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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 817


Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has announced an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement with Fred Again.. (Fred Gibson), a music producer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and DJ. The signing was spearheaded by Pete Simons, Head of A&R, UMPG, UK.

Fred Gibson was recognized as the youngest-ever “Producer of The Year” winner at the BRIT Awards. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with artists including Ed Sheeran, Brian Eno, Travis Scott, Skrillex, Young Thug, J Balvin, Burna Boy, and co-writing George Ezra‘s No.1 hit “Shotgun.”

Pictured L-R are Fred Gibson and Pete Simmons (Photo credit – Jacob King)

Fred Gibson has already accumulated 15 billion streams and seven No.1 UK hits. He has also been performing at live events and festivals such as Coachella, Madison Square Garden, and Glastonbury, amassing more attention for himself as both an artist and a performer.

Jody Gerson, Chairman & CEO, UMPG stated, “All of us at UMPG are huge fans of Fred. I look forward to all he will accomplish globally as an artist, DJ, writer, and producer. Additionally, I’ve been so impressed with Fred and Alex‘s [Gibson] commitment to increasing the number of women working in music. They enthusiastically partnered with She Is the Music on our UK mentorship program for female producers, and it was a big success.”

Fred and his brother Alex (who helps manage him) stated, “We are so excited to be working with Universal Music Publishing. Pete Simmons is one of the most exceptional A&Rs in the world, a brilliant creative collaborator, and most of all a 12/10 friend. Jody Gerson runs a brilliant company, and we can’t wait to work closely with her and her team.”

Gibson has also been actively involved in mentoring and promoting women producers in the UK through NextUp, a program he launched in partnership with global nonprofit She Is the Music.




Warner Music Finland recently announced the appointment of Jukka Immonen as Head of A&R, effective from January 1, 2024. Immonen, a producer in Finland, has collaborated with artists like Anna Puu, Elastinen, Jenni Vartiainen, and more, accumulating over 50 Gold and Platinum records.

Jukka Immonen

He will now bring his experience and connections to cultivate the next wave of Finnish talent and drive Warner Music Finland’s growth. Additionally, Warner Music will acquire the recorded music business of The Fried Music, a company founded by Immonen in 2002. The Fried Music has enjoyed considerable success with artists like Anna Puu, Knipi, and Viivi, amassing millions of streams and multiple chart-toppers in Finland. This integration into Warner Music’s roster will provide these artists with access to a global network, opening doors to a broader international audience.

This transition follows the retirement of Asko Kallonen, the former Head of A&R and Domestic General Manager at Warner Music Finland since 1994. Kallonen’s invaluable industry expertise will still be utilized as he continues to serve as an A&R consultant for Warner Music Finland on specific artists and projects.

This follows the recent announcement that Nordic music industry legend Niko Nordström would be stepping down from his position as Managing Director, Warner Music Finland, and Executive VP, Warner Music Nordics later this year. Ramona Forsström will become the new Managing Director of Warner Music Finland in November.




Sony Music Germany is making changes to its frontline label business, describing it as a “genre and team resource consolidation.” These changes indicate a strategic reshaping of the company’s music labels.

One of the major shifts is the merger of Gold League, Sony Music’s local hip-hop label, with RCA Records Germany. This consolidation will be overseen by Brook Demissie, who is being promoted to the position of Vice President of RCA and Gold League. Meanwhile, dance label Nitron is being moved to Epic Records under the leadership of Fiete Klatt, Vice President, Epic Records and Nitron.

Also, Sony Music Germany is relaunching the legendary Hansa Records, (which was founded in 1965 by Peter Meisel) as a frontline label within Sony Music Germany. Hansa Records, known for its contributions to the pop and dance music landscape from the 1970s to the 1990s, boasted artists like the multi-platinum and chart-topping euro disco band Modern Talking, Milli Vanilli, Alphaville, Blue System, Boney M, and many others. Markus Hartmann, Vice President, Ariola and Hansa Records, will lead the Ariola label and oversee Hansa Records, with plans to expand its renowned catalog with new artists and international acts.

