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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 828


At the annual Grammy Awards, held at the Arena during seismic winter rain storm in Los Angeles, the music world witnessed a smorgasbord of celebration of talent and diversity. Among the night’s key winners was Miley Cyrus, whose soul-stirring anthem “Flowers” took home the prestigious “Record of the Year” award.

Taylor Swift made Grammy history once again, clinching her fourth win in the coveted “Album of the Year” category for her mesmerizing record “Midnights.” Surpassing legends like Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon, Swift’s monumental achievement underscored her unparalleled influence and artistry in the music world. In a touching moment during her acceptance speech, Swift graciously acknowledged her producer Jack Antonoff and collaborator Lana Del Rey, praising Antonoff as “a once in a generation producer” and hailing Del Rey as “a legacy artist, a legend in her prime right now.”

Renowned hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter was honored at the 2024 Grammy’ss as the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Dre “Global Impact Award,” marking only the second time this accolade has been bestowed. With an illustrious career spanning decades, Jay-Z, a 24-time Grammy winner and 88-time nominee, graciously accepted the award alongside his daughter, Blue Ivy. In his poignant speech, Jay-Z reflected on hip-hop’s struggle for recognition within the Recording Academy and highlighted the pivotal roles played by icons like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in paving the way for East Coast Rap artists. The Dr. Dre “Global Impact Award,” introduced in 2023, and previously awarded to Dr. Dre himself, now stands as a statement to Jay-Z’s enduring influence and contribution to the world of music.

The night belonged not only to established stars, but also to rising talents like Burna Boy, the Afrobeats sensation who brought the vibrant rhythms of his homeland to music’s biggest night. Dressed in resplendent attire, Burna Boy’s exhilarating performance transported audiences to the heart of Nigeria, as he delivered electrifying renditions of his Grammy-nominated tracks “On Form,” “City Boys,” and “Sitting On Top Of The World.” The latter featured show-stopping guest appearances by Brandy and 21 Savage, adding an extra layer of dynamism to an already exhilarating set.

With four nominations under his belt, including “Best Global Music Album” and “Best Global Music Performance,” Burna Boy’s star continued to rise on the Grammy stage, cementing his status as a global icon of Afro-fusion.

R&B sensation Victoria Monét emerged triumphant, clinching the coveted “Best New Artist” award at this year’s Grammy Awards. Tearfully accepting the accolade, Monét likened her journey to that of a seed finally sprouting above ground, after years of unseen growth. Beating out a formidable lineup including Gracie Abrams and The War and Treaty, Monét’s win highlighted her status as a rising star, garnering praise from peers and fans alike.

As the curtains closed on this year’s Grammy ceremony, the night’s winners stood as inspirations to the  creativity and artistic diversity that define the music industry. From timeless classics to groundbreaking innovations, the Grammy Awards celebrated the past, present, and future of music in its aim to embrace diversity.

Read the full list of winners for the 2024 Grammy Awards HERE.




In a seismic shift within the music industry, Universal Music Group (UMG) revealed a monumental restructuring of its record label operations last week, consolidating its expansive portfolio under the banners of two powerhouse entities: Republic Records and Interscope Records. This strategic maneuver, dubbed the East Coast (Republic) and West Coast (Interscope) realignment, sees industry veterans John Janick (currently Chairman & CEO, Interscope Geffen A&M Records) and Monte Lipman (Founder & CEO, Republic Records) at the helm of U.S. label operations.

Janick, now commanding a formidable domain, takes the reins of Interscope, Geffen, Capitol, Blue Note, Priority, and Verve. Meanwhile, Lipman assumes the leadership of Republic alongside Def Jam, Island, and Mercury Records.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group Worldwide who is the architect of this bold move, emphasized the acknowledgment of Republic and Interscope’s market dominance in a memo to the UMG team. He stated, “One aspect of that evolution will be to design the organizational model and build upon the leadership team for the recorded music business of the future. Today we are taking the year’s first step toward doing so. I am proud of the fact that UMG has some of the most effective leaders in the music business. In the U.S., the world’s largest music market, Monte Lipman at Republic, and John Janick at Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) operate the industry’s two most successful label groups.”

Grainge continued, “Year after year, they have been trading places in their battle for No. 1. In 2023, Republic held the top spot and IGA was No.2. In fact, Republic has been so strong this year and last, that some weeks its individual market share alone exceeds that of other entire major music groups. Meanwhile, IGA has broken more global artists in recent years than any other label and leads the industry in 2024 Grammy nominations in the top categories.”

