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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 807




Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, a highly respected figure in both the music and wider entertainment industry, is set to receive the prestigious “International Lifetime Achievement Award” at the esteemed global music business and showcase event, MUSEXPO (, which takes place March 17 – 20, 2024 in Burbank, California – “The Media Capital of The World.” The ceremony will take place on Monday, March 18th, 2024.

Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE

This accolade is in recognition of Jonathan’s exceptional career spanning three decades of notable achievements. In addition to the award, he will be presented with official proclamations honoring his remarkable work from the City of Burbank, Los Angeles County, and the State of California assembly representatives during a special luncheon. Jonathan’s significant contributions to the UK entertainment industry were previously acknowledged in 2014 when he received an OBE from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. This latest honor further enhances his status as a hugely influential and respected global figure in the music and wider entertainment business.

In 2024, Jonathan marks the 30th anniversary of his first major success, collaborating with the late Sir George Martin on an album celebrating harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler performing Gershwin. This groundbreaking album featured an array of music legends, including Carly Simon, Cher, Elton John, and Sting, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records as the oldest person then to have made the charts.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO stated, “Jonathan’s remarkable contributions to the music and entertainment industry have earned him well-deserved recognition as the esteemed International Lifetime Achievement Award honoree at next year’s MUSEXPO. Over the course of Jonathan’s illustrious three-decade career, his unwavering dedication and visionary leadership have left an indelible mark on the industry’s landscape. As a prominent figure in the music scene, Jonathan possesses an innate ability to identify and nurture exceptional talent, catapulting numerous artists to global stardom.”

Bisla adds, “Jonathan’s astute eye for spotting potential and his relentless pursuit of excellence have not only transformed the careers of individuals but have also significantly contributed to the evolution and continued success of the British music and wider entertainment industry on the world stage. His profound influence will continue to resonate for years to come, serving as a guiding light for future generations of music and entertainment professionals. This well-deserved recognition at MUSEXPO 2024 confirms his status as a true titan of his industry, testament to the lasting impact he has made and will continue to make.”

Jonathan’s career continued to flourish, with notable achievements such as managing the then 12-year-old Welsh soprano Charlotte Church, who became the youngest musician to reach number one in the UK classical charts. Under his guidance, Church sold over ten million albums worldwide and achieved two double platinum albums in the US.

His collaborations extended beyond artist management, as Jonathan again worked alongside George Martin on a tribute album to the iconic producer himself. The album, titled In My Life, featured legendary artists such as Billy Connolly, Goldie Hawn, Jim Carey, and Phil Collins.

Throughout the early 2000s, Jonathan ventured into managing British Black R&B and Hip Hop acts, including Jamelia, Big Brovaz, Terri Walker, N-Dubz, and WSTRN. These groundbreaking artists amassed numerous chart-topping successes, earning BRIT nominations and 16 MOBO Awards collectively.

Jonathan’s influence also reached the classical music sphere, where he has co-chaired the UK Classical BRITs, managed Katherine Jenkins, and Russell Watson for periods of their careers, the two most successful UK artists in this genre, and worked with late Stephen Sondheim to record London’s Royal National Theatre production of A Little Night Musicstarring Dame Judi Dench.

His acts have graced renowned venues worldwide, including Buckingham Palace, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, and even the White House. Jonathan has co-produced stage shows in London’s West End and Las Vegas, as well as television documentaries with ITV and the BBC, and two feature films.

Jonathan continues to thrive in the music industry, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Chosen Music with his newest business partner Alistair Goldsmith. As a fully-fledged 360-degree recording, publishing and management company, Chosen Music focuses on nurturing and developing both cutting-edge young and established talent, working in partnership with Universal, Sony, and Warner music.

Chosen Music’s first records signing, Caity Baser, has garnered significant attention with over 150 million streams with her three 2023 charting songs, being recognized by the BBC, Amazon Music, NME, Rolling Stone UK, and the Independent as “One to Watch.” Chosen published songwriters have written hits for Jason Derulo, Anne Marie, and Joel Corry.

Saltwives, the songwriting and production duo managed by Chosen have achieved tremendous success, with over 15 billion streams on songs they have written and produced for artists such as BLACKPINKZayn, and Sia, and produced the soundtrack for Disney’s Aladdin.

