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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 837



Seeker Music has announced its acquisition of Marcos “Kosine” Palacios‘ publishing catalog, which includes hits like Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” and Rihanna‘s “Birthday Cake,” and “DANCE (A$$)” (Big Sean), the soundtracks for hit FOX series Empire and Star, and other notable records from the likes of Justin Bieber, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and all of Kosine’s work as one half of the Los Angeles-based production duo Da Internz.

Evan Bogart & Kosine

Kosine’s appointment as Seeker’s inaugural Samplémoose Ambassador marks a new collaboration, focusing on transforming classic copyrights into modern hits. In this partnership, Kosine will harness Seeker’s entire catalog to create original music and mentor emerging talent. The Samplémoose platform, launched in 2023, facilitates this creative process by providing curated loops and beats for producers to reimagine classic cuts, exemplified by Coco Jones‘ “Double Back” and Shaboozey‘s “A Bar Song.” Other notable new records that have flipped the Seeker catalog include Shaboozey’s single “A Bar Song” (flipped from J-Kwon‘s “Tipsy”), Chris Brown‘s “Freak (from Nelly‘s “Air Force Ones”), Teyana Taylor‘s “Freak” (from Adina Howard‘s “Freak Like Me”), and IVE ft. Saweetie‘s “All Night” (from Icona Pop‘s song of the same name).

The recent “Samplémoose Sessions,” which we held in early April saw a convergence of music creators flipping timeless tunes like Christopher Cross‘ “Sailing” and Whitney Houston‘s “Million Dollar Bill.” The event highlighted Seeker’s objectives to embrace both catalog and frontline releases with equal importance, a strategy championed by Seeker’s CEO Evan Bogart.

Evan Bogart stated, “When we started acquiring catalogs at Seeker, I was only interested in songs I wish I wrote, or projects I wish I had worked on, and that’s hands down, undeniably Kosine’s body of work. Me and Kos go way back and have been collaborating on music for almost 15 years. Now, we get to write our next chapter together, working closely on Samplémoose, and investing in each other, in ways a publishing company and producer have not before. It is a major honor to have this opportunity to build with him.”




Virgin Music Group, recently announced the promotion of Cindy James to the position of General Manager of the company’s North American operations. Cindy most recently served as Sr. Vice President and Head of Commercial Marketing for Virgin Music. She joined the company as Head of Commercial Marketing for Caroline in 2019 before Caroline transitioned into Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in 2021.

Cindy James

“I have worked with Cindy for the past five years and am incredibly proud to elevate her to the well-deserved position of General Manager for Virgin Music Group North America,” said Jacqueline Saturn, President of Virgin Music Group North America & Executive VP of Global Artist Relations. “Cindy has been instrumental in providing leadership and insights across the ever-evolving landscape of our business. Having worked in offices in Australia, London, New York, and Los Angeles, she has amassed incredible global knowledge, commercial expertise, and invaluable relationships that will help take our artist and label partners to the next level.”

Cindy James added, “There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the independent music community than right now. I am looking forward to working alongside Jacqueline to continue building upon our important work as a key partner to the visionary entrepreneurs on our roster.”

Prior to Virgin, James held senior roles within streaming, marketing, digital, and partner development at Island Records and Sony Music Entertainment, and most notably pioneered Sony’s streaming strategies from offices in Sydney, London, and New York.

James began her career learning the business through various positions as a promoter, tour manager, freelance music journalist, and record store manager. Cindy will be based in Virgin Music Group’s global headquarters in Los Angeles.




Verve Label Group has announced the promotion of longtime label veteran Joseph Oerke to the role of Executive Vice President at Decca Records U.S., where he’ll be tasked with steering the company’s marketing and artist strategy.

Joseph Oerke

With a tenure spanning 16 years, Oerke’s leadership augurs well for the No.1 classical label in the United States. Decca Records U.S. has a roster that includes Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Joe Hisaishi, Chad Lawson, Cody Fry, Yiruma, Gabríel Ólafs, and others. Under Oerke’s leadership, the company has also nurtured a new generation of classical artists including Víkingur Ólafsson, Yunchan Lim, and Lise Davidsen.

