Follow Us On

A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 835



Virgin Music Group has inked a partnership with 3AM Entertainment, a label led by artist Jay Sean, producer Jeremy Skaller, and Range Media PartnersJared Cotter. The deal between both companies will focus on artists from the South Asian diaspora, regardless of genre.

Kicking off this collaboration is the release of Jay Sean’s latest single, “Heartless,” featuring Punjabi artist Ikky, which is slated for a worldwide release on Friday, April 5, 2024, with a subsequent album down the line. With a career reaching two decades, Jay Sean has broken countless records, including being the first Indian artist to top the Billboard charts and perform on the legendary British TV chart show Top of the Pops.

Standing (L-R) are Jeremy Skaller (Co-President, 3AM Entertainment), Nat Pastor (Co-CEO, Virgin Music Group), Jay Sean, Jacqueline Saturn (President, North America & EVP of Global Artist Relations, Virgin Music Group), Jared Cotter (Co-President, 3AM Entertainment & Manager/VP Music, Range Media Partners). Photo credit: Cory Grimes.

Jeremy Skaller and Jared Cotter, Co-Presidents 3AM Entertainment will lead the company alongside Jay Sean’s longtime manager, Thara Natalie, who has been named Chief Operations Manager; Madison Bickel, who will serve as General Manager; and Mahima Sharma as A&R who will be based in New Delhi, India. Jay Sean’s co-manager Aayushman Sinha and his “Represent” team, will consult on A&R and Strategy out of Mumbai, India.

“No single artist has done more to bring South Asian music and culture to a global audience than Jay Sean,” said Nat Pastor, Co-CEO, Virgin Music Group. “Jeremy and Jared have been with Jay on that journey, and together the three executives have a strong track record in supporting and nurturing South Asian artists in their native countries and beyond. Through our partnership with 3AM Entertainment, we are creating a platform to increase our presence in this fast-growth market to support and expand the reach of South Asian music.”

Cotter added, “While working with Jay Sean and Jeremy over the last two decades, I have developed a real love and appreciation for the music of the amazing and diverse South Asian diaspora. Through many years of success with Jeremy at the Heavy Group and my experience now at Range, it became clear that this was an opportunity to bring us all together to support and uplift the incredible artists from the South Asian global community. We will utilize all the powerful services that Range has to offer, to shine more light on 3AM Entertainment’s artists.”




Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), has announced that established music executive Adriana Ramos has been appointed Managing Director, UMPG Brazil. Ramos replaces longtime Brazil-based Managing Director, Marcelo Falcao who has decided to step down from the role.

Adriana Ramos

In making the announcement, Alexandra Lioutikoff, President Latin America & US Latin, said, “With tremendous vision and dedication, Adriana has been instrumental to the success of UMPG Brazil, and her promotion is much-deserved. As we look to the future, I am confident that Adriana will bring enormous value and energy to UMPG Brazil, both furthering our creative strategy and continuing to ensure that our songwriters are treated with the best care in the world.”

Lioutikoff also recognized Marcelo Falcao by stating, “I want to thank Marcelo for his leadership and passion over the past three decades. We are grateful for all he has done for our company. Marcelo’s contributions have been fundamental to UMPG Brazil’s success: solidifying our credibility in the market, building a great team of executive talent, and identifying, nurturing, and supporting artists and songwriters.

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Ramos joined UMPG in 2013 and most recently served as head of UMPG Brazil’s Creative team – A&R and sync. As Senior Manager, she was responsible for overseeing creative and licensing music operations for advertising, film & TV, and games, as well as working closely with the company’s A&R team in building diverse avenues to promote UMPG’s writers.

Key to the success of UMPG Brazil, Ramos has been instrumental in securing important syncs for international brand campaigns. Highlights include the use of the Disney catalog song “Bibbidi-bobdi-boo” for Vivo Mobile; and “O Canto da Cidade” by UMPG singer-songwriter Daniela Mercury used for Salvadorian-born character, Raze, in the acclaimed game Valorant/Riot Games.

Throughout her career, Ramos has held a diverse array of roles in the music business. Before UMPG, Ramos held positions at the biggest independent Brazilian label Deck, Warner Music, Microservice, which is a Brazilian sales and distribution company for independent artists, as well as BMG.