Emerging artist Solomon has released tracks with Ice Spice and Brockhampton and NEIKED achieved their first Billboard Top 20 with their song “Better Days” with Polo G.

Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE is also Chairman & Founder, of the InterTalent Rights Group, and content creation company Project 30 Studios. InterTalent is the UK’s leading independent talent management company winning best agency for new talent at the Edinburgh International Television Festival “New Voice Awards.” InterTalent represents major international talent and creates intellectual property across Scripted, Unscripted, Broadcast, Digital, Social-Media, Gaming and Comedy.

A passionate and dedicated philanthropist, Jonathan is also Chairman & Chief Barker of Variety, the Childrens Charity, Chairman of the MOBO Charity Foundation (Music of Black Origin), Trustee of ChickenShed (Theatre Changing Lives), and the British Prime Minister’s appointee as Honorable Ambassador of the GREAT Campaign: GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland Campaign.

Awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to the entertainment industry, Jonathan is widely recognised as an innovator and leader in the creative industries in the UK and globally. He was awarded an Honorary Professorship by Henley Business School in 2012 as recognition of his contribution to the Performing Arts and Creative Industries, and in 2018 an Honorary Doctorate by Reading University for changing lives through the creative industries. In recent years, he has been named as London’s most influential agent by the Evening Standard and Britain’s Top Showbiz agent by the Daily Mail and lectured at USC (University of Southern California).

Jonathan has also advised the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), hosted the inaugural meeting for Festival UK 2022, following which then British Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced £120 Million of Government funding. He is also recognised as a respected media commentator on the entertainment industry.

Registration is now open for MUSEXPO at

For information regarding sponsorship, conference program, or showcase details contact




Warner Chappell Music has inked a global administration deal with the award-winning global alternative rock band Imagine Dragons. With a remarkable career spanning over a decade, Imagine Dragons has solidified their position as one of the world’s most revered and captivating rock groups. Their chart-topping discography includes mega-hits like “Radioactive,” “Believer,” “Demons,” and “Thunder,” each earning RIAA multi-Diamond certifications and accumulating billions of streams. Having sold 74 million album equivalents and notched 19 Billboard Hot 100 hits, Imagine Dragons’ impact on the music landscape is undeniable. Their recent milestone of over two billion views on YouTube for “Thunder” further cements their global appeal.

Pictured (L-R) are Warner Chappell Music’s Ryan Press and Jon Chen, Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds and Warner Chappell’s Greg Sowders.

Frontman Dan Reynolds expressed his excitement about the partnership with Warner Chappell Music, recognizing the paramount role of songwriting in the band’s journey. Known for crafting anthemic tracks and delivering electrifying stadium performances, the Grammy Award-winning quartet continuously redefines rock in the 21st century. With their first double-album opus, Mercury – Act 2, produced by Rick Rubin, and the hit single “Bones” topping the charts, Imagine Dragons’ musical prowess remains unparalleled. Additionally, their collaboration with rapper J.I.D, “Enemy,” has garnered billions of streams and achieved global recognition.

The band’s philanthropic endeavors have also left a significant impact, with charitable initiatives supporting pediatric cancer and LGBTQ+ youth. As they continue to receive acclaim and nominations from prestigious awards, Imagine Dragons’ journey shows no signs of slowing down.

Warner Chappell Music’s Co-Chairs & CEO, Guy Moot, and Co-Chair & COO, Carianne Marshall, expressed enthusiasm about joining forces with Imagine Dragons and emphasized the band’s unique ability to create crossover hits across genres and mediums.

The future continues to look promising, as the band, in collaboration with Warner Chappell Music, embark on another exciting chapter in their illustrious career.



CTM Outlander, The Netherlands-based company and a key player in the global music business, has made a significant acquisition by obtaining the exclusive catalog of Grammy award and Ivor Novello award winning, and one of the UK’s most accomplished songwriters, Fraser T Smith. With an impressive track record of global success, Fraser has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Drake, Florence + The Machine, Gorillaz, Sam Smith, as well as early A&R Worldwide supported artists including Adele and Gavin James amongst many others.