Dickon Stainer, President & CEO, Verve Label Group and Global Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group, stated, “Joseph is propelling Decca U.S. into a new era as the leading classical record company in America. With his boundless experience and formidable team-building skills, Joseph is perfectly positioned to serve the finest classical artists of the world and their enthusiastic U.S. audiences.”

Joseph Oerke commented, “I love classical music. In fact, I moved to New York to study oboe and got my first job in the gift shop at the Metropolitan Opera. I think that everyone can find at least one piece of classical music that stirs emotions and part of my job is to bring this music to more people. Leading this storied label is a dream for me and I could not be more excited to collaborate with our amazing team.”

Last year Decca Records U.S. led the country’s classical charts week after week, on average accounting for 47% of the classical albums chart based on consumption. The label also set the modern-era single-week U.S. sales record for a classical album on vinyl with Joe Hisaishi’s A Symphonic Celebration: Music from The Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki, which was released on Deutsche Grammophon.

In March 2023, Decca Records US had nine of the top ten songs on the classical US on-demand audio streaming songs chart.



As first announced in the A&R Worldwide newsletter last week before anywhere else globally, it’s now official, Sony Music U.K. has announced the appointment of Harri Davies as Head of A&R at RCA Records UK.

Harri Davies

Reporting to Co-Presidents Glyn Aikins and Stacey Tang, Harri brings over a decade of experience in A&R, engineering, producing, and songwriting, and most recently held the position of Senior Director A&R at Concord Music Publishing. Before that, he helped shape the roster at Bucks Music Group, working with a diverse array of artists and producers. His track record includes notable signings such as Krept & Konan, Chase & Status, Imanbek, Alex Metric, and Flowdan. He also facilitated the signing of 2023’s global breakout star, Tyla.

Harri Davies stated, “I am honored to step into this role, at a label with a rich history of musical innovation. I look forward to working alongside the incredible RCA team and leveraging my experience to discover new artists together.”

Glyn Aikins and Stacey Tang, Co-Presidents RCA Records U.K. added, “Harri embodies the globally minded, creative spirit that has always been at the heart of RCA U.K. His understanding of the music landscape and passion for nurturing artists will undoubtedly have a positive effect, steering our team and artists towards further global success.”


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!

HOW SWEDE IT IS: Enjoying some inspiring conversation at the annual Denniz Pop Awards in Stockholm, Sweden a number of years ago are longtime friends Andrew Gould (President Music Publishing, Roc Nation), Aton Ben-Horin (Executive Vice President A&R, Warner Music Group) and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO).

Both Aton Ben-Horin and Andrew Gould are highly respected A&R executives in the U.S., who have had significant impacts on various global artists and songwriters over the course of their extensive careers.

Aton and Andrew have also had a longstanding relationship with A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla who has been a close friend, global mentor, and collaborator with the dynamic A&R duo over the years. The two talented executives have also joined Bisla at various events globally, including in the U.K., France, Sweden, and other international destinations, as well as being involved in some signing deals with U.S. and global creatives.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week


Jamie Hannah is a standout British singer-songwriter, celebrated for his extraordinary vocal range spanning four octaves. Trained at the esteemed Royal College of Music, Jamie seamlessly fuses classical and operatic influences with a fervent devotion to pop music. His musical palette draws inspiration from classical luminaries like Monteverdi and Handel, alongside contemporary icons such as Freddie Mercury, Josh Groban, MIKA, Coldplay, and Adele. What distinguishes Jamie is his talent for crafting deeply emotive verses that delve into the essence of life, love, friendship, and the intricacies of society. His music serves as a poignant reflection of personal trials, inviting listeners on a profound journey of self-discovery. Having recently relocated to the vibrant musical landscape of California, Jamie has undergone a metamorphosis, refining his artistic vision with newfound clarity, authenticity, and maturity. Collaborating with a diverse array of songwriters and producers, he fearlessly expands his sonic horizons while steadfastly embracing his LGBTQ+ identity. Through his lyrical expertise, Jamie champions themes of acceptance and inclusivity, using his art as a platform for advocacy. Excitement surrounds Jamie’s forthcoming EP, teased by the release of his captivating single “What If,” which can be heard HERE. For information regarding signing, publishing, management, booking, sync, or other opportunities contact Sat Bisla at



