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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 821


Universal Music Greater China (UMGC), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), has announced the appointment of widely respected entertainment industry executive Gary Chan, as Managing Director of Universal Music Hong Kong and Senior Vice President of Universal Music Greater China, effective immediately. He will be based in Hong Kong and will report directly to Timothy Xu, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Greater China.

Gary Chan

With a career spanning over three decades, Gary Chan holds expertise in the music and entertainment landscapes across the Greater China region and beyond, and joins UMGC from Media Asia Group Holdings Limited, where he served as Executive Director for 15 years, managing operations across Asia and its portfolio of over 50 iconic artists, including Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Leon Lai, and Miriam Yeung.

Prior to joining Media Asia Group, Chan served as Managing Director at both Warner Music Hong Kong and EMI Music Hong Kong. During his tenure at Warner Music, he introduced artist management within the company, developing a full-service business for artists in the region. Additionally, he helped foster breakthrough talents including Khalil Fong, Fiona Sit, Endy Chow, Pakho Chau, Shine, and deepened collaborations between Hong Kong and Taiwan to successfully develop acts such as Eric Moo, Cheung Yu, and Jeff Cheung.

His long professional career within the entertainment industry in the region began in 1988, where he was responsible for distributing TVB dramas to global markets for TVB International, Hong Kong’s premier television station. Additionally, he was a co-founder of the acclaimed film company, Milkyway Image in 1996, alongside the distinguished directors Johnny To and Wai Ka-Fai, another significant and culturally impactful highlight of his impressive career.

As a respected leader of the local music industry, Chan served as the Chairman of IFPI Hong Kong for ten years, from 2016 to September 2023, and has held the position of Secretary for the Hong Kong Performing Industry Association since 2009.




Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has secured an expansive deal with esteemed singer-songwriter Dido, encompassing her illustrious music catalog and forthcoming releases. Dido’s journey in the 1990s marked the genesis of a stellar career, with her debut album, No Angel, achieving unparalleled success. Boasting hit singles such as “Here With Me,” “Hunter,” and “Thank You,” the album surpassed 20 million in global sales, emerging as the second-highest selling album in the UK during the 2000s, and making her one of the most successful solo female artists from England of all time.

Following this triumph, Dido’s 2003 release, Life For Rent, further solidified her global impact, selling over 12 million copies worldwide and ranking as the fourth best-selling global album that year. Her subsequent albums, including Safe Trip in 2008 and Still on My Mind in 2019, consistently achieved acclaim, reinforcing her status as a prolific artist.

Dido’s collaboration with Warner Chappell Music, which spans over 25 years, reflects a continued partnership that began at the inception of her songwriting journey.

Guy Moot, Co-Chair and CEO of Warner Chappell Music, said, “Dido is one of the most remarkable songwriters of this century. We’re so pleased that she’s put her faith in us again to represent one of the great modern songbooks. We look forward to working with her on new projects and continuing to promote her incredible catalog in exciting and creative ways.”

Her impressive array of accolades, including an Ivor Novello Award, four BRIT Awards, and multiple Grammy nominations, underscores her enduring impact on the music landscape.

Dido got her first-ever worldwide radio support of her unreleased demo tracks back in the summer of 1995 on A&R Worldwide President & Founder Sat Bisla’s imported music radio show “The Edge” on KVSR-FM Fresno, CA, when he received her early demos from his friend and mentor Mel Medalie (co-Founder, Cheeky Records) who signed Dido to her first deal. The positive feedback from Bisla and his radio show encouraged Mel and his business partner Rollo Armstrong (Dido’s brother) to record more songs with Dido, leading to the recording of her debut album, No Angel. Warner Chappell signed Dido to her publishing deal in late 1996, and Clive Davis signed her to Arista Records in 1997. Dido’s first-ever deals were with Cheeky Records and Cheeky Music Publishing.

Dido’s first commercial release was the song “Flowerstand Man,” which was released in 1996 on the debut Faithlessalbum, Reverence.




Multi-Platinum, Grammy-award winning global hit songwriter Armando Christian Pérez, Pitbull, has renewed his global publishing partnership with BMG, extending his longtime relationship since first signing with BMG nearly a decade ago.

