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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 814


MUSEXPO, the annual international music industry conference, and showcase event, is set to return with its highly anticipated 24th global edition, “United Nations of Music,” from March 17 to 20 in Burbank, CA, known as “The Media Capital of The World.”

Jacqueline Saturn

Next year’s event will focus on music, creativity, A&R, sync, publishing, management, distribution, live, a spotlight on Asia/S.E. Asia/Middle East, audio streaming, digital innovation, and bringing together industry leaders, emerging talent, and visionaries from around the world.

One of the highlights of MUSEXPO 2024 is the prestigious “International Music Person of The Year” award, which will be presented to Jacqueline Saturn, President, Virgin Records. Jacqueline Saturn’s remarkable contributions to the music industry make her a true luminary in her field, and her dedication to artists and music culture is truly commendable.

Professor Jonathan Shalit

Another distinguished honoree is Professor Jonathan Shalit OBEChairman & Founder, InterTalent Rights Group, who will receive the coveted “Lifetime Achievement Award.” With over 30 years of invaluable contributions to the UK and global music and media business, Professor Shalit has left an indelible mark on the industry.

MUSEXPO attendees can look forward to engaging keynote panels, including one featuring Mike KnoblochPresident, Music & Publishing at NBCUniversal, and his music sync and licensing team from Universal Pictures. Additionally, a special keynote interview with Steve SchnurWorldwide Executive & President of Music, EA Games, promises to offer insights into the intersection of music and gaming, a rapidly growing area of the industry.

Mike Knobloch

Excitingly, MUSEXPO 2024 will also mark the launch of the annual Seymour Stein – Global A&R Awards, paying tribute to the late and legendary A&R visionary Seymour Stein. The Global A&R Award will be bestowed upon an influential A&R executive who embodies creative instinct, artist development expertise, passion, authenticity, and extraordinary talent discovery in the world of music. The inaugural honoree will be announced soon.

With a lineup of distinguished speakers and panelists, MUSEXPO 2024 promises to deliver an opportunity for attendees to gain industry insights, network with some of the most influential figures in the music business and learn about the essential aspects of today’s modern U.S. and global music business.

Early confirmed speakers include Angela Leus (Universal Pictures), Jason C. Miller (Eventim Live Asia), John McGrew (Netflix Series Animation), Katie Hargrove (Little Wolf Music & Sound), Mark Sutherland (Rolling Stone, Music Business Worldwide), Markus Schwarzer (Cyanite), Mike Knobloch (NBCUniversal), Kenny “Tick” Salcido (Red Bull Records), Natalie Hayden (Universal Pictures), Nikki Walsh (Universal Pictures), Peymon Maskan (Radish Music Supervision), Rachel Levy (Universal Pictures), Ritch Esra (The Music Registry & MUBU-TV), Steve Schnur (Electronic Arts), Vikki Jacobs (Universal Pictures), and many others to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

MUSEXPO “United Nations of Music” is an unparalleled platform for music professionals to connect, collaborate, and celebrate the artistry that transcends borders.

For registration and more information on sponsorship, speakers, artist showcases, and early registration savings, click HERE.




Concord Music Publishing ANZ has announced a new global publishing agreement with Electronic Dance Pop duo SACHI, who released their new single “Feel Good” last week via Warner Music Australia.

SACHI (Will Thomas and Nick Chrisp) have risen from being two teenage friends with a passion for dance music to one of New Zealand’s most celebrated live acts. Dominating festivals around the world, their success has taken SACHI to some of the biggest global stages including Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival 2022 – which saw the pair making history as one of the first New Zealand acts to play the well-known electronic music festival.

One of the duo’s earliest champions was renowned producer Diplo. The duo found him on the streets of Auckland, New Zealand, and slipped a USB through the window of his SUV vehicle. Their efforts paid off when he soon responded and offered a coveted co-sign by playing early tracks “No More” and “Hold On” on his Diplo & Friends BBC Radio 1 program.