Patrick Mushatsi-Kareba, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment GSA stated, “With Hansa Records, 16 labels now operate under the umbrella of Sony Music, which will successfully accompany artists on their path. My special thanks go to Clemens Fiedler for the very successful management of the catalog business, and I wish him only the best for his future.”

Additionally, the catalog division is witnessing changes, with Thorsten Sack taking over as the head of the division, and Clemens Fiedler, who has led the Sony Music Catalog in Germany for over eight years, planning to retire in 2024.




Warner Music India has announced its acquisition of E-Positive, an Indian artist management and live events company. This deal strengthens Warner Music India’s position as a growing market leader, providing its artists with enhanced capabilities in brand partnerships and live events.

Pictured (L-R) are Jay Mehta, Naushad Khan, Darshan Raval, and Alfonso Perez Soto.

E-Positive’s roster includes Darshan Raval at the forefront. Raval, one of India’s top five most streamed artists and the fastest-growing artist in the region has seen a fourfold increase in daily streams over the past year. Known for his crossover ability, Raval has released songs in various languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Bengali. His tracks have amassed over nine billion streams, with a monthly listener base exceeding 43 million and 17 million Instagram followers.

E-Positive will maintain its independent operations, with Founder & CEO Naushad Khan at the helm. Khan’s experience in the live entertainment industry, including promoting over 15,000 shows, has led to a broad network of connections. He has also played a pivotal role in nurturing artists’ careers, most notably Darshan Raval, whom he discovered and helped propel to stardom.

Jay Mehta, Managing Director, Warner Music India, stated, “Naushad has done an incredible job of positioning E-Positive as a leading management company and his knowledge of brand partnerships and the live sector will be a great asset for us at Warner Music India. Darshan is a true star, and we believe he can become a staple on the global stage.”

Alfonso Perez Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Music, added, “This deal once again reinforces our desire to become the number one destination for artists in India, and welcoming an artist like Darshan onto our roster is a real statement of intent. Darshan, as well as the whole of the E-Positive roster, will be able to harness Warner Music’s global network and start to connect with a wider international audience.”

A&R Worldwide has learned Warner Music in the emerging markets and is poised to announce a number of upcoming deals in the coming months.





In a harmonious convergence of music industry titans, MUSEXPO, the foremost music business conference, has unveiled its 2024 event schedule, which will take place from March 17 – 20, in Burbank, CA – “The Media Capital of the World.”

Jacqueline Saturn

Renowned for its unwavering commitment to shaping the future of the music business, MUSEXPO has curated a rich agenda that delves into pivotal facets of the industry. The schedule of events has been unveiled HERE, with dozens of high-profile executives, and companies already confirmed for next year’s exciting event.

MUSEXPO 2024 promises a dynamic exploration of the ever-evolving landscape of A&R, where the artistry and business of music converge seamlessly. With a spotlight on cutting-edge AI technologies, attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the creative process and reshaping the industry’s future.

Music publishing, artist management, and streaming will take center stage, fostering dialogue on strategies for maximizing revenue in a digital age. In the ever-expanding realm of technology, MUSEXPO will provide a comprehensive view of the latest innovations shaping the music landscape.

Steve Schnur

Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East will be in sharp focus, reflecting the global nature of the music market. Attendees will delve into the opportunities and challenges of these diverse markets, exploring new avenues for growth and collaboration.

The sync focus segment will illuminate the pivotal role of music in film, TV, promos, on-demand services, movie trailers, advertising, and interactive gaming, emphasizing its profound impact on visual media. With much more scope of the overall arching U.S. and international music business highlighted at the event with evolving movements and trends.