He concluded, “The competition within our own company in signing and developing artists is no accident. It is by design. By creating a home for a variety of independent and competitive creative centers and the leaders that run them, we increase opportunities for growth and success. John and Monte bring to UMG unique and complementary skills in how they lead their organizations and how they envision positioning them for success in the future. To accelerate those strategies and maximize their effect, today I am appointing Monte and John to lead a broader part of our U.S. recorded music business. Monte will continue to be based in New York and John in Los Angeles.

This restructuring, reminiscent of pivotal industry shifts such as UMG’s formation in 1999 and the acquisition of EMI Music‘s operations in 2012, aims to fortify efficiency and adaptability in the face of ever-evolving music industry landscapes, ensuring UMG’s continued triumph in the global market.

In a memo exclusively obtained by Billboard, Grainge articulated the rationale behind the streamlined structure, highlighting the paramount importance of maintaining the labels’ creative autonomy and entrepreneurial spirit while providing unparalleled access to talent and resources.




Sony Music Publishing U.K. (SMP) has announced a new hire and two strategic promotions across its A&R department. ZaZa Kazadi has joined SMP as Senior A&R Manager, Adrienne Bookbinder has been elevated to Senior A&R Manager, UK & Europe, and Nasra Artan has been named Senior European A&R Manager, effective immediately. Based in the company’s London office, Kazadi, and Bookbinder will report to David Ventura, President & Co-Managing Director, U.K. and Sr. VP International, Sony Music Publishing, and Artan will report to both Ventura and Johnny Tennander, Managing Director, Scandinavia, and Sr. Vice President International.

Pictured (L-R) are ZaZa Kazadi, Nasra Artan, and Adrienne Bookbinder.

David Ventura, President & Co-Managing Director, UK and Sr. VP International, Sony Music Publishing said, “These new appointments are the confirmation of the SMP A&R department’s evolution and future. Nasra, Adrienne, and ZaZa embrace what A&R is in 2024 and we are all looking forward to seeing their achievements in their respective roles. Nasra is playing a key role in the European A&R team, Adrienne is now part of this European team, specializing in electronic music, and ZaZa is an experienced A&R with impeccable taste and a powerful network. Together they represent the creative culture that Sony Music Publishing is building, and we anticipate they will shine in their new roles.”

Since joining SMP, Kazadi has signed key talent including producer Jo Caleb, who he signed alongside Sarah Gabrielli, A&R Director, SMP. Previously, Kazadi managed artists and producers including ZieZie and Sonzi at Never Dies Management. He also spent two years as A&R Manager at BMG Music Publishing, where he worked with K-Trap, TSB, and more.

During her time at the company, Bookbinder has signed hitmakers including Dom Dolla, Jazzy, ANOTR, Gorgon City, Eli Brown, and others. She also works closely with Black Coffee, CamelPhat, MK, KUNGS, and Conducta. Prior to SMP, she spent seven years at Defected Records & Publishing, where she advanced the growth of Defected Music Publishing’s roster with signings such as Purple Disco Machine and Honey Dijon.

Over the last year, Nasra Artan has continued to deliver new creative opportunities for SMP’s European and International roster and secure key signings including Fumes Beats. Artan has also delivered opportunities for DIY creators through her work on new international songwriting camps at the company. Prior to joining SMP, Artan spent three years at Warner Music Norway, most recently as A&R Project Manager.



Artist Partner Group (APG) has unveiled a strategic restructuring, promoting key executives to bolster its leadership team. Eli Piccarreta has ascended to the role of Sr, VP of A&R, maintaining his executive leadership role and focusing on talent acquisition. Piccarreta’s contributions have been instrumental in the success of rapper NBA YoungBoy, who achieved remarkable milestones on the Billboard Hot 100 and YouTube.

Corey Calder transitions to Sr. VP of Marketing & Creative Services, leveraging his expertise in artist branding and content strategy to drive APG’s marketing efforts across genres. Under Calder’s leadership, APG has cultivated a roster of emerging talent.

Jessica Kelm assumes the role of Vice President of Marketing & Digital Operations, tasked with optimizing marketing systems and enhancing social engagement. Kelm’s tenure at APG has been marked by her hands-on approach to digital marketing and her important role in launching initiatives like Release Global and Sleep Soul.

Ashlee Merritt steps into the position of Sr. Marketing Director, bringing her extensive experience from Universal Music Group to drive visibility for APG’s Hip Hop and R&B acts, including Lay Bankz.