This latest deal encompasses a diverse range of songs recorded by esteemed artists like Tiësto, Jonas Blue & Rita Ora (“Ritual”), Stormzy (“Blinded by Your Grace Pt 1 & 2,” “Audacity”), Dave (“Black”, “Environment,” “Lesley”), Craig David (“I Know You,” “When You Know What Love Is”), Raye (“Please Don’t Touch”), and many more. Notably, the deal also includes the writer’s share for most of the compositions, with CTM Outlander taking on global administration.

Pictured (L-R) are Steve Lewis (Adviser to CTM), Sarah Thorneycroft-Smith (Manager, Fraser T Smith), Fraser T. Smith, and André de Raaff (CEO, CTM Outlander).

André de Raaff, the CEO of CTM Outlander Music LP, expressed his gratitude to Fraser and Sarah Thorneycroft-Smith (Fraser’s manager) for entrusting their remarkable songs to the company. He praised Fraser as a once-in-a-generation songwriter and expressed excitement about showcasing these compositions for years to come. Fraser T Smith himself expressed confidence in CTM Outlander, acknowledging André’s years of experience in publishing and ensuring that his songs will not only be acquired but also given the best platform for future success.

Sarah Thorneycroft-Smith added her praise for working with André and CTM Outlander, expressing utmost reassurance that Fraser’s compositions will be well taken care of and shared with the world for many years.

CTM Outlander is a powerful collaboration between the innovative and disruptive Outlander Capital from Dallas, Texas, led by Les Ware and Mike McKool, and the leading independent music entertainment company CTM from the Netherlands.

In a short span since its launch, CTM Outlander has made bold moves, signaling its ambition to invest over a billion US dollars in acquiring music publishing and master rights.

Notable acquisitions include TEN Music’s publishing assets in 2021 and the catalogs of Natalie Hemby, Ben Burgess, and Michael Tyler in 2022. Their latest milestone was the June 2023 purchase of the catalogue and futures of 3x Grammy Award-winning songwriter Shane McAnally, further establishing their position as the leading independent publisher in Nashville.

As the summer unfolds, we anticipate further announcements of CTM Outlander’s upcoming acquisitions.





Negla Abdela has been appointed as the new Managing Director at Ministry of Sound, according to an announcement made by Sony Music UK a few days ago.

Negla first joined Ministry of Sound in 2015 as the Social Media Manager. Over the years, she has consistently demonstrated her talent and dedication, earning promotions to Head of Digital in 2018 and General Manager in 2021. In these roles, she has overseen the marketing and digital teams, playing a pivotal role in delivering highly successful multi-platinum selling single and album campaigns for the label’s diverse roster.

Negla Abdela

Her contributions have been instrumental in driving exponential growth and increasing market share across all metrics year-on-year. Ministry of Sound has achieved a string of multi-Platinum hits from artists like Paul Woolford, Ewan McVicar, Riton, and Majestic. Additionally, Negla has successfully spearheaded global campaigns for domestic talents like Regard, London Grammar, and Sigala, while also achieving success with international artists such as Doja Cat, Tate McRae, and Lil Durk.

Beyond her achievements at Ministry of Sound, Negla is actively involved in initiatives promoting social justice and diversity. She sits on Sony Music UK’s Social Justice Fund steering committee and serves as the co-Executive Sponsor for Sony Music’s internal Diversity committee called HUE (Helping Unite Everyone). Her commitment to advocating for people of color within the workplace earned her a spot on Empower’s 2023 “Role Model List” and recognition on the Roll of Honor at Music Week’s “Women in Music” awards in 2020.

Dipesh Parmar, President of Columbia Records, expressed his delight at Negla’s new role, highlighting her natural leadership skills and profound commitment to the label’s vision for artist signings and overall development. He believes Negla’s passion for the roster and her team make her one of the most respected and dynamic executives in the music industry, and he looks forward to seeing her lead Ministry of Sound into its next phase of growth in the electronic music scene.

In her own statement, Negla expressed her pride in the collective achievements of the Ministry of Sound team during her time with the label. She eagerly anticipates continuing her growth with the company in her new role and is grateful for the mentorship provided by Amy Wheatley and Dipesh, who have consistently trusted her to deliver. Negla’s appointment as Managing Director is a testament to her exceptional abilities and is a reminder of the possibilities for Black women in senior leadership positions, regardless of their background.