Rising Irish indie-folk band Kingfishr unveiled their new EP Shadow (Doonane Records) last month, featuring the two unreleased tracks “Shadow” and “Coward’,” alongside previously released singles like “Leave,” “Shot in the Dark,” and “flowers-fire (rework).” Collectively, Eddie Keogh, Eoghan McGooMcGrath, and Eoin FitzFitzgibbon, have experienced a rapid ascent in the music scene and it is evident in this EP. The release explores themes of darkness, introspection, and love, with the title track “Shadow” standing out for its blend of uplifting melodies and introspective lyrics. Lead vocalist Eddie delves into the fear of facing the light and the consequences of burying aspects of oneself. Kingfishr’s busy schedule includes successful festival performances, sold-out headline shows across the U.K., and upcoming support for Tom Walker‘s tour and Snow Patrol‘s show at Thomond Park Stadium. They are also set to make their debut appearance at TRNSMT Festival and Reading & Leeds festivals, marking a promising course for this talented trio. Experience the visual for “Shadow” HERE, and contact Espen Blödorn-Mentzoni at for additional information and current availabilities for Kingfishr.


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, April 21st, 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:

KEYSIDE – “Turn Back The Time” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
GIRL IN RED – “Too Much” (AWAL, Norway)
NEWDAD – “Madra” (Atlantic Records, U.K.)
GIANT ROOKS – “Under Your Wings” (Universal Music, Germany)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Mirrors” (Wagram, France)
DOTAN – “Louder” (7 Layers Music, Holland)
RADIO FREE ALICE – “Waste of Space” (Double Drummer, Australia)
MICHAEL ALDAG – “Sabotage” (3 Beat/Universal, U.K.)
ONLY THE POETS – “One More Night” (EMI Records, 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)
GIRLFRIENDS – “Shut Up & Kiss Me” (Versewire, U.K.)
DEMPSEY BOLTON – “Couple Minutes” (Unsigned, Canada)
JAMIE HANNAH – “What If” (Unsigned, U.K.)
RHETT REPKO – “My Love Will Stay” (Unsigned, N. America)
ACROBVT – “Neon” (Unsigned, U.K.)
TEDDYBEARS – “Cobra Style” (Sony Music, Sweden)
SEA GIRLS – “I Want You To Know Me” (Alt Records/Believe, U.K.)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
MASI MASI – “Cigarette Smile” (Unsigned, U.K.)
DOLORES FOREVER – “Someday Best” (Sweat Entertainment, U.K.)
THE K’S – “Heart On My Sleeve” (LAB Records, U.K.)
MARIE NAFFAH – “Rust & Blue” (Frictionless, U.K.)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “Can You See Me” (Unsigned, Australia)
LUCY MCWILLIAMS – “Old Ways” (Unsigned, U.K.)
THE CAVS – “The Kids Are Talking” (Unsigned, U.K.)
BO MILLI – “Making Friends” (AWAL, Norway)
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – “The End of The Contender” (Propeller, U.K.)
MYLES SMITH – “Solo” (Ditto 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.)
DARK TROPICS – “Carnival” (Unsigned, Ireland)



PAULINE DUARTE APPOINTED AS VP OF COLUMBIA FRANCE: Pauline Duarte has been named as Vice President of Columbia France at Sony Music Entertainment France. Duarte takes over the helm from the departure of Laurent Chapeau, and her appointment is set to bring fresh energy and strategic direction to Columbia France and Epic Records France. With her career dating back to her beginnings at Columbia Records France in 2003, Duarte’s leadership acumen has been honed through distinct roles, including her stint as director of Def Jam Recordings. Her return to Sony Music France in 2020 saw the launch of Epic Records France, where she has signed artists including Gazo, Alonzo, Hatik, and Ronisia, through a partnership with the Blue Sky label, earning accolades like Flamme for “Label of the Year” at the first Flammes ceremony.” Marie-Anne Robert, Managing Director, Sony Music Entertainment France, tells A&R Worldwide, “Pauline Duarte is the ideal person to succeed Laurent’s impressive leadership. Her exceptional background, energy, and creativity will be invaluable assets to the development of Columbia in France. On behalf of Sony Music, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Laurent Chapeau for his exceptional contribution to the company over the past sixteen years. He is an emblematic figure in the French music industry and a major source of inspiration for several generations: his exemplary nature, his enthusiasm, his humility, and his appetite for music are a model for future executives. He has a fantastic relationship with artists of all kinds and built a formidable team at Columbia, thanks to his ability to detect and nurture talent.”