APG has over twenty artists with Gold or Platinum status and over 300 RIAA certifications. With a roster including Odetari, 6arelyhuman, and NLE Choppa, APG offers comprehensive in-house services spanning A&R, Sync, Legal, Finance, and more.

Founded in 2004 by veteran A&R and songwriter Mike Caren, APG has risen significantly and has chart-topping hits from writers like Taz Taylor, Don Toliver, and Ava Max.




MUSEXPO (, the renowned annual global music industry conference and showcase event, often dubbed the “United Nations of Music” has unveiled its program schedule for its highly anticipated 24th global edition, which takes place March 17 – 20, 2024 in Burbank, California, “The Media & Sync Capital of the World.”

The MUSEXPO program schedule for this year’s event, including panels, keynotes, award events, showcases, and more can be viewed by clicking HERE.

MUSEXPO will feature some stellar panels covering a wide range of topics from A&R, publishing, performance rights, AI, distribution, live, management, digital, sync & brands (film, TV, trailers, promos, video games, and advertising), audio (radio, streaming, playlisting, podcasting), as well as exclusive keynote interviews with some of the world’s top music executives from companies.

The world’s fastest-growing music market – India, along with Asia, S.E. Asia, and the Middle East will also be a hyper-focus of MUSEXPO’s conversations, highlighting the region’s vast growth, creative, and commercial opportunities across music, live, digital, streaming, sync and more. Some of the executives confirmed to participate at MUSEXPO from these key markets are Gary Chen – Co-Founder, President, Allsaints Music Group (China); Hussain “Spek” Yoosuf -Founder & CEO, PopArabia & ESMA; Jason C. Miller – Chief Executive Officer, Eventim Live Asia; Jin Suk Choi “JINBYJIN” – Director, International A&R, KREATION Music Rights; Mandar Thakur – COO, Times Music(India); Ramprasad Sundar – Manager, Music Creative & Production, Netflix India; Saurabh Abbi – Partner & CEO, TM Ventures / All About Music (India); Shivam Malhotra – Founder & CEO, Malsons Media (India); Tarsame Mittal – Founder & Host, The Music Podcast (India), and others to be announced in the coming weeks will join the impressive lineup.

In addition, the MUSEXPO program will also include the return of its highly popular Global Sync / A&R Summit, where delegates will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with music supervisors, brands, advertising, A&R, and licensing executives.

To register to attend MUSEXPO (standard registration price expires February 15th), click HERE.

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

For discount hotel rooms with MUSEXPO partner hotels, click HERE.

For sponsorship opportunities contact


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!

DISCUSSING THE IDEA FOR A WORLDWIDE MUSIC BUSINESS PUBLICATION in London, England back in 2014 were (l–r): Tim Ingham (Founder & Publisher, Music Business Worldwide), Paul Williams (Sr. Director Strategic Marketing, Sony Nashville) and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO).

Tim Ingham is one of the most respected music business journalists in our industry and is the Founder & Publisher of Music Business Worldwide (MBW), which he launched back in 2015. Prior to the launch of MBW, Tim was the Editor for the U.K. music industry publication Music Week, a position he held for three years. In 2014, Tim was named one of the world’s five hundred Most Influential Britons – and one of the twenty most influential British music executives by The Sunday Times and Debrett‘s, as well as receiving numerous other acknowledgments. Besides his current role at MBW, Tim is also a regular contributor and writer for Rolling Stone, where he presents essential interviews, analysis, and stories impacting the global music industry.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide met with Ingham in London, England back in 2014, and offered his perspective on the need for a launch of a regular globally focused music business publication that covered all aspects of music, media, and technology. Sat shared details with Tim and Paul Williams (then Editor, Music Week) of the previous A&R Worldwide quarterly global music industry publication named, One Movement for Music, which was launched back in 2012 and was the world’s first–of–its–kind interactive digital worldwide music business magazine which featured high level executive interviews, analysis and news from all sectors of international music industry including A&R, publishing, distribution, digital, live, radio, retail, digital, streaming, management, legal, songwriters, production, sync, brands and more, and encouraged Tim to look at a more global perspective as A&R Worldwide and its newsletter and affiliated media has done for decades – a year later Music Business Worldwide was launched.