In the aftermath, SACHI exploded as a homegrown phenomenon, achieving two chart-topping Platinum-certified singles, “No More” and “Shelter,” and Gold-certified single “Worst Behavior,” as well as an official remix of Lorde’s hit single “Green Light” alongside Montell2099.

The new single follows a hugely successful CLUB SACHI 360 DJ tour. The duo celebrated their last single ‘Whole Again’ and a special Fovos 2.0 Version with a run of intimate DJ sets across their home country, which saw packed crowds and lines out the door in all cities.

SACHI commented, “We’re super stoked to be a part of the talented Concord roster and to work alongside the amazing team they have. Excited to show the world all the music we’ve been working on!”

Matt Tanner, VP A&R Concord Music Publishing ANZ added, “I’ve known of SACHI since their late teens but working closely with them has been inspiring. Their collaborative songwriting and production prowess is nothing short of remarkable, as is their relentless pursuit of getting a great song. We’re thrilled to be part of Will and Nick’s journey.”




Maryland-bred recording artist Joony and his collective, 211, have established a partnership with Red Bull Records and Blxst’s Evgle imprint. This creative alliance aims to facilitate global expansion opportunities for Joony and 211, marking a pivotal phase in the 22-year-old musician’s career. Joony has unveiled his upcoming EP, titled MEMENTO, alongside the release of its lead single, “Need It,” accompanied by a music video directed by Zaiem, featuring a black and white, ‘90s-meets-Y2K space-age visual aesthetic.

Karl Fowlkes, Co-Founder & COO, Evgle, expressed his perspective on the collaboration, and stated, “At Evgle, we believe Joony is a generational artist and songwriter, and he and 211 are establishing something we genuinely admire, both creatively and from a business perspective. With the added resources of Evgle and Red Bull Records, their potential knows no bounds. We eagerly anticipate assisting Joony and 211 in reaching their highest aspirations.”

Kenny “Tick” Salcido, Sr. VP & Head of A&R at Red Bull Records, added, “Evgle consistently identifies culture-shaping artists, and we are thrilled to welcome Joony as the latest addition to our collaboration. Joony possesses boundless potential with his melodic delivery and distinctive sonic choices, embodying the essence of a career artist. We are excited to have him as part of the Red Bull Records family.”

Additionally, Joony has announced his participation in a nine-date tour alongside multi-platinum rapper Lil Tjay, which will span various international markets, including London, Frankfurt, Manchester, Vienna, and more. The European leg of the tour commences on November 2 at London’s OVO Arena Wembley, with ticket sales available for purchase HERE.




Warner Chappell Music (WCM) recently announced the appointment of Rachel Jacobson to the newly created role of Sr. Vice President, Creative Sync. Reporting, whereas she’ll report to Rich Robinson, EVP, Global Sync & Media Original Music, WCM.

In her new role, Jacobson will oversee a new team that’s solely focused on sourcing and developing songwriters for creative opportunities in sync. As part of this move, Talia Rubino, Sr. Director, Creative & International Sync, and Margo Dorfman, Sr. Manager, Creative Sync, will now report directly to Jacobson.

Robinson stated, “We’re reimagining our approach to the creative side of sync at Warner Chappell to better align with the rapidly evolving media and streaming landscape. Rachel is deeply engrained in the TV, film, and advertising worlds, with strong ties to the songwriting community, making her the ideal leader to help us recalibrate our creative offerings and double down on writer development for sync. I’m thrilled to have her join us for this new chapter.”

Based in Los Angeles, Jacobson has been working in creative licensing since 2008 – elevating artists and songwriters through impactful projects across advertising, film, trailers and promos, TV, and video games. For the past five years, she has served as Head of Sync and Artist Relations for the Paris-based Because Music Group. During her time at Because, she oversaw dynamic sync placements for a variety of high-profile advertising, film, and TV spots, including a remix of Justice’s “Genesis” for a final scene in John Wick: Chapter 4; music and choreography from Christine and the Queens’ “Tilted” in FX’s Better Things; Amadou & Mariam’s “Sabali” in a worldwide Coca-Cola spot; Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” in a T-Mobile Superbowl campaign; and a rework of Justice’s “Heavy Metal” by SebastiAn for Bungie’s Marathon video game reveal. She also supported artist and songwriter relations, nurturing talent, providing creative insights during the songwriting process, as well as helping to organize writing sessions and camps.

