAO in early 2007, which led to Briony signing the band to their first ever publishing deal (for the UK only) – giving Briony her first No.1 UK charting success with LMFAO’s debut UK single – they subsequently went on to worldwide success. Pictured (L-R) at the Warner Music Group headquarters in London are Sat Bisla and Briony Turner.



Emerging from the charming coastal town of Southend-On-Sea in Essex, England, the eclectic ensemble known as Nothing But Thieves harnesses an unwavering devotion to their craft, expertly fusing the spirit of indie rock with infectious pop melodies. Formed in 2012, the multifaceted lineup boasts the exceptional vocal talents of Conor Mason, guitarists Joe Langridge-Brown and Dominic Craik, bassist Philip Blake, and drummer James Price. Their sonic tapestry has earned them favorable comparisons to music luminaries such as Jeff Buckley, Foals, Queens of the Stone Age, and Royal Blood. Witnessing their ascent, it comes as no surprise that Nothing But Thieves’ latest album, titled Dead Club City (Sony Music UK/AWAL), has not only topped the esteemed UK charts, as well as several other countries, but has also enraptured audiences worldwide. The band is currently captivating audiences across the UK throughout the summer, before venturing stateside in September, gracing their largest venues to date in Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis, Austin, Las Vegas, while enthralling audiences with sold-out performances in Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Sample “Members Only” from the new album HERE, and contact Dave Lombardi at for additional information and available opportunities with Nothing But Thieves.








Australia’s The Moving Stills were granted an exceptional year in 2022. Amidst their rise, they unveiled their highly anticipated debut album, Sunshine Corner, a masterful compilation that captivated audiences far and wide. Notably, they graced the stages alongside esteemed luminaries such as Spacey Jane, Great Gable, Shag Rock, and The Vanns, all while showcasing their unparalleled talent in a series of sold-out headline spectacles. Furthermore, a spontaneous turn of events ensued as their enthralling TikTok rendition of Tears For Fears’ timeless classic, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” unwittingly reached viral status. The Moving Stills are relentlessly forging ahead in 2023, crafting their eagerly awaited sophomore album. Simultaneously, they mesmerize audiences with a number of single releases and embark on a whirlwind tour. With their harmonious gem titled “Better,” the band seamlessly weaves a tale of fortitude amidst the intricacies of human connection. “Better” is about cherishing a beloved presence in one’s life, even during moments of longing, with the certainty of a joyous reunion. By instilling listeners with sheer euphoria, this track intertwines ethereal indie-pop nuances and intricate layers of synth, culminating in an inescapable chorus. Experience the brilliance of The Moving Stills with the visual for “Better” HERE, and contact Neal Hunt at for all inquiries on the band.

Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, July 16th, 2023: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, GermanyNINETYSIX Radio (Indonesia); JioSaavn (India); Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, PeruWZRH–FM New Orleans, LAKWSS “93.9FM”; Phoenix, AZKRML “102.1FM”; Carmel, CAKFRR “New Rock 104.1FM”; Fresno, CARadio 1, Mumbai, IndiaWCNR Charlottesville, VAKIWR “The River”; Council Bluffs, IA2XM Ireland (national radio); 96.2 ZFM The NetherlandsWAPS–FM “The Summit.FM”; Akron–Canton, OHWKTL–FM Youngstown, OH105.5FM XFM Nairobi, KenyaPUK–FM Johannesburg, South AfricaRock 96.5FM Zambia897 FM Bratislava, SlovakiaWITH “90.1FM”; Ithaca, NYUCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaWRUR 88.5FM Rochester, NYWCRU–FM Hamilton, NYKZND Anchorage, AKKQCJ Quad Cities, ILAllgauhit–FM Bavaria GermanyIndie Xfm Los Angeles and on The Independent FM (iHeartRadio) in the United States, as well as many others internationally.

Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:

GIANT ROOKS – “Bedroom Exile” (UMG, Germany)
CRAWLERS – “Messiah” (Polydor, UK)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Surrender To You” (Unsigned, UK)
MASI MASI – “We Don’t Care” (Unsigned, UK)
RUEN BROTHERS – “Don’t Know What’s Come Over You” (Yep Roc, N. America)
REMME – “Boy From The Pictures” (UMG, Germany)
ALEX SPENCER – “A Night To Waste” (Modern Sky, UK)
RUM JUNGLE – “All The Way Round & Back” (Sureshaker, Australia)
CONNIE TALBOT – “Easier Pretending You’re Dead” (Unsigned, UK)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “The Deep End” (Run On Records, UK)
RHETT REPKO – “Don’t Throw Our Love Way” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE LATHUMS – “Lucky Bean” (Island Records, UK)
BOY DESTROY – “No Sleep” (Warner Music, Sweden)
VELLA  – “Happiness” (L3V3L Music, N. America)
TOM A. SMITH – “Weirdo” (Unsigned, UK)
NEW BEAT FUND – “What It’s All For?” (Unsigned, N. America)
TMRV – “Gone” (Unsigned, Belgium)
AZIYA – “Atomic” (WMG/Lab Records, UK)
THE GOA EXPRESS – “Portrait” (Communion Records, UK)
DAGNY – “Heartbreak In The Making” (UMG, Germany)
ALEX LAHEY – “On The Way Down” (Liberation Music, Australia)
THE VICES – “At Least That’s What They’re Saying” (Mattan, Holland)
COYLE GIRELLI – “Museum Day” (Unsigned, UK)
TEENAGE DADS – “3AM” (City Pop, Australia)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Swimsuit” (ICEA, Sweden)
IAMJJ – “King Size” (Unsigned, Denmark)
TOM VERBERNE – “Sit In The Back” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
MERCI, MERCY – “Shovel” (Liberation Music, Australia)
INHALER – “Just To Keep You Satisfied” (Polydor, UK)
BARBERA MARI – “Hunter” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
CRYSTAL TIDES – “Animated” (Run On Records/Modern Sky, UK)
KARIM – “Don’t Tell Your Friends” (Unsigned, Germany)


TONY BENNETT PASSES AWAY AT 96: Last week, the music world mourned the loss of the legendary Tony Bennett, a true icon and one of the last torch singers, who passed away at the age of 96 in New York. Bennett’s illustrious career spanned decades and genres, from jazz and pop to R&B, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. Born in Astoria, Queens, Bennett’s musical journey began when he performed with military bands during World War II. His big break came when Bob Hope discovered him at a club in Greenwich Village. Signed to Columbia Records in 1951, Bennett achieved chart-topping success with hits like “Because Of You,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” which became his signature song. Throughout his career, Bennett earned a staggering 17 Grammy Awards and collaborated with various artists, from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga. His albums Duets: An American Classic, and Duets II, showcased his timeless appeal and garnered more Grammy recognition. Bennett’s influence extended beyond music, earning him accolades such as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Grammy “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and the Kennedy Center Honor. His remarkable talent, unmatched charisma, and passion for music will forever be remembered, making him an unforgettable legend in the hearts of music lovers worldwide.


AWAL ANNOUNCES NEW A&R HIRE TO ITS TEAM: Respected A&R executive Chris Foitle has revealed that he is embarking on a new chapter in his career as the Sr. Vice President of A&R at AWAL in the U.S. Foitle will continue to be based in Los Angeles. This new role marks a reunion for Foitle and Pete Giberga (President/Head of A&R, AWAL), as they join forces once again after having collaborated during their tenure at Epic Records almost two decades ago. Chris Foitle’s illustrious career in the music business has seen him hold prominent A&R positions at several well-respected record labels. Prior to joining AWAL, Foitle served as Vice President/Head of A&R at Epitaph Records for six years, contributing significantly to the label’s roster and success during his tenure. He also was President/Head of A&R at Fearless Records for six years. In 2007, Foitle elevated his career further, assuming the role of Director of A&R at Atlantic Records. Foitle’s illustrious journey in A&R stretches back to his early days at Epic Records, where he served as an A&R Manager for four years from 2003 to 2007. During this period, he honed his skills and contributed to the label’s ongoing success by discovering and developing promising artists, whilst being mentored by Pete Giberga.