The last edition of One Movement for Music was printed and digitally distributed in 2014.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week



Rising Canadian talent Becca Swan‘s third single, “Two Tears and No More,” exudes a melodic tone with a touch of melancholy, yet maintains a perspective marked by hope without succumbing to self-pity. This introspective composition unveils Becca’s creative depth and her ability to convey nuanced emotions through music, showcasing her as a skilled artist on a lyrical journey. Immersed in the artistic world since childhood, music has become a healing force for Becca, transcending creative expression to aid in personal healing. Growing up in an environment where her father, a cultural critic, hosted various artists, Becca developed a fascination for lyric-driven songs. Exposure to influential figures from the French-speaking scene, such as Jean-Jacques Goldman and Daniel Balavoine, as well as contemporary artists like Barbara Pravi, ignited her passion for word virtuosos. Becca’s musical journey took a significant turn in 2013 at the age of nine, influenced by Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep” and Lady Gaga‘s captivating world. A pivotal recording experience in Paris motivated her to master the piano, granting her the freedom to write and compose. Now, with a determined spirit to pursue her dreams, Becca Swan is poised to unveil her musical talents to the world. “Two Tears and No More” represents the continuation of the Becca Swan era and her fantastical universe, marking a significant chapter in her musical career. Listen to the new single HERE, which evokes a sound clash of Sarah McLachlan and Lana Del Rey. Becca Swan is currently available for signing, licensing, publishing, sync, and live opportunities. For additional information contact




Meet JERUB, the 25-year-old musical maestro hailing from Nottingham, England with a heartwarming twist on pop and indie vibes. Originally from Nigeria, he made Nottingham his home at the age of ten. The rising star caught the spotlight in 2021 as a finalist in BBC Radio 1‘s Live Lounge Introducing Talent Search, impressing the likes of. Arlo Parks and Tom Grennan among the judging panel. Signed to Elevate Music, JERUB dropped his EP, Finding My Feet, in May, featuring the standout single “There till The End.” Drawing comparisons to the musical greats like Ed Sheeran, Tom Grennan, and Lewis Capaldi, JERUB’s talent is undeniable. In a whirlwind of success, he joined JP Cooper on a 30-date U.K. and European tour in September and October, riding the wave of “There till The End’s” popularity. The track gained recognition from BBC Radio 1, Future Pop with Mollie King, and BBC Introducing with Gemma Bradley, not to mention landing on 200 U.K. regional playlists. As he gears up for a headlining tour across the U.K. in April, JERUB is also set to drop new music, including the newly released single “What If.” Dive into the world of JERUB by checking out the captivating video for “There Till The End” HERE, and reach out to label representatives Kim Revie at and Rachael Bee at, or Thando Zulu at for artist management. JERUB is currently available for brand and sync opportunities, creative collaborations, and support tour dates.


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, February 4th, 2024: 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 – “Fight Club” (Universal Music, Germany)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
MYLES SMITH – “Solo” (Ditto Music, U.K.)
SEA GIRLS – “Young Strangers” (Alt Records/Believe, U.K.)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Reverse” (Wagram, France)
BETTER JOY – “Hard To Love” (Fader Amp, U.K.)
LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER – “T.I.M.” (Ramsgate, U.K.)
THE SNUTS – “NPC” (Happy Artist Records, Scotland)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Always By My Side” (Universal Music, S. Africa)
ONLY THE POETS – “Looking At You” (EMI, U.K.)
DARK TROPICS – “Carnival” (Unsigned, Ireland)
THE K’S – “Heart On My Sleeve” (LAB Records, U.K.)
MIDDLE KIDS – “Highland” (EMI, Australia)
THE SHERLOCKS – “Remember All The Girls” (Unsigned, U.K.)
BECCA SWAN – “Two Tears and No More” (Unsigned, Canada)
RHETT REPKO – “Until We Meet Again” (Unsigned, N. America)
IAMJJ – “On My Way” (Mermaid, Denmark)
DOTAN – “Diamonds In My Chest” (7 Layers Music, Holland)
TALISCO – “Make It Good” (Roy Music, France)
SUNDARA KARMA – “Baby Blue” (Is Right Records, U.K.)
LIME CORDIALE – “Pedestal” (Chugg Music, Australia)
JERUB – “There Til The End” (Elevate Music, U.K.)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Can You See Me” (Unsigned, Australia)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Dragonfly” (Unsigned, U.K.)
THE PALE WHITE – “Taste The Sun” (Unsigned, U.K.)
THE RUBENS – “Good Mood” (Ivy League/Humming Records, Australia)
PICTURE THIS – “Call It Love” (RCA/Sony, Ireland)
BLOSSOMS – “To Do List (After The Breakup) feat. Findlay (ODD, U.K.)
KYTES – “Friend Of A Friend” (Frisbee Records, Germany)
TRISHA – “Down The Road” (Universal Music India, India)
MASI MASI – “Comfort Me” (Unsigned, U.K.)
NEW DAD – “Nightmares” (Atlantic Records, U.K.)
EVERYONE YOU KNOW – “Coming With You” (RCA Records, U.K.)