Some of the speakers already confirmed for MUSEXPO 2024 are: Angela Leus – Senior Vice President of Film Music, Universal Pictures; Jacqueline Saturn – President, Virgin Music; Jason Markey – Founder & Music Supervisor, Sound Advice; Jason C MillerCEO, Eventim Live Asia; John McGrew – Music Creative Production, Netflix Series Animation; Katie Hargrove – Co-Founder, Little Wolf Music & Sound; Kenny Salcido – Sr. VP/Head of A&R, Red Bull Records; Kristen McFarren – Associate Manager, Original Music, FOX Entertainment Music; Mark Sutherland– Contributing Editor, Music Business Worldwide (Music & Media Journalist); Markus Schwarzer – Co-Founder & CEO, Cyanite; Mike Knobloch – President of Music & Publishing, NBCUniversal; Natalie Hayden – Sr. Vice President of Film Music, Universal Pictures; Nikki Walsh Vice President of Soundtrack & Marketing, Universal Pictures; Peymon Maskan – Founder, Radish Music Supervision; Professor Jonathan Shalit OBEChairman InterTalent Rights Group/Chosen Music; Rachel LevyExecutive Vice President of Motion Picture Music, Universal Pictures; Ritch Esra – Publisher, The Music Registry & Co-Founder, MUBU-TV; Ryan Svendsen – Head of Music, Millennium Media; Sat Bisla – Founder & President, A&R Worldwide/MUSEXPO; Selena Arizanovic – Director, Programming Music, FOX Entertainment Music; Steve Schnur – Worldwide Executive & President of Music, Electronic Arts; Vikki JacobsVice President of Film & Music Licensing, Universal Pictures, and dozens of others to be unveiled in the next few weeks.

Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE

MUSEXPO which celebrates its 24th global edition next year has been the inspiration for the launch of other conferences around the world including in the US, UK, Ibiza, Asia, and other markets. The event is renowned for bringing together some of the world’s top executives, creatives and launching unsigned and emerging acts onto the global stage including Katy Perry, The Temper Trap, Frank Turner, Jessie J, Teddybears, LMFAO, Gavin James, Sheppard, Forest Blakk, Robyn, Missy Higgins, Avalanche City, Lime Cordiale and many others.

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


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 few weeks ago, Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide reconnected with his long friend Nick Shymansky, co-Founder, Day One Music, who manages burgeoning female artists Kenya Grace (Warner Records) and Lola Young (Island Records). Prior to launching Day One Music with his business partner Nick Huggett (who discovered and signed Adele to her first-ever record deal with XL Recordings back in 2006, and introduced her to longtime manager Jonathan Dickins), Nick was also a talented A&R executive who was known for signing LaRoux, Jamie Woon, and the late and legendary Amy Winehouse to her first deal whilst he was 19 (Simon Fuller‘s company), and went on to be her worldwide manager for the bulk of Amy’s successful worldwide career. Nick was also the first A&R executive in the world that was introduced to the Los Angeles-based LMFAO by A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla who was advising and shopping the band before they had any management, recording, or publishing deal. Nick was the first A&R guy in the world to offer LMFAO a global label deal whilst he was an A&R man at Polydor Records – the deal was negotiated at the A&R Worldwide office with Red Foo and Sky Blu; however, the band decided to pursue another offer a few months later with Island Records, UK. However, thanks to the help of Nick Shymansky and Sat Bisla, they were introduced to Briony Turner (now co-President, Atlantic Records, UK) who gave LMFAO their first-ever publishing deal (UK only) whilst she was at Global Publishing in the UK.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week



MASI MASI is a British alternative/indie-pop ensemble fronted by Joe McGrath, known for his charismatic presence. The band has gained significant attention thanks to their standout singles, including “Favourite Gold,” “We Don’t Care,” and “The Good Stuff.” These songs have not only received global radio play but have also earned placements on prominent Spotify and Apple Music playlists. Joe McGrath, a multi-talented artist, takes on various roles within the band, serving as the lead singer, songwriter, and producer. Beyond his musical pursuits, McGrath is involved in modeling and has collaborated with well-known brands such as Reebok and Urban Outfitters. This dual creative approach has solidified his artistic presence in different domains. MASI MASI’s latest release, “Comfort Me” delves into the idea of caving in to outside pressures that make folks compromise their true selves. The song takes inspiration from encounters with people who are unwaveringly authentic and their frustration with those who struggle to stay real. Listen to the song HERE, and for additional information on MASI MASI including international signing, publishing, licensing, booking, and sync opportunities contact