THE GONGAWARE GROUP SIGN DANNY HOWARD: The Gongaware Grouphas made a significant addition to its roster by signing DJ, producer, and BBC Radio 1 “Dance Party” host Danny Howard. Being known for his status in the dance music genre and his influential role in breaking new artists, Howard’s career will now be expanded and nurtured in North and South America by the Gongaware Group. With DJ residencies at venues like Amnesia Ibiza and BCM in Mallorca, Howard brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the agency. The Gongaware Group, founded by industry veterans Paul and Layla Gongaware, has quickly established itself as a family-owned agency with a focus on dance music. With over 30 clients, including top-charting acts like Jax Jones, Sigala, and Imanbek, the agency has already booked over 1,000 shows and generated over $6 million in revenue. The addition of Danny Howard to their roster further solidifies their position as a leading independent force in the dance music industry.


HITMAKING PRODUCERS LAUNCH J-POP EXPLOSION: Louis Bell and Michael Africk, two powerhouse producers with a string of credits which include Post Malone, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello, Halsey and others, have teamed up to create a J-Pop sensation with the release of “Someone Else” by ANNA. The international and multi-talented singer, model, and actor is set to become the first global J-Pop star, presenting a unique musical offering that blends Japanese and English verses. Scheduled for release on July 26th via Handcraft Entertainment and distributed globally by Virgin Music, “Someone Else” will be accompanied by a visually stunning video featuring partnerships with top-tier brands like Fendi and Christian Louboutin. ANNA’s upbringing in both Japan and Los Angeles has shaped her into a compelling voice for her culture, infusing her music with Japanese nuances and traditions. Embracing her Japanese heritage, she aspires to inspire listeners and create a positive impact through her music. Handcraft Entertainment, the brainchild of Africk, aims to build connections between major music markets and unite fans worldwide, representing artists, producers, and songwriters.


TIKTOK STREAMING SERVICE GROWS INTO AUSTRALIA, MEXICO & SINGAPORE: In a rapid expansion of its music streaming service, TikTok Music is now set to launch in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore. Following its recent launch in Brazil and Indonesia, TikTok Music will enter closed beta testing in these new markets, offering a three-month free trial to participants. The choice of Australia is notable as the country was previously subject to restrictions on licensed music usage, resulting in a decline in TikTok users. This move was seen as part of negotiations between TikTok and major record labels regarding copyright payments. However, TikTok’s new licensing deal with Warner Music Group suggests a potential shift in approach. Under the agreement, Warner Recorded Music and Warner Chappell Music will license their repertoire to TikTok and its affiliated platforms, including TikTok Music, CapCut, and the Commercial Music Library. It remains unclear if similar agreements have been reached with Sony Music and Universal Music Group for the Australian, Mexican, and Singaporean markets. TikTok’s expansion into music streaming is aimed at providing its global user base with a dedicated music experience and further engaging music fans on the platform.


HARBOURVIEW ACQUIRES SELECT MUSICAL ASSETS OF BLACKBEAR: HarbourView Equity Partners has struck another major deal in the music industry, this time acquiring select recorded assets and the publishing catalog of multi-Platinum artist Blackbear. The deal includes hit compositions like “IDFC,” “Hot Girl Bummer,” and the double-Platinum certified “Do Re Me.” This announcement comes just weeks after HarbourView’s previous acquisitions of Wiz Khalifa’s select recorded music and publishing assets and Grammy-winning rapper Nelly’s select recorded music assets. Blackbear has released six studio albums since the mid-2010s. His most recent work, the pop-punk album In Loving Memory, was a collaboration with blink-182’s Travis Barker and garnered attention from fans and critics alike. Beyond his solo career, Blackbear has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, including Pharrell Williams, Linkin Park, Justin Bieber, Machine Gun Kelly, 2 Chainz,G-Eazy, and more. He has also made significant contributions to the music industry as the co-Founder & CEO of Beartrap Management, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit. HarbourView, led by former Tempo Music CEO Sherrese Clarke Soares with backing from Apollo Global Management, has amassed an extensive catalog of over 20,000 songs. With these recent acquisitions, the company continues to make growing moves in the music industry landscape.


SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING NAMES NEW VP FOR U.S. & LATIN: Sony Music Publishing has announced the promotion of Yendi Rodriguez to Vice President, Creative & Songwriter Services, US Latin. In this elevated role, Rodriguez will be responsible for expanding support for the US Latin roster with emphasis on career development, talent discovery, creative collaboration and song placements. She’ll continue to liaise across the company’s divisions including administration and sync to further advance songwriter service efforts. Based in Miami, Rodriguez will report to Jorge Mejia, President & CEO, Latin America & US Latin, Sony Music Publishing. Throughout her tenure Yendi has been instrumental in top signings including Keityn, Bizarrap, Nicki Nicole, The Rude Boyz and Jay Wheeler, as well as key renewals with Tainy, Camilo, Farruko, among many others. Rodriguez first began her career as an intern with EMI in 2012. A year later she joined the company under an administrative role and began working in both synch and A&R roles, which led to her transition to the creative team in 2017 as Manager, Creative.


