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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 811




Warner Music Canada and Warner Music India have come together to launch a new joint venture, 91 NORTH RECORDS, which will target the support of artists from South Asian heritage.  The new company will be guided by renowned Indian artist and producer, Ikky, who has come on board as Creative Director.

Ikky has already made huge waves across the industry, racking up more than two billion streams worldwide with songs such as Shubh’s “Baller,” Diljit Dosanjh’s “Chauffeur,” and Sidhu Moose Wala’s “Bambiha Bole.”  Ikky launched his own label, 4N Records, in partnership with Warner Music and Coalition Music in 2021.

91 NORTH RECORDS’ first signings are Canadian-based Punjabi stars Karan Aujla and Jonita Gandhi. Both artists will work closely with Ikky as well as Charlie B, A&R Director.

Karan released his new album Making Memories last Friday and over the last five years has become one of the scene’s biggest artists. Since his first major hit “Don’t Worry” in 2018, he’s racked up almost three billion views on YouTube, and has generated over one billion audio streams and eight million followers across his social media channels.

The name 91 NORTH RECORDS references both countries with a nod to India’s country code and Canada’s geographical location and the logo is inspired by India’s national flower the lotus. The label held a launch event at Warner Music Canada’s offices in Toronto on Tuesday, August 22.

Ikky, Creative Director, 91 NORTH RECORDS said, “I’ve always been fascinated by the blending of Indian and Western sounds into culturally impactful, innovative music. 91 NORTH RECORDS exists to elevate artists pursuing this fusion. Punjabi and South Asian music already competes worldwide, and I’m thrilled to collaborate with emerging talents, showcasing and amplifying what they have to offer. This is no experiment; it’s the future.”

Jay Mehta, Managing Director, Warner Music India added, “We’re so excited by the launch of 91 NORTH RECORDS. This venture not only celebrates the musical styles of artists with South Asian heritage but also leverages the market potential of uniting two distinct fan bases to bring this music to the global stage. This is certainly going to be a game-changer initiative for artists who will now have global support from A&R, marketing, collaborations, and more.”

There are almost 2.6 million people of South Asian heritage living in Canada and a new generation of artists from these communities are starting to have a massive impact in the country and internationally. There is also a strong musical connection between the South Asian diaspora in Canada and the subcontinent.  Three of the Top 10 tracks in India in 2022 were by Punjabi-Canadian artists according to IFPI figures.





Reservoir Media and PopArabia have forged a partnership to extend their influence within the Arabic music arena, unveiling two significant agreements. These initiatives encompass the integration of Cairo, Egypt-based content production and distribution company RE Media’s substantial catalog of over 6,000 recordings and compositions, as well as the attainment of master and publishing rights for the esteemed Egyptian rap duo, El Sawareekh.

Pictured (L-R) are PopArabia Vice President, A&R and Acquisitions Wissam Khodur; Fanky of El Sawareekh; PopArabia Founder & CEO Spek; Dokdok of El Sawareekh; Mahmoud Refaat; PopArabia Digital Operations Manager Rani Victor.

Originating in 2004 under the guidance of Richard Elhaj, RE Media stands as a pioneering force in Arabic content production and distribution, headquartered in Cairo. Boasting a mosaic of Egyptian musical heritage spanning three decades, their impressive repertoire includes luminaries such as Amr Diab, George Wassouf, Dalida, and Mohamed Mounir. This landmark collaboration notably encompasses the debut album, Ya Tareeq, by the iconic Egyptian artist Amr Diab. The deal also embraces RE Media’s subsidiary labels, Moseeqa and Moseeqa TV, along with ownership of multiple YouTube channels collectively amassing a million subscribers. These channels will be seamlessly integrated into PopArabia’’ YouTube hub.