Everyone You Know is a UK musical duo composed of Rhys Kirkby-Cox and Harvey Kirkby, who are half-brothers and talented songwriters. Their journey started with their debut single “Our Generation,” which quickly gained attention. Subsequently, their track “The Drive,” featuring captivating lyrics and a viral music video concept, reached over 9 million views. The duo has also formed partnerships with brands like Reebok, Fred Perry, JD Sports, and secured sync placements with FIFA (EA Sports), O2, Adidas, Alex Rider on Amazon Prime, and Behind Her Eyes on Netflix. They’ve recently released a new single called “Coming with You,” characterized by its anthemic energy and changing tempos. The song includes catchy choruses and a DnB-inspired outro. Previous releases have received significant support from BBC Radio 1, Jack Saunders, Vick & Jordan, Clara Amfo, and Steve Lamacq. They’ve performed at notable events like Reading & Leeds Festival, Roskilde, Secret Garden Party, and most recently opened for Noel Gallagher at Crystal Palace Park in London. Everyone You Know has rapidly gained popularity, accumulating almost 200 million worldwide streams with their fusion of alt, dance, pop, and punk elements. Take a ride with the band during the “Coming with You” video HERE. If you’re interested in collaborations or brand partnerships with Everyone You Know, you can contact Ged Malone at and Simon Burke-Kennedy at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, October 15th, 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:

SAHARA BECK – “Thinking Twice” (Unsigned, Australia)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Tomorrow Is Closed” (AWAL, UK)
LUKE NOA – “Flight of Birds” (Bread, Butter & Champagne, Germany)
GIANT ROOKS – “Somebody Like You” (UMG, Germany)
LAURAN HIBBERD – “Honda Civic” (Virgin Music, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “See Me Again” (Universal Music, South Africa)
BANNERS – “C’est La Vie” (Island Records, UK)
MIDDLE KIDS – “Highlands” (EMI Music, Australia)
ONLY THE POETS – “Over & Over” (EMI, UK)
WILL LINLEY – “Gracie” (Island Records, South Africa)
BELLZZZ – “No Shoes Girl (Succession)” (Unsigned, UK)
PAUL PARTOHAP – “BESTFRiEND” (Warner Music, Indonesia)
THE SLATES – “What Have You Done” (Unsigned, UK)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Surrender To You” (Unsigned, UK)
AMSER – “Don’t Let Go” (SO Recordings, UK)
RHETT REPKO – “I’ve Been Feeling Down Lately” (Unsigned, N. America)
IAMJJ – “On My Way” (Unsigned, Denmark)
PICTURE THIS – “Ireland” (RCA Records, Ireland)
NEON WALTZ – “When All Is Said & Done” (Fierce Panda, UK)
YARD ACT – “The Trench Coat Museum” (Island Records, UK)
ASHLEY ESPER – “It’s Called Art” (Unsigned, N. America)
KYTES – “Out of Time” (Frisbee Records, Germany)
BELOT – “The Good Life” (Submarine Cat Records, UK)
THE ROYSTON CLUB – “Blisters” (Run On Records, UK)
TEENAGE DADS – “Speed Racer” (Chugg Music, Australia)
THE SHERLOCKS – “Remember All The Girls” (Unsigned, UK)
LIME CORDIALE – “Imposter Syndrome” (Chugg Music, Australia)
HONEYMOAN – “Show You Off” (Propeller Recordings, UK)
ST. LUNDI – “Fall” (Propeller Recordings, UK)
SAINT SAMUEL – “Like You Like That” (Unsigned, N. America)
BARBERA MARI – “Torn” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
THE VALMONTS – “Love Overdose” (Unsigned, Ireland)
TRISHA – “Somewhere Else” (Universal Music, India)
MASI MASI – “Comfortable Me” (Unsigned, UK)



SABRINA CARPENTER INKS WORLDWIDE DEAL: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), has announced that they have signed Platinum-certified singer and songwriter Sabrina Carpenter (signed to Island Records) to an exclusive, worldwide music publishing agreement. 2023 marks Carpenter’s biggest year yet as an artist, amassing 10 billion global streams, earning multiple Gold and Platinum certifications, and performing anthems to sold-out crowds around the world. Her 2022 critically acclaimed album emails I can’t send, which debuted at No.23 on the Billboard 200 and was highly regarded on Rolling Stone‘s “100 Best Albums of 2022,” was followed by one of her biggest hit singles, “Nonsense,” which has amassed more than 1.2 billion streams to date. From 2022-2023, she performed 80 sold-out shows internationally on her “emails I can’t send” tour. Most recently, Sabrina has been touring as an opening act for the international dates of the global smash Taylor Swift‘s Eras Tour. The signing was overseen by Jody Gerson, Chairman & CEO, UMPG and David Gray, Executive VP & co-Head A&R, UMPG.


CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING SIGNS ASHLI: Concord Music Publishing ANZ (Australia & New Zealand) has announced a new global publishing agreement with New Jersey, US-born, and currently Western Sydney, Australia-based singer and songwriter Ashley Dawes (pka Ashli). Ashli recently released her new single “New Feelings,” which combines the warmth and immediacy of 2000s-styled R&B. Ashli has asserted herself as one-to-watch in the Australian music landscape, her debut EP received a nomination for “Best Independent Soul/RNB” Album or EP at the 2023 AIR Awards and she won the “Emerging Artist” award at the 2023 Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA‘s). Her music has also claimed press accolades from NME, Acclaim, Purple Sneakers, Vogue Australia, RUSSH, Daily Telegraph, VICE, Sniffers, and more. Ashli has performed headline shows at some of Australia’s most unique and notable venues, including a sold-out 2023 performance at Sydney Opera House for VIVID Sydney, BIGSOUND, and Phoenix Central Park.


WARNER MUSIC MALAYSIA NAMES NEW MD: Dinesh Ratnam has assumed the role of Managing Director at Warner Music Malaysia, marking a development in the company’s regional leadership. Reporting to Co-Presidents of Warner Music Asia, Chris Gobalakrishna and Jonathan Serbin, Ratnam will be a pivotal member of the regional executive team. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Ratnam’s responsibilities encompass overseeing Warner Music’s operations in Malaysia, crafting strategic growth plans, and reinforcing the company’s footprint in the Malaysian music market. With a background spanning the content, technology, and entertainment industries, Ratnam brings an array of expertise to his new role. Before joining Warner Music, Ratnam played an important role in expanding the international reach of iQiyi, a premium video on-demand streaming service. As Senior Director in the International Business Department and Country Manager for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, he was instrumental in establishing iQiyi’s presence in Southeast Asia, contributing to the company’s remarkable growth in the region. Ratnam also made significant contributions to the growth of Malaysian operations at iflix, a video on-demand service. Additionally, his experience also includes a role as a Director in the CEO’s Office of Catcha Group, overseeing technology and media investments in Southeast Asia.


RESERVOIR SIGNS WÉ ANI VIA IN PARTNERSHIP DEAL: Reservoir Media has announced the signing of emerging songwriter and vocalist Wé Ani to a publishing deal. The partnership was orchestrated through a joint venture between Reservoir and 19 Entertainment, known for its association with the popular television series, American Idol. Wé Ani, whose journey in the music industry commenced at the age of 12, captured global acclaim in 2016 with a memorable blind audition on the NBC TV show, The Voice. Her talent and vocal prowess have consistently garnered attention, and in 2023, she ascended to the Top 5 of American Idol, impressing the show’s panel of judges with a compelling audition. The deal signifies a pivotal moment in Wé Ani’s career, aligning her with the creative team and resources of Reservoir, and the involvement of 19 Entertainment.


AUDOO HITS $22M IN FUNDING WITH INVESTMENT LED BY ELTON JOHN: Audoo, has secured a $5 million (USD) investment in its latest funding round. Global music and business icons, Elton John and David Furnish, have joined this round, bringing Audoo’s total funding to $22 million. They are joined by other influential investors like Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA/CISAC) and MPL Ventures, as well as Tileyard and Edinv, all of whom are committed to addressing the challenges of accurate royalty payments for musicians worldwide. Elton John adds his support to the mission of Audoo, which says it’s dedicated to improving transparency and accuracy in public performance royalty data collection and distribution. Audoo’s technology, including the Audoo Audio Meter, offers real-time solutions for monitoring music usage in various business establishments. This technology provides a fair and precise distribution of payments to music creators while being unobtrusive for licensees, PROs, and CMOs. Audoo’s ongoing partnerships are expanding its reach across the UK, Europe, Australasia, and Africa.