Pitbull recently released his new Spanglish album Trackhouse, with several music projects and future releases already in the works.

The album name alludes to the NASCAR Cup Series team Trackhouse Racing, which he has been a co-owner of since 2021. Trackhouse includes features from Nile Rodgers, Lil’ Jon, T-Pain, Elvis Crespo, Gipsy Kings, Omar Courtz, Vikina, Play-N-Skillz, El Micha, and Zac Brown.

Armando Christian Pérez (Pitbull), said, “It’s truly an honor to continue our relationship with BMG. We are longtime partners who believe in each other. We look forward to continuing the relationship and appreciate the support over the last 10 years, Dale!”

Claire Bernardin, Sr. Manager A&R, BMG stated, “Pitbull is an artist who transcends genres and generations. His music speaks for itself, and we’re thrilled to continue building on his success with the Mr. 305 team!”

Marian Wolf, Sr. VP Publishing, BMG U.S. added, “BMG is proud to continue its long-term global publishing partnership with Pitbull and are excited to work with Pitbull and his team on his current release Trackhouse, future releases, and his incredible music catalog.”

On October 18, he kicked off the North American leg of The Trilogy Tour alongside Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin.

A prolific songwriter and recording artist, in 2017 Pitbull released his tenth studio album Climate Change. Credited as co-writing all the album’s 12 tracks, the album featured notable hit singles “Freedom,” “Bad Man,” and “Educate Ya,” among others while charting in six countries around the world. His next album released in 2019, Libertad 548, again credited Pitbull with co-writing all 15 of the album’s songs and is RIAA certified 2x Platinum Latin.



Warner Records recently announced the launch of underscore works recordings, a joint venture with underscore works, the Nashville-based management company founded by industry veteran Charly Salvatore. The new label which will focus on discovering and developing fresh talent in the country music scene has launched with two new signings, which includes up-and-coming acts Dipper and Wesko.

A College Station, Texas native, Dipper first rose on the scene by posting covers and original songs on TikTok. He recently released his debut EP, Evergreen, featuring his first single, “She’s Got Wings.” Dipper has been featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Country, Next from Nashville, and Young Nashville playlists; Apple Music’s New in Country, Boat Day, Sand Bar, and Soundcheck playlists; and Amazon’s Breakthrough Country playlist. He recently signed a global publishing deal with Bailey Zimmerman, The Core Entertainment, and Warner Chappell Music.

Hailing from Kenansville, North Carolina, Wesko has spent the last four years playing gigs with his band and writing dozens of songs all while working a grueling full-time job as a foreman for an erosion control company and taking a full course load at the University of Mount Olive. Via a network of other country musicians and singer-songwriters including Evan Honer and Sam Barber, Wesko has connected with a local audience in North Carolina as well as a growing group of fans on social media. With a distinct Neil Young acoustic guitar sound that draws influence from artists like Green Day and My Chemical Romance, along with a raw, gritty vocal like his hero Eric Church, Wesko embarks on the next phase of his musical career with underscore works recordings.

Warner Records’ Co-Chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and Co-Chairman & COO Tom Corson stated, “Together with Charly, we’ve already seen incredible success with Warren Zeiders – a newcomer to the scene who has quickly made a big impact. The underscore team shares the same dedication we have when it comes to artist development and building meaningful and lasting careers, making it a no brainer to expand our partnership so we can support even more special artists. Dipper and Wesko are two genuinely talented, hard-working musicians with bright futures ahead, and we look forward to collaborating with underscore to bring even more great music to fans around the world.”

Charly Salvatore added, “Aaron, Tom, and the entire world-class Warner Records team have an amazing track record when it comes to breaking new acts and, more importantly, sustaining that momentum. They’ve been incredible partners with Warren, and there’s no one else I’d want to be running alongside as we take this exciting next step in the underscore works journey. With a deep passion for developing emerging artists, I’m thrilled to embark on this new chapter with remarkable talents like Dipper and Wesko, who are destined to captivate the world’s stage.”

