Follow Us On

A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 834



Warner Music India has expanded its partnership with Global Music Junction (GMJ), the music and entertainment subsidiary of JetSynthesys. The companies struck a distribution deal in 2021, but this new agreement sees Warner Music make a strategic investment in GMJ, giving it a seat on the board. The move will establish Warner Music India as the largest player in the central Indian music market.

GMJ is the dominant force in the Bhojpuri, Kannada, Gujarati, Haryanvi, and Oriya language markets, recently achieving exponential growth in the latter two. Bhojpuri is the fastest-growing language in India, and this move makes Warner Music the largest player in its music market. GMJ elevates artists and labels through services including content creation, events management, innovative distribution, marketing solutions, technical analytics, and legal expertise.

The company has built an ecosystem that involves more than 100 partners, and over 250 million subscribers, serving up more than 100 billion minutes of entertainment annually in more than 130,000 pieces of audiovisual music content.

Its partners include renowned figures such as Bhojpuri superstars Khesari lal Yadav, Pawan Singh, Haryanvi superstars Renuka, Sapna Chaudhary and Sahil Sandhu, Odiya stars Malay Mishra and Ira Mohanty along with legends from the industry such as Sonu Nigam, Salim Merchant, Shaan, and Sulaiman Merchant.

GMJ also collaborates with training and production partners such as the top online music learning platform Artium Academy; Rajasthani-based movie production company Hariprem Films and Music Directors Sahil Sandhu (Western Beats, Haryana) and Malay Mishra (Basanta Studios, Orissa).

In the recent past, GMJ has achieved significant milestones with its content such as “Jale 2,” by Haryanvi superstar Sapna Choudhary, becoming one of the fastest music videos to reach more than 300 million views on YouTube and more than 15 million Instagram Reels in India in 90 days. The video for “Sent Gamkauwa” by Shivani Singh accumulated more than 700 million YouTube views in just six months.

Alfonso Perez Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Music, said “This is a significant milestone in the expansion of our presence across India. Collaborating with the amazing team at GMJ last year not only strengthened our partnership but enabled us to better support artists from the central regions of India, bringing them the best artistic support that any company can provide, and helping them connect with fans across the country and around the world. India is one of the most exciting music markets in the world and with GMJ as a partner we are right at the heart of it.”




BMG has announced that it has acquired Dr. Alban‘s recording interests in his hit catalog including the multi-million-selling “It’s My Life” and “Sing Hallelujah!,” two of the defining tracks in the ’90s Eurodance movement. BMG already owned the label share of the recordings. The acquisition of Dr. Alban’s interests means BMG now has control of the key works of three tentpole Eurodance artists – SNAP!, Haddaway, and Dr. Alban.

Dr. Alban

Dr. Alban – real name Alban Nwapa – is a Nigerian-born Swedish artist and producer who studied as a dentist while working as a club DJ before meeting legendary Swedish producer Denniz Pop in 1990. He enjoyed his first hit, “Hello Afrika,” with Pop and Swedish singer Leila K in 1990, before scoring his first No.1 in Sweden with the impassioned anti-drugs anthem “No Coke.”

Nwapa’s international career exploded in 1992 with his second album, One Love, with singles ‘It’s My Life’ reaching No.1 in Germany, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands and No.2 in the U.K., while “Sing Hallelujah!” went Top 10 across Europe. Both tracks continue to be prized by sync clients. “It’s My Life” has been streamed around 250 million times on Spotify alone, with “Sing Hallelujah!” garnering over 140 million streams. He boasts career sales of over 16 million records globally.

Meanwhile, Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Robin Schulz has extended his long-standing global publishing deal with BMG, his music publisher since 2016. In addition, BMG has acquired the co-publishing rights to Robin Schulz’s entire song catalog. The deal includes Gold-, Platinum, and Diamond-certified tracks and remixes such as “Waves,” “Prayer,” “Sugar,” “Alane,” “All We Got,” and “Young Right Now.”

Robin Schulz

Robin Schulz is one of the most successful and most streamed DJs and producers worldwide. With well over 800 Gold, Platinum, and Diamond awards in over 30 countries, Robin Schulz has generated over 12 billion streams and sold more than 20 million records. In addition to 14 No.1 singles on the Airplay charts, he is also the first German artist to have three Diamond singles in Germany.