Artist Publishing Group (APG) tells A&R Worldwide that they recently promoted Matt MacFarlane and British-born executive Olly Sheppard to Sr. Vice Presidents of A&R. With MacFarlane and Sheppard at the helm, they will continue to oversee A&R activities for the burgeoning Los Angeles-based publishing company.

Over the past few years, MacFarlane’s artists have flourished with Taz Taylor and Rio Leyva (Internet Money) continuing a run including a Billboard Top 10 with Drake‘s “BackOutsideBoyz,” Lil Tecca‘s “500lbs,” and Rich Amiri‘s viral hit “One Call.” In addition, Tempoe has produced multiple worldwide Afrobeat hits in the last few years with Ckay‘s “Love Nwantiti,” Omah Lay‘s “Soso,” Joeboy “Sip,” and his own artist record “Soweto” w/ Victony, Don Toliver & Rema (Billboard Music Award Nomination). MacFarlane, who started as an intern at APG, celebrates over nine years at Artist Publishing Group this year. He will continue to drive publishing signings while continuing to develop the A&R team.

In 2023, Sheppard started the year with the success of TWISTED‘s “Worth Nothing” (featuring Oliver Tree) from the Fast X Drift Tape which has over 300 million streams. He led the charge for APG in releasing the Fast X soundtrack in partnership with Universal Pictures, which charted at No.1 on Billboard‘s soundtrack chart. Working with APG A&R Dave-O, Sheppard and Dave drove A&R for the Fast X soundtrack, securing songs and features from artists such as Kodak Black, Jimin of BTS, J Balvin, Lil Durk, YoungBoy NBA, Kane Brown, and others. He also played a key role in securing a placement for writers FAANGS and JBACH on the Grammy-nominated Barbie soundtrack with “Barbie Dreams.”

In collaborating with the APG Publishing team, Sheppard played a critical role with his team in the signing of Pink Slip, FAANGS, JBACH, and Cate Downey, as well as Inverness and M Phazes, in partnership with Cirkutbreaker. Sheppard tells us that looks forward to his continued mentorship of the A&R team, in celebrating his ninth year with APG.

APG is a successful independent music publishing company that was founded in 2004 by Mike Caren, Founder & CEO of the company. APG rose to Billboard‘s No.7 Hot 100 company of 2020 and continues to soar with hits from writers such as Don Toliver, Ava Max, Charlie Puth, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again. In addition, APG has signed and broken more than 20 artists, who have achieved Gold or Platinum selling status and has achieved over 300 RIAA certifications.





Wendy Goldstein, President & Chief Creative Officer, Republic Records, stands as a towering figure in the realm of music A&R, and her illustrious career spanning three decades, is marked by an unparalleled knack for spotting talent and fostering the careers of some of the music industry’s most iconic artists.

Recently honored as the inaugural recipient of the esteemed Seymour Stein“Global A&R Award” at MUSEXPO, organized by A&R Worldwide, Goldstein’s creative and executive abilities are a testament to her instincts and capabilities. With her milestone anniversary in A&R garnering three decades this year, Goldstein’s journey reads like a roadmap of success, marked by astute decision-making, unwavering dedication, and an undeniable passion for the craft.

THE SEYMOUR STEIN – GLOBAL A&R AWARD: Pictured (L-R) are Jim Roppo (President & Chief Operating Officer, Republic Records), Wendy Goldstein (President & Chief Creative Officer, Republic Records), and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO).

From her humble beginnings as an assistant in the A&R department of Epic Records, Goldstein’s trajectory was unprecedented, propelling her through pivotal roles at Geffen Records and Priority Records/Capitol. Among her achievements is her tenure at Geffen Records, where Goldstein personally shepherded the careers of groundbreaking artists such as The Roots, Common, GZA, Mos Def, and The Bloodhound Gang, cementing her reputation as a tastemaker with an ear for the zeitgeist.

However, Goldstein’s influence only continued to grow with time, as evidenced by her transformative stint at Priority Records/Capitol. Here, she orchestrated a label deal with Disturbing tha Peace and spearheaded projects for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Chingy, and LaToya Luckett, further solidifying her status as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Yet, Goldstein’s most remarkable talent lies in her ability to navigate the ever-shifting currents of the music landscape, adapting seamlessly to new trends and technologies, while remaining steadfast in her commitment to nurturing authentic talent.