Founded in 2022 by Charly Salvatore, underscore works is an entertainment company driven by artist management, development, and marketing. underscore works manages some of the best rising talent in the country music scene including Warren Zeiders, Priscilla Block, and Dalton Dover. Zeiders, who is signed directly to Warner Records, recently crossed one billion career streams thanks in large part to his hit single, “Pretty Little Poison.”




MUSEXPO ( the renowned annual global music industry conference and showcase event, often dubbed the “United Nations of Music,” has confirmed a special keynote interview with one of the world’s most successful creatives and a regular collaborator of the world’s top hitmaker Max Martin – the Academy Award nominated songwriter Savan Kotecha who has penned hits for One Direction, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and more.

Savan Kotecha

Savan will moderate an exclusive keynote interview with Wendy Goldstein, co-President, Republic Records during a special on-one-one interview on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, at MUSEXPO.

Wendy, who will be celebrating 30 years in A&R next year, is unquestionably one of the industry’s most gifted A&R executives. She has overseen the careers of renowned artists such as The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Hailee Steinfeld, and many more. Her journey in the music business began as an assistant in the A&R department of Epic Records, followed by impactful stints at Geffen Records where she personally signed the Roots, Common, GZA, Mos Def, and The Bloodhound Gang. She then joined Priority Records/Capitol where she orchestrated a label deal with Disturbing tha Peace and oversaw projects for Snoop Dogg, Chingy, LaToya Luckett, and others.

Wendy joined Republic Records in 2009, initially as an A&R Consultant, later assuming the role of Senior Vice President of A&R in 2011. In 2014, she was appointed Executive Vice President and Head of Urban A&R, solidifying her place as a key figure in the label’s leadership.

Wendy Goldstein

Wendy is also the recipient of the inaugural annual Seymour SteinGlobal A&R Award, which takes place at MUSEXPO next year. Seymour, a legend in the music industry known for his discovery of iconic artists, serves as the inspiration behind this award. His unparalleled signings, including Madonna, Talking Heads, Ramones, Pretenders, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and many others have left an indelible mark on the music landscape. His dedication to the art of A&R made him an enduring figure in the music industry, and this award seeks to celebrate and perpetuate his legacy.

MUSEXPO takes place March 17 – 20, 2024 in Burbank, California “The Media & Sync Capital of the World,whichis home to companies including Disney, Marvel Studios, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Pictures, Nickelodeon, The CW, ABC, FOX, Fremantle Media, NBCUniversal, Netflix Animation, Hulu, Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Pictures and many others.

For the full list of current MUSEXPO speakers, and the event program, click HERE.

For sponsorship, panelist, partnership, or showcase opportunities contact Sat Bisla at

To register to attend MUSEXPO, and for discounted hotel room rates, click HERE.

The MUSEXPO early bird discount expires November 30th, 2023 – click HERE to Save Now!


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 supported and nurtured relationships with the global A&R community for several decades helping sign and support many artists who have gone on to worldwide success (both pre and post signing), no matter the geographical destination. Enjoying a robust A&R conversation in London, England a while back is pictured (L-R) Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide), Jo Charrington (co-President, EMI Records, UK) and Nick Raphael (Partner, NWS Music Group, and former President, Capitol Records, UK). The respected A&R trio has been behind signing and supporting some of the world’s most influential artists who have transcended across global pop culture with significant impact across music, media, and technology platforms.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week


Contemporary artists now emerge through a diverse array of global pop cultural platforms, such as TikTok and various social media channels, where viral videos propel their music into the limelight. Alternatively, some creatives find recognition through streaming platforms, radio exposure, or the inclusion of their compositions in television series, films, commercials, or video games. Additionally, word of mouth remains a potent force, as fans eagerly share discoveries with friends and associates. In the current landscape of burgeoning talent, one noteworthy entity carving its path is AMSER, an Australian/British collaboration based in the United Kingdom. The genesis of this musical endeavor took root during a somber January, marked by its mission to infuse positivity into an otherwise gloomy month. The inaugural creation stemming from this creative impetus is the track “Don’t Let Go” (SO Recordings). Produced collaboratively by AMSER and Larry Hibbert (known for his work with Nothing but Thieves, Sea Girls, Dinosaur Pile-Up) in London, this composition delves into the emotional terrain of individuals grappling with darkness, isolation, and the attendant solitude. “Don’t Let Go” emerges as a poignant cry for assistance, a fervent plea to persevere, serving as a mantra for those navigating the complexities of brokenness. The high-energy delivery within the indietronica genre expertly complements the thematic underpinnings of the track, establishing a seamless fusion between lyrical content and musical expression. Listen to the single HERE and contact for additional information regarding licensing, sync or publishing opportunities.