Schulz’s influence extends beyond the studio, with sold-out tours across Europe, the USA, Asia, and Australia. He is a regular on the stages of renowned festivals such as Tomorrowland in Belgium and Brazil, Parookaville in Weeze, and Ultra Music Festival in Miami as well as his annual summer residency at Pacha in Ibiza.

In addition to his publishing agreement, Schulz has been working with BMG as the co-publisher for his Mentalo Musicimprint since 2021. Artists signed to Mentalo Music include Max Riehl, Loris Cimino, Dario Rodriguez, and WaveWave.

Also, it was announced last week that Dominique Casimir, Chief Content Officer, BMG, is to step down from her responsibilities after 15 years with the company. She joined BMG when it launched as a new music company in 2008.

Having played a key role in the early development of BMG’s recordings business, Casimir gradually added greater responsibilities including Germany, Switzerland, Austria (2016), Continental Europe (2019), Asia Pacific, and Latin America (2020).

In recent years, she took on key responsibilities including BMG’s global sync operation (2021) and the U.K. when she was named Chief Content Officer in May 2022.




Tyler Bacon, President & CEO, Position Music has announced that Zach Skelton has signed a worldwide publishing deal with the burgeoning music company. The Grammy-winning songwriter and producer has collaborated with notable artists including Shawn Mendes, OneRepublic, Paul McCartney, Lil Nas X, and more.

Skelton recently co-wrote Justin Timberlake‘s “Play” from his latest album Everything I Thought It Was. Other recent noteworthy cuts include John Legend‘s “All She Wanna Do” featuring Saweetie and Anitta‘s “Lobby” featuring Missy Elliott. Skelton co-wrote and produced Yola‘s entire upcoming EP.

Pictured (L-R) is Tyler Bacon (President & CEO, Position Music), Rachel Douglas (Manager, Range Media Partners), Zach Skelton, Sam Sklar (A&R, Position Music), Mike Torres (A&R, Position Music), and Mark Chipello (Partner, Head of A&R, Position Music). Photo Credit: Delia Bush.

Skeleton contributed to four songs on the Jonas Brothers’ 2019 album Happiness Begins, including the hit track “Cool,” which has amassed over 200 million Spotify streams to date. Additionally, Skelton co-wrote Thomas Rhett‘s Country No.1 “Beer Can’t Fix.” Along with collaborating with other artists, Skelton also has his own artist project called Flowers.

“From my first meeting with Position, I knew they were the right team for me,” says Skelton. “They are passionate about the music I have made and continue to make, and I believe they will move mountains for me. I am very excited about my future with this company!”

“Zach Skelton is a proven writer and producer who has worked at the highest levels, and we are excited to partner with him in this next chapter of his career,” says Mark Chipello, Partner and Head of A&R, Position Music. “The combination of his incredible taste and desire to make big and culturally impactful records drew me to Zach immediately.”

Skelton is currently managed by Rachel Douglas of Range Media Partners, and joins a Position Music publishing roster that includes Cannons, Jack LaFrantz, ¿Téo?, Austin Powerz, Brandyn Burnette, Dru “Falconry” DeCaro, Evalyn, Joe Kearns, John “Feldy” Feldman, Judah & the Lion, Krupa, KANNER, No Love For The Middle Child, Kyle Reynolds, Yonatan Watts, and more.




MUSEXPO 2024, held in Burbank, California, from March 17 – 20, was a dynamic convergence of music industry leaders, professionals, and visionaries from across the globe. Hosting confab in Burbank, renowned as “The Media & Sync Capital of the World,” the event lived up to its reputation, featuring an array of engaging panels, exclusive keynote interviews, showcases, and networking opportunities.

MUSEXPO showcased a diverse range of topics spanning A&R, publishing, performance rights, AI, distribution, live entertainment, management, digital innovation, sync & brands, audio platforms, and more. Attendees delved into market insights focusing on Asia, S. Asia, SE Asia, and South Korea, gaining valuable perspectives on emerging trends and opportunities in these regions.