Positioned (L-R) are Jake Versluis (Partner, A&R and Gaming, Position Music), Chloe Copoloff, Joe Brooks (A&R, Position Music), Tyler Bacon (President & CEO, Position Music). Photo Credit: Cameron Jordan.

CHLOE COPOLOFF INKS GLOBAL DEAL WITH POSITION MUSIC: Position Music has announced the signing of Chloe Copoloff to a worldwide publishing deal. Copoloff, a 25-year-old songwriter, has quickly made a name for herself with her co-writing credits including the viral track “PS5,” which she co-wrote with TOMOROW X TOMORROW, Alan Walker, and Salem Ilese, amassing over 180 million streams in less than a couple years. She’s also contributed songs for artists like Salem Ilese, Andi, Skydxddy, Sundial, and more. Jake Versluis, Partner, A&R & Gaming, Position Music, stated, “We’re thrilled Chloe is now a part of Position Music. She’s still so young and has already proven to be a writer beyond her years—co-writing the breakthrough song ‘PS5’ from Salem Ilise, Alan Walker, and Tomorrow x Together. In addition to her impressive writing chops, Chloe brings an innate A&R instinct to the company and her sessions, which is rare and always greatly appreciated. We take pride in being a part of her quickly developing writing career.” Upcoming co-writing releases by Copoloff include collaborations with VIVIZ, Ashley Sienna, Dia Frampton, Culture Code, and others.


WARNER MUSIC GROUP NAMES EVP, CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER: Warner Music Group (WMG) has made an addition to its leadership team with the appointment of Carletta Higginson as Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, effective from October 16. Higginson is an accomplished media executive with an extensive background in music rights. She joins WMG after a decade at Google, where she held key roles in business development and legal matters related to both music publishing and recorded music. Her most recent position at Google was as the Global Head of Music Publishing at YouTube and Google Play. Prior to her work at Google, Higginson also had a career as a litigator representing various stakeholders in the music industry. Based in New York, Higginson will report directly to Robert Kyncl, CEO, WMG. In her new role, she will have oversight of WMG’s global digital partnerships, covering deal-making, account management, and exploring innovative opportunities for new digital partnerships. Her extensive experience in music rights and digital media will be invaluable in shaping WMG’s digital strategy.


COOKING VINYL SIGNS KATHERINE PRIDDY: Cooking Vinyl has welcomed Birmingham, England-based singer/songwriter Katherine Priddy to their roster. Priddy made an impactful debut with her album The Eternal Rocks Beneath, which was released in 2021 and garnered praise from music luminaries like Guy Garvey, Mark Radcliffe, Stuart Maconie, and the late Janice Long. The album achieved the No.1 spot on the Official UK Folk Chart and No.5 on the Official UK Americana Chart, while also earning a place on Mojo‘s “Folk Albums of the Year” list for 2021. Priddy’s talent and music have allowed her to perform at festivals like the Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury, Green Man, End of The Road, and the BBC Proms. She’s also shared the stage with artists including Richard Thompson, The Chieftains, Loudon Wainwright III, and Vashti Bunyan.


Pictured (L-R) are Ramon Emilio Hernandez (Los CT), Natanael Cano, Nir Seroussi (Executive VP, IGA), and Manny Prado (VP Marketing & A&R, IGA). Photo credit: Pedro Saavedra.

INTERSCOPE INKS DEAL WITH NATHANAEL CANO’S LOS CT LABEL: Interscope Records (IGA) has unveiled a partnership with Nathanael Cano‘s label, Los CT, which brings a new roster of artists, including the likes of Gabito Ballesteros, Alejandro Buelna, Tyan G, Amilkar Galaviz, Luis Castillo, Nueva Era, Cocho, Herencia LP, and Delilah, into the Interscope fold. Natanael Cano, known for pioneering the corridos tumbados genre – a fusion of Mexican corridos with trap influences within traditional regional Mexican music – made waves with his album, Corridos Tumbados in 2019, spending approximately 31 weeks at No.1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart. Cano and his long-time manager and business partner, Ramon Emilio Hernandez, launched Los CT in 2022 to further explore this dynamic Mexican music style and its international reach. The label’s roster includes singer-songwriter Gabito Ballesteros, who garnered attention with the chart-topping hit “AMG,” as well as other promising talents in the genre.