In her journey from the suburbs of Karmøy, Norway to the vibrant music scene in Bergen, Bo Milli (Emilie Østebø) has risen as a star under the management of Made Management, known for nurturing talents like Sigrid and AURORA. Positioned as Norway’s potential breakout artist, Bo Milli gained acclaim for performances at various festivals, including a standout set at Øya Festival, praised by CLASH magazine. Her self-critical nature translates into art, evident in her new EP featuring the compelling single “I’m In,” drawing comparisons from Soccer Mommy to Phoebe Bridgers. Documenting her coming-of-age experience, her debut EP, Making Friends, reflects on that period. “I’m In” captures Bo Milli in the heat of an argument, exploring the question “do people change?” against subtle atmospheric production, leading to a crushing indie-rock chorus. Collaborating with producers like Odd Martin and Henrik Michelsen, Bo Milli concluded a successful headlining tour across Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. For more on her talent, watch the music video for her single, “I’m In” HERE and contact Sebastian Karlsson at for various creative and commercial opportunities with Bo Milli.


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, November 19th, 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)
EVERYONE YOU KNOW – “Coming With You” (RCA Records, UK)
KAMRAD – “I Hope You End Up Alone (With Me)” (Sony, Germany)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Tomorrow Is Closed” (AWAL, UK)
ERIN K – “Breathe” (Unsigned, UK)
GIANT ROOKS – “Somebody Like You” (UMG, Germany)
TELEMAN – “String Theory” (Moshi Moshi, UK)
BANNERS – “C’est La Vie” (Island Records, UK)
JACK HARRIS – “Up Up And Away” (MNRK, N. America)
ONLY THE POETS – “Over & Over” (EMI, UK)
PICTURE THIS – “Leftover Love” (RCA, Ireland)
IAMJJ FEAT. BAKER GRACE – “A Different Kind Of Blues” (Mermaid, Denmark)
CLOUD HOUSE – “Still Here” (Unsigned, Scotland)
RHETT REPKO – “I’ve Been Feeling Down Lately” (Unsigned, N. America)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Dragonfly” (Unsigned, UK)
BELDON HAIGH – “Anyway You Want” (Unsigned, UK)
HOLYOAK – “Hold Too Tight” (Unsigned, UK)
BLAIR DAVIE – “Edge Of A Feeling” (Unsigned, Scotland)
ALEX SPENCER – “Do What I Wanna” (Modern Sky, UK)
BELLZZZ – “No Shoes Girl (Succession)” (Unsigned, UK)
LUKE NOA – “Flight of Birds” (Bread, Butter & Champagne, Germany)
COACH PARTY – “Be That Girl” (Chess Club Records, UK)
YARD ACT – “The Trench Coat Museum” (Island Records, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “See Me Again” (Universal Music, South Africa)
THE SHERLOCKS – “Remember All The Girls” (Unsigned, UK)
DOPHA – “Pity Party” (Iceberg, Denmark)
TEENAGE DADS – “I Like It” (Chugg Music, Australia)
PAUL PARTOHAP – “BESTFRiEND” (Remix) (Warner Music, Indonesia)
ROISIN MCCARNEY – “Villain” (Unsigned, Scotland)
LIME CORDIALE – “Imposter Syndrome” (Chugg Music, Australia)
TRISHA – “Somewhere Else” (Universal Music India, India)
ROGER GOMEZ – “Revolution In My Head” (Unsigned, Australia)
BARBERA MARI – “Torn” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
MASI MASI – “Comfort Me” (Unsigned, UK)