At the forefront of shaping the Mahraganat genre, El Sawareekh, composed of Ahmed Abdelhamed (Dokdok) and Bassem Mohamed (Fanky), have artfully blended Arabic rap with electronic and traditional Egyptian rhythms. Their resonance across the MENA region soared with hits like “Laa,” amassing over 100 million YouTube views. With tracks including “Eda Eda,” “Albk Bahr Maleh,” and “Ekhwaty,” their cumulative viewership amounts to hundreds of millions. This move follows Reservoir and PopArabia’s initial foray into El Sawareekh’s rights through the 2022 acquisition of Egyptian label 100COPIES.

Spek, Founder & CEO, PopArabia and also Reservoir’s Executive VP of International and Emerging Markets said, “These acquisitions fortify our presence within MENA’s thriving musical panorama, and are pivotal strides, poised to solidify Reservoir and PopArabia’s preeminent stature within the realm of Arabic music.”





Steve Schnur, the Worldwide Executive & President Music at Electronic Arts, has been confirmed as an exclusive keynote panelist at next year’s MUSEXPO “United Nations of Music” event, scheduled for March 17 – 20, 2024 in Burbank, CA, “The Media Capital of The World.” Schnur’s extensive career and expertise will take center stage during a highly anticipated interview, moderated by renowned music journalist Mark Sutherland, a notable contributor to publications like Music Business Worldwide, Rolling Stone, The Times, and Sunday Times.

The keynote session will delve into the intersection of music and interactive video games, exploring their interconnected ecosystem and the role of artists, songs, and scores in enhancing the auditory and gaming experience for a vast global audience.

Steve Schnur

Steve Schnur’s multifaceted journey includes roles as a label and music publishing company President, TV executive producer, music supervisor, professional musician, songwriter, composer, and record producer. His significant impact spans music, movies, television, sports, video games, and digital interactive entertainment worldwide.

His achievements have garnered recognition from Forbes, Rolling Stone, CNN, ESPN, The London Financial Times, and The New York Times. Schnur has been labeled “One of the Most Creative People in Entertainment” by Entertainment Weekly, “One of the Most Powerful People in the Music Business” and “One of the Top 20 Power Players in Digital Entertainment” by Billboard, and “One of the Top 25 Power Players in the New Hollywood” by The Wall Street Journal.

Schnur’s dedication to music supervision has led to numerous awards, including the Guild of Music Supervisors award for “Best Music Supervision in a Video Game” original in 2023, highlighting his work on Battlefield 2042 DLC. His philanthropic efforts are also notable, as evidenced by his receipt of The Beacon of Hope Award from The Lili Claire Foundation.

From early beginnings at MTV to executive roles at major record labels, including Elektra Records and Capitol Records, Schnur’s influence has been pivotal in shaping the industry. As the Worldwide Executive of EA Music Group, he has orchestrated international breakthroughs for artists like Green Day, CHVRCHES, Imagine Dragons, Billie Eilish, and many others positioning video game soundtracks as cultural touchpoints.

Schnur’s impact extends to his involvement in various boards, foundations, and initiatives, reflecting his commitment to music, entertainment, and social change. His keynote at MUSEXPO promises valuable insights into the evolving landscape of music in gaming, as well as music and gaming’s evolution into other technologies and platforms.

Schnur joins MUSEXPO’s prominent recent announcements confirming the exclusive keynote with the music team from Universal Pictures, and Mike Knobloch, President, Music & Publishing, NBCUniversal, as well as various other high-profile executives and companies already unveiled for next year’s 24th global edition of MUSEXPO.

Registration is now open for MUSEXPO. Sign-up HERE.

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





Warner Music China recently announced that it has further enhanced its star-studded roster by adding one of Greater China’s biggest stars and Chinese R&B pioneer Elva Hsiao. Through this deal, Warner Music will work to strengthen Elva’s domestic fanbase and use its international network to introduce her music to new fans throughout Asia and beyond.

Since the launch of her music career in 1999, Elva has become one of the region’s most influential and dynamic singers. She was the first native Mandarin-speaking artist to release an R&B album into the Chinese market, leading the development of this musical genre in the Mandarin-speaking world.  She is also one of the region’s biggest-selling artists, having released 16 blockbuster albums that have achieved record-breaking sales.