India, one of the fastest growing music markets in the world is experiencing rapid growth, and the country has become a hub for rapid A&R (Artists & Repertoire) focus in the past few years. A&R Worldwide has long recognized the potential of India, having showcased the country’s A&R potential in its annual global music conference MUSEXPO in Los Angeles as early as 2006 – one of the first in North America to highlight the potential of India’s music market.

Influential Indian actor, singer, and songwriter Diljit Dosanjh is making waves in the US and global music industry after his recent successful performance at Coachella, having been spotted in Los Angeles writing and recording with A&R oversight from Aton Ben-Horin, Executive Vice President of Global A&R,  Atlantic Records Group. This collaboration signals the continued increasing interest in Indian talent by major international record labels.

Moreover, another one of India’s most popular and influential music artists, Badshah, is poised to announce a significant deal with a Universal Music Group major label in the US, further solidifying India’s impact on the US and global music scene.

Another rising star in the Indian music industry is rapper and hip-hop artist King (real name Arpan Kumar Chandel), who recently signed a UK label deal with Parlophone Records. King’s single “Maan Meri Jaan” from his album Champagne Talk reached the No.1 spot on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs in India and caught the attention of international A&R executives.

Other notable Indian artists include Prateek Kuhad ( signed to Concord Music Group in the U.S.), the A&R Worldwide supported Ananya Birla (who has worked with A&R hitmakers Ron Fair, Diane Warren, and Jenna Andrews), Canadian-based Punjabi artist AP Dhillon (on the brink of announcing a worldwide major label deal), and Armaan Malik (formerly signed with Arista Records in the U.S. and now on the verge of a new major label worldwide deal).

Mumbai-based hip-hop artist MC-MAAR-T also gained attention when his single “Hey Bombay,” A&R’d by A&R Worldwide’s Monte Malone and Sat Bisla (produced by Los Angeles producer Ryan Benyo), was licensed for a successful Red Bull marketing campaign in India earlier last summer.

To celebrate India’s growing influence in the global music scene, A&R Worldwide is set to present a global A&R masterclass at this year’s All About Music conference in Mumbai, India, scheduled for September, further nurturing A&R abilities and the growth of India’s music industry on the international stage.

With over 17 years of experience building strong relationships within the Indian music market and decades more across its vast international diaspora, A&R Worldwide remains deeply connected to the territory and its global success.


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 has had a close connection with the German music market for a number of decades working closely with its creatives, artists and broader music, media and technology sectors. We recently enjoyed an inspiring conversation and showcase event in Berlin with some close friends from the burgeoning German music market. Pictured (L-R) are Jobst Neerman, Managing Director, RBK Fusion. Germany; Adrian Padilla (guitarist & producer), Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), singer/songwriter VELLA, Ken Ogihara (Head of Music Content & Artist Partnerships, TikTok, Germany), Ray De La Garza (Managing Director, L3V3L Music) and Kathleen Wortha (Sr. Booking Agent & Promoter, RBK Fusion, Germany).



Since the age of twelve, remme has been immersed in the world of music, dedicating himself to honing his craft and crafting his own songs. Commuting between his hometown Eindhoven and the vibrant city of Berlin, where his studio is based, he meticulously nurtures his musical endeavors. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic array of artists such as Frank Ocean, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Buckley, and even Justin Bieber, remme’s artistic palette is enriched with diverse influences. The opening to remme’s musical journey came in the form of “get older,” a track that catapulted him into the limelight, garnering over 15 million streams worldwide. The song resonated with audiences at radio, leading to widespread acclaim on prominent Dutch stations like 3FM and Radio 2, as well as prominent German channels such as 1Live and Puls. In recognition of his burgeoning talent, the Czech radio station EVROPA2 granted remme the esteemed “Best International Newcomer: award, further solidifying his status as a rising star. Recently reaching the milestone of twenty-four years old, Remme has unveiled his debut EP, missing home, which delves into his personal relationships and the ever-shifting tapestry of his emotions. This young singer-songwriter has amassed an impressive total of over 76 million streams across his body of work. In addition to his musical accomplishments, remme has made captivating appearances on notable platforms like the German show “Inas Nacht,” engaging viewers with his artistry. Supporting the celebrated German popstar LEA at her Picknick Konzerte sessions, and James Morrison in Amsterdam, he further exemplified his musical prowess and stage presence. Discover the brilliance of this talented musician, with his single “Boy From The Pictures” HERE. For inquiries and potential collaborations with remme, Jannik Kleber can be reached at