10K PROJECTS TEAMS UP WITH LOAF BOYZ: 10K Projects has partnered with rap superstar Moneybagg Yo and his Loaf Boyz Ventures record label. The first artist to be released under the new joint venture deal was YTB Fatt who dropped his first mixtape, Who Is Fatt in August. The mixtape charted on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart which ranks the most-popular albums of the week by new or developing acts. “Moneybagg Yo is one of the most exciting forces in hip hop,” said 10K Projects founder and CEO, Elliot Grainge. “We are so happy to welcome him and his team into the 10K family as we work together to identify and develop the next generation of artists.” Other projects slated for release under the new deal include a Loaf Boyz compilation album and new music from Memphis-based MC Kevo Muney. Moneybagg Yo’s solo work will continue to be released via Yo Gotti’s CMG label. This marks the first deal for 10K since becoming a standalone label within the Warner Music Group ecosystem, where it is supported by the major music company’s investment and global infrastructure, including via ADA Worldwide.


LABEL & PUBLISHER INTEREST BUILDS ON UK ARTIST MASI MASI: Leeds, England-based songwriter and artist MASI MASI, whose idiosyncratic indie-pop music is inspired by the early style of Beck and the vocal stylings of John Lennon, is garnering US and UK A&R interest from both record labels and music publishers alike. Through the support of A&R Worldwide the independent artist has secured recent sync placements with Paramount Television, garnered gigs with Sofar Sounds, booking representation with UK booking agent Josh Ergatoudis, Spotify editorial playlist support, and global radio exposure thanks to the efforts of A&R Worldwide. MASI MASI has also secured brand deals with Reebok and Urban Outfitters and recently toured the UK in support of Michael Aldag.


HYBE & GEFFEN RECORDS LAUNCH NEW GIRL GROUP: Geffen Records and Hybe, the powerhouse K-pop entertainment entity renowned for its association with BTSNewJeans and others have unveiled the final roster of the much-anticipated girl group, Katseye. Revealed during a star-studded live event in Los Angeles on Friday night, the ensemble includes Daniela AvanziniLara Rajagopalan, and Megan Skiendiel hailing from the U.S.; Yoonchae Jeong representing South Korea; Sophia Laforteza from the Philippines, and Manon Bannerman adding an international flair from Switzerland. The selection process, blending early votes, real-time audience participation during the finale, and evaluator scores, culminated in this definitive lineup. With the screening process commencing on September 1, the journey to discover Katseye began by sifting through 120,000 submissions, narrowing down the talent pool to a final 20 candidates. These budding stars underwent a rigorous K-pop training regimen within the framework of the “The Debut: Dream Academy” audition program, broadcasted on YouTube and the Japanese streaming channel Abema. The group is poised to drop their inaugural album in 2024, featuring exclusive tracks such as “Dirty Water,” “Girls Don’t Like,” and “All the Same,” which made their debut at the live finale and are now available on YouTube. Further documenting the evolution of Katseye, an upcoming Netflix documentary series, directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Nadia Hallgren (Becoming), is slated for a Summer 2024 premiere. Produced by Hybe, in collaboration with Interscope Films and Boardwalk Pictures, the untitled series promises an intimate exploration of the years-long journey in birthing this international group.


Pictured (L-R) are BMG’s Henry Bishop, Kris Munoz, and Thomas Sherer; Riot Games’ Maria Egan; BMG’s Marian Wolf; Riot Games’ Danny Silverman, Bob DeBelina, and Jonny Altepeter (photo credit: Julia Calvo-Junkin).

RIOT GAMES EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH BMG: Riot Games has solidified its partnership with BMG through a global publishing administration extension and a new strategic collaboration. The joint venture will concentrate on securing and supporting songwriters through frontline publishing deals with BMG. This partnership aims to harness creative opportunities across Riot’s extensive array of products and music initiatives. Maria Egan, Global Head of Music & Events for Riot Games, said, “We’re thrilled to extend this partnership with BMG. They saw the potential of the Riot ecosystem many years ago and deeply understand our culture. Their creative partnership and best in class global team will be a superpower for us as we take Rio’s music initiatives, across games, esports, and entertainment to the next level.” Since Riot joined BMG in 2020, the collaboration has produced successful projects, including BMG songwriter SAINt JHN’s co-write of “PARANOIA” and the debut single from Riot’s League of Legends-themed virtual band HEARTSTEEL. Riot and BMG’s continued partnership signifies a commitment to advancing music within gaming and entertainment ecosystems. Riot’s owned music catalog has surpassed 10 billion streams and achieved RIAA certifications, showcasing the success of their collaborative efforts.