The conference boasted an impressive lineup of companies, including APM Music, Arezzo Wave (Italy), Billboard, BMG, Capitol Music Group, Cyanite AI (Germany), Digital Music News, Disney Music Group, Distrokid, EA Games Fenix 360 (Hong Kong), Forbes, FOX Television, Harmix AI (Canada), InterTalent Rights Group (U.K.),KREATION Music Rights (Sweden & S. Korea), Live Nation, LME, Malson’s Media (India), MDDN, Mom+Pop, Motown Records, MUBU-TV, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Netflix (India, Asia, SE Asia, S. Asia, Japan), Paramount Global, Paramount Television, Playlist Push, Position Music, Primary Wave, Red Bull Records, Republic Records, SESAC, Sofar Sounds, Sony Music Publishing, Sound Czech (Czech Republic), Stem, The Hello Group, The Orchard, Times Music (India), Virgin Music, Universal Music Group, Universal Pictures, Warner Music Group, Worldwide Airplay Radio Monitor (Denmark), and many more. These organizations contributed to the vibrant exchange of ideas and expertise throughout the event.

A highlight of MUSEXPO 2024 was the inaugural Seymour Stein“Global A&R Award, paying homage to the legendary co-Founder of Sire Records. This prestigious accolade was presented to Wendy Goldstein, President & Chief Creative Officer, Republic Records, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of A&R. Goldstein’s remarkable career, which includes collaborations with artists like Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, and John Legend, made her a deserving recipient of this esteemed honor.

Another noteworthy segment of the conference was the presentation of the “International Music Person of The Year” award to Jacqueline Saturn, President of Virgin Music Group North America & Executive VP, Global Artist Relations. Saturn’s pivotal role in shaping the global music landscape earned her this distinguished accolade, which was celebrated during an exclusive keynote interview moderated by respected music business journalist Shirley Halperin.

Additionally, MUSEXPO honored British music and entertainment luminary Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, Chairman, InterTalent Rights Group & Chosen Music, with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Professor Shalit’s remarkable career spanning over three decades has left an indelible mark on the industry, earning him widespread acclaim and recognition.

The conference also featured the highly anticipated Global Sync / A&R Summit, providing attendees with invaluable opportunities to connect with music supervisors, brands, advertising executives, and A&R professionals. This interactive forum facilitated fruitful collaborations and shared the pivotal role of sync in the modern music landscape.

In addition, MUSEXPO highlighted exciting talent from across the globe with a number of artists being offered label, publishing, sync, booking, and management deals because of their stellar performances at the event.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, MUSEXPO stated, “On behalf of our entire A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO team, we would like to thank all of the showcase artists, speakers, partners, delegates, sponsors, wineries, City of Burbank, Visit Burbank, and friends for their gracious participation, support and for being a part of what is truly a global music family and community that is so unique to what embodies the genuine passion and true spirit of music at MUSEXPO.

I would also like to thank my amazing team including Monte Malone, Joe Arnold, KC Morse, Dusty Bisla, Andrew Boone, William Aman, Josh Woodard, Ryan Benyo, and our volunteers for their tireless efforts, selflessness, and support to ensure MUSEXPO was an exceptional experience for all who attended and one of our most seamless events ever!

MUSEXPO 2024 proved to be a resounding success, fostering innovation, collaboration, and insights that are poised to shape the future of the music industry on a global scale. MUSEXPO 2025, which will be the event’s 25th global edition, will return next year, for what is already anticipated to be its best, and most impactful edition ever!


GLOBAL KEYNOTE AT MUSEXPO: Discussing the evolution of the global music business (L-R) were Melinda Newman (Executive Editor, West Coast & Nashville, Billboard), Evan Bogart (Founder & CEO, Seeker Music), Robin Jenssen (CEO, Head of Europe / KREATION Music Rights Europe AB), Aton Ben-Horin (Executive VP, A&R, Warner Music Group), Allan Klepfisz (CEO, Fenix360), Kristin Graziani (President, Stem), Mandar Thakur (CEO, Times Music, India) and upfront is Sat Bisla (President & Founder, MUSEXPO).