ALBERT HYPE AND JOTA ROSAS SIGN TO NEON16 PUBLISHING: NEON16 Publishing continue to make waves in the Latin music industry with the addition of producers Albert Hype and Jota Rosa to its roster of songwriters, producers, and artists. Hype’s success includes collaborations with Latin music heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Shakira, and Selena Gomez, producing chart-toppers like “Hablamos Maãana” and “Te Felicito.” His work on Kali Uchis’ breakout hit “Telepatia” further solidified his reputation as a sought-after producer. Rosa has played a pivotal role in bringing the Urbano sound into the mainstream. Notably, he co-produced J Balvin’s “Tu Veneno” and “Baila Conmigo,: both hitting No.1 on the Billboard Latin Airplay Chart. His work on Bad Bunny’s global record-breaking album, Un Verano Sin Ti, and collaborations with Tainy have further cemented his position in the industry. Led by music executive Lex Borrero and influential producer Tainy, NEON16 aspires to become a powerhouse in Latin music, akin to Roc Nation or Bad Boy. Their recent acquisition of ARRO MEDIA, a music marketing and social media agency, underscores their commitment to growth and influence.


BRYAN ADAMS JOINS SCOTTISH TECH STARTUP SONGBOX: Canadian rock icon Bryan Adams has teamed up with Scottish tech startup Songbox. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Songbox has revolutionized how musicians handle audio files, offering a platform where creators can securely store and share files with collaborators, industry professionals, and media outlets. The system enables content creators to track the receipt and playback of their files, ensuring privacy and security. Adams, a multi-Platinum recording artist and Grammy-award winner, was among the first to use Songbox and contributed to enhancing its features. The platform allows Adams and other creatives to share their work seamlessly without sending out MP3s or physical products. Founded by Michael Coll and Ciaran O’Toole, Songbox has already gained thousands of users, including Grammy winners, and offers various pricing options, including a free package for those eager to explore its potential. The company is planning funding rounds to further grow its revolutionary platform.


MUSHROOM GROUP EXPANDS WITH LAUNCH OF NEW BOOKING AGENCY: Mushroom Group has unveiled MBA, a new talent booking business, in partnership with Guven Yilmaz, formerly of Vita Music Group. MBA’s artist-first approach focuses on live bookings, strategy, touring, and partnerships, operating in both Melbourne and Sydney. The agency’s initial roster boasts a lineup that includes notable Australian artists including Peking Duk, Bliss n Eso, Conrad Sewell, and others. Guven Yilmaz expressed excitement about the partnership, emphasizing the alignment of values with Mushroom’s independent entrepreneurial culture. Matt Gudinski, CEO of Mushroom Group, welcomed Guven to the Mushroom family, praising his respected reputation and track record in the industry. The launch of MBA marks another milestone for Mushroom Group, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. With a strong focus on fostering talent and empowering artists, MBA complements Mushroom Group’s existing agency, Premier Artists, representing esteemed musicians like Jimmy Barnes, Kate Ceberano, and others.


FRANCES MOORE TO STEP DOWN AS CEO OF IFPI: Frances Moore, the Chief Executive Officer of IFPI, will retire from her position at the end of 2023, marking the end of her impressive tenure as the trade body’s longest-serving leader since taking the helm in 2010. IFPI announced that Moore will stay until the end of her term to ensure a seamless transition and assist in finding her successor. Representing 8,000 members, including record labels from 70 countries, IFPI has made significant strides under Moore’s leadership. Notable achievements include the enactment of the EU Copyright Directive in 2019 and the extension of EU copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years in 2011, later replicated in Japan through the EU-Japan FTA. Moore also spearheaded the establishment of broadcast and public performance rights in China and Singapore, contributing to revenue growth in those markets. Under her guidance, IFPI combated stream manipulation through a ‘Code of Best Practice’ and legal actions against streaming manipulators worldwide, while successfully blocking over 5,200 copyright-infringing websites.