ANGRY MOB SIGNS GLOBAL SUB-PUBLISHING AGREEMENTS: Angry Mob Music Group has signed multiple new sub-publishing agreements with OMSA, Rocking Gorillas, and Clippers to cover territories in Mexico, Central America, South America, Spain, and Portugal. These sub-publishing agreements bring the Angry Mob Music repertoire to many of these territories for the first time and cover more than 20 countries on multiple continents. Angry Mob is now represented in Mexico, Central America, and South America (except Brazil) by OMSA, and Rocking Gorillas represents them in Brazil. Also, Clippers will handle the Angry Mob catalog in Spain and Portugal. Angry Mob provides services such as music licensing, master rights management, creative development, and custom music production for a roster of over 130 songwriters, composers, and artists, including Richard Walters, Verskotzi, Pepper, Joe Pepe, KAMI, and more. Angry Mob songwriters have had major cuts on albums by artists in all genres, including iann dior, Chance the Rapper, 3LAU, Ty Dolla $ign, Morgan Wallen, EMBRZ, and Josie Dunne.


THE ORCHARD NAMES NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR IN INDIA: The Orchard, the distribution and artist and label services company under the umbrella of Sony Music, has announced the promotion of KGV Kiran Kumar to the position of Managing Director in India. Formerly serving as the company’s Vice President & Country Head, India, Kumar’s elevation underscores his key contributions to the organization. As part of his expanded responsibilities, Kumar will also be at the helm of The Orchard’s operations in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Having initially joined The Orchard in 2021 as its Country Head, India, Kumar has played a pivotal role in steering all business operations within the territory. KGV Kiran Kumar brings with him an impressive background, boasting two decades of diverse experience spanning the realms of banking, telecom, technology, and, notably, music. Prior to his tenure at The Orchard, he spent over two-and-a-half years at Believe, where he ascended to the role of Distribution Director, India, following his stint as Believe’s Head of Sales & Distribution Services in India. This promotion not only underscores Kumar’s individual achievements but also highlights The Orchard’s commitment to fostering talent and leadership within its ranks. As the music industry continues to evolve, Kumar’s leadership is poised to contribute significantly to The Orchard’s continued focus on the dynamic and ever-expanding India and South Asian market.


KOBALT ELEVATES EXECUTIVE TO SR. VP CREATIVE: Kobalt announced it has promoted Melissa Emert-Hutner to Sr. VP, Creative. In her elevated role, Emert-Hutner will maintain her oversight of the New York creative team, continue to grow the roster with key signings, and nurture and grow the success of the Kobalt roster. Since joining Kobalt as VP, Creative in 2016, Melissa Emert-Hutner has cultivated and nurtured a roster of artists and writers such as IDLES, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, JAWNY, Cigarettes After Sex, Bon Iver, mxmtoon, Conor Oberst, First Aid Kit, BANKS, Del Water Gap, Thxsomch, Blondshell, Garrett Nash and Andrew GoldsteinAlison Donald, Head of Global Creative, Kobalt, said, “Melissa’s hard work, diligence, teamwork, and passion for music makes this promotion very well deserved. I have no doubt under her leadership, the NY creative team will continue to thrive.” Before joining Kobalt, Melissa held various positions in the music industry. Previously, she was Senior Director of Publishing at Nettwerk Music Group, Founder & Owner of Hoseb Management, Online/Lifestyle Marketing Consultant at Sneak Attack Media, Product Management Consultant at Sanctuary Records, and Manager/Partner at Mean It! Management.


IDOL SIGNS TOKIMONSTA’S YOUNG ART RECORDS: Independent digital distributor IDOL has inked a global distribution and label services agreement with Young Art Records, the label owned by U.S. producer and DJ TOKiMONSTA. The deal includes global distribution and marketing for Young Art Records’ catalog and new releases, including the upcoming single “Cakewalk” by rapper Cakes Da Killa. Young Art Records, marking its 10th anniversary in 2024, houses artists like Rochelle Jordan and the duo Daktyl & Benni Ola. The agreement aligns with IDOL’s expansion in North America, adding to its roster of collaborations with independent artists and management teams, including recent signings like rapper Erick the Architect.