THE UNIVERSAL PICTURES MUSIC TEAM: Sharing insights into music integration within some of Hollywood’s biggest global blockbuster films and soundtracks were (L-R) Mike Knobloch (President, Music & Publishing, NBCUniversal), Nikki Walsh (Vice President, Soundtrack & Marketing, Universal Pictures), Rachel Levy (Executive VP, Motion Picture Music, Universal Pictures), Angela Leus (Sr. Vice President, Film Music, Universal Pictures), Natalie Hayden (Sr. Vice President Film Music, Universal Pictures), and Ritch Esra (Publisher, The Music Registry & Co-Founder, MUBU-TV).


THE FUTURE OF A&R: Sharing their insights on the evolution of Global A&R were (L-R) Kenny “Tick” Salcido (Sr. VP/Head of A&R, Red Bull Records), Scout Easley (Director A&R, Sony Music Publishing), Mio Vukovic (Sr. Vice President A&R / Head of Creative, Disney Music Group), Thaddeus Rudd (Co-President, Mom + Pop Music), Michael Goldberg (A&R, American Recordings), Jin Suk Choi “JINBYJIN” (Director International A&R, KREATION Music Rights), and Ritch Esra (Publisher, The Music Registry & Co-Founder, MUBU-TV).


KEYNOTE INTERVIEW with MUSEXPO 2024’s “International Music Person of the Year” recipient Jacqueline Saturn, President, Virgin Music N. America & Executive VP, Global Artist Relations (pictured left) and Shirley Halperin (Editor in Chief, Los Angeles Magazine).


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Celebrating a special moment with MUSEXPO 2024’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” recipient Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, Chairman, InterTalent Rights Group & Chosen Music (pictured 2nd from left) are Ralph Simon, Founder & Chairman (Mobilium Global), Jon Platt (Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Publishing), and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO).


A CHAT WITH EA GAMES STEVE SCHNUR: MUSEXPO delegates were treated to an incredibly insightful keynote interview into the world of music and video games. Pictured (L-R) are MUSEXPO and A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla, Steve Schnur (Worldwide Executive & President Music, Electronic Arts), and Steve Baltin (Senior Contributor Arts, Forbes).


MANAGERS & LIVE PANEL: Discussing the evolving aspects of artist management and live experiences were (L-R) Danny Rukasin, Co-Founder & Partner, Best Friends Music (Billie Eilish, FINNEAS, Bishop Briggs); Shivam Malhotra, Founder & CEO, Malsons Media (India); Ralph Simon, Founder & Chairman, Mobilium Global; Shane Tobin, Vice President, Partnerships, Sofar Sounds; Jennifer Tolman Hurst, Sr. Vice President, MDDN; David O’Connor, Vice President, Artist & Business Development, Live Nation; and Craig Logan CEO, LME (management for Dido, Forest Blakk, Anastacia).


MUSIC SUPERVISION 4.0: Conversing about the evolution of music licensing, sync, and beyond were (L-R): Alicen Schneider (former Head of TV Music, NBCUniversal), Peymon Maskan (Founder, Radish Music Supervision), Jennifer Pyken (Music Supervisor), Selena Arizanovic (Director, Programming Music, FOX Entertainment Music), Ryan Svendsen (Head of Music, Angel Studios), Andrew Brady (Sr. Manager, Creative Music Strategy, Paramount Global), and John McGrew (Music Creative, Netflix Animation Series).


AUDIO, RADIO, PLAYLISTING & MORE: Discussing music’s integration within radio, podcasting, sync, playlisting, streaming and beyond were (L-R) Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), Jesper Skibsby (CEO & Founder, WARM -World Airplay Radio Monitor), Matt Pinfield (Host “New & Approved” KLOS, Los Angeles / Westwood One & Benztown Radio Networks Syndicated Host), Katie Pool (Manager, Creative Music Strategy, Paramount), Tarsame Mittal (Founder & Host, The Music Podcast, India), and George Goodrich (Founder, Playlist Push).

All panel, keynote, showcase, awards, and networking events photos will be posted on the MUSEXPO website in the coming days. For more information on MUSEXPO 2025 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!

ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP HITMAKERS: Enjoying a musical conversation in Los Angeles a few years back are two longtime friends – the Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren and Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO. The two have shared a mutual appreciation for the evolution of the global music market for over two decades and collaborated on numerous internationally focused artists and projects.