RECEIVING OFFICIAL PROCLAMATIONS from Nick Schultz, Mayor of Burbank (far right), along with Los Angeles County, and California State Assembly, and Senate officials are Wendy Goldstein (second from far right) for her 30 years of contributions to global A&R.

Among her myriad of accomplishments, Goldstein’s role in shaping the careers of chart-topping artists such as The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers, and John Legend stands as a testament to her unparalleled vision and unwavering dedication. As she embarks on the next chapter of her storied career, Wendy Goldstein’s legacy serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring A&R executives worldwide, a testament to the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and an unyielding belief in the transcendent power of music.

Click HERE to read the inspiring interview with Wendy Goldstein which was published a few weeks ago, and presented at this year’s MUSEXPO as part of her honorarium tribute and awards event.


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!

LEGENDS OF THE LIVE & MANAGEMENT BUSINESS: Enjoying a wonderful evening at an A&R Worldwide dinner event in London, England a number of years ago were (L-R): Brian Neilsen (Founder, Down The Drain Group), legendary promoter Carl Leighton-Pope, and the late, and talented U.K. artist and producer manager, Safta Jaffrey.

Brian Nielsen has remained one of Scandinavia’s giants in the independent live touring and festival promotion business for many decades and has helped break countless artists from Denmark and beyond.

Meanwhile, Carl Leighton-Pope has made a name for himself in the U.K. live business for decades working with the likes of Van Morrison, Bonnie Tyler, Michael Bublé, Billy Ocean, Jeff Healey, Keith Urban, Bryan Adams amongst many others – not to mention his work with The Chippendales in the U.K. and Europe.

Safta Jaffrey was a renowned U.K.-based producer manager, but also instrumental in helping with the initial development of the globally renowned band Muse, whom Safta managed from the early ’90s to the early 2000s – taking them from obscurity to become a worldwide phenomenon.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week



St. Lundi‘s journey from Hayling Island to London at the age of 20 symbolizes his daring leap into the music industry with limited resources but boundless determination. Despite the initial challenges, his talent and perseverance shone through, leading to pivotal collaborations with Seeb and Kygo that catapulted him into the spotlight. His early successes, notably with BBC Radio 2 playlist features for “Ready to Be Loved,” and “Fall,” underscored his growing influence and appeal within the music scene. The anticipation surrounding his debut album
The Island and its lead single “Different Houses” reflects not just a musical milestone, but also a deeply personal narrative. Through poignant lyrics and evolving musical arrangements, St. Lundi delves into his experiences of heartache and healing following his parents’ divorce, offering listeners a window into his emotional journey. This authenticity and vulnerability in his music have resonated with audiences, garnering him recognition and acclaim. Beyond his solo work, St. Lundi’s collaborations with notable artists and his dynamic live performances have further solidified his position as a rising star in the industry. As he prepares for the release of his debut album and embarks on upcoming tours, his trajectory points towards continued growth and success, promising fans more captivating music and memorable performances in the years to come. To listen to St. Lundi’s music, click HERE. For additional information and available opportunities with St. Lundi, contact Espen Blödorn- Mentzoni at