WARNER MUSIC PARTNERS ON AN AI VISION OF EDITH PIAF: Warner Music Entertainment, in collaboration with production company Seriously Happy, is set to pioneer an innovative AI technology partnered with the Estate of iconic French artist Edith Piaf. This groundbreaking endeavor aims to recreate Piaf’s voice and image, employing AI trained on centuries-old voice clips and images. The resulting 90-minute animated biopic, titled EDITH, represents the first-ever use of AI in crafting an artist’s life story. Narrated by Piaf’s revived voice, the film delves into her journey from the 1920s to the 1960s, uncovering previously unknown aspects of her life. Balancing modern animation with archival footage, the project, based on an original idea by Julie Veille, explores Piaf’s indomitable spirit and achievements. The film’s development involves collaboration between Veille, Gilles Marliac, and Warner Music Entertainment’s President, Charlie Cohen. Piaf’s enduring legacy as a musical icon and symbol of female empowerment will be authentically portrayed using state-of-the-art technology. A proof of concept has been established, with plans to develop the full-length feature in partnership with a studio.


MACHIN & EQUINOCCIO SIGN AGREEMENT WITH VIRGIN MUSIC GROUP: Machin & Equinoccio Records, two prominent independent Latin music labels, have inked a global deal with Virgin Music Group. Founded by Mexican singer, songwriter, and producer Pepe Aguilar, both labels specialize in the Regional Mexican genre. Machin Records, established in 2016, is home to artists like Angela Aguilar, Leonardo Aguilar, and Irany & David, while Equinoccio Records, founded in 2000, is Pepe Aguilar’s label. With a commitment to the comprehensive development of their artists, the labels aim to provide personalized attention. The partnership with Virgin Music Group is poised to expand their global objectives.


UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP’S SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS VALIDATED: Universal Music Group(UMG) has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by securing approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. This marks a historic moment for a standalone major music company, reinforcing UMG’s commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation. Boyd Muir, UMG’s Executive Vice President, and CFO, expresses pride in the organization’s collective efforts and the alignment of operations with science-based targets. The validation from SBTi attests to the conformity of UMG’s submitted GHG reduction targets with the gold standard criteria. UMG’s dedication extends beyond its internal initiatives, as it is a founding member of the Music Climate Pact, engaging in collective action against the climate crisis. The company has set ambitious goals, including a 58% reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2032 and a 62% reduction in scope 3 emissions per EUR value added.


COOKING VINYL SIGNS SCOTTISH ROCK BAND GUN: Cooking Vinyl has inked a global artist services deal with Scottish rock band Gun, unveiling plans for new music set to debut in 2024. The band is managed by Brendan Moon, who highlighted Gun’s talent and noted Cooking Vinyl as a leading UK independent with a long and successful history. Rob Collins, Managing Director, Cooking Vinyl hailed the band as “Scottish rock royalty” and praised the Gun’s enduring career, anticipating their forthcoming album, Hombres, which he deems the best of their 34-year career. Gun, with three UK Top 20 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles, including the hit cover of Cameo’s classic track “Word Up,” have toured extensively, including with the Rolling Stones. Their 2022 album, The Calton Songs, reached No.2 on the Scottish albums chart and earned them major awards, including the Rock Legend award at Hard Rock Hell and the Hard Rock Café “Legends Award” at the Scottish Music Awards.


WARNER MUSIC GROUP TOPS $6 BILLION IN REVENUE: Warner Music Group (WMG) has unveiled its full-year results for the 12 months ending September 30, 2023, marking a historic milestone with revenues surpassing $6 billion (USD) for the first time in the major’s history. The fiscal year’s success was attributed to a strong release slate, recorded music streaming growth, and disciplined cost management. WMG’s CFO Bryan Castellanihighlighted that the company’s robust Adjusted OIBDA growth and margin expansion, anticipating favorable industry trends driving shareholder value in 2024 and beyond. Warner Music Group’s notable releases included works by Ed Sheeran, Zach Bryan, Linkin Park, and Dua Lipa. Digital revenue increased by 4.9%, with total streaming revenue rising 6.7% across recorded music and music publishing. Despite a lighter release schedule impacting recorded music streaming revenue, overall recorded music revenue saw a 1.8% year-on-year increase. Music publishing revenue grew by 15%, fueled by a 22.6% surge in music publishing streaming revenue. Operating income reached $790 million, reflecting a 4.5% increase in Q4 compared to the prior year.