Elva Hsiao

Elva has forged an impressive music career since her debut. Over the years, Elva has become one of the region’s most recognized and accomplished recording artists, having won a remarkable range of top honors, including IFPI’s “Top Global Chinese Album Sales Artist Award,” “World Music Award” for the “World’s Best Selling Chinese Artist,” as well as many other prestigious “Best Singer” accolades. As a true icon of Mandopop, Elva was invited to perform at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

Elva was born in Taiwan and was studying in Canada when she was discovered at the Vancouver audition of the “New Talent Singing Awards Competition,” organized by Hong Kong television broadcaster TVB. She shot to immediate fame after the release of her debut album, which sold nearly a million copies and became Taiwan’s best-selling album in 1999. Elva is among the best-selling Asian artists of all time, with albums that have achieved worldwide success and won numerous awards. Since then, she has amassed a massive fan base and has toured extensively over the years, having held concerts in numerous markets.

In addition, Elva has demonstrated her talent in the realm of film, assuming supporting roles in notable feature films like Infernal Affairs Ⅰ and Infernal Affairs Ⅱ. As one of the most revered artists in Greater China, Elva has attained extraordinary accomplishments within the region’s entertainment industry. Her impact is far-reaching, establishing her as a highly influential singer with an immense fan base spanning across all generations.

Warner Music China boasts an array of superstars, including the iconic Miriam Yeung who signed to the company last year. The label has also entered into a close partnership with many megastars, cementing its position as a prominent player in the global Mandopop music scene.


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 been heavily vested in focusing on Asia, SE Asia for the past few decades, which includes the world’s No.1 English-speaking country, and one of its fastest-growing music markets – India. A&R Worldwide has helped discover, develop, A&R, sign, publish, and sync many Indian or artists of Indian descent for over 20 years, as well as working with its brands, film, live, audio, digital, streaming, media, and technology sectors. Enjoying a great conversation after a few cups of masala chai tea at the Taj Lands End hotel in Mumbai, India is (L-R), Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), Khushboo Ponwar (CEO, Jio Entertainment Services & Jiosaavn Board Member, Reliance Jio), Anurag Rao (Founder & CEO, Canvas Talent) and Reynold D’Silva (Founder & Chairman, Silva Screen Group).




Australian singer-songwriter Sahara Beck offers fans a glimpse of her highly-anticipated sophomore album, All Attention On Your Emotions, with the release of her single “Thinking Twice.” The soulful track provides insight into her personal journey, recorded in Brisbane with ARIA Award-winning producer Kon Kersting (Tones And I, Milky Chance, Spacey Jane). The song’s lyrics reveal Sahara’s vulnerability and introspection, showcasing her talent as a songwriter. Sahara’s achievements include being a finalist in the 2022 International Songwriting Competition and Nashville’s Unsigned Find Camp, as well as securing the third spot in the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition in 2019. Furthermore, Sahara boasts multiple QLD Music Awards, along with the 2020 Carol Lloyd Award and the esteemed Grant McLennan Fellowship earlier this year. Her music has been featured in a number of placements, including a Haagen-Dazs commercial with Bradley Cooper, and the NBC series Girlfriends Guide To Divorce. With airplay on global stations, including BBC Radio Scotland, 2XM RTE Ireland, and triple J in her native Australia, as well as Passport Approved worldwide, Sahara’s music continues to resonate. The upcoming album, featuring 10 tracks, is set for an October release. For inquiries, contact Rachael Dixon at for label signing, sync, booking, publishing, and co-writing opportunities.