Sat first met the highly accomplished and respected songwriter Diane Warren back in 2001 at her Real Songs recording studio in Hollywood, CA. During a particular playback session for a song that was being written for a No.1 charting artist, Diane asked everyone in the room if they thought the song sounded great the way that it was. Everyone said yes, except Sat, who made some production suggestions, and Diane turned about to him and said she agreed, and that she appreciated Sat’s honesty, and the two hit it off from there.

Diane Warren is one of the most acclaimed hit songwriters in the modern music world and has a list of credits that includes Whitney Houston, Adele, Lady Gaga, Cher, Beyonce, Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Brittany Spears, and countless others. Collectively Diane’s songs have racked up hundreds of billions of streams worldwide and, and garnered countless No.1 hits worldwide – way too many to list, but you can view them HERE.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week



MASI MASI, a captivating British alt/indie-pop ensemble led by the charismatic Joe McGrath, has garnered widespread acclaim for their notable singles such as “Favourite Gold,” “We Don’t Care,” and “The Good Stuff.” These tracks have not only enjoyed global radio play but also secured placements on prominent Spotify and Apple Music playlists. In addition, MASI MASI has written numerous songs for sync placements for Paramount Television, which are slated for release sometime this year. He has also been the support artist for numerous live shows across the U.K. opening up for Michael Aldag. Joe McGrath, the band’s versatile frontman, assumes multiple roles as the lead singer, songwriter, and producer. In addition to his musical talents, McGrath is involved in modeling and has collaborated with renowned brands, establishing a strong presence across diverse creative domains. The band’s latest release for 2024, “Cigarette Smile,” is described by McGrath as a high-energy homage to relentless dead-end partying in one’s 20s, particularly in the north of England. To explore MASI MASI’s unique sound and artistic offerings, you can listen to the song HERE. For inquiries about MASI MASI, including opportunities for worldwide signing, publishing, licensing, booking, and synchronization, reach out to




Low Girl, led by multi-instrumentalist Sarah Cosgrove, along with her bandmates Toby, Tom, and Brad, has garnered attention since the release of their debut EP, Big Now, in May 2021. The EP, featuring the acclaimed title track, received support from BBC Radio 1, Radio X, and was featured on BBC Radio 6 Music‘s ” New Music Fix” playlist. The band, known for presenting cohesive bodies of work, has released three EPs and four singles to date. BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders have been avid supporters, with “Bored” playlisted at 6 Music and “So Cool” earning BBC IntroducingTrack of The Week” status. Spotify has also embraced Low Girl, featuring three out of five singles on New Music Friday U.K. playlists, as well as Hot New Bands, various Fresh Finds, and Melomania. Dubbed by DIY Magazine as “peppy new pop talent,” Low Girl recently released their single, “Icarus,” described as their most ambitious alt-pop piece to date. The track signifies a new chapter for the band, solidifying the groundwork laid over the past years. Live performances, including a sold-out London headline show at The Lexington, BBC Introducing slots at Reading & Leeds, SXSW appearances, and support gigs with notable acts like Dream Wife and The Murder Capital, showcase the band’s coming-of-age sound. While recording their debut album this Spring, the band took a break from the studio to play Radio 1’s Big Weekend in May. Inspired by a range of artists from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard to King Princess and Phoebe Bridgers, Low Girl maintains a unique identity and exceptional songwriting ability amidst diverse influences. Experience the visual for “Icarus” HERE, and contact Gareth Barber at for all inquiries regarding Low Girl.