NIGERIA’S JOEBOY & HIS LABEL SIGN WITH WARNER MUSIC: Joeboy, the 26-year-old Nigerian singer-songwriter who has generated more than two billion streams in the last five years, has launched Young Legend, his own record label dedicated to giving a platform to the next generation of stars. The new label will partner with Warner Music, which will globally distribute music from the artists on its roster. The partnership between Warner Music and Young Legend will be cemented over the coming weeks with a series of music camps to be held in Lagos, London, and Los Angeles. The aim is to start releasing new music from the Young Legend roster within the next few months. Joeboy is the stage name of Joseph Akinfenwa-Donus. He will act as the CEO of Young Legend, working with Deola Jaiyesimi, who is Head of Label, and Teniola Akanni, who is Head of Legal. Akinfenwa-Donus has been a phenomenon in the music industry since he launched his career in 2017 when he was signed to Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa record label. His hits such as “Baby,” “Beginning,” “Call,” “Duffel Bag,” “Fààjí,” and “Sip (Alcohol)” have each racked up tens of millions of views, while his albums Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic and Body & Soul have received widespread critical acclaim. Warner Music has been increasingly active in Western Africa, working closely with independent Nigerian label Chocolate City; acquiring leading pan-African music company Africori, and enjoying international success with Nigerian artists such as Burna Boy and CKay.


Pictured (L-R) are J Scavo (GM, Recorded Music, Position Music), Delmar Powell (VP, A&R, Position Music), James Hadid (JET Management), NoMBe, Eric Vogel (JET Management), Tyler Bacon (President & CEO, Position Music), and Mark Chipello (Partner, Head of A&R, Position Music).

NOMBE SIGNS WITH POSITION MUSIC: Noah “NoMBe” McBeth has signed a global record deal with Position Music, as announced by the company President & CEO, Tyler Bacon. This announcement sets the stage for the release of his single, “Space for Two,” scheduled to debut on February 9th. NoMBe’s sound is best characterized by a fusion of hip-hop, funk, house, folk, and soul which can be heard in tracks such as “Wait,” “California Girls,” and “Freak Like Me.” Following the success of his album, They Might’ve Even Loved Me, NoMBe continues to rise, gaining millions of monthly Spotify listeners and over 850 million total streams. NoMBe is managed by Eric Vogel and James Hadid of JET Management and represented on the live side by Alex Becket and Mike Mori of CAA. NoMBe’s partnership with Position Music is poised to secure additional avenues to have his music reach wider audiences. His addition to Position Music’s roster, alongside artists like Elohim, Kyle Dion, and Layto, solidifies his place among a company that continues to evolve and grow in the U.S. and globally. Nombe has also garnered support from NPR, Billboard, and Complex, among others.


WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC SIGNS COCO JONES: Warner Chappell Music has secured an exclusive publishing deal with R&B artist Coco Jones. With her EP What I Didn’t Tell You, Jones garnered five Grammy nods, including “Best New Artist,” and scored her inaugural Billboard Hot 100 hit with “ICU.” Amidst her sold-out headlining tour across sixteen major U.S. cities, Jones continues to stand out as a rising star in the industry. Ryan Press, President, North America, WCM, commented, “Coco Jones has one of the most unique voices out there, and it is great to see her having her moment as both a songwriter and artist. She is helping pave an entirely new era of R&B and her hustle and work ethic have led to a year of breakthroughs.” Xavier Champagne, Senior Director, Urban A&R, WCM, added, “Coco is a natural superstar. She is a top-tier performer and has a special talent for songwriting that connects deeply with her fans. With five Grammy nominations to her name, it is clear that R&B is in great hands. We could not be more excited to partner with her on this journey.”


DECCA RECORDS SIGNS VICTOR RAY: Decca Records has announced the recent signing of Victor Ray. The 24-year-old artist from Uganda, who was raised in Newcastle, England, is now based in London. Ray’s immediate rise began with busking videos on TikTok, amassing over one billion views worldwide. His latest single, “Comfortable,” has surged to three million Spotify streams. With sold-out London shows and an upcoming gig at Lafayette on May 29, Ray’s partnership with Capitol Records (the U.S. partner of Decca Records U.K.), signals his imminent U.S. debut. Co-president of Decca, Tom Lewis, commented, “We are so thrilled to welcome Victor to Decca. The speed of his worldwide audience growth is jaw-dropping. The first time Sam and I saw Victor perform was on Oxford Street, he was singing to about two hundred people in person and a further 60,000 who were watching him live on social media. His performance was so powerful and so heartfelt, it felt like he was singing to everyone around the world as if they were there with us.”