Prior to her work with Because, Jacobson was part of the creative licensing team at SONGS Music Publishing and Atlantic Records.




This year’s Reeperbahn Festival served as a captivating microcosm of the ever-evolving music industry, particularly within the independent sector. Amidst the historic backdrop of Hamburg, industry leaders converged to discuss the multifaceted nature of today’s music ecosystem, transcending traditional sectors and embracing a diverse range of platforms and technologies. As per usual, Reeperbahn showcased a plethora of emerging and burgeoning musical talent from across Europe and other key international markets.

The Reeperbahn Festival showcased how the music business continues to evolve, intertwining with AI, streaming, live events, and branding. It highlighted the dedication of industry stalwarts and visionaries in steering the ship through this ever-changing sea of opportunities and challenges, redefining what it means to create, nurture, and appreciate music in the 21st century.

One of the many insightful panels at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival included the A&R-focused panel moderated and curated by Sat Bisla, President & Founder of A&R Worldwide. This gathering brought together executives from industry powerhouses including Jakub Kaozmarek, Sr. Director Domestic & Head of A&R, Universal Music Poland & Central Eastern Europe; Adrian Hillekamp, Sr. A&R Manager, Concord Music Publishing Germany; Arina Logacheva, Sr. A&R, Parlophone Records UK, and the newly formed Second Songs, co-founded by the legendary A&R woman Caroline Elleray and her husband and respected A&R man Mark Gale. Caroline’s track record includes signing the likes of Coldplay, Keane, and Mumford & Sons to their first-ever worldwide music publishing deals.

The A&R panel delved deep into the art and science of signing, developing, and breaking artists and songwriters in today’s intricate music business landscape. It emphasized the significance of creating a meaningful and authentic cultural impact across a myriad of pop cultural touchpoints, where artists are now expected to engage with audiences not only through their music but also via streaming, social media, digital platforms, and beyond.

One of the most pressing challenges debated was the intersection of human creativity and artificial intelligence within music creation. As AI ecosystems rapidly evolve, industry insiders discussed the implications and opportunities of AI-generated music. While AI can augment the creative process, the debate rages on about its potential to replace human artistry and creativity, as well as other pressing issues.

Here’s a small pictorial snapshot of some of A&R Worldwide’s A&R-related conversations.

DISCUSSING THE FUTURE OF A&R were (L-R): Jakub Kaozmarek, Sr. Director Domestic & Head of A&R, Universal Music Poland & Central Eastern Europe; Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide; Caroline Elleray, Co-Founder, Second Songs; Arina Logacheva, Sr. A&R, Parlophone Records UK; and Adrian Hillekamp, Sr. A&R Manager, Concord Music Publishing Germany.


THREE’S COMPANY IN HAMBURG, GERMANY: Pictured (L-R) are Graham Phipps (Founder & Talent Manager, Summit Music Group), singer/songwriter Katie Melua and Sumit Bothra (Managing Director, ATC Management Europe).


GETTING IN SYNCH AT REEPERBAHN are (L-R) Patrik Larsson (A&R / Label Manager, Playground Music, Scandinavia), Daniel Werner (A&R Director, Arista Records) and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla.


SHARING THEIR THOUGHTS ON A&R were (L-R) Hannes Kuhr (Music Management & Brand Partnerships, Euphorie, Germany), Adrian Hillekamp (Sr. A&R Manager, Concord Music Publishing Germany), Emily Lardon (A&R Coordinator, Concord Music Publishing, Germany) and Javier Lopez (Director Sales, Midem).


HAVING A VIRAL CONVERSATION were Cindy Castillo (Management & Booking, Mad Cool Festival, Spain), Ken Ogihara (Label Partnerships Manager, TikTok, Germany) and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla.


THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF A&R: Discussing A&R in Central Europe and beyond were (L-R) Max Paproth (Vice President A&R Central Europe & International Marketing Germany, Universal Music), Jannik Kleber (Junior Manager A&R / Marketing Central Europe, Universal Music) and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla.


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!


Over the past few decades, A&R Worldwide has become notorious for hosting some of the most essential music business networking events and bringing together executives and creatives from all facets of the independent and major sectors to build meaningful relationships. Traveling from Germany and China to be a part of an auspicious A&R Worldwide reception in West Hollywood CA a number of years ago were (L-R) Benjamin Budde, CEO & Head of Creative, Budde Music; Gary Chen, Co-Founder & President, Allsaints Music Group; and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO).


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week



IAMJJ, the enigmatic Danish artist celebrated for his poetic and uncompromising songwriting, returns with the mesmerizing new single, “On My Way.” In this musical odyssey, he sets sail for a fresh new journey with a wistful glance back at the past. “On My Way” weaves a lyrical narrative that embraces the notion of progressing while introspectively peeking through life’s rearview mirror, searching for meaning in what has been left behind. Themes of yearning, self-discovery, resilience, and following one’s heart resonate throughout the track. Originally recorded in Denmark, the song acquired its enchantment through production and mixing in Los Angeles by the gifted Ryan Benyo, with the final touch crafted in Nashville by Mike Monseur at Axis Audio, shaping the song’s sonic landscape. IAMJJ’s unique approach to life and art is palpable in his music, as he articulates, “If I wasn’t making music that reminded me how challenging life can be, then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy being happy.” His creations, both poetic and dramatic, delve into the depths of human experience. Last autumn, IAMJJ unveiled his third studio album, Echoes from An Inner War (Mermaid Records), a profound exploration of life’s facets, both extraordinary and mundane. This album spans the realms of ambient, folk, and rock, enriched with intriguing traces of old-school 70s, house, and EDM influences. Listen to the brand-new track “On My Way” HERE, and for all available opportunities for licensing, sync, live, and publishing, please reach out to A&R Worldwide at




Last year, 25-year-old artist KAMRAD made a significant impact with his breakout single, “I Believe.” The song resonated with millions of listeners and achieved Top 10 rankings on airplay charts in nine European countries. It also earned Gold and Platinum certifications in five of these nations, including Germany and Poland. KAMRAD not only connected with fans through radio but also gained substantial traction on TikTok, where his music was featured in clips amassing over 50 million views. Following this success, KAMRAD released the hit single “Feel Alive,” which paved the way for his 2023 European Tour, titled the I Believe European Tour 2023. In his most recent release, “I Hope You End Up Alone (With Me),” which is currently sitting at No.4 on the German Airplay Charts, KAMRAD candidly acknowledges the challenge of expressing emotions appropriately, a driving force behind his songwriting journey. This authentic single has garnered over 172 million streams across DSPs, and is part of his latest EP, not good at playing love songs. KAMRAD, the recent SWR New Pop Award winner is currently touring Europe for the next few weeks, and you can watch the new video for “I Hope You End Up Alone (With Me)” HERE. For international sync and brand opportunities, please contact KAMRAD’s publishing partner Florian Schrödter at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, September 24th, 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 – “Somebody Like You” (UMG, Germany)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Tomorrow Is Closed” (AWAL, UK)
BELLZZZ – “No Shoes Girl (Succession)” (Unsigned, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “See Me Again” (Universal Music, South Africa)
MIDDLE KIDS – “Highlands” (EMI Music, Australia)
KYTES – “Out of Time” (Frisbee Records, Germany)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Salt Clouds” (ICEA, Sweden)
ST. LUNDI – “Fall” (Propeller Recordings, UK)
THE SLATES – “What Have You Done?” (Unsigned, UK)
AMSER – “Don’t Let Go” (SO Recordings, UK)
PAUL PARTOHAP – “BESTFRiEND” (Warner Music, Indonesia)
PICTURE THIS – “Red Lights” (RCA Records, Ireland)
CAESARIA – “Smalltown Boy” (Universal Music, France)
IAMJJ – “On My Way” (Unsigned, Denmark)
RHETT REPKO – “I’ve Been Feeling Down Lately” (Unsigned, N. America)
ASHLEY ESPER – “It’s Called Art” (Unsigned, N. America)
YARD ACT – “The Trench Coat Museum” (Island Records, UK)
BLAIRE DAVIE – “Lovely” (Watercolour Heart, Scotland)
COYLE GIRELLI – “Jane Tells A Lie” (Unsigned, UK)
THE SHERLOCKS – “Remember All The Girls” (Unsigned, UK)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Surrender To You” (Unsigned, UK)
TALISCO – “Keep ur head up” (Talisco Music, France)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “Blisters” (Run On Records, UK)
LIME CORDIALE – “Imposter Syndrome” (Chugg Music, Australia)
THE VALMONTS – “Love Overdose” (Unsigned, Ireland)
RUM JUNGLE – “Dash of Speed” (Sureshaker, Australia)
CASSIA – “High Tones” (Republic of Music, Australia)
DECLAN MCKENNA – “Sympathy” (Believe, UK)
THE MOVING STILLS – “Westside” (Sureshaker, Australia)
BARBERA MARI – “Torn” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
LAUREN WALLER – “Green Eyed Jealousy” (Unsigned, N. America)
REMME – “Boy From The Pictures” (UMG, Germany)