Only The Poets, a quartet hailing from Reading, England consists of members Tommy Longhurst (lead vocals), Andy RooBurge (bass, vocals), Clem Cherry (guitar, vocals), and Marcus Yates (drums, vocals). They have rapidly emerged as one of the most thrilling live acts in the UK. The group initiated their musical journey in 2017 and has steadily been releasing fresh tracks, comprising nearly a dozen singles and two EPs. In 2022, this four-piece ensemble had the privilege of opening for Louis Tomlinson during the UK and Europe leg of his self-titled world tour – a spot they secured back in 2020. Subsequently, they embarked on their own headlining tour during the summer and autumn of that year. In the current year, they shared the stage with Lewis Capaldi and Bastille, and also delivered performances at a variety of festivals, including Reading, Lollapalooza in Paris, Pinkpop in the Netherlands, TRNSMT in Scotland, and the FM4 Frequency Festival in Austria. Their musical style has drawn comparisons to The 1975, The Script, and Sam Fender. They attribute their inspiration to 90s Britpop bands like Blur, Oasis, and The Cure. Recently, Only The Poets unveiled the music video for their latest track, “Over & Over,” which has garnered positive feedback from both fans and industry insiders. You can watch the video for “Over & Over” HERE, and for more information and opportunities, feel free to contact the band at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, August 27th, 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:

MATTHEW MOLE – “See Me Again” (Universal Music, South Africa)
SCHOOL OF X – “Feel Of It” (Tambourhinoceros, Denmark)
GIANT ROOKS – “Bedroom Exile” (UMG, Germany)
BELLZZZ – “No Shoes Girl (Succession)” (Unsigned, UK)
ST. LUNDI – “Fall” (Propeller Recordings, UK)
RUEN BROTHERS – “Don’t Know What’s Come Over You” (Yep Roc, N. America)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Salt Clouds” (ICEA, Sweden)
THE MOVING STILLS – “Westside” (Sureshaker, Australia)
TELENOVA – “Lost In The Rush” (BMG, Australia)
PICTURE THIS – “Red Lights” (RCA Records, Ireland)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Keeping You Around” (AWAL, UK)
TALISCO – “Keep Ur Head Up” (Talisco Music, France)
BLONDES – “Love In The Afternoon” (Lab, UK)
LAUREN WALLER – “Green Eyed Jealousy” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE LATHUMS – “Lucky Bean” (Island Records, UK)
VELLA – “Happiness” (L3V3L Music, N. America)
BLAIRE DAVIE – “Lovely” (Watercolour Heart, UK)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Surrender To You” (Unsigned, UK)
THE VALMONTS – “Love Overdose” (Unsigned, Ireland)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “The Deep End” (Run On Records, UK)
BAKER GRACE – “American Dream Girl” (Riveting Music, N. America)
LIME CORDIALE – “Imposter Syndrome” (Chugg Music, Australia)
CRAWLERS – “Messiah” (Polydor, UK)
RHETT REPKO – “I’ve Been Feeling Down Lately” (Unsigned, N. America)
ALEX SPENCER – “One Way Ticket” (Modern Sky, UK)
CAESARIA – “Smalltown Boy” (Universal Music, France)
CASSIA – “High Tones” (Republic of Music, Australia)
REMME – “Boy From The Pictures” (UMG, Germany)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Token Appreciation Society” (Liberation/UMG, UK)
PAUL PARTOHAP – “BESTFRiEND” (Warner Music, Indonesia)
ALEX LAHEY – “On The Way Down” (Liberation Music, Australia)
KARIM – “Don’t Tell Your Friends” (Unsigned, Germany)



A&R WORLDWIDE HEADS TO INDIA: A&R Worldwide will return to India next month, which marks almost 20 years of its robust engagement with the local music, media, and technology market. Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide is a British-born Punjabi, and his family have strong roots in India both personally and professionally. Bisla will be the guest speaker for the global A&R Master Class at the All About Music conference; he’s also been an advisor and curator to the event since its initial launch back in 2017. All About Music is India’s premier and most important annual music business event and will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai from September 7 – 9. All About Music brings together over 100 speakers and several thousand attendees and is touted as the gateway to India’s music business.