SANTA ANNA & TODD MOSCOWITZ INK DEAL WITH TRILL ENTERTAINMENT: Santa Anna Label Group and its Founder Todd Moscowitz have announced a new deal with Trill Entertainment. Following the recent collaboration with Drake‘s OVO Sound, Santa Anna, backed by Sony Music Entertainment and Todd Moscowitz, will extend its resources to Trill, offering marketing, distribution, and promotional support. Founded in Baton Rouge in 2001 by Melvin “Mel” Vernell Jr. and Marcus “Turk” Roach, Trill Entertainment has a legacy of songs from artists like Boosie Badazz, Webbie, and Lil Phat. Their chart-topping singles include “Wipe Me Down” and “Independent,” with albums like Savage Life achieving multi-platinum success. With the addition of new talent like Tre Savage, and the recent release of his debut mixtape featuring NBA Youngboy, Santa Anna has further placed itself as a key player in the evolving landscape of hip-hop and label services. “Just as Mel and Turk were at the forefront of music back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and dominated hip-hop culture from 2005, and on, they continue to bring their expertise and excellence to Trill Entertainment. I look forward to reconnecting with such a dynamic pair to support their catalog business as well as grow and develop their current and future roster of artists,” stated Moscowitz.


BLUE RAINCOAT MUSIC SIGN DEAL WITH IAN BROUDIE: Blue Raincoat Music, a division of the Reservoir, has announced a global music publishing deal with songwriter, producer, and iconic U.K. band Lightning Seeds frontman, Ian Broudie. Reuniting with Jeremy Lascelles, CEO, Blue Raincoat Music, Broudie brings much of his catalog under this new agreement, marking an important moment in their long-standing partnership since their days at Chrysalis Music in the 1990s. The Lightning Seeds, renowned for hits like “Pure” and “The Life of Riley,” mark their 35th anniversary, while Broudie’s diverse production credits span acts such as Echo & The Bunnymen and The Zutons. Jeremy Lascelles said, “It is such a thrill to be back working with Ian. We enjoyed enormous success together back in the 90s with that great succession of hit songs by his. And of course, the summer of ’96, when an unfinished song he was working on for the Dizzy Heights album got transformed into the anthem that became “Three Lions” is one that will live forever in the minds of everyone involved. Ian was and remains one of the finest tunesmiths of his generation.”


Cary Barlowe (seated in the center)

CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING BUYS CATALOG OF HIT SONGWRITER: Concord Music Publishing has announced the expansion of their partnership with Grammy-nominated, multi No.1 hit writer Cary Barlowe through the acquisition of a selection of his catalog of hits, including Chris Young‘s “Famous Friends,” and “Raised on Country,” as well as songs recorded by Kelsea Ballerini, Brett Kissel, Chris Tomlin, Rascal Flatts, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Mickey Guyton, and more. In addition, Concord has extended Barlowe’s publishing deal through its creative joint venture, Hang Your Hat Music, which includes Barlowe’s full catalog and all future works. Barlowe has proven himself a diverse songwriter with success in a multitude of musical genres including rock, country, and contemporary/gospel. He has written nine No.1 songs recorded by contemporary Christian music star Toby Mac, three of which earned Barlowe Grammy award nominations. His song “City on Our Knees” won Barlowe a Dove Award for “Gospel Song of the Year.” Barlowe’s introduction to country music began when Taylor Swift included Nathan and Cary Barlowe’s song, “Untouchable,” on her multi-platinum album Fearless (2008). Barlowe’s further success in country radio consists of five No.1 hits including “American Honey” by Lady A, “Where It’s At” by Dustin Lynch, “Sun Daze” by Florida Georgia Line, “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” by Billy Currington, and Platinum-certified “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, which held the No.1 spot on country radio airplay for two consecutive weeks. Young and Barlowe also teamed up for the song “Raised on Country,” which reached No5 on the country radio chart. The multifaceted deal was negotiated on behalf of Concord by its Legal and Business Affairs team, Duff Berschback, and Shawn Thompson. Barlowe was represented by Derek Crownover, Colleen Kelley, Megan Pekar, and John Rolfe of Loeb & Loeb in Nashville.