WARNER CHAPPELL SIGNS THE RED CLAY STRAYS: Warner Chappell Music recently announced a global publishing deal with country-rock band The Red Clay Strays. The collective is comprised of Brandon Coleman, Zach Rishel, Drew Nix, Andrew Bishop, and John Hall, alongside chief songwriter and videographer Matthew Coleman, The band’s independent release “Moment of Truth” catapulted them to global notoriety, culminating in a major label pact with RCA Records. Currently, they are amidst a whirlwind of activity, including a tour, album production with renowned producer/songwriter Dave Cobb, and an eagerly anticipated European jaunt. The deal was signed with David Goldsen, Vice President, A&R, Warner Chappell Music who tells A&R Worldwide, “Every once in a while, a band comes along that knocks you off your feet. The Red Clay Strays is one of the most exciting live bands right now, and their songs are both fresh and timeless. I am beyond excited to watch their takeover and grateful they have chosen us as their publishing partner.”


Pictured (L-R) are Dave Loader (Managing Director, Notting Hill Music), Ian Barter, and John Saunderson (Head of Creative, Notting Hill Music).

NOTTING HILL MUSIC SIGNS IAN BARTER: Notting Hill Music Group has announced the signing of producer/writer Ian Barter to a global publishing deal. With credits including iconic U.K. artist Gabrielle‘s hits and collaborations with Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith, Barter’s addition will enhance the company’s growing roster. Notting Hill’s 30th anniversary is further highlighted by recent publishing successes on tracks by Beyoncé, Meduza & Hozier, Kygo & Calum Scott, and Tiesto, alongside sync placements in major campaigns including Samsung, Peloton, Amazon, and Walmart. John Saunderson, Head of Creative, Notting Hill tells A&R Worldwide, “As soon as we heard Ian was looking for a new publishing home, we knew we wanted to bring him into the Notting Hill family. I cannot wait to get started on sourcing new opportunities and projects for him to work on, and I am really looking forward to hearing the music that comes out of those collaborations.”


STONEBWOY INKS GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH ADA WORLDWIDE: Afro-dancehall sensation Stonebwoy who boasts over 5 million followers on Instagram has inked a global distribution and label services deal with ADA Worldwide, the independent label and artist services arm of Warner Music Group. The Ghanaian star’s latest single, “Ekelebe,” features breakout Nigerian rapper Odumodublvck. The partnership with ADA, which is through Stonebwoy’s own Burniton Music Group, also covers Stonebwoy’s upcoming sixth studio album, slated for release later this year. Hailing from Ashaiman, Ghana, Stonebwoy’s music brings together a mix of afrobeat, reggae, and dancehall influences. The multi-faceted star has made his mark, with his 2017 album Epistles of Mama making him the first-ever Ghanaian artist to land on the Billboard World Albums chart, and his 2023 album, 5th Dimension debuting in the Top 10 on Billboard‘s Reggae Albums chart. His hit single “Blessing” garnered over one million views on YouTube within 24 hours of its debut, making him the quickest Ghanaian artist to achieve that milestone on the platform, and he just recently became the first Ghanaian artist to rack up 100 million streams on Audiomack. As a critically acclaimed artist, Stonebwoy is a featured artist on Jamaican reggae band Morgan Heritage‘s Grammy-nominated album Avrakedabra, and his lengthy list of collaborators also includes Burna Boy, Stormzy, Keri Hilson, Sean Paul, Trey Songz, and others. Read more HERE.