JACK ANTONOFF INKS GLOBAL PUBLISHING DEAL WITH UMPG: Jack Antonoff, the multi-Grammy laureate has recently migrated to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) bidding adieu to his long-standing partnership with Sony Music Publishing. Antonoff has collaborated with superstars including Taylor Swift, The 1975, Lana Del Rey, Diana Ross, Lorde, St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, and Kevin Abstract. Recently, Antonoff and Swift celebrated back-to-back No.1 pop records “Karma” and “Cruel Summer.” Additionally, Antonoff is the lead singer and songwriter of the band, Bleachers, whose hits include the No.1 U.S. Alternative “I Wanna Get Better,” and No.3 songs “Rollercoaster” and “Don’t Take the Money.” Antonoff’s ties with UMPG are fortified by a wide-reaching deal with Jamie Oborne, the visionary force behind UK-based Dirty Hit label (The 1975) and artist management agency All On Red. Antonoff and his band, Bleachers, now fall under Oborne’s managerial aegis globally. Beyond this collaboration, Antonoff and Oborne are embarking on a joint venture label to nurture emerging artists. Bleachers, in a significant stride, have joined Dirty Hit’s roster, which unveiled Live At Radio City Music Hall on August 25. The signing was spearheaded by Jennifer Knoepfle, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of A&R, UMPG.


KENLEY FLYNN UPPED TO VP CREATIVE A&R AT SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING: Sony Music Publishing Nashville (SMP Nashville) has announced the promotion of Kenley Flynn to Vice President, Creative A&R. In this new role, Flynn will be responsible for signing and developing talent, and driving creative opportunities on behalf of SMP Nashville’s roster. During his tenure at the company, Flynn has helped propel the creative success of breakout talent including Nate Smith (No. 1 hit “Whiskey On You”), Trannie Anderson (Lainey Wilson’s “Heart Like A Truck”) and James McNair (Luke Combs’ “Going, Going, Gone”) as well as rising stars Madeline Merlo (“Slide”) and David Morris (“Carrying Your Love”). He has also continued to elevate the achievements of legendary songwriters such as Tim Nichols, who won the 2023 ACM “Song of the Year” award with Cole Swindell’s “She Had Me At Heads Carolina,” as well as Ben Hayslip, who recently had cuts with Luke Combs, HARDY and many others. Josh Van Valkenburg, Executive VP, Creative, SMP Nashville said, “Kenley is a songwriter’s best friend. Over the last few years, he’s been instrumental in building the careers of some of today’s biggest breakthrough hitmakers. This promotion is so well deserved, and we are excited for him to take on this new role.” Flynn first began his music business career at Combustion Music, where he worked for ten years. During his time at Combustion, he worked closely with country hitmakers including Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins and Jameson Rodgers. He later joined Sony Music Publishing in 2020 as Senior Director, Creative A&R.


BEATSTARS UNVEILS AI CREATION TOOL SEEDS BY LEMONAIDE: BeatStars, a global subscription-based music licensing platform where recording artists and producers collaborate, license, and distribute their work to multiple parties through a variety of non-exclusive and exclusive license types have introduced an AI tool named “Seeds” developed by Lemonaide. This launch follows BeatStars’ partnership with AI music startup Lemonaide, which created an AI-powered plug-in to inspire beat ideas. “Seeds” is tailored to aid creators in cultivating initial ideas for tracks, addressing creative roadblocks that artists often face. Lemonaide’s AI draws from data contributed by producers to generate myriad combinations, and was founded by Hip-Hop artist Michael “MJ’” Jacob and AI Research Scientist Anirudh Mani. BeatStars has a global community of over 10 million creators, producers, and artists, and has been the source of hit-making samples like Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road’” and CJ’s “Whoopty.” With “Seeds,” artists can receive succinct four-bar MIDI files that serve as a launchpad for musical compositions, providing a means to break free from creative lulls. BeatStars, having distributed over $250 million (USD) to its members and has been collaborating with Sony Music Publishing.


Pictured (L-R) are Yadira Moreno (MD, México & Central America, VP New Business Development LATAM, UMPG), and Isael Gutierrez (CEO, Music VIP Entertainment).