Mike Rittberg & Clay Hunnicutt

BMLG ELEVATES RITTBERG & HUNNICUTT: Big Machine Label Group, (BMLG) a subsidiary of HYBE America, has strengthened its leadership team with the promotion of veteran music executives Mike Rittberg to COO, and Clay Hunnicutt‘s elevation to Executive VP, Label Operations. Rittberg, formerly Executive VP of Label Operations, brings his experience in marketing and streaming to oversee core imprints like Big Machine Records and The Valory Music Co. Hunnicutt, previously General Manager at Big Machine Records, shifts focus to business development and catalog initiatives. Scott Borchetta, Chairman & CEO, BMGL said, “Mike is the consummate professional. He is a mega self-starter, always pushing the boundaries and always seeking solutions. He has become incredibly important to the operations of BMLG and is a great co-pilot for our continued growth. Clay has done an exceptional job at elevating the growth and artist development for the Big Machine Records imprint. In his new role, he is able to take his insights and energies to all of our imprints during this extremely exciting time in our industry.”


PRIMARY WAVE PARTNERS WITH BRAZIL’S NAS NUVENS CATALOG: Primary Wave Music has expanded its global reach with a strategic partnership with Nas Nuvens Catalog, a prominent Brazilian music company. Brazil’s music market presents an opportunity for Primary Wave to extend its footprint internationally. Nas Nuvens Catalog, based in São Paulo, stands out as a leading independent entity in Brazil, specializing in catalog acquisition, management, and marketing. Founded in 2021 through a collaboration with Brazilian private equity fund Starboard Partners and music industry veteran Liminha, Nas Nuvens Catalog mirrors Primary Wave’s successful business model. With a catalog boasting over 30,000 songs from influential Brazilian composers and artists like Carlinhos Brown and Vanessa da Mata, Nas Nuvens Catalog aligns with Primary Wave’s focus on legendary and iconic music. Liminha, CEO, Nas Nuvens Catalog, stated, “This transaction shows not only the confidence Primary Wave has in Nas Nuvens Catalog and its team, but also in Brazilian and Latin music, its quality, and its potential to be appreciated worldwide regardless of language. The partnership with Primary Wave will enable, in a two-way street, us to take our region’s talents to an even higher level.”


Ben Katovsky & Merck Mercuriadis

HIPGNOSIS SONG MANAGEMENT UNVEILS NEW ROLES: Hipgnosis Song Fund (HSM) recently announced that Merck Mercuriadis is set to transition into the role of Chairman, while Ben Katovsky, currently HSM‘s President & COO, will ascend to the position of CEO. This shift comes amidst a period of upheaval for Hipgnosis, marked by strategic reassessment. Concerns over the company’s undervaluation and the implications of Mercuriadis’s call option on the investment fund have prompted a reevaluation of leadership and direction. The recent proposal to pay £20m (GBP) to potential bidders emphasized the urgency to address these issues and unlock shareholder value. Mercuriadis’s continued involvement in artist and industry engagement will maintain stability during this transition, reassuring stakeholders of an ongoing commitment to artist advocacy. Meanwhile, Katovsky’s track record in building and growing music companies positions him to drive HSM’s strategic vision forward, ensuring a high-quality service and maximizing value for clients and shareholders alike. As Mercuriadis and Katovsky assume their new roles, the company says their combined experience will steer HSM towards its goal of being the premier platform for managing and acquiring song assets, with a renewed focus on enhancing portfolio value and championing the interests of songwriters and artists.


ARMADA MUSIC SIGNS WILL CLARKE: Armada Music has inked a long-term deal with the artist Will Clarke, hailing from Bristol, England but is now based in Detroit, Michigan. Clarke unveiled his latest single “Give Me,” a collaboration with Burns, known for co-producing Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding‘s hit “Miracle.” This signing comes on the heels of Armada U.K.’s success with D.O.D., whose single, “So Much in Love” has already achieved top U.K. chart sales. Clarke’s musical style, spanning house and techno, has garnered attention through his own label All We Have Is Now, as well as releases on imprints like Trick, Filth on Acid, and Kneaded Pains. With upcoming performances at venues like XOYO in Birmingham, England, and Coachella, Clarke’s global presence continues to expand. Also, his remix portfolio showcases re-imaginings of tracks by artists such as Adam Beyer, Dubfire, Illenium, and Rufus Du Sol, while his podcast has become a platform for in-depth conversations with industry heavyweights.