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, March 24th, 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 – “Under Your Wings” (Universal Music, Germany)
KEYSIDE – “Turn Back The Time” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Mirrors” (Wagram, France)
NEWDAD – “Madra” (Atlantic Records, U.K.)
RADIO FREE ALICE – “Waste of Space” (Double Drummer, Australia)
ONLY THE POETS – “One More Night” (EMI Records, U.K.)
DOTAN – “Louder” (7 Layers Music, Holland)
THE CAVS – “The Kids Are Talking” (Unsigned, U.K.)
TEDDYBEARS – “Cobra Style” (Sony Music, Sweden)
SEA GIRLS – “I Want You To Know Me” (Alt Records/Believe, U.K.)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Always By My Side” (Universal Music, S. Africa)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Oh No :: He Said What?” (RCA Records, U.K.)
TALISCO – “Sorry” (Roy Music, France)
DEMPSEY BOLTON – “Couple Minutes” (Unsigned, Canada)
JAMIE HANNAH – “Dragonfly” (Unsigned, U.K.)
RHETT REPKO – “My Love Will Stay” (Unsigned, N. America)
ACROBVT – “Neon” (Unsigned, U.K.)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
DOLORES FOREVER – “Someday Best” (Sweat Entertainment, U.K.)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Can You See Me” (Unsigned, Australia)
MASI MASI – “Cigarette Smile” (Unsigned, U.K.)
LOW GIRL – “Icarus” (Unsigned, U.K.)
PICTURE THIS – “Act of Innocence” (RCA/Sony, Ireland)
THE K’S – “Heart On My Sleeve” (LAB Records, U.K.)
LADYBYRD – “Way Back Home” (Miles Per Gallon Records, U.K.)
MYLES SMITH – “Solo” (Ditto Music, U.K.)
CRAWLERS – “Kills Me To Be Kind” (Polydor, U.K.)
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – “The End of The Contender” (Propeller, U.K.)
BO MILLI – “Making Friends” (AWAL, Norway)
JERUB – “There Til The End” (Elevate Music, U.K.)
TRISHA – “Down The Road” (Universal Music India, India)
BLOSSOMS – “To Do List (After The Breakup) feat. Findlay (ODD SK Recordings, U.K.)
LIME CORDIALE – “Pedestal” (Chugg Music, Australia)



DOWNTOWN LABEL SERVICES SIGN JUDAH & THE LION: Downtown Artist & Label Services has announced a key signing in Nashville, TN. The Nashville-founded, Platinum-certified American folk band, Judah & The Lion is the latest addition to Downtown Artist & Label Service’s growing Nashville roster. Signed by Senior Manager, A&R, Jeanette Porcello, Downtown will be responsible for leading the distribution, release strategy, and marketing for the band’s forthcoming releases. The announcement comes during an album rollout, with the band’s upcoming full-length, The Process, set for release on May 10th. The company’s work with Judah & The Lion has already seen the success of the singles “Leave It Better Than You Found It” feat. Ruston Kelly, and “Is What It Is,” with the latter securing billboard placements in Los Angeles with YouTube Music, along with major DSP editorial support. The band’s most recent release “Great Decisions” was released by Downtown on March 1st, 2024. Since their 2012 debut EP, Judah & the Lion have garnered widespread acclaim for their genre-bending music, received Platinum and Gold certifications, and have accumulated over 910 million career streams. Six of their hit singles have gone Top 15 on Alternative radio and the band won an iHeart Music Award for “Best New Alt Rock Band of 2018.” Nashville remains a key growth market for Downtown’s Artist & Label Services division, which recently led the rollout of projects like the Cheat Codes country crossover album One Night in Nashville, Red Sky with Hunter Hayes, Fancy Hagood‘s “Trailblazers” Apple Radioshow, and Colbie Caillat‘s album Along the Way.


KATY PERRY’S UNSUB PUBLISHING & WCM SIGN DEBBII DAWSON: Warner Chappell Music (WCM) and Katy Perry‘s Unsub Publishing, have signed an exclusive co-publishing deal with Debbii Dawson. In 2023, she released her debut EP Learning, including the standout song “Eulogy for Nobody.” Katy Perry, Founder, Unsub Publishing: “I could not be more excited to have Unsub partner with the incredibly gifted songwriting talent that is Debbii Dawson. My team and I have fallen in love with Debbii’s ability to fill her songs with a perspective that feels so uniquely her. She is the type of artist that gives voice to your subconscious. She is a rare find and someone I believe has the brightest of futures ahead of her as an artist, songwriter, and creative force.” Maura Duval, Senior Director, A&R, WCM and Jacob Koransky, Manager, A&R, WCM, added, “Debbii is a rare treasure. Ever since we first heard her demos from fellow WCM songwriter, Gabe Reali, we were sold! Her voice is undeniably unique, and her storytelling is both authentic and distinct. We are excited to help develop such a promising star.” A first-generation American raised in the rural Midwest; Debbii Dawson’s musical legacy is rooted in her family history. Her grandfather in India taught himself to play the organ by drawing a keyboard on the ground with charcoal and passed on that skill set to her father who then taught her. She grew up traveling with her parents as they toured in the U.S. and internationally as performers. As she began her own artistic journey, she found her style: a fusion of pop, folk, and country sounds and whispers of her Indian heritage mixed with influences from iconic artists like Stevie Nicks, ABBA, Harry Styles, and Queen. She first garnered attention by releasing her debut track “Even If It Kills Me” which landed on the cover of Spotify‘s “Fresh Finds Pop Best of 2023” end-of-year playlist.