UMPG SIGNS GLOBAL PUBLISHING DEAL WITH GRUPO FIRME: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), the global publishing arm of Universal Music Group, has formally disclosed the signing of an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with Grupo Firme and Music VIP Entertainment. Hailing from Tijuana in Mexico, Grupo Firme who boasts over 6 million followers on Instagram alone, has emerged as a leading force in a contemporary wave of Mexican musical expression. Departing from the established conventions of the Regional Mexican genre, the band has pioneered novel paths in fashion, lyrics, social inclusivity, and business approaches. These innovative strides have propelled Grupo Firme into the upper echelons of international touring entities, resulting in substantial commercial returns. In tandem with chart-topping tracks such as “Ya Superame,” “Cada Quien,” “El Toxico,” and “En Tu Perra Vida,” UMPG has also secured the comprehensive catalog of Music VIP Entertainment. This encompasses not only Grupo Firme but also prominent names like El Mimoso and La Ventaja.


AN INTERVIEW WITH A&R EXECUTIVE JOHNNY MINARDI: A&R Worldwide will be featuring interviews in our forthcoming newsletters with various A&R, publishing, management, booking agent, and sync executives via our partnership with MUBUTV, who over the course of the past few years have joined A&R Worldwide at our events including MUSEXPO, Global Rock Summit, A&R Summit, and Global Sync Summit to meet with and interview many of our executive relationships to delve into some thoughtful and insightful dialogue and perspectives on their day-to-day roles, as well as interviewing others in the music industry. MUBUTV provides some informative insights and an understanding of key sectors of the U.S. and global music business. Click HERE to watch an interview with Johnny Minardi, Head of Fueled By Ramen, Co-Head of Roadrunner, and Sr. VP A&R Elektra filmed at A&R Worldwide’s MUSEXPO in Burbank, CA.


ROUND HILL MUSIC ACQUIRES LINUS ENTERTAINMENT: Round Hill Music has acquired Canadian independent music company Linus Entertainment. The deal encompasses a collection of more than 3,000 songs and 20,000 master recordings, along with the music recording and publishing catalogs of various labels under Linus Entertainment, including Borealis Records, Solid Gold Records, and True North Records. Geoff Kulawick, founder of Linus Entertainment and a former Virgin Records A&R director, established the company in 2000. The acquisition also includes the distribution company Independent Digital Licensing AgencyJosh Gruss, CEO, Round Hill Music said, “The acquisition aligns with the company’s strategy of investing in and fostering the growth of iconic music.” Round Hill Music has been active in expanding its portfolio, having made over 40 acquisitions and achieved a 32% revenue increase in 2022.


DEFECTED RECORDS SIGN GROOVE ARMADA: Defected Records has announced a new addition to its roster with the signing of longtime UK dance music icons, Groove Armada. The deal will see the company working with the musical duo in a long-term single/EP deal. Groove Armada, who are comprised of Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, are set to be a focal point for Defected’s club and festival lineups. With nine studio albums and their best-selling full-length work Vertigo in 1999, which sold 333,920 copies, and had a notable impact on the international electronic music scene. Groove Armada’s management representatives Nathan Thrusting and Mike Cridland both highlighted the signing, and how it brings the band back to their dance music roots with one of the world’s premier house music labels.


TUNECORE GERMANY INKS DOLBY ATMOS DEAL WITH THREEDEE MUSIC: ThreeDee Music and TuneCore Germany have joined forces to offer independent artists an opportunity to create and release their music in Dolby Atmos. This collaboration grants TuneCore artists special access to physical studios through ThreeDee Music, allowing them to produce and publish songs in Dolby Atmos under favorable conditions. The ultimate goal is to enable artists to offer their tracks in this innovative format on platforms like Apple Music. With the rise of Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio in the music industry, this partnership capitalizes on the growing demand for high-quality and immersive audio experiences. Apple Music’s introduction of Lossless Audio and support for Dolby Atmos in 2021 signaled a shift towards advanced audio technologies. Colin Eger, Head of TuneCore Germany said, “We firmly believe that independent artists should have access to the latest technologies to present their music on the highest level possible.”