ARMADA’S BEAT MUSIC FUND ACQUIRES PUBLISHER CLOUD 9 MUSIC: Armada’s BEAT Music Fund has acquired Amsterdam-based publisher Cloud 9 Music. This acquisition sees the consolidation of Armada Publishing and Cloud 9 Music into Armada Music Publishing, strengthening Armada’s presence in the music publishing realm. BEAT Music Fund’s plans to invest over $500 million (USD) in dance music assets showcase the growing importance of the genre. With previous acquisitions including King Street Sounds and Chocolate Puma‘s catalog, this latest move elevates Armada’s position in the market. Armada Music Publishing, under the stewardship of Maykel Piron, has a formidable roster of songwriters and producers, including Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Lost Frequencies. Maykel Piron, CEO & co-Founder, Armada Music Group, stated, “This acquisition is significant to us and will boost our ability to empower today’s dance artists and expand their opportunities to monetize their work in the current landscape. Now more than ever, today’s artists need a trusted partner. Providing label and publishing services, and opportunities within catalog investment all under one roof directly fuels our ongoing mission to advocate for dance artists, contribute to their success, and uphold the value of creativity.


WARNER MUSIC SOUTH EAST EUROPE LAUNCHES EDM LABEL: Warner Music South East Europe (WM SEE) has extended its footprint into the world of EDM with the launch of Balkan Electro, a label dedicated to showcasing the talent hailing from the Balkans and Ukraine. In collaboration with Ensis Records, Balkan Electro aims to amplify local voices on a worldwide scale. Having alliances with companies like Spinnin’ Records and Warner Music Group affiliates, the label stands ready for a wave of releases, including tracks from Prisko, TBX, Melli, Kevin’s Palacios, and Jordan’s Grace. Founded by Alex Cristian, Ensis Records has propelled the careers of global artists like Kygo and has released over 1,000 records from numerous other artists. Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska, General Manager, WM SEE, said, “It is a proud moment for me launching Balkan Electro alongside Alex Cristian. EDM music has no geographical boundaries, so we will strive to find the next local superstar and take them to the world stage with the help of Warner Music’s global network.” Alex Cristian, Founder & Owner, Ensis Records, added, “There are so many unknown talented producers and DJs across Eastern and Southeastern Europe, so I am looking forward to working with Iza, Warner Music, and its team to make Balkan Electro an enormous success. EDM is already present locally in this part of Europe thanks to local festivals such as Untold, Sziget, and Ultra Europe, so I want to highlight our local talent and music to the world.”


Sarah Liversedge & Liz Cass

BDI MUSIC SIGNS LIZ CASS TO GLOBAL PUBLISHING DEAL: BDi Music has announced the signing of Liz Cass to a global publishing deal. Cass’s musical journey started with her debut release “Follow Me,” alongside John Monkman in 2012, which started her evolution into a topline writer and featured artist. With support from U.K. industry icons like BBC Radio 1 legendary DJ Pete Tong, and collaborations with producers such as CamelPhat and Vintage Culture, Cass’s talent has earned her over 20 million streams. Her feature on “Less Ordinary” with Jansons caught the attention of Hot Since 82, leading to collaborations on his Recovery album, alongside artists like Boy George and Rudimental. Cass’s knack for crafting infectious melodies has earned her recognition from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, and Kiss FM. Her recent sync placement in the British comedy series Antonia has further highlighted her versatility and appeal across different mediums. Sarah Liversedge, Founder & MD, Bdi Music, said, “Liz has been incredibly in demand since she first caught the industry’s attention in 2012. She is a phenomenally talented writer and has racked up tens of millions of streams through her collaborations alone. She is an equally impressive artist in her own right, and we look forward to seeing her star continue to rise.”