VIRGIN TEAMS WITH POSITION MUSIC: Virgin Music has entered into a partnership with Position Music, an independent publisher, record label, and management firm known for its extensive catalog of over 35,000 songs. Under this collaboration, Virgin Music will distribute Position Music’s new releases and existing catalog, while also providing strategic marketing and promotional support for Position Music’s frontline label roster. Virgin Music and Position Music have already collaborated on recent releases from notable artists such as Kid Bloom, Ryan Oakes, Kyle Dion, Layto, 2WEI, and Blackway. Jacqueline Saturn, President of Virgin Music, stated she was excited about working with Position Music and their talented artists, and emphasized the potential for significant accomplishments in the partnership. Position Music, founded in 1999 by CEO Tyler Bacon, has recently expanded its team and announced strategic ownership partners to strengthen its presence in the music industry. This partnership with Virgin Music is expected to enhance Position Music’s marketing, playlisting, and commercial efforts across its roster.


BDI MUSIC SIGNS JERUB: BDi Music has inked an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with artist and songwriter JERUB. Hailing from Nigeria and later relocating to Nottingham, England at the age of 10, JERUB burst onto the scene in 2021 when he made it to the finals of BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge Introducing talent search. Since then, JERUB’s career has continued to rise, with performances at events like The King’s Coronation Concert alongside Pete Tong. He’s garnered acclaim from media outlets such as Wonderland, Noctis, and Notion, and he’s been featured on U.K. national TV programs including BBC Morning Live, Laura Whitmore’s Breakfast Show, Sunday Brunch, and ITV’s Lorraine. JERUB’s music has received substantial playlist support on Spotify and Apple Music, and he’s gained praise from BBC Radio 1, along with over 200 additions to U.K. regional playlists. The signing was spearheaded by Sarah Liversedge, Managing Director, BDi Music.


NEW U.S. & GLOBAL MUSIC JOBS AT TIKTOK: A&R Worldwide has been informed by one of its senior relationships at TikTok, that the global short-form video platform, is offering an array of music-related job opportunities. The company is on the lookout for passionate individuals to join their musical journey. Some of the many current positions available in TikTok’s music ecosystem include Label & Promotion Partnerships ManagerLos Angeles; Artist & Label Partnership Lead LATAM – Mexico City; Artist Partnerships and A&R Manager MENA – Dubai; Artist Partnerships and A&R Manager Turkey – Dubai; Music Product Operation & Strategy Manager Northeast Asia – Seoul; Music Product Operation & Strategy Lead Northeast Asia – Japan; Music Product Operation & Strategy Lead Northeast Asia – Seoul. Additionally, if you’re interested in exploring other opportunities within the TikTok/Bytedance family, there are hundreds of roles available. To apply for any of these positions and many others, you should apply via this link HERE.