Sydney, Australia’s renowned Lime Cordiale exemplify an exceptional blend of talent, firmly establishing themselves as the epitome of cultural cool in 2023. Whether they’re rubbing elbows with Post Malone during his Australian tour or collaborating on musical endeavors with versatile actor-musician Idris Elba (known for his roles in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Thor, and Extraction 2), the presence of brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach guarantees an elevated experience. Their artistic prowess is underscored by the release of two critically acclaimed studio albums: Permanent Vacation in 2017 and 14 Steps to a Better You in 2020, the latter reaching No.1 on the ARIA charts. Additionally, Lime Cordiale has curated an impressive discography comprising two box sets and four EPs, encompassing a myriad of ARIA Platinum and Gold certified singles. Their musical journey has traversed continents, gracing renowned festivals such as MUSEXPO, BIGSOUND, SXSW, Latitude, Live At Leeds In The Park, and more. Each tour stop serves as a stepping-stone in their quest to captivate an ever-expanding fanbase, which is evident from their staggering achievement of amassing over 450 million streams on Spotify, coupled with almost 30 million streams on Apple Music, and their YouTube viewership surpassing 20 million. Lime Cordiale’s hallmark lies in their infectious melodies, irresistible hooks, and insightful lyrical compositions, and their latest offering, “Imposter Syndrome” (Chugg Music), seamlessly blends thought-provoking and relatable messaging with an exuberant and energetic musical finesse. This song solidifies their reputation as consummate artists who never fail to impress. Immerse yourself in the visual for “Imposter Syndrome” HERE, and for additional information or any potential collaborations with Lime Cordiale, contact Andrew Stone at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, July 30th, 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)
BELIZZZ – “No Shoes Girl (Succession)” (Unsigned, UK)
JOHNOSSI – “Adore” (AngelFarm, Sweden)
DAGNY – “Heartbreak In The Making” (UMG, Germany)
RUEN BROTHERS – “Don’t Know What’s Come Over You” (Yep Roc, N. America)
CRAWLERS – “Messiah” (Polydor, UK)
IAMJJ – “King Size” (Unsigned, Denmark)
REMME – “Boy From The Pictures” (UMG, Germany)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Surrender To You” (Unsigned, UK)
PORTOBELLA – “Covered In Punk” (Island, UK)
CASSIA – “High Tones” (Republic of Music, Australia)
BAKER GRACE – “American Dream Girl” (Riveting Music, N. America)
VELLA – “Happiness” (L3V3L Music, N. America)
TOM A. SMITH – “Weirdo” (Unsigned, UK)
NEW BEAT FUND – “What It’s All For” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “The Deep End” (Run On Records, UK)
RHETT REPKO – “Don’t Throw Our Love Away” (Unsigned, N. America)
TMRV – “Gone” (Unsigned, Belgium)
AZIYA – “Atomic” (WMG/Lab Records, UK)
THE GOA EXPRESS – “Portrait” (Communion Records, UK)
ALEX SPENCER – “A Night To Waste” (Modern Sky, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Swimsuit” (ICEA, Sweden)
MASI MASI – “We Don’t Care” (Unsigned, UK)
ALEX LAHEY – “On The Way Down” (Liberation Music, Australia)
BLAIRE DAVIE – “Lovely” (Watercolour Heart, UK)
THE PIGEON DETECTIVES – “Summer Girl” (Unsigned, UK)
TOM VERBERNE – “Sit In The Back” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
GIRL SCOUT – “Boy In Blue” (MADE Records, UK)
BARBERA MARI – “Hunter” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
CRYSTAL TIDES – “Animated” (Run On Records/Modern Sky, UK)
KARIM – “Don’t Tell Your Friends” (Unsigned, Germany)
TEENAGE DADS – “3AM” (City Pop, Australia)