BUCKS MUSIC GROUP SIGNS JOHN MURPHY: Bucks Music Group has made an addition to its roster by signing Emmy-nominated composer John Murphy. With his career-spanning collaborations with directors like Danny Boyle, Michael Mann, and James Gunn, Murphy has left a mark on the film industry. His credits include movies such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Kick-Ass, and Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3. Moreover, Murphy’s compositions have found widespread appeal beyond the silver screen, with licensing deals for commercials from brands like Nike, Google, and Apple, as well as film trailers for movies like Captain America and Avatar. Under this new deal, Bucks Music Group will represent both the publishing and master rights for a selection of Murphy’s works, including pieces like “In the House – In A Heartbeat” and “Adagio in D Minor.”


WARNER MUSIC U.K. NAMES SR. VP COMMERCIAL & DATA INSIGHT: Natasha Billing has been appointed Sr. VP, Commercial and Data Insight at Warner Music U.K. (WMUK). In her new role, Billing will report to Isabel Garvey, WMUK’s Chief Operating Officer. Billing has more than 15 years of experience in global leadership roles across disruptive and fast-growing brands such as ASOS,, and NA-KD, where she spearheaded innovative marketing strategies to drive brand positioning and accelerate revenue and product growth. She has also previously worked for Warner Music International between 2007 and 2010 in a strategy and product innovation role. With extensive experience in partner management, revenue growth strategies, and data-driven decision-making, combined with her genuine passion for music, Natasha’s appointment marks a shift in WMUK’s approach to revenue generation and data analytics. This shift will elevate WMUK’s ability to provide enhanced service to labels and partners and will play a pivotal role in nurturing artists’ careers, amplifying audience engagement, and fueling innovation and growth throughout the company. Alongside Billing’s appointment, Nick Allum has been elevated to the newly created position of VP, Data & Insight. Reporting to Billing, he will lead the establishment of a centralized, independent WMUK Data and Insight team. This team will manage audience, revenue, and marketing data, collaborating closely with the company’s frontline labels and other teams to implement a more sophisticated strategic approach to artist development, consumer insight, and success measurement.


YOUTUBE MUSIC HITS 100M PAID SUBSCRIBERS: YouTube has announced a milestone achievement, surpassing 100 million paid subscribers worldwide for its YouTube Music and Premium services, including its TikTok rival Shorts. This milestone marks a notable increase from the previous figure of eighty million announced in November 2022. With availability in over one hundred countries and regions, YouTube continues its global expansion under the leadership of Lyor Cohen, the platform’s Global Head of Music. Cohen stated that YouTube’s ‘twin-engine’ strategy, had boosted both advertising and subscription revenue, and was instrumental in this growth.


TUNECORE & AMAZON MUSIC U.K. OFFER FREE STUDIO TIME: TuneCore has announced an exclusive collaboration with Amazon Music U.K. This partnership will offer free studio time at Metropolis Studios in London to twelve TuneCore artists, enhancing Amazon Music’s drive for supporting new music and TuneCore’s mission to assist self-releasing artists in honing their craft. Over the next year, selected artists will receive two full days in Studio X, Metropolis Studios’ innovative production room equipped with top-of-the-line audio gear and extensive plug-ins. This opportunity, typically inaccessible to emerging musicians (due to budgetary constraints), will provide a platform for artists to unleash their creativity and elevate their sound. Through this partnership, TuneCore and Amazon U.K. will help independent artists to realize their potential and advance their careers, by offering access to world-class recording facilities.


UTOPIA MUSIC CO-FOUNDER EXITS COMPANY: Mattias Hjelmstedt, Co-Founder and former Head of Utopia Music, parted ways with the company amidst a reshuffling of its executive leadership earlier this year. In an internal memo sent by newly appointed CEO Michael Stebler and the board of directors, Hjelmstedt’s departure was confirmed, citing his desire to pursue new projects and challenges after “long discussions” with the board. Hjelmstedt played a pivotal role in steering Utopia Music through a period of rapid expansion between 2020 and 2022, overseeing the acquisition of fifteen companies, including Musimap, Lyric Financial, and Proper Music Group. However, this growth phase was followed by a major downsizing, marked by job cuts and the divestment of several business units. Despite the company’s recent challenges, Hjelmstedt remained involved in various capacities, serving as interim chief executive and later as Chairman and board member. Even with its recent challenges, Utopia Music continues to provide a range of financial and tech services to music companies globally, including royalty tracking and physical distribution.


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: Donald Passman, Shridhar Subramaniam, Marian Wolf, Andy Gould, Cleome Barber, Peter Leak, Keith Naisbitt, Stephen Sessa, Barbara Cane, Tom Poleman, Ty Stiklorius, Kevin Weatherly, Paul Tollett, and Vivek Paul.

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