JOSH HOGE RENEWS GLOBAL MUSIC PUBLISHING DEAL: Sony Music Publishing Nashville and Verse 2 Music have announced the renewal of their global publishing deal with award-winning, multi-Platinum hitmaker Josh Hoge. Recently, Josh Hoge achieved No.1 chart success with Kane Brown‘s “Bury Me in Georgia,” which earned honors as one of the year’s top-performing tracks at the 2023 SESAC Music Awards, and his crossover No.1 hit “Thank God,” which was named SESAC’s 2023 “Country Song of the Year.” Hoge’s latest release is the new single “Tie Up” by Zac Brown Band, which debuted at No.24 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. He also has forthcoming cuts this year with artists such as Kane Brown, Chris Young, Jelly Roll, Kameron Marlowe, and others. Throughout his career, Josh Hoge has written numerous hits spanning across multiple genres including Chris Young‘s “I’m Comin’ Over” and “Think of You,” Kane Brown’s “Cool Again” and “Used to Love You Sober,” as well as “One Thing Right” with Marshmello. He has received notable accolades for his songwriting including a 2016 SESAC “Songwriter of the Year” honor; a Grammy nomination for “Think of You” by Chris Young; a CMA Award nomination for “I’m Comin’ Over” by Chris Young; and several RIAA multi-Platinum certifications. Verse 2 Music launched in 2021 in partnership with Sony Music Publishing. The venture, led by award-winning artist and songwriter Kane Brown and music industry veteran Kent Earls, represents many of today’s top hitmakers across country music including Josh Hoge, Rivers Rutherford, Dylan Schneider, Joybeth Taylor, Gabe Foust, and Alex Maxwell.


PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC PARTNERS WITH NEIL SEDAKA: Primary Wave Music recently announced their partnership with Neil Sedaka, the world-renowned singer, songwriter, and pianist. Neil Sedaka. The Brooklyn, NY-born icon’s career began in 1957 and he has since toured the globe, sold millions of records worldwide, and has written or co-written over 500 songs for both his personal collection as well as other artists, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Connie Francis, Tom Jones, ABBA, The Monkees, and The Captain & Tennille who had Top 10 Singles with three Sedaka-penned hits including the Grammy-winning “Record of the Year,” with “Love Will Keep Us Together”. Under this partnership, Primary Wave will work closely with Sedaka on his music publishing, including all compositions written by him. Additionally, Primary Wave will manage Sedaka’s master recording rights, ensuring his extensive catalog continues to reach audiences worldwide. Sedaka’s journey from teen pop sensation to enduring music icon has earned him numerous accolades, including an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Read more HERE.


HIPGNOSIS BOARD AGREES TO $1.4 BILLION TAKEOVER BY CONCORD: The board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund has brokered a deal resulting in an accepted bid of $1.4 billion (USD) from Concord. After a period of internal strife and shareholder scrutiny, this offer marks an important moment for the fund, enhancing Concord’s expansion strategy. With a portfolio encompassing 1.2 million songs, Concord’s acquisition includes a treasure trove of tracks from artists like Shakira, Ed Sheeran, and Neil Young amongst many others. The bid, spearheaded by Concord Chorus and backed by Alchemy Copyrights, is set to shift the music investment landscape, leveraging Concord’s industry presence and financial backing from Apollo Global Management. However, potential complications loom with a call option held by Merck Mercuriadis and Hipgnosis Song Management, presenting a crucial juncture for the future direction of the fund. With shareholders set to vote on the offer, shares in Hipgnosis have surged by 31% in response to the news. Chairman, Robert Naylor urged a collaborative resolution to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders involved. Bob Valentine, CEO, Concord, stated, “We are pleased to be announcing this offer for Hipgnosis, which has been unanimously recommended by its board and has the support of 29.38% of their shareholders. We believe we are offering a fair price for Hipgnosis’ catalogs and music assets, giving its shareholders the opportunity to realize their investment at a significant premium to the prevailing share price in cash. However, over this past weekend, Blackstone submitted a $1.5 billion (USD) takeover bid for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, rivaling Concord. The private equity firm offered $1.24 (USD) per share, versus Concord’s $1.14 (USD) per share offer issued on Thursday.