RAJA KUMARI SIGNS TO DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING: Downtown Music Publishing (DMP) recently announced a deal with Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and rapper, Raja Kumari. The American artist recently released her debut album, The Bridge, through her own label, Godmother Records. The agreement with DMP encompasses administration for The Bridge and all her future writing credits. Kumari’s career includes collaborations with renowned artists like John Legend for Johnny Walker’s India campaign. With over 43 million combined Spotify streams, she has left her mark on several chart-topping hits, such as Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” and Iggy Azalea’s “Change Your Life” featuring T.I. Notably, her song “Set Me Free” featured in Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series, The Get Down. Having signed with Nas’ label Mass Appeal India in 2020, Kumari later ventured out to establish her own record label, Godmother Records. She has also done contributions to albums by artists like Gwen Stefani, Fifth Harmony, Twin Shadow, Dirty South, and others. Kumari’s vision as a writer extends beyond her own artistry, aiming to provide the soundtrack for more South Asian stories in film and television and introducing cultural sounds to mainstream audiences. Raja Kumari has a U.S. tour in the works for later this year.


DISTILLER MUSIC GROUP & STELLAR SONGS SIGN GIL LEWIS: Distiller Publishing has announced a new collaboration with songwriter and producer, Gil Lewis. The co-publishing agreement, in partnership with Stellar Songs and part of a larger venture with Tim Blacksmith and Danny D’s publishing company, will be globally administered by Warner Chappell Music. Based in London, Gil Lewis has recently collaborated with an impressive roster of artists, including MNEK, Jin Jin, Digital Farm Animals, Gracey, Nina Nesbitt, and more. Currently, he’s working with Sophie & The Giants, Fin Askew, and other artists. Claire Bianchi, Head of A&R, Distiller Publishing helped with brokering the new signing deal.


GOING DUTCH WITH A NEW CATALOG ACQUISITION: CTM Outlander has successfully acquired the esteemed Dutch music company, Strengholt Music Group, marking a significant achievement for the rapidly expanding indie music publisher. Founded in 1928, Strengholt Music Group has been a prominent player in the Dutch music industry and was formerly known as Warner Basart Music Publishers. With offices worldwide, the company has played a pivotal role in the Dutch music entertainment scene. The acquisition includes a rich catalog featuring over 100 No.1 hits, composed by renowned artists such as Boudewijn de Groot, Lennaert Nijgh, Ramses Shaffy, Pierre Kartner, Hans van Hemert, Ferry Corsten, Radboud Miedema, John Ewbank, Eric van Tijn, and Jochem Fluitsma. Notably, the song “Engelbewaarder” by Marco Schuitmaker, written four decades ago, currently holds the No.1 spot in the Netherlands. Among the worldwide hits in the catalogue are iconic tracks like “Venus” by Shocking Blue and Bananarama, “Eviva España” by Imca Marina, “I Remember Elvis Presley” by Danny Mirror, and more. Purple Eye Publishing and Purple Eye Entertainment’s management and music rights activities will remain separate and unaffected by this transaction.


IDOL SIGNS AFRO B AND YEMI ALADE, HIRES NEW INT’L A&R: Independent digital distributor IDOL has made new artist services deals, expanding its roster with two diverse African genres. The first signing is Nigeria’s renowned afropop artist Yemi Alade, represented by her record company Effyzzie Music. Alade is collaborating with IDOL on her seventh studio album, scheduled for release later this year. The second addition is London-based afrowave pioneer and Capital XTRA DJ Afro B, who will release several singles this year leading up to his fourth album in 2024, featuring collaborations with Stefflon Don,, Pitbull, and more. IDOL will handle global digital distribution for both artists, providing support in strategy, marketing, audience development, and channel management. These signings underscore IDOL’s commitment to promoting diverse African genres, which have experienced significant growth, with the Sub-Saharan African music market witnessing a 34.7% revenue increase in 2022 according to IFPI. IDOL’s subsidiary publication, Pan African Music (PAM), also plays a role in championing African music and culture globally with its high-quality, locally driven content.


UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP N.V. REPORTS FINANCIAL RESULTS: Universal Music Group N.V. has reported its financial results for Q2 and H1 of 2023, showcasing continued strong performance and growth opportunities for the music ecosystem. Despite a decline in EBITDA for Q2, revenue increased by 6.4% YoY (8.8% in constant currency), driven by growth in Recorded Music and Merchandising segments. EBITDA margin was impacted by non-cash share-based compensation expenses due to the global equity compensation plan rollout. However, excluding these expenses, Adjusted EBITDA rose by 16.4% YoY (19.2% in constant currency), and Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 21.9%. In H1 2023, UMG’s revenue increased by 8.7% (9.1% in constant currency) driven by improvements across all segments. The company’s cost of revenues decreased as a percentage of revenue due to lower merchandising product costs. While EBITDA declined, Adjusted EBITDA rose by 15.6% YoY (16.2% in constant currency) with a margin expansion of 1.3pp, attributed to revenue growth, operating leverage, and cash compensation savings from the equity plan rollout. Operating profit saw a decline due to higher non-cash share-based compensation expenses in H1 2023. UMG continues to focus on its artist-centric approach and strategic investments to drive long-term shareholder value. Read the full report HERE.


AWAL NAMES NEW SR. VP & HEAD OF URBAN MUSIC: AWAL has appointed Norva Denton as its new Sr. Vice President and Head of Urban Music. Operating from AWAL’s Los Angeles office, Denton will contribute to the A&R team, reporting to President Pete Giberga. His main focus will be to strengthen and expand AWAL’s urban music roster by strategically signing new artists. Denton brings a wealth of experience to the position, having previously served as Sr. VP of A&R at Warner Records. During his tenure, he successfully signed, developed, and nurtured the careers of notable acts such as YFN Lucci, Wale, Taykeith, Chika, and 2KBABY. Additionally, Denton co-wrote and produced various records, showcasing his diverse talents as a music executive. Born and raised in Chicago, Denton began his career as the West Coast Regional Director of Artist Development at Motown/Island Def Jam in New York, where he worked with a range of artists, including Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Logic, and more.


MUSHROOM GROUP LAUNCHES MG LIVE: Australian music and entertainment company Mushroom Group has unveiled MG Live, a new live entertainment unit that will consolidate Mushroom’s touring and events businesses. Led by Mushroom Group Chairman & CEO Matt Gudinski, MG Live will bring together promoter brands such as Illusive Presents, I OH YOU Touring, and Arena Touring, along with various event companies and brands like Roundhouse Entertainment and a day on the green. The unit will work in collaboration with sister company Frontier Touring, presenting tours for artists like Tyler, The Creator, Ed Sheeran, and more, collectively selling over 1.3 million tickets in the past year. MG Live’s upcoming plans include managing tours for Robbie Williams and The Chicks, as well as announcements for Fridayz Live and Boiler Room, among others. This new addition follows Mushroom Group’s recent introduction of other units, including a booking agency called MBA, talent management division Mushroom Management, and neighboring rights firm Good Neighbour.


SONGTRADR PARTNERS WITH TWITCH VIA PRETZEL: Songtradr has announced its partnership with Twitch. The deal sees Songtradr bringing their music service, Pretzel to Twitch, to enhance live streams with a treasure trove of licensed music. Acquired by Songtradr in 2021, Pretzel offers “stream safe” tracks for platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Through September 15th, Twitch streamers can enjoy a 90-day free trial of Pretzel’s premium subscription tier, boasting over 550,000 Twitch-safe tracks. The platform also caters to professional content creators with a ‘Pro’ subscription tier. Beyond Twitch, Pretzel provides 100,000+ YouTube-safe tracks and 50,000+ downloadable tracks. With over half a million users, Pretzel is making waves in the livestreaming community. Songtradr’s CEO, Paul Wiltshire, stated that he is very optimistic about this collaboration, offering streamers fully licensed music for their Twitch streams.


GEORGE DRAKOULIAS JOINS PREMIER MUSIC GROUP: Premier Music Group, the renowned music strategy and supervision company, has made a significant acquisition by welcoming music supervisor and producer George Drakoulias to their leadership team as a partner and creative director. Drakoulias’ impressive career began at Def Jam Records under Rick Rubin, and he has since worked on supervising music for numerous blockbuster films and TV series, including Joker, The Batman, Marriage Story, Barbie and more. His expertise also extends to executive A&R roles and music production for acclaimed artists like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Black Crowes, and Primal Scream. As he joins Premier Music Group, George Drakoulias will open their new Los Angeles offices, adding his relationships and experience to their roster of creative executives. Premier’s CEO, Josh Deutsch, expresses admiration for Drakoulias’ talents and believes his partnership will contribute significantly to Premier’s growth and solidify their position as a leading music supervision firm across all market segments.