Hinds makes a triumphant return with their new single “Coffee,” marking their first release in four years as the original duo of Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote since their debut in 2014. Produced by Pete Robertson and mixed by Caesar Edmunds, “Coffee” showcases Hinds’ signature dual vocals, bright melodies, and empowering punk attitude, highlighting their strength in female musicianship and friendship. The band’s honesty and raw charm shine through as they explore themes of self-expression and breaking societal norms. With a decade of musical success including three acclaimed albums and hundreds of shows worldwide, Hinds continues to inspire a new generation of listeners and artists. They recently performed at U.K. shows for Independent Venue Week, gigs in London, Brighton, and SXSW 2024, with upcoming performances in Barcelona, Paris, and Munich. Hinds’ recent single “Coffee” is accompanied by a brilliant self-directed video that reflects the band’s playful spirit and adds depth to the song’s themes, which can be seen HERE. For additional information and all inquiries, please contact Liv Carson at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, March 31st, 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)
RADIO FREE ALICE – “Waste of Space” (Double Drummer, Australia)
NEWDAD – “Madra” (Atlantic Records, U.K.)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Mirrors” (Wagram, France)
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.)
TALISCO – “Sorry ” (Roy Music, France)
DOTAN – “Louder” (7 Layers Music, Holland)
ETTA MARCUS – “Girls That Play” (Polydor, U.K.)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Oh No :: He Said What?” (RCA Records, U.K.)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Always By My Side” (Universal Music, S. Africa)
MASI MASI – “Cigarette Smile” (Unsigned, U.K.)
JAMIE HANNAH – “What If” (Unsigned, U.K.)
DEMPSEY BOLTON – “Couple Minutes” (Unsigned, Canada)
BECCA SWAN – “Two Tears and No More” (Unsigned, Canada)
RHETT REPKO – “My Love Will Stay” (Unsigned, N. America)
DARK TROPICS – “Carnival” (Unsigned, Ireland)
ACROBVT – “Neon” (Unsigned, U.K.)
STORY ONE – “Beggars Belief” (Shy Records, U.K.)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Can You See Me” (Unsigned, Australia)
BETTER JOY – “Hard To Love” (Fader Amp, U.K.)
PICTURE THIS – “Act of Innocence” (RCA/Sony, Ireland)
MYLES SMITH – “Solo” (Ditto Music, U.K.)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
THE K’S – “Heart On My Sleeve” (LAB Records, U.K.)
LOW GIRL – “Icarus” (Unsigned, U.K.)
CRAWLERS – “Kills Me To Be Kind” (Polydor, U.K.)
LIME CORDIALE – “Pedestal” (Chugg Music, Australia)
BO MILLI – “Making Friends” (AWAL, Norway)
THE SNUTS – “NPC” (Happy Artist Records, Scotland)
TRISHA – “Down The Road” (Universal Music India, India)
BLOSSOMS – “To Do List (After The Breakup) feat. Findlay (ODD SK Recordings, U.K.)



TEDDY SWIMS INKS PUBLISHING DEAL WITH WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC: Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced a global publishing deal with the artist and songwriter Teddy Swims. Born in the U.S. as Jaten Dimsdale, he is known for his fusion of R&B, soul, country, and pop. Initially gaining traction through his covers on YouTube, such as his rendition of Michael Jackson‘s “Rock with You,” which garnered over 10 million views, Swims has since carved his path with original releases. His third EP, Tough Love, propelled him onto the Billboard 200 chart, featuring hits like “Love for a Minute” and “911.” Swims’ debut album, I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy (Part 1), was released via Warner Records and soared into the Top 25 of the Billboard 200, buoyed by his single “Lose Control,” which has amassed over 441 million Spotify streams. With a string of collaborations and a sold-out global tour under his belt, Swims looks to continue his traction with the upcoming release of I’ve Tried Everything but Therapy (Part 2). Katy Wolaver, Sr. Vice President A&R, and David Goldsen, Vice President A&R, stated “Teddy has stayed true to himself every step of the way since we first met in 2020, and now he is one of the most important new artists in music. His timeless voice, incredible knack for songs, and unrelenting work ethic make him such an exciting songwriter for us, and we are so happy he has chosen Warner Chappell as his publishing home.”


UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP & SPOTIFY EXPAND PARTNERSHIP: Universal Music Group and Spotify, have announced an expansion of their strategic relationship that will further amplify music discovery and social interaction and enhance fan experiences across the platform for UMG’s family of artists and songwriters. Under the agreement, Spotify will make available a series of new promotional and social features that will help artists drive interaction and generate excitement around new releases. To start, UMG artists will have the ability to share teasers of upcoming music on Spotify to increase fan engagement and pre-save activity before a new release. Also, a new agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) will enable Spotify to distribute music videos in the U.S., enabling deeper experiences with the songs, the artists, and the songwriters. The companies will continue to explore additional features that allow fans to discover artists and propel the virality of new releases. They will share more details about these new tools and how artists, songwriters, and fans can leverage them soon.


CONCORD NAMES STEPHANIE HUDACEK, PRESIDENT, ROUNDER RECORDS: Stephanie Hudacek has been named to the role of President at Rounder Records under Concord‘s banner. With a history dating back to 1970, Rounder has fostered the careers of artists like Allison Kraus and Bela Fleck, amassing 54 Grammy awards. Hudacek’s tenure at Soundly Music, Late August Records, and Riser House Records highlights her adeptness in cultivating talent. Previously a recording engineer and tour manager, her experience will help champion artists in Nashville’s flourishing music scene. “Throughout her career, Stephanie has shown a deep commitment to artists and songwriters as well as an incredible intuition for what it takes to bring their music to the world,” said Tom Becci, Chief Executive, Concord Label Group. “I could not be more thrilled to have her at the helm at Rounder. She has the requisite skills to preserve the label’s distinct history while ensuring her artists and team have the resources necessary for continued success in an evolving environment.”