Pictured (L-R) Chip Petree (Ritholz Levy Fields, LLP), Aubrey Daniels (KP Entertainment), Davis Corley, Kerri Edwards (KP Entertainment), Rusty Gaston (CEO, Sony Music Publishing Nashville).

SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING INKS GLOBAL DEAL WITH DAVIS CORLEY: Songwriter Davis Corley has solidified a global publishing contract with Sony Music Publishing Nashville and KP Entertainment. Originally from east Tennessee, Corley’s reputation for profound introspection, inventive artistry, and unwavering dedication has established him as a sought-after co-writer and multi-instrumentalist in his eight years in Nashville. Alongside penning two Texas-chart topping No.1 singles for Jake Ward (“Not Too Far To Reach”) and Jake Bush (“Tractor Town”), Corley’s compositions have found placements in the repertoires of burgeoning Nashville artists like Will Jones, Dan Smalley, Trey Lewis, Ella Langley, Josh Gallagher, and Spencer Crandall. The deal’s fruition was supported by Aubrey Daniels, Creative at KP Publishing.


SPIRIT MUSIC GROUP & KOBALT PARTNER TO SIGN DIGITAL FARM ANIMALS: Spirit Music Group and Kobalt have announced a joint venture that welcomes songwriter and producer, Nick Gale, renowned as Digital Farm Animals, into their fold with a worldwide agreement. Initially inducted into the Spirit Music Group roster in 2020, Nick Gale’s creative journey finds a continued path with Spirit upholding the responsibility of publishing Digital Farm Animals’ pre-existing song catalog. Gale’s creative prowess has ushered him into the multi-Platinum echelons of songwriters and producers, boasting 4.5 billion streams within his body of work. His artistry has resonated with chart-toppers like Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha, David Guetta, and Charli XCX, to name a few. His influence extends even further with recent U.S. radio hits like “Leave Before You Love Me” by Marshmello & Jonas Brothers and “Numb” by Marshmello & Khalid. Gale also played a pivotal role in crafting KSI’s No.1 album, All Over The Place, curating a constellation of Top 5 UK singles, including the Platinum-certified “Don’t Play” featuring Anne-Marie and Digital Farm Animals, as well as the No.2 UK single “Holiday.” The success of these tracks merited their nominations in the “Song of the Year” category at the prestigious BRIT Awards in 2022. Jordan Buck, Director of A&R, Spirit Music Group helped with the signing of this deal.


OSTEREO RESTRUCTURES TO FOCUS ON RECORDINGS & PUBLISHING: Ostereo has unveiled a strategic restructure aimed at focusing its resources on master and publishing rights. This shift involves a commitment to investing in artist projects under the label, fostering opportunities for new talent signings, and enhancing the support for writers, producers, and composers within the publishing arm. Ostereo has been witnessing growth in various music markets globally, especially in regions like India, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines. As part of this re-structure, Ostereo will be scaling back its activities as a management agency, supporting its roster through this transition. The company is set to embark on a recruitment drive to expand its team in alignment with its renewed core areas.


Jon Pleeter & John Lashnits

NEW BOOKING AGENTS NAMED AT SOUND TALENT GROUP: Sound Talent Group has announced the appointment of industry veterans Jon Pleeter and John Lashnits as talent agents. Both Pleeter and Lashnits will be responsible for working with Sound Talent Group’s roster of signed artists across territories including North America, the U.K., Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. Pleeter, formerly Vice President of Concerts at ICM, brings his experience from working with pop, rock, indie, and electronic artists to Sound Talent Group. He will handle clients such as Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton, Saving Abel, Saliva, Conquer Divide, and Tommy Vext. Additionally, Lashnits, previously an agent at APA and Paradigm Talent Agency, will continue to work with his roster of over 30 artists including The Front Bottoms, Destroy Boys, The Wrecks, Movements, Leprous, and Basement. Sound Talent Group was established in 2018 by industry veterans Dave Shapiro, Tim Borror, and Matt Andersen.