MIME PUBLISHING SIGNS CO-PUBLISHING DEAL WITH MAJOR: MIME Publishing has inked a two-year co-publishing agreement with singer-songwriter MAJOR. This deal will see MAJOR. crafting solo material and collaborating with fellow artists and producers, with a particular focus on creating tailor-made tracks for sync licensing. These songs, along with MAJOR.’s existing catalog, will receive sync licensing support from Heavy Hitters Music, MIME’s specialists in this field. MAJOR. has already left a mark in the music industry with his Platinum-certified hit “Why I Love You,” which climbed the Billboard Adult R&B charts, garnered millions of YouTube views, and earned praise from legends like Stevie Wonder. He also earned a Grammy nomination for “Honest” and achieved success on the Billboard Gospel Chart with “Whole World in His Hands.” MAJOR. is not only a musician but also an actor, known for his roles in FOX‘s Star and National Geographic‘s Genius, where he portrayed the iconic Curtis Mayfield in the life story of Aretha Franklin.


Pictured (L-R): Amy Dietz (Exceleration), John Burk (Exceleration), Glen Barros (Exceleration), Bill Nowlin (Down the Road), John Virant (Down the Road), Ken Irwin (Down the Road), Charles Caldas (Exceleration), Marian Levy (Down the Road), and Dave Hansen (Exceleration).

EXCELERATION MUSIC ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH DOWN THE ROAD: Exceleration Music has entered into a strategic partnership with the founders of Rounder Records. The collaboration unites the original leadership team behind Rounder Records—Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy, Bill Nowlin, and John Virant, the label’s first and longstanding President & CEO with Exceleration Music’s leadership. Together, they will embark on their new venture named Down the Road. The label is set to release works from artists like Tony Trischka, Blue Highway, and Dervish, long-standing performers of Irish traditional music. Furthermore, Down the Road plans to reissue 14 catalog titles recently produced by the Rounder Records co-founders. This collaboration follows Exceleration Music’s expansion, which included the acquisition of Redeye, a worldwide independent distribution and music services company, along with Yep Roc and Sundazed, Redeye’s in-house labels, and Redeye’s publishing company Riff City Sounds.


RESERVOIR ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH RUDY PEREZ: Reservoir Media has secured a publishing deal featuring Latin hitmaker Rudy Perez. The deal encompasses the acquisition of Perez’s catalog, which includes tracks performed by Christina Aguilera and Julio Iglesias, and it also secures a publishing deal for his future works. Rudy Perez’s career as a songwriter and producer is marked by his contributions to over 300 Top 10 hits across various charts, collaborating with an array of artists, including Jose Feliciano, Natalie Cole, Luis Miguel, Luis Fonsi, and more. His songs have garnered more than 500 Gold and Platinum album certifications worldwide, earning him 19 Grammy nominations and five Grammy wins. Perez played a pivotal role in crafting hits like “Pero Me Acuerdo de Tí” and “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido” from Christina Aguilera’s multi-platinum (Latin) album Mi Reflejo. Beyond his music career, Rudy Perez’s contributions extend to the foundation of the Latin Recording Academy and the Latin Grammy‘s, and his role in co-creating the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. His passion for nurturing talent is further exemplified through initiatives like the Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship and his autobiography The Latin Hit Maker.


HOOK ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION SEED INVESTMENT ROUND: Hook has successfully concluded a $3 million seed investment round, with backers like Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures and Waverley Capital, co-founded by former Warner Music Group CEO, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., leading the investment. Three Six Zero, helmed by Mark Gillespie, and Avex also participated in the funding round. This investment will bolster Hook’s pioneering music platform, which leverages AI-driven music effects to empower music enthusiasts on social media to legally and easily remix their favorite songs and share them with a global audience. The company aims to collaborate with artists and record labels to develop technology that generates new revenue opportunities across the music ecosystem. Hook, set to launch a closed beta later this year, is under the leadership of Founder & CEO Gaurav Sharma, who previously served as Chief Operating Officer for JioSaavn, one of India’s largest music streaming platforms. The company’s seasoned leadership team includes Chief Product Officer Simmi Singh and Chief Financial Officer Manav Choksi.