U.K. EXECUTIVE TAKES ON CREATIVE ROLE AT BLUE RAINCOAT MUSIC: Sir Robin Millar has taken on the role of Creative Consultant at Blue Raincoat Music, the company he co-Founded with Jeremy Lascelles in 2014. This transition also marks his step down from the position of Chairman at the company. With a career spanning over 30 years in the music industry, Sir Robin Millar boasts a seasoned portfolio. He has been at the helm of iconic studios like Power Plant, Maison Rouge, and Whitfield Street Studios, collaborating with artists such as Sade, Eric Clapton, and Sting. He also produced the Opening Ceremony for the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. Originally an artist management company, Blue Raincoat Music expanded into music publishing in 2016 and acquired Chrysalis Records later that year, venturing into recorded music. In 2019, the company partnered with Reservoir, revitalizing Chrysalis Records and securing publishing deals for catalogs by Nick Drake and Mike Chapman. Sir Robin Millar’s new role as a consultant will see him offer creative guidance across Blue Raincoat’s roster and oversee mixing and mastering operations, including the Chrysalis Records catalog.


COOKING VINYL PUBLISHING SIGNS RIKKE NORMANN: Cooking Vinyl Publishing has added Norwegian artist Rikke Normann to its roster through a worldwide administration deal. Normann has released five solo albums under her “Rikke” moniker on her own label, Rikkeleaks. She has also contributed as a backing vocalist for major Norwegian pop acts like Bernhoft, Madcon, and Emma Steinbakken. Normann’s connection with Cooking Vinyl was forged during her participation in the Future Echoes songwriting camp in Sweden earlier this year. Her music draws inspiration from diverse sources, including Bjork, Lorde, Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, and Highasakite. With previous successes in Norway and Germany, and now signed to London’s Regent Street Records, Normann is gearing up for her upcoming recording project. Ryan Farley, Managing Director, Cooking Vinyl Publishing helped initiate the signing with Rikke Normann.


PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC INKS DEAL FOR EDDIE RABBITT: Primary Wave Music has added the works of singer-songwriter Eddie Rabbitt to its expanding roster. The agreement includes Primary Wave Music acquiring a stake in Eddie Rabbitt’s music publishing catalog. Rabbitt co-wrote a dozen No.1 country music hits during his illustrious career, with 12 of his compositions achieving BMI’s Million-Air status. Among the notable songs included in this deal are Rabbitt’’ chart-topping crossover hit “I Love a Rainy Night” and the Grammy-nominated “Drivin’ My Life Away.” Rabbitt’s journey in the music industry began as a songwriter in the late 1960s, paving the way for a successful recording career. He crafted hits for artists like Elvis Presley and Ronnie Milsap. Rabbitt’s musical achievements earned him accolades, including the title of “Top New Male Vocalist of the Year” from the Academy of Country Music in 1977 and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998. Beyond music, Eddie Rabbitt was also known for his advocacy work with charitable organizations such as the Special Olympics, Easter Seals, and more.


BTS RENEWS CONTRACT WITH HYBE: All seven members of the K-pop phenomenon BTS have officially renewed their contracts with HYBE Corporation and its subsidiary, Big Hit Music. BTS, composed of RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook, has been with HYBE (formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment) since its formation in 2010. The group debuted in 2013 and has since achieved global superstardom. The move ensures that BTS will continue their journey together beyond their previous contract’s end in 2025. HYBE expressed its commitment to supporting and elevating BTS’s status, with plans for a full group promotional period in 2025. This renewal follows the group’s announcement in October 2022 that they would fulfill their mandatory military service in South Korea and reconvene in 2025. The decision to serve in the military sparked speculation about potential exemptions due to their contributions to South Korea’s economy and global cultural exports. With the official renewal of contracts, it’s confirmed that BTS will return to work with HYBE beyond their military service commitment.