ROLAND & UMG JOIN FORCES TO BOLSTER HUMAN CREATIVITY: Roland Corporation, the developer of iconic electronic musical instruments, and Universal Music Group (UMG) have forged a strategic alliance aimed at bolstering support for music artists and creators worldwide. The collaboration, announced last week, is grounded in a shared commitment to navigating the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) in music creation with clarity and purpose. Central to this partnership is the unveiling of the Principles for Music Creation with AI, accessible at These principles serve as a guiding framework for the conscientious integration of AI into music production and composition, emphasizing transparency, equity, and community engagement. Key tenets include the belief in music’s intrinsic value to humanity, the importance of safeguarding human creativity, and the necessity of transparency in AI-driven processes. Roland and UMG are spearheading efforts to encourage the widespread adoption of these principles across the music industry and creative sectors. Through collaborative initiatives, such as joint research and development endeavors and the integration of Roland technologies into Universal-owned production facilities worldwide, the partners aim to foster an ethical ecosystem that nurtures musical innovation while safeguarding the rights of artists and creators. This strategic alliance underscores the pivotal role of technology in shaping the future of music while reaffirming a steadfast commitment to preserving the integrity and authenticity of artistic expression.


(Pictured L-R are Yoriyos Adamos, Yusuf Islam, and Mike McCormack, MD, UMPG, U.K.)

CAT STEVENS INKS GLOBAL DEAL WITH UMPG: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) recently signed one of the U.K.’s most influential songwriters, Yusuf / Cat Stevens, to an exclusive, global administration agreement. Inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Yusuf / Cat Stevens is responsible for some of the most beloved and enduring songs in the canon of popular music. Through timeless hits like “Father and Son,” “Wild World,” “The Wind” and “Morning Has Broken,” Cat’s albums have impacted millions of fans worldwide. He has gone on to sell over 100 million records and amassed more than two billion streams to date. Jody Gerson, Chairman & CEO, UMPG, said, “For me personally, ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and ‘Teaser and the Firecat’ stand the test of time. Songs from both albums do what great music is supposed to do – they make us feel deeply. It is a privilege to be able to work with Yusuf and Yoriyos [Adamos] and the entire UMPG global team to introduce these incredible songs to new generations.” Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ music has been featured in numerous movies, most famously in the Hal Ashby classic Harold and Maude, as a major plot point in the end scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and most recently the key use of “The Wind” in the multi-Oscar-nominated The Holdovers. Having stepped away from the mainstream music business to dedicate himself to a life of service through education and charity – a practice which he has carried with him since and has seen him receive international recognition for his work in the field of Humanitarian Relief – Yusuf made a return in 2003, where he continues to use his platform to spread his lifelong message of peace.


KOBALT MUSIC GROUP TO INCREASE FUNDING CAPACITY: Kobalt Music Group has announced its $266.5 million (USD) Asset-Backed Securitization (ABS) transaction. This encompasses over 5,000 musical works from 66 diverse writers spanning fifty catalogs. Coupled with a new $450 million Revolving Credit Facility (RFC), Kobalt’s financial maneuvers, including a joint venture with Morgan Stanley, secure its position with over $1 billion (USD) to fuel strategic growth. ATLAS SP Partners and Truist Securities played important roles in structuring these deals. “This refinancing will fuel our growth initiatives and allow us to further fortify our position as an industry trailblazer. Along with the Francisco Partners transaction and Morgan Stanley joint venture, these transactions enable us to continue our investment into the business and our technology with far greater flexibility, simultaneously strengthening the best-in-class service we deliver to our songwriters and partners,” stated Catrin Drabble, CFO, Kobalt. “Thanks to all of our partners for facilitating these transactions, recognizing the value of the portfolio, and supporting Kobalt’s future vision.”