U.K. ARTIST FLORRIE SIGNS WITH BMG: Multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, and songwriter Florrie has signed a new recordings agreement with BMG and Xenomania Records to release her long-awaited debut album, The Lost Ones, on June 14. Written and produced by Florrie and Brian Higgins, Founder, Xenomania the album also sees her collaborate with hit-maker Takura Tendayi (Rihanna, Chase and Status). The London-based songwriter picked up attention and accolades as a member and drummer in the supergroup of songwriters and producers, Xenomania, and has co-written huge hits for artists such as Kylie Minogue, Rebecca Ferguson, The Saturdays, and Pet Shop Boys. Later this Spring, she hits the U.S. with multi-instrumentalist G Flip, on their tour starting in New Orleans on May 16. Florrie will then support Girls Aloud on the five London dates of their comeback tour at the O2 Arena in June – a full-circle moment, having played drums on Girls Aloud’s 2008 hit, “The Promise,” and co-written their 2012 single “Something New.” Ahead of the release of her new album, Florrie has released her new single, “The Lost Ones.”


Pictured (L-R) are Bang Si-Hyuk (Chairman, HYBE), Sir Lucian Grainge (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group), and Scooter Braun (CEO, HYBE America).

UNIVERSAL INVESTS IN HYBE’S “SUPERFAN” PLATFORM WEVERSE: HYBE has inked an extensive deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), reinforcing UMG’s exclusive distribution rights for HYBE’s music over the next decade. Beyond distribution, UMG will invest in and collaborate further with HYBE’s fan platform, Weverse, aiming to bolster its presence in North America. The partnership extends access for HYBE’s artists and labels to UMG’s global network. Scooter Braun, CEO, HYBE America, will oversee joint promotions and marketing efforts in North America. This expansion builds upon their initial collaboration in 2017, notably with BTS, and a broader global strategic agreement in 2021, which birthed projects like The Debut: Dream Academy. Commenting on the new partnership, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, stated, “Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk, Scooter Braun, and Jiwon Park have brought an innovative and progressive vision to the industry that underscores music’s global power. With the opportunities in engaging the superfan via their groundbreaking Weverse model, we are thrilled to grow and expand our platform business collaboration as we evolve together leading the music industry’s evolution.”


CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING SIGNS WILLIAM BELL: Concord Music Publishing has made an addition to its roster, announcing the signing of soul singer-songwriter William Bell. Emerging from Memphis, Bell’s legacy at Stax Records and his induction into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame highlights his impact on music. William Bell is one of the original soul singers, whose quintessential voice and evocative performances have wowed audiences all over the world for decades. Born in Memphis but based in Atlanta since 1970, Bell first began his career by winning second prize at the annual Mid-South Talent Contest of Memphis, TN at the age of 14, which came with a recording contract with Stax Records (then known as Satellite Records, now Concord-owned). Bell’s debut single “You Don’t Miss Your Water (Until Your Well Runs Dry),” which was recently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame of Recordings, became a smash hit and remains his signature song and best-known recording to this day. Bell’s first full-length album, The Soul of a Bell, was released in 1967 and included the Top 20 hit single, “Everybody Loves a Winner.” That same year, the original version of “Born Under a Bad Sign,” co-written by William Bell, hit it big and has since been covered by many cultural icons, from Jimi Hendrix to Homer Simpson. Bell’s other hits include “Any Other Way,” “A Tribute To A King,” “Private Number,” “Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday,” “Tryin’ to Love Two” (released on Mercury Records), which became a top ten pop hit and went to No.1 on the R&B charts, and perhaps Bell’s best-known recording “I Forgot to be Your Lover,” which has almost 40 million streams on Spotify and has been sampled and covered by many artists including Ludacris. William Bell is an accomplished songwriter on his own and in collaboration with other composers. Together with Booker T. Jones, Bell wrote such tunes as “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” “Private Number,” and “Born Under a Bad Sign,” the title song of an album by guitarist Albert King which was a major hit for the British recording group Cream. Tom DeSavia, Sr. VP A&R at Concord Music Publishing told A&R Worldwide, “We are beyond honored to be working with William Bell – one of the true architects of modern American popular music, as songwriter, recording artist, and entrepreneur. It is incredibly exciting to be entrusted by Mr. Bell to work alongside him and his team on his incredible body of work, both classic and contemporary.”