MUSICBIRD ACQUIRES ALEX P’S SONG CATALOG: MusicBird has acquired the song catalog of Greek-Swedish songwriter and producer Alexander “Alex P’” Papaconstantinou. This acquisition encompasses both the writer’s share and his share of publishing rights across his collection of songs. Papaconstantinou adopted the producer pseudonym Alex P in 2011 when he joined the RedOne production and 2101 Songs writing team. During his collaboration with RedOne until 2014, he contributed significantly to the creation of hit songs, including Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like How It Feels” and the Khaled album C’est La Vie. This partnership led to Papaconstantinou receiving three BMI Awards and a Latin Grammy. Alex P’s talent extended to writing and producing hits for major artists in Latin and global pop music, such as Paulina Rubio, Jennifer Lopez, and Nicki Minaj. He also contributed songs to the Eurovision Song Contest, including Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego.” Papaconstantinou expressed his pride in the songs he has written over the past decade and looks forward to the next chapter in his career as his catalog finds a new home with MusicBird’s progressive and passionate team.


KATY PERRY SELLS MUSIC RIGHTS TO LITMUS MUSIC: Last week, Katy Perry struck a landmark deal, selling a significant portion of her music rights to Litmus Music, backed by a $500 million (USD) investment. The agreement encompasses Perry’s artist stake in her master royalty income and the publishing rights to her five studio albums recorded for Capitol Records. These albums, spanning from 2008 to 2020, include her Grammy-nominated classic, “Teenage Dream.” It’s worth noting that Universal Music Group retains ownership and control over the master rights to Katy Perry’s Capitol albums. This deal, valued at approximately $225 million according to industry insiders, stands as one of the most substantial catalog agreements with a single artist in 2023. Katy Perry joins the ranks of artists like Justin Bieber, who previously made headlines by selling their extensive music catalogs. Litmus Music, founded last summer, is swiftly establishing itself as a major player in the music rights industry, with deals that include Keith Urban’s master recordings catalog and a portfolio of compositions from songwriter-producer Benny Blanco.


GERMAN DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR NAMES CO-CEO’S: Berlin, Germany-based independent digital distributor Zebralution is undergoing a significant management restructuring. The company COO Tina Jürgens and industry veteran Konrad von Löhneysen have been appointed as co-CEOs, with co-founder Kurt Thielen set to step down as CEO by the end of 2023. Tina Jürgens, who has been coordinating Zebralution’s day-to-day operations as COO since October 2022, will assume her role as co-CEO in January 2024. Konrad von Löhneysen, a veteran label boss and shareholder in Zebralution since 2017, will join as Co-CEO in October 2023. His responsibilities will include overseeing the group’s music division, expanding neighboring rights activities via subsidiary Rightz Audio, and developing Zebralution’s U.S. operations. This marks von Löhneysen’s first foray into digital distribution after a successful 30-year career in the label business. The restructuring comes as Zebralution is set to renew its distribution partnership with Embassy of Music and extend its collaboration with City Slang, founded by Zebralution shareholder Christof Ellinghaus 33 years ago.


MULTIMEDIA MUSIC ACQUIRES MUSIC LIBRARY OF MILLENNIUM MEDIA: Multimedia Music, a prominent player in the film and TV music rights arena, continues its acquisition spree with the recent purchase of music publishing rights from Millennium Media’s film music library. This move sees Multimedia Music entering into a co-publishing agreement with Kobalt Music, the current co-owner and administrator of the catalog. Millennium Media, known for blockbuster franchises like The Expendables, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Rambo, and others represents one of Hollywood’s enduring independent film companies. Multimedia Music’s latest acquisition adds to a series of high-profile purchases, including a 50% stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners catalog and the acquisition of the STX Entertainment music library, Atlantic Screen Music library, and the music income and copyrights from several renowned composers. Multimedia Music, founded by industry veterans Phil Hope and James Gibb, has deployed over $150 million (USD) for acquisitions since its late 2021 launch. The company’s success has been backed by substantial funding from Metropolitan Partners Group, Bardin Hill, Pinnacle Bank, and Regions Bank.