ENTRIES OPEN FOR THE UNSIGNED ONLY MUSIC COMPETITION: The Unsigned Only Music Competition is looking for great artists who are not signed to a major record label; however independent label artists are acceptable. As there is no physical event to attend, the competition is open to artists from anywhere in the world. Artists can upload songs as MP3s or provide streaming links to their songs for consideration. This exposure can open doors to international audiences (more fans and more connections) and opportunities to take artists’ careers to new levels of success. Unsigned Only welcomes music in all genres, ensuring that all artists have the chance to enter and win. The panel of esteemed judges and successful past winners make it the premier music competition in the world for unsigned artists. Entering Unsigned Only gives artists the chance to have their music heard by renowned musical artists and industry professionals who have the power to open doors and shape careers. The competition gives away over $150,000 in cash and prizes, and the Grand Prize winner is awarded $20,000.00 (USD), plus additional merchandise and services geared toward helping an artist’s career there is also a First and Second Place winner in each of the 18 categories. Previous winners and entrants have included Grammy nominee Ingrid Andress, Coco Jones, GAYLE; Faouzia, Gabby Barrett, BélO, Tenille Arts, Goodbye June, Anna Wolf, Wes Mack, Brett Young, and others. Click HERE for more information.


ABBEY CONE INKS DEAL WITH DOWNTOWN ARTIST & LABEL SERVICES: Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter Abbey Cone recently announced her signing with Downtown Artist & Label Services for distribution, and shares her first release with the group: a cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” recorded live at The Ryman. Cone is fresh on the heels of several triumphant performances at the C2C Festival in London, England at The O2, including a surprise appearance at the CMA Songwriter Series, and a 17-show tour across the Western U.S. supporting Trousdale. This follows 2023’s “If You Were a Song”, her first single released as an independent artist that has since amassed over 15 million streams. Last year, she also performed at Stagecoach and CMA Fest before making her Grand Ole Opry debut in August. She was invited by Opry member and 22-time Grammy-winner Vince Gill, following his first-ever live performance of an unreleased song that Gill and Cone co-wrote. She finished the milestone year opening for LeAnn Rimes at The Ryman, where she performed the rendition of “Hallelujah” she is releasing today. Cone moved to Nashville when she was sixteen and made her mark almost immediately, co-writing with some of Nashville’s best-known songwriters and touring with Brittney Spencer, Kassi Ashton, Abby Anderson, and Maddie & Tae. With an induction into CMT’s “Next Women of Country Class” of 2020 and one of Pandora‘s 10 Country Artists to Watch in 2022, Cone has garnered critical praise from People, CMT, Music Row, The Tennessean, and more.


NEW MUSIC TV CHANNEL LAUNCHING IN THE UK: Staccs is set to launch its FAST channel, Staccs TV across the U.K. on Samsung TV Plus starting April 24th. With technical innovations, previously exclusive to the Nordics, viewers can watch round-the-clock music videos, exclusive recordings, and more. Curated programming spans from live performances to modern country hits, promising an immersive experience for music enthusiasts. Programs like Heavy Metal HeyDaze, hosted by former MTV presenter Vanessa Warwick have been added to the programming. This expansion into the U.K. and European Union markets marks a milestone for Staccs, showcasing its influence in the rapidly evolving realm of FAST channels, set to challenge traditional subscription-based streaming services – with plans for additional channels underway. Robert Kviby, CEO, Staccs, said, “We are thrilled to bring Staccs TV to music lovers in the United Kingdom. We always wanted to bring our unique video services to the U.K. audience, who live and breathe music like nowhere else. We have been building the best technical innovations not available on any FAST channel to date, such as enabling viewer and advertiser engagement. From my 25+ years in television, FAST channels are changing the way we enjoy TV and with the programming on Staccs TV.”


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 Also, all demos and new music releases should be sent as STREAMING LINKS ONLY to

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Larry Rudolph, Eric Greenspan, Mark Beaven, Ty Stiklorius, Jason Markey, Michelle Jubelirer, Folkert Koopmans, Shobsy, Anita Chinkes-Ratner, Lucy Dickins, Tom Poleman, Danny Rogers, Chris Price, and Kim Frankiewicz.

Share this:

Related Posts