BRENNEN BRYANT NAMED A&R DIRECTOR AT AVEX USA PUBLISHING: Avex USA, the American division of Japan’s Avex Group, has appointed Brennen Bryant as Director of A&R, Publishing. Bryant’s industry journey began with roles alongside G-Eazy and Drake, which positions him well to lead Avex USA’s publishing division. His experience will be key in shaping strategies for signings and deals alongside Lou Al-Chamaa, Avex USA’s Sr. Vice President, Head of A&R Publishing. A recent signing for Avex USA is hip-hop/Jersey club producer DJ Smallz 732, whose collaboration on Nicki Minaj‘s “Everybody” gained success, topping charts, and accumulating over 118 million streams. DJ Smallz 732’s influence in the Jersey club scene and his fusion of genres make him a strong addition to Avex USA’s roster. Avex USA has a longstanding partnership with Sony Music Publishing which provides Avex with global administration support for its roster. Lou Al-Chamaa, Sr. Vice President, Head of A&R Publishing, AVEX USA told A&R Worldwide, “We are thrilled to welcome our new A&R Director, Brennen Bryant, to the Avex family to help us discover and develop the next generation of talented artists, writers, and producers. With his expertise and passion for music, we are confident that he will bring a fresh perspective to our A&R team.”


Seated back row (L-R) is Caroline Bouldin (Relative Music Group), Chris Kappy (Make Wake Artists), and Rusty Gaston (SMP Nashville). Front row (L-R) is Dennis Matkosky (Relative Music Group), Drew Parker, Michael Hardy (Relative Music Group), and Jesse Matkosky (Relative Music Group).

DREW PARKER INKS DEAL WITH RELATIVE MUSIC GROUP: Grammy-nominated country singer-songwriter Drew Parker, known for tracks like “Doin’ This” and “Homemade,” has signed a global publishing deal with Relative Music Group in partnership with Sony Music Publishing (SMP). With a sound rooted in ’90s country, Parker’s move to Warner Music Nashville for his master recordings will now be the home of his upcoming solo releases. Parker, who is a CMA award-nominated country hitmaker behind hits like Luke Combs‘ “Doin’ This” and “Forever After All” and Jake Owen‘s “Homemade” – is a modern traditionalist with a country style rooted in the rich textures of the ’90s. Now, after joining the Warner Music Nashville family, his signature style of using whip-smart lyricism and actual country instruments to pen quality-driven No.1’s with shine through on his solo music. With a focus on publishing and artist development, Relative Music Group represents an array of songwriters, including Michael Hardy who is also a partner in the company.


Tak Young-jun & Jang Cheol-hyuk

TAK YOUNG-JUN APPOINTED CO-CEO OF SM ENTERTAINMENT: SM Entertainment (SM) has appointed Tak Young-jun as Co-CEO alongside current CEO Jang Cheol-hyuk. This dual leadership model, approved during the company’s recent shareholders meeting, marks a change for the K-pop giant. Tak, formerly SM’s Chief Operating Officer, brings vital experience to his new role, having overseen the launch of breakout newcomer group Riize and leading artist production and management for established acts. His promotion reflects SM’s drive to cultivate talent and strengthen its multi-purpose business strategy. Despite fluctuations in quarterly performance, SM’s overall financial health remains robust, with positive sales and operating profits in 2023. The company’s partnerships, including the integrated North America division with Kakao and the launch of Kreation Music Rights, which highlights its continued expansion and global ambitions. Jang Cheol-hyuk, Co-CEO, SM, stated, “All executives and employees are working together to realize the vision of SM3.0 announced in 2023. We are not only working to improve shareholder value, but we are also continuously producing good content with artists. By introducing this, we will become an entertainment company recognized by various stakeholders.”