BRYAN CASTELLANI APPOINTED CFO FOR WARNER MUSIC GROUP: Warner Music Group has made an executive appointment with Bryan Castellani set to join the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commencing on October 16, 2023. Castellani brings over two decades of expertise from The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently served as CFO for Disney Entertainment & ESPN. Based in New York, Castellani will report directly to Robert Kyncl, CEO, WMG. He will succeed Eric Levin, WMG’s long-serving CFO, who will stay on board until January to ensure a seamless transition. Castellani’s career at The Walt Disney Company encompassed various leadership roles, including CFO for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Executive VP & CFO of ESPN, and Sr. VP of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis for the entire Disney enterprise.


CONCORD BUYS MOJO MUSIC & MEDIA CATALOG OF 30K SONGS: Concord has expanded its music publishing portfolio by acquiring the music publishing catalog of Mojo Music & Media, a music publisher with offices in New York, Nashville, and London. This acquisition adds a wealth of iconic songs to Concord’s catalog, including works by bands like REO Speedwagon, KISS, and Cheap Trick. Mojo Music & Media’s catalog spans nine decades and boasts over 30,000 songs, including 89 Billboard No.1 hits. Concord sees this acquisition as a major step in its ongoing strategic growth, enhancing its already extensive publishing portfolio, which includes well over 800,000 songs. The Mojo catalog has been curated by industry veterans and has grown through strategic acquisitions of culturally relevant song catalogs, including those of HoriPro Entertainment and Emerald Forest. Notable figures within Mojo’s roster include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) and Warren Cuccurullo (Missing Persons, Duran Duran), among others.


MASTERCHANNEL LAUNCHES SPATIALAI: Masterchannel, a pioneering AI mastering company, has introduced SpatialAI, a solution designed to simplify the creation and technical compliance of spatial audio releases, making them distribution-ready in a matter of minutes. SpatialAI is poised to democratize spatial audio by offering a high-speed and cost-effective subscription service that enables artists and producers, from newcomers to established musicians, to ensure their tracks meet platform requirements and market standards for spatial audio. This initiative aims to make spatial audio accessible to a broader range of creators, challenging its reputation as an elite and prohibitively complex technology. Spatial audio has gained popularity among streaming subscribers, with Apple Music reporting that over 80% of its worldwide subscribers have enjoyed the feature since its launch, accompanied by substantial monthly growth in spatial audio plays. Masterchannel’s SpatialAI leverages AI and reinforcement learning to optimize tracks for various listening environments, ensuring professional sound quality across wireless earbuds, spatial headphones, cinema speaker systems, and stereo setups. The company says the new technology eliminates the need for costly equipment and studio certifications, making spatial audio production more accessible to DIY artists and established musicians.


BMG GOES DIRECT ON STREAMING: BMG is embarking on a significant transformation of its recorded music strategy. The company will take direct control of its digital business, which accounts for over 80 billion streams, marking a shift in its distribution approach. This strategic shift follows the amicable parting of ways between BMG and its current distributor, Warner Music Group’s ADA, allowing both entities to concentrate on expanding their businesses and profitability. The transition will commence at the end of this year, with BMG progressively insourcing distribution to major streaming platforms, starting with Spotify and Apple Music. Physical distribution will continue through a new outsourcing arrangement, expected to be announced soon. BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld emphasized the importance of the move, making BMG the first global-scale full-service music company to control its key routes to market in two decades. Coesfeld said the transition will enable BMG to offer artists more effective and efficient services, fostering better relationships with digital and physical 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: Ken Bunt, Jon Ollier, Kim Frankiewicz, Neil Warnock, Chris Price, Dave Holmes, Rich Castillo, Susan Heymann, Sunil D’Sa, Paul McDonald, Ron Perry, Evan Bogart, Stephen Sessa, and Tom Poleman.

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