Pictured L-R are (Back row): Nic Martin (Uno Stereo); Eric J Dubowsky; Luis Martinez (Shndo); Alejandra Siharath, A&R and Sync Consultant /Client Liaison, peermusic Australia; Jason Boyd (Poo Bear), and Ralph W Peer, Managing Director, peermusic Australia. Front row (L-R) is Ziggy Ramo, Danzal Baker (Baker Boy), and Alex Hosking.

HITMAKERS JOIN FORCES FOR PEERMUSIC AUSTRALIA SESSIONS: Peermusic Australia has just concluded its inaugural international songwriting sessions in Melbourne, an event led by Kathy Spanberger, President & COO of peermusic Anglo American Region, and Ralph W. Peer, Managing Director, peermusic Australia. The goal of the sessions was to foster cross-cultural collaborations between peermusic’s global hitmakers and Australia’s songwriters and artists, with a goal to craft hit songs, secure song placements, and establish a global network of music creators. The camp witnessed the participation of multi-Platinum songwriter and producer Poo Bear, renowned for his collaborations with Usher, Billie Eilish, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber. Also joining from peermusic’s roster was SHNDO, known for co-producing Justin Bieber’s chart-topping “Peaches” and collaborating with artists like Cardi B. From the local Australian talent pool, songwriters Ziggy Ramo and Triple One graced the camp. Ziggy Ramo’s impact on Australian hip-hop has garnered recognition and awards, while Triple One’s hits like “Butter” earned Gold status and a devoted international following. The camp took place at The Base Studio in South Melbourne, a world-class facility that has hosted artists like Ed Sheeran, Diplo, Dua Lipa, and more. The appointment of Ralph W. Peer as Managing Director of peermusic Australia has expanded the company’s creative and administrative operations in the region, strengthening its presence in the Australian music scene.


DEAG FULLY ACQUIRES I-MOTION: DEAG (Deutsche Entertainment AG) has announced that it is acquiring the remaining 49.9% stake in I-Motion, an electronic dance music promoter, elevating its ownership to 100%. The transaction, completed by buying out its US joint venture partner Livestyle, underscores DEAG’s expansion strategy and commitment to its high-margin event formats, including open-air events. DEAG, headquartered in Berlin, Germany initially invested in I-Motion in 2019. I-Motion boasts a portfolio of electronic dance festivals such as Nature One, Mayday, Toxicator, Ruhr-in-Love, and Syndicate. These events have consistently drawn crowds, with the recent Syndicate event in Dortmun”s Westfalenhallen hosting around 20,000 attendees. In total, I-Motion’s electronic music festivals collectively attract approximately 250,000 visitors annually. The company, headquartered in Mülheim-Kärlich, Germany, also extends its expertise to events like the Christmas Garden Koblenz at the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which welcomes about 100,000 guests.


MEDIABASE BUYS DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS FROM ALL ACCESS: Mediabase has announced its acquisition of‘s music distribution business unit from its Founder & President Joel Denver. Mediabase says the merger will streamline and enhance the music distribution experience for users, offering unparalleled convenience in accessing music downloads and Mediabase’s renowned airplay data. By synergizing the strengths of both platforms, Mediabase is set to elevate user accessibility and redefine its role as a provider of airplay data. Philippe Generali, President & CEO, Mediabase, said the deal highlights the significance and integration of both company’s strengths, and emphasized the seamless user experience with the assurance of top-quality content downloads from label 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: David Wolter, Brandon Davis, John Janick, Shabs Jobanputra, Karl Kongham, Sulinna Ong, Marianne Goode, Lee Trink, Nat Pastor, Steve Savoca, Zach Katz, Julie Pilat, David Alexander, and Jens Lundberg.

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