WASSERMAN MUSIC PROMOTES NINE + NEW ORCHESTRAL DIVISION: Wasserman Music has announced new promotions and the launch of an Orchestral division. Nine members of the Wasserman Music team have been elevated to Agent and Touring roles, with a focus on expanding their global Festivals department. Brittany Miller‘s transition to Director, Festivals, highlights Wasserman’s focus on electronic music events worldwide. The agency’s move into the orchestral realm, led by Vice President Emily Threlfall Yoon, is a division that will manage symphonic properties like Final Fantasy VII REBIRTH World Orchestra Tour and The Infinity Saga Concert Experience, alongside collaborations with artists such as John Legend and Zedd. Among the key promotions are Alex Christie‘s ascent to Agent in the Rock division and Anna Kathryn Groom‘s advancement to Manager, Brand Partnerships. Annie Cole is upped to Manager, Touring, where she will continue to support artists including ODESZA, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Flogging Molly, and more. Owen Hynes advances to Manager, Tour Marketing, where he will continue to work on tour marketing campaigns for artists including Skrillex, Fred again.., Ice Cube, and others. Kara Klein moves to Manager, Brand Partnerships, where she will continue to help manage brand campaigns and performances for clients including Charlie Puth, Imagine Dragons, Omar Apollo, among others. Noah Plotnicki is now an Agent, where he will continue to support artists including Ben Folds, Joss Stone, Bruce Hornsby, amongst others. Lindsay Roblesi also advances to Agent, serving clients including Chris Lorenzo, Sub Focus, and AC Slater, whilst Holly Rowland is also named an Agent, serving clients including Louis Tomlinson, Rag’n’Bone Man to name a few.


WISE MUSIC GROUP SIGNS PORTICO QUARTET: Wise Music Group has secured an exclusive songwriter agreement with Portico Quartet through Campbell Connelly & Co, encompassing their extensive back catalog and forthcoming creations. The ensemble, led by Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie, has garnered acclaim since their Mercury Prize-nominated debut in 2007, blending jazz, ambient, and classical elements. Alongside their band efforts, both members engage in diverse collaborations; Bellamy notably contributed to Hania Rani‘s recent album, while Wyllie delves into projects like Forgiveness and Szun Waves. Portico Quartet will set off on a European tour, commencing March 29 at Earth in London. Marcus Wise, CEO, Wise Music Group said, “I’m delighted we have signed Portico Quartet. Jack and Duncan are a very welcome addition to the Wise Music family, and we all look forward to working with them on future projects and to working with their excellent back catalog.”


OSTEREO EXPANDS TEAM AND CATALOG WITH NEW HIRES & SIGNINGS: Ostereo has announced its expansion with strategic hires and new signings to bolster its record releases. Amidst its international streaming success, the company has expanded to meet growing demands. Andy Griffin, who has been appointed as Campaign Manager for Asia, brings his experience to artist campaigns across Southeast Asia. Joining him is Danny McNamara, with a background in digital and A&R, tasked with artist recruitment and digital campaigns. Recent achievements, include a surge on TikTok for Indonesian artist Shania Yan with over 320 million plays, and success for Indian artist Ennah with over 12 million plays. The company has also been involved with recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios, with forthcoming single releases scheduled from artists such as Jodie Knight, ili, Gavin Holligan, and others. Nick Kirkby, CFO, Ostereo, stated, “We are continuing to see huge growth and success within emerging markets, enabling us to develop strong, long-standing relationships within these territories. We have been working on some exciting projects, including original music for several artists, and I look forward to seeing how these relationships and our recent investments secure further success for our artists.”


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 MP3’s 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 will be awarded $20,000.00 (USD), plus additional merchandise and services geared toward helping an artist’s career and 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.


U.S. RECORDED MUSIC REVENUE UP 8% IN 2023: In 2023, the U.S. music industry witnessed robust growth, as mentioned by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)’s report. Recording music revenue surged by 7.7% compared to the previous year, reaching $17.1 billion at retail. Streaming emerged as the driving force, pushing $14.4 billion of the revenue, constituting 84% of the total, and marking an 8% increase from 2022. This signifies the eighth consecutive year of revenue expansion, displaying a rounded 8% growth over the prior year. Despite setting a record for revenue for three consecutive years, adjusted for inflation, the industry still trails behind the 1999 peak. Nevertheless, the steady growth trajectory reflects the resilience and adaptability of the U.S. music business. Notably, within the streaming domain, paid subscriptions captured $11.2 billion, while physical sales witnessed a resurgence, particularly fueled by vinyl’s continued popularity.


PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC STAFFS UP AND PROMOTES TWO: Primary Wave Music has made announcements regarding the expansion and promotion of key personnel within its Sync & Licensing team. Julianne Wilson, a music supervisor with a decade of experience in creative advertising, joins as Sr. Director, Creative Sync, bringing her knowledge in curating music for award-winning campaigns. Wilson’s portfolio includes collaborations with brands such as Google, Nike, and HBO Max. Meanwhile, Peter Kurczaba, an eight-year veteran of Primary Wave, has been promoted to Sr. Director, Creative Sync, presenting his adeptness in securing sync placements in projects such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3/King‘s Hawaiian advertisement, NBC brand marketing campaigns, and more. Kurczaba has reimagined classic catalog tracks and oversaw covers and remixes which include songs by Smokey Robinson, Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, and more. These covers have been placed in various trailers, marketing campaigns, and TV series for Netflix, NBC, FOX, NFL, ESPN, Apple TV+, Paramount+, and others. His sync placements in the last year alone have grossed seven figures and include placements in The Morning Show, Welcome to Wrexham, The Wonder Years, Yellowjackets, Abbott Elementary, among others. Derek Pierce’s promotion to Director, Creative Sync reflects his role in the team’s achievements since joining in 2020. Pierce’s efforts have facilitated sync placements in television series and films such as Winning Time, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Bear, Station 19, Gen V, Pretty Little Liars, Cocaine Bear, and You while also fostering partnerships with brands like Airbnb, American Express, T-Mobile, and Ubisoft, enhancing Primary Wave’s presence in the advertising landscape.


SOUNDEXCHANGE CELEBRATES $11 BILLION ROYALTY DISTRIBUTION MILESTONE: SoundExchange recently announced that it had surpassed $11 billion (USD) in digital performance royalties since its inception in 2003. Just a year ago, the organization celebrated reaching the $10 billion milestone, coinciding with its 20th anniversary. Advocating fiercely before the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board and in Congress, SoundExchange has ensured fair compensation for creators in the digital age, leading efforts like the American Music Fairness Act to rectify historical injustices in music broadcasting where it has achieved increases of 711% for satellite royalties, 294% for subscription royalties, and 215% for non-subscription royalties over the last 20 years. “We continue to be driven every day by the guiding principle of putting more money into the hands of creators and rights holders,” said Michael Huppe, President & CEO, SoundExchange. “The continuing growth in royalty distributions to a billion dollars a year is reflective of a healthy digital music ecosystem, but it is not something we take for granted. Our dedication to the community of creators we serve is unshakable, and we will continue to advocate tirelessly for artists to receive fair and equitable compensation for the use of their work on all platforms.”


TIKTOK RAPPER MUST PAY SONY $800K+ FOR UNLICENSED SAMPLE: In a legal case that began last January, Sony Music‘s pursuit of justice in a copyright infringement case against rapper Trefuego, who created the viral TikTok track “90mh,” has reached a conclusion. The lawsuit, stemming from Trefuego’s unauthorized use of elements from Japanese composer Toshifumi Hinata’s 1986 track “Reflections,” has seen a Texas court rule decisively in Sony’s favor. The court’s judgment, issued on Wednesday, orders Trefuego (Dantreal Daevon Clark-Rainbolt) to pay Sony Music a sum of $802,997.23 (USD) in damages. Sony’s lawsuit, filed in December 2022, accused Trefuego of blatant copyright infringement, alleging that his use of Hinata’s work without permission caused substantial harm to the market for Hinata’s compositions. While Sony’s motion for damages and costs was granted, the court denied the request for a permanent injunction against future infringements. However, the ruling mandates that Trefuego allocate 50% of revenues from “90mh” to Sony Music Publishing and 20% to Sony Music Entertainment, ensuring ongoing compensation for the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.


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: Nick Raphael, David Reid, Scout Easley, Mark Wood, Caroline Elleray, Marnie Dunstan, Doug Mark, Gary Chen, Ben Mortimer, Kabiru Bello, Robin Shaw, Samantha Sklar, Daniel Werner, and Mariane Goode.

Share this:

Related Posts