AMV PUBLISHING & SMV SCHACHT MUSIKVERLAGE SIGN DUCAN TOWNSEND: Germany’s AMV Publishing recently partnered with SMV Schacht Musikverlage in a comprehensive co-publishing deal. This strategic partnership combines AMV’s prowess in scouting and promoting new talent with SMV’s expertise in international rights management and catalog administration. Leading the charge for AMV is CEO Jens-Markus Wegener, whose role centers on discovering and marketing music hits globally. SMV Schacht Musikverlage will manage the extensive back catalog and aid in the exploitation of new works. This partnership has already borne fruit with notable signings such as hip-hop luminary and actor Veysel, rock vocalist Lorena, and EDM maestro Mike Key. Adding to their growing roster, the duo recently inked a sweeping exclusive author agreement with singer-songwriter Duncan Townsend, following his relocation to Australia. Townsend, a seasoned artist long based in the vibrant music hubs of Hamburg and Berlin, embarked on his musical voyage with riveting performances on Hamburg’s famed Reeperbahn. His collaborative single with German pop icon Nena propelled him into the Top 20, sparking a series of successful European tours, both solo and supporting acts like Katie Melua. Townsend has collaborated with artists including Emma Steinbakken, Timmy Trumpet, KSHMR, R3hab, and Sarah Connor, amassing over 500 million Spotify streams. His credits include tracks on seven No.1 albums and multiple Gold and Platinum certifications. His work has also been featured in feature films, series, and major advertising campaigns for brands such as Skoda, Telekom, and Netflix. Recently, Townsend launched his artist project DT James, which consistently garners international radio play and substantial streaming figures. Furthermore, he is expanding his creative horizons into theatre, co-writing a children’s musical with Chloé Charody, soon to be adapted into an animated feature.


GIGGS ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL PUBLIC LAUNCH: GIGGS which is a quintessential platform for professionals in the live event industry, focusing on revolutionizing career progression and opportunity has announced its official launch. With over 10,000 users and 150 job placements within just five months post-beta launch, the platform has become a growing cornerstone for connecting top-tier talent with coveted gigs. Led by Founder Nikki Sanz, GIGGS addresses the longstanding challenges of networking and job procurement in the live events sector, drawing from her experience working with Eric Church and George Strait. Nikki says her vision for GIGGS extends beyond mere employment facilitation, it embodies a commitment to upholding equality, promoting the vitality of gigging as a career, and nurturing a community of event professionals. Nikki Sanz tells A&R Worldwide, “I have experienced the inefficiencies plaguing the hiring processes of the live event industry. GIGGS helps save executive time spent on inefficient word-of-mouth hiring methods. Employers can directly connect with a vetted, skilled workforce to find the exact talent they need when they need it. It is not just about filling positions; it is about optimizing time and resources to focus on what truly matters – load in and out on time, and a flawless show!”


BEATBREAD PARTNERS WITH KOBALT: BeatBread has announced its latest expansion into publishing administration. The company has teamed up with Kobalt and AMRA, to offer artists enhanced services, including increased royalties, faster payments, and improved data transparency. Utilizing an algorithm that analyzes streaming and social data, beatBread will provide advances to artists within days, ranging from $1,000 to over $4.5 million (USD). Artists repay the advance as a percentage of their revenue over a customizable time. The addition of publishing administration services will fill a key gap for artists, particularly those who are unpublished or under-collecting their performance and mechanical revenues. With $34 million (USD) raised in a seed round and a subsequent $100 million institutional fund, beatBread continues to expand into fractional investing through sliceNote and facilitating over 1,000 advances to artists and indie labels worldwide, with tracks streamed over ten billion times in 2023 alone.


AUDIOMACK SIGNS PARTNERSHIP WITH MERLIN: The prevalence of modified audio on digital music platforms is drawing increasing concern from industry stakeholders, as it represents substantial lost revenue for artists, labels, and publishers. Recent research by Pex highlights over a million tracks on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music that are altered, with royalties often failing to reach rightful owners. The issue is particularly pronounced on TikTok, where 38% of music is modified. In response, Audiomack has unveiled Audiomod, empowering users to adjust tracks while respecting copyright. Partnering with Merlin, Audiomack aims to expand the reach of indie labels’ music to its global audience. This initiative aligns with Audiomack’s Creator App and Connect Tab, enabling direct engagement with fans. With over half a million active creators, Audiomack resonates globally, particularly in Africa, where it ranks among the top five music apps on Android in seventeen countries.


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: Stacey Tang, Chris Briggs, Mike Smith, Eva-Marie Petzinger, Joe Kentish, Mark Ngui, Jason Bentley, Adam Greenup, Gavin Maude, Andrew Gould, Felix Howard, Rick Sackheim, Nadja Kuppel, Tarsame Mittal, and Damian Slevison.

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