Pictured (L-R) are Lee Sung-su (Chief A&R Officer, SM), Nigel Hall (co-founder, Moon&Back), Russ Lindsay (co-founder, Moon&Back), Dawn Airey (co-founder, Moon&Back), Jang Cheol-hyuk (CEO, SM), Kangta (Creative Executive & Artist, SM), Ben Karter (BKM Artists), and Joseph Chang (CEO, SM & Kakao Entertainment America).

SM ENTERTAINMENT TEAMS WITH MOON&BACK MEDIA: SM Entertainment, the powerhouse in K-pop, has embarked on an unprecedented collaboration with UK television production veterans from Moon&Back Media to birth a UK boy band for global TV audiences. This partnership signifies the first of its kind between South Korea and the United Kingdom. SM Entertainment, a driving force behind K-pop’s global ascent, has launched numerous successful groups like NCT, Aespa, SuperM, and Red Velvet. Moon&Back Media, founded by Nigel Hall, Dawn Airey, and Russ Lindsay, boasts an executive team including Ben Karter, James McKinlay, and David Hall. The upcoming TV series will chronicle the journey of a nascent boy band, shot over six months across the UK and South Korea. With pre-production underway, discussions with major broadcasters, record labels, and music publishers are in progress. This collaboration sets the stage for an innovative convergence of K-pop and global television.


RUTH BARLOW NAMED CHAIR OF AIM: Ruth Barlow, Director of Live Licensing at Beggars’ Group, has been announced as the new Chair of the Association of Independent Music (AIM) at its 2023 annual general meeting. With a distinguished 25-year career in the UK music industry, Barlow’s experience at Beggars’ Group, home to iconic labels like 4AD and XL Recordings, positions her uniquely for this role. Having served as a Director of Beggars Group UK since 2014 and as an AIM board member since 2021, Barlow brings a wealth of industry insight. The meeting, themed “A Year of Change,” highlighted AIM’s role in discussions on streaming reform, AI technology evolution, and fighting streaming fraud. Barlow, succeeding Nadia Khan, will collaborate with CEO Silvia Montello and the board, championing independent community interests and steering AIM’s strategy in the dynamic music landscape. Additionally, AIM welcomes a lineup of new board members – Tim Dellow, Director & co-Founder, Transgressive, brings nearly two decades of independent music executive experience. Dellow, previously elected AIM Chair in 2017, adds valuable insight to the board. Jackie Joseph is General Counsel for Chrysalis Records / Blue Raincoat Music. With a diverse business affairs career spanning major and independent music companies, Joseph’s legal expertise enhances the board’s capabilities. She joined Blue Raincoat in 2020. Peter Quicke, Chair, Ninja Tune, Quicke has been an integral part of AIM, having joined Ninja Tune in 1992. A co-Founder of Music Declares Emergency and a founding member of the Music Climate Pact, he previously served as AIM Chair from 2019 to 2021. Chloé van Bergen is VP Operations for Secretly Group and brings experience from previous roles with independents including Partisan, Believe, and Domino.


AN INTERVIEW WITH INDIE PUBLISHER RANDALL WIXEN: 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 throughout 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 in the U.S. and worldwide 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 for an interview podcast with Los Angeles-based indie publisher Randall Wixen, Founder, Wixen Music. If you want to learn about publishing administration, copyright management and royalty compliance review and other publishing insights, check out this week’s podcast.


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: Ted Chung, Danny Rukasin, Shane Tobin, Samantha Skylar, Mark Wood, Dipesh Parmar, Jody Gerson, Ryan Tedder, Alex Hardee, Aaron Rosenberg, Amelia Brown, Aton Ben-Horin, and Danny Garcia.

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