INSOMNIAC AND EMO NITE ANNOUNCE CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP: Insomniac has joined forces with Emo Nite to announce a multi-faceted partnership. This collaboration will encompass various exclusive projects, including events, music, and apparel, showcasing the creative synergy between the two promoters. One of the projects in this partnership is the launch of a new event series called GRAVE RAVE, set to debut in Los Angeles this December. GRAVE RAVE will fuse electronic music with the melodies of emo, pop-punk, and rock genres, featuring performances from both iconic and emerging bands and DJs. The series will kick off with a ‘Road to GRAVE RAVE’ preview party at Insomniac’s Academy LA venue, offering fans a mix of electronic and emo mashups. In addition to the event series, Emo Nite is now part of the Insomniac Music Group family, with the launch of its own record label, Graveboy Records. Music and apparel collaborations are also on the horizon, with the debut of the “Insomniac x Emo Nite” collaborative merch collection at HARD Summer 2023.


SEEKER MUSIC NAMES NEW SR. DIRECTOR OF MARKETING: Seeker Music, the global Los Angeles-based music rights, publishing, and record company has promoted John Bowditch to Sr. Director of Marketing. Having joined Seeker as one of its early employees in 2021, Bowditch has been instrumental in successful catalog campaigns for artists like Christopher Cross and Run The Jewels, as well as spearheading frontline releases from Kito, tiLLie, CARR, and more. With a background in music marketing and strategy, Bowditch’s objective is to treat catalogs as frontline priorities, recognizing the profound impact these songs have on fans’ lives. Evan Bogart, Seeker CEO and hit songwriter, commends Bowditch’s visionary insights and cultural awareness, highlighting how his marketing expertise elevates the brand and identity of each catalog and songwriter. As Senior Director of Marketing, Bowditch will oversee all marketing activities for both catalog and frontline business, contributing to Seeker’s creative objectives alongside the leadership team.


AMR SONGS LAUNCHES CHRISTIAN MUSIC DIVISION: AMR Songs, founded by Tamara Conniff, is making significant strides in the Christian music genre with the launch of a new Christian division and the acquisition of a diverse catalog of songs by top artists and songwriters. The company has secured interests in the master recordings of Grammy-nominated Christian rock band Sanctus Real, known for hits like “Confidence” and “Unstoppable God.” Additionally, AMR has acquired the publishing catalog of Phil Wickham, celebrated for songs like “This Is Amazing Grace” and “Your Love Awakens Me.” Additionally, the company has added Christian artists Christy Nockels and Nathan Nockels, who bring a wealth of worship and inspirational music to AMR. The Christian rap genre is also represented, with AMR gaining interests in the catalog of Kevin “KB” Burgess, whose hits include “100” and “Church Clap” featuring Grammy-winning rapper Lecrae. Lastly, AMR has acquired the publishing catalog of artist and songwriter Ryan Stevenson, featuring the Grammy-nominated single “Speak Life” co-written with TobyMac.


ANGRY MOB’S THE NEW NORMAL WRITING CAMP IN LA: The New Normal Writing Camp, organized by Los Angeles-based Angry Mob Music Group, brought together an array of artists, writers, and producers from diverse cultural backgrounds in Downtown Los Angeles last month. Over five days, from June 26-30, more than 30 participants collaborated in an environment that fostered creativity and inclusivity. The camp included 50% women producers and 70% female writers/artists among its attendees. Founded by Ralph Torrefranca, the Filipino-American Sr. Director of A&R at Angry Mob, The New Normal focuses to uplift underrepresented voices in the music business. The event was supported by BMI, Topo Chico, Shure, JHS Pedals, Izotope, Native Instruments, and Spitfire Audio. The organization plans for future camps in Los Angeles in fall 2023 and Nashville in 2024.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Shridhar Subramaniam, Ken Ogihara, Andrew Gould, Rachel Kurstin, Rochelle Holquin, Peymon Maskan, Livy Behar-Rodriguez, Savan Kotecha, Adam Greenup, Samantha Sklar, Josh Favor, Chris Barton, Cathy Mathalone, and Stephen Budd.


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