WARNER MUSIC ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH TIKTOK: Warner Music Group and TikTok have announced a partnership that will have countless benefits for both companies and their respective audiences. The multi-year deal involves licensing the vast repertoire of Warner Recorded Music and Warner Chappell Music to TikTok, TikTok Music, CapCut, and TikTok’s Commercial Music Library. Additionally, the partnership will explore new avenues for revenue generation, marketing, and insights, providing artists and songwriters with enhanced opportunities to work with TikTok’s brand partners and capitalize on merchandising, ticketing, and digital goods. The agreement also encompasses the licensing of TikTok Music, the subscription streaming service that has recently launched in select markets. Additionally, Warner Music artists and songwriters will have the chance to engage with TikTok’s growing community on the video-editing platform CapCut. This collaboration signifies an exciting and mutually beneficial chapter for both Warner Music Group and TikTok, as they seek to unlock the power of discovery and drive innovation in the music industry.


SESAC UNVEILS NEW ASIAN MUSIC ALLIANCE: Five major Asian collection societies have come together with SESAC Music Group to establish a groundbreaking collaboration called The Asian Alliance Music Rights Organization (AAMRO). This music rights hub will manage licensing and royalty distribution for the combined repertories of FILSCAP (Philippines), WAMI (Indonesia), MACP (Malaysia), MCT(Thailand), and VCPMC (Vietnam). AAMRO will be headquartered in Liechtenstein, strategically positioned to oversee multi-territorial digital licensing and royalty distribution throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. MINT Digital Services, the alliance between SESAC and Swiss collective management organization SUISA, will support and administer AAMRO. The mission of this alliance is to unlock the full potential of Asian music authors and showcase the diverse musical heritage of the region to a global audience. By collaborating, AAMRO aims to elevate the Asian music industry, ensuring fair compensation and protection for artists, composers, and rightsholders’ creative works beyond Asia. The partnership seeks to enhance royalties and support the careers of talented songwriters and composers in the Asian music community.


SOUNDEXCHANGE RELEASES 2022 ANNUAL REPORT: SoundExchange has reported a record-breaking year in its 2022 Annual Report, collecting an impressive $1.017 billion (USD) in digital royalties from over 3,600 digital streaming platforms. These royalties were distributed to more than 600,000 creators and rights holders, making a significant impact in the music industry. The report highlights SoundExchange’s role as a leading music tech organization, utilizing technology, data, and advocacy to create a fairer and more efficient music industry. Artists such as Ludacris and Billie Eilish have praised SoundExchange’s work and its impact on their careers. The report also showcases the company’s ecosystem, digital innovations, international collections, and growing publishing services through SX Works. As the designated organization by the US government to administer the Section 114 sound recording license, SoundExchange continues to play a crucial role in supporting music creators and driving the growth of music.


BMG PRODUCTION MUSIC ROLLS OUT NEW EUROPEAN SITE: BMG Production Music, one of the world’s fastest-growing production music companies, has launched its new and vastly improved website,, or BMGPM 2.0 as the company calls it. The site offers professionals the opportunity to search over 300,000 tracks for sync in their productions and is currently in its third and final stage of rollout across Europe. Earlier this month UK clients were migrated over to the new site which is already in use by the production music business in APAC and the US. Clients include Netflix, Disney, ITV, BBC, FOX, EPIC Games, and many others. BMG Production Music says the development of the 2.0 site has seen a digital transformation for the business replacing the three previous search sites with one global platform, aligning user experience for our global partners.

NEED TO MAKE CONTACT, SEND NEWS AND NEW MUSIC RELEASES?: If you have any A&R, publishing, technology, agent/promoter, international radio, management, new media or film/TV music supervisor news you’d like to share with A&R Worldwide, or need to respond to information published in the weekly newsletter please E–mail it to the attention of Sat Bisla at Also, all demos and new music releases should be sent as STREAMING LINKS ONLY to

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rich Castillo, Ben Mawson, John Watson, Danny Rogers, Cole Stephenson, Zoe Gillespie, Rob Inadomi, Ryan, Press, Ezekiel Lewis, Bridget Ferris, Chantal Epp, Catherine Wharton, Franny Graham and James Cheney.


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