BMG NAMES NEW GLOBAL GENERAL COUNSEL & LEGAL AFFAIRS: BMG has named Anthony (Tony)Abner as the Global General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs. Abner, a long-serving BMG Business & Legal Affairs executive, will offer legal counsel to BMG’s senior management and oversee the company’s legal teams worldwide. He reports directly to Thomas Coesfeld, CEO, BMG. Abner’s appointment follows his move from BMG’s Los Angeles office to the Berlin headquarters, where he has been coordinating the company’s global legal affairs for a year. Abner joined BMG in 2018 as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, overseeing the BMG recorded legal team in North America. He was later promoted to Sr. Vice President in 2020. Before BMG, Abner held executive roles at PMP Records and Loud Records, as well as senior attorney positions at music law firms. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.


DICE RAISES $65M FROM INVESTORS: DICE which has been attracting millions of fans to its platform for live event discovery and attendance has secured over $65 million dollar (USD) from various investors. With over 55,000 artists and 10,000+ venues, festivals, and promoters utilizing DICE across 30 cities, the app secures tickets on ticket holders’ smartphones. The latest funding injection will facilitate DICE’s expansion into new cities, focusing on its US and global outreach, along with launching partnerships and unveiling its Austin presence. DICE has highlighted its commitment to personalized fan experiences, boasting nearly 50% of ticket sales on its app occur through its Discovery feature. Alongside this news, DICE welcomes Ali Byrd as Chief Financial Officer, bringing his extensive experience from companies like Olive, Microsoft, and Limewire to the team. DICE was founded by its CEO & Founder, Phil Hutcheon, and includes investors such as Matt Pincus, Willard Ahdritz and other influential executives.


The Bob Dylan Center (BDC) and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) have collaboratively introduced the Bob Dylan Center Songwriter Fellowship. This initiative, unveiled by BDC Director Steven Jenkins and UMPG Chief Operating Officer Marc Cimino, seeks to empower and cultivate emerging songwriters by leveraging the educational treasures of the Bob Dylan Center. The annual Fellowship is set to honor two recipients with a comprehensive package, including a $40,000 (USD) project stipend, public presentation opportunities, immersive experiences in the Bob Dylan Archive for in-depth exploration of Dylan’s creative methodology, roundtrip travel and accommodations in Tulsa, mentorship from UMPG songwriters and executives, as well as exclusive recording time at Tulsa’s iconic The Church Studio, once graced by Leon Russell. The esteemed annual Fellowship awardees will not only undergo a selection process conducted by BDC and UMPG experts but will also be chosen by a distinguished global panel of artists. This panel features renowned names like Juliette Armanet, Patty Griffin, John Mellencamp, Carla Morrison, and Nas. Beginning now through Oct. 18, 2023, eligible talent from around the world can submit entries for consideration for a Fellowship. To be eligible, entrants must be 18 years or older and unsigned to a publishing agreement of any kind at the time of the Fellowship start date, May 1, 2024.


TINO GAGLIARDI JOINS SOUNDEXCHANGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: SoundExchange has welcomed Tino Gagliardi, the newly elected President of the American Federation of Music, to its 18-member Board of Directors. Gagliardi assumes the mantle from the recently retired AFM president Ray Hair, cementing his role as a key influencer in the ongoing transformation of the music business. Michael Huppe, President & CEO, SoundExchange announced the addition of Gagliardi, and cited his extensive background as an artist and his impressive 13-year tenure championing musicians. Gagliardi’s voice is poised to resonate powerfully within the Board as they strive to promote equitable compensation for creators and navigate the complexities of an evolving industry. Gagliardi’s career trajectory includes roles as Director of Theater, Touring, and Booking to his current leadership within AFM, which underscores his deep-rooted commitment to musicians’ rights.


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jakub.Kaczmarek, John Gomez, Leslie Lewis, Frank Takeshita, Jason Miller, Alex Gilbert, Viktoria Renner, Andrew Stone, Paul McDonald, Rich Castillo, Luke Williams, Shabs Jobanputra, Thaddeus Rudd and Jeff Regan.


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