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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 839




German-based independent global music publishing firm, Budde Music has signed a worldwide creative and administrative deal with internationally renowned hit songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Billy Mann.

With more than 30 years of industry expertise, Billy Mann’s songs and productions have earned Grammy nominations, a Juno Award, and a Swedish Grammis Award. Billy has collaborated with renowned artists such as P!nk, Backstreet Boys, David Guetta, John Legend, Take That, Helene Fischer, Celine Dion, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Kelly Rowland, and many more.

Standing (L-R) are Ole Wachsmuth (Business Affairs Manager, Budde Music), Jan-Simon Wolff (Head of A&R, Budde Music), Selina Paetz (VP Global Services & Partner Relations, Budde Music), Billy Mann, Benjamin Budde (CEO, Budde Group), Florian Müller (Senior A&R Manager, Budde Music), Isabelle Schaa (A&R Manager, Budde Music), and Peer Steinwald (Senior Director Creative Services, Budde Music).

His first Top 10 hit in the U.K. was Dana Dawson‘s “3 is Family,” which debuted in 1995, and he has since penned numerous Top 10 and Top 40 hits. Since 2002, Mann has been P!nk’s longest-standing collaborator, initially producing and co-writing the hit “God Is A DJ.” Over the following two decades, Billy co-wrote the Grammy-nominated “Stupid Girls” with P!nk in 2006, along with other hits such as “Dear Mr. President,” “Glitter in The Air,” and “Bridge of Light.” Additionally, Mann has produced and written Top 10 songs globally for artists like Robyn, Paul Van Dyk, Anastacia,Delta Goodrem, Tiziano Ferro, Thomas Helmig, Amanda Marshall, and Jessica Simpson, among others. In 2021, Billy executive produced and co-wrote David Guetta’s hit “Family,” featuring Bebe Rexha, Ty Dolla $ign, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie.

With multiple global Top 40 hits and over 110 million albums sold, Billy Mann’s track record is extraordinary. Beyond songwriting and producing, Mann has held several C-suite executive roles, including Chief Creative Officer, President of Global Artist Management, and President of A&R International at EMI Music, as well as President of Creative, North America for BMG. He has also been a sought-after creative advisor for numerous brands and entertainment companies, including Sony Pictures Television, Red Bull Media House, Warner Chappell, Rainmaker Films, and Canaan Capital Partners.

Benjamin Budde, CEO, Budde Group tells A&R Worldwide, “Billy and I have known each other for many years, and I am proud that we can now ‘officially’ collaborate. Billy is one of the most successful songwriters of our time, and we are already looking forward to many more shared hits in the future.”

Billy Mann added, “What has always spoken to me about Budde Music is the entrepreneurial spirit that Benny, Hiten[Bharadia], and the entire team consistently demonstrate towards their songwriters. They share my passion and competitive spirit for songs and possess a tenacious, independent mentality – with the results to prove it. I look forward to learning from them in this next chapter.”




Tyler Bacon, President & CEO, Position Music tells A&R Worldwide that DJ and producer Audien has penned an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with the company. The agreement encompasses both Audiens’ back catalog and forthcoming releases.

Based in Los Angeles, Audien has left an imprint on the electronic music landscape with his uplifting melodies and production expertise. His achievements include a Grammy nomination for his remix of Bastille‘s “Pompeii” and a Billboard Top 40 spot for “Something Better” featuring Lady A. After releasing his tracks through various labels, Audien signed to Armada Music in 2021 and released three singles, including “Wish It Was You (feat. Cate Downey)” which became a No.1 Dance Radio record, and then started 2022 with another No.1 Dance Radio single, “One Last Dance (feat. XIRA).”

Seated (L-R) are Jake Versluis (Partner and A&R, Position Music), Audien, Eric Bindman (Manager, Prodigy Artists), Tyler Bacon (President & CEO, Position Music).

Audien’s “Progressive House Never Died” brand was launched at Miami Music Week 2022 and led to a completely sold-out tour and performance at EDC Las Vegas. Audien has booked a residency with Tao Group in Las Vegas and is set to perform at a variety of festivals this summer including Ubbi Dubbi, Beyond Wonderland Chicago, Lost in Dreams, and others. Audien also has several collaborations, including one with BTS on their track “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal,” and has produced official remixes for Coldplay, Halsey, Calvin Harris, and more.

Audien said, “I connected with Position immediately. They have been a dream come true — consistently attentive, and an affirmation of the countless hours spent making this music. This opportunity gives us all the chance to share my music with a wider audience, and to see my songs connect deeper with the world, and to reach new heights in my career.”

Jake Versluis, Partner and A&R, Position Music added, “I am beyond thrilled that Audien and his team at Prodigy Artists have put their trust in me and the team here at Position Music. As an artist, he is doing incredible things in dance music, having played many of the major dance festivals, achieved multiple No.1 records at dance radio, held residencies in Las Vegas, and received a Grammy nomination. He is a perfect fit for Position as we continue to grow our roster in electronic music.”

Position Music celebrated its 25th anniversary at its burgeoning global headquarters in Burbank, CA last week, as A&R Worldwide and hundreds of others joined the company in recognizing their amazing growth, and global achievements across sync, publishing, and recorded music, as well as their growing state of the art studio complex.



Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok have announced a new licensing deal after months of stalemate between the music and tech behemoths. The agreement will enhance benefits for UMG’s artists, songwriters, and labels, and will subsequently return their music back to TikTok. Universal’s catalog of four million songs and three million recordings will be available on TikTok within a couple of weeks, in which previously silenced videos will undergo unmuting.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, said, “This new chapter in our relationship with TikTok focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry, and the welfare of the creative community. We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.”

Shou Chew, CEO, TikTok, added, “Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem, and we are pleased to have found a path forward with Universal Music Group. We are committed to working together to drive value, discovery, and promotion for all of UMG’s amazing artists and songwriters, and deepen their ability to grow, connect, and engage with the TikTok community.”

The rift between TikTok and Universal Music Group surfaced in late January, as UMG revealed that their agreement with TikTok was slated to conclude on the final day of that month. Universal issued a statement to its artists community about why both companies’ negotiations had ended without a deal. UMG pressed TikTok on its main problems including appropriate compensation for its artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the dangerous effects of AI, and online safeguards for TikTok’s users.

The new deal addresses these issues, with both companies saying they will work together to realize different monetization opportunities using TikTok’s e-commerce capabilities and on campaigns supporting UMG’s roster of artists across genres and territories globally, as well as TikTok investing an abundance of resources into building artists-centric tools.

TikTok stated that its tools including its Add to Music App feature, data and analytics, and integrated ticketing capabilities will support artists, both financially and by increasing their fanbases using TikTok’s community while fortifying online safety protections for artists and their fans. Furthermore, both companies have promised AI development across the music industry will protect human artistry and the economics that flow to those artists and songwriters, whilst removing unauthorized AI-generated music from the platform.




Clive Davis‘ name is synonymous with the ultimate record man. In terms of success, influence, longevity, and the artists and executives he has mentored, he has no peer and probably never will. In a very rare and revealing interview, legendary executive Clive Davis sits down with MUBUTV‘s Ritch Esra and Eric Knight to discuss his life and 50+ year career in music.

Clive discusses his personal struggles and triumphs and sheds light on the pivotal artists and events that shaped his unrivaled career in music. From the devastating loss of both parents during his formative teen years to his unmatched track record as an executive in the music industry, Davis discusses the tumultuous musical landscape of the 1960s, becoming President of Columbia Records, the profound impact both personally and professionally attending The Monterey Pop Festival had on him, the struggles and bold strategies he used to redefine Columbia Records from a MOR label to a cultural vanguard on the cutting-edge of contemporary music with his groundbreaking artist signings which included; Janis Joplin, Laura Nyro, Sly & The Family Stone, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Santana, Billy Joel, Earth, Wind & Fire, Aerosmith, and Bruce Springsteen just to name a few.

He also delves into his motivations for launching Arista in the fall of 1974 and having a No.1 hit with their first release “Mandy” by Barry Manilow, as well as signing Eric Carmen, Patti Smith, The Alan Parsons Project, Ray Parker Jr., and of course Whitney Houston. He also discusses the formation of Arista Nashville, LaFace as well as J Records which included discovering Alicia Keys, and later signing Busta Rhymes, Luther Vandross, Maroon 5, D’Angelo, and many others.

In addition, he gives great insights into his criteria and what he specifically looks for – both creatively and non-creatively, when signing artists, the importance of songs that can break an artist’s career, and much more. Click HERE to watch this exclusive interview with MUBU-TV, the educational music business network that captures regular conversations with high-profile executives at A&R Worldwide‘s annual global music business conference MUSEXPO.


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!

MUSIC SUPERVISORS CONNECT IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC. Pictured (L-R) are Alex Smutný (Founder, Composers Summit), Peymon Maskan (Founder, Radish Music Supervision), Matthew Hearon-Smith (Music Supervisor, Paramount Global / ViacomCBS), Mason Cooper (Founder, Songrunner Entertainment), Duncan Smith (Head of Music, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe), and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO).

A&R Worldwide recently teamed up with Composers Summit in Prague, Czech Republic, and invited several leading music supervisors to share their insights and vision around their respective expertise with music integration within film, television, trailers, promos, videogames, and advertising.

The music supervisors shared their various experiences, creative processes, and thoughts on the various touch points of sync and how it is continuing to evolve and impact pop culture. In addition, the music supervisors joined some of Hollywood, the U.K., and Europe’s leading music composers to give the audience insights into the creative and commercial realms of musical scores and soundtracks in film and television.

The Composer Summit concluded its multi-day event with the informative sync panel that was curated by A&R Worldwide and its founder Sat Bisla who has been integrally involved in sync and music supervision since 1996, when he managed Rob Dougan (aka Clubbed To Death) who became one of the most sync’d and licensed artists in the world across film, television, movie trailers, and commercials.

Bisla is also music supervising the upcoming independent film produced by Sunil Perkash (SALT, Enchanted, Premonition, Divorce Party, Last Survivors, and more).


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week


Good Neighbours, emerging from the heart of East London’s vibrant music scene, embody a fusion of classic songwriting and bold production, drawing inspiration from iconic bands like Passion Pit and MGMT. Their meteoric rise began with the breakout success of “Home,” a euphoric future pop anthem that quickly became a viral sensation, amassing over 200 million streams and charting in 12 countries, including the U.K. and the Billboard 100. With “Keep It Up,” their latest single, they continue to captivate listeners with a message of resilience and optimism, delivered through infectious melodies and dynamic instrumentation. Jangling piano chords and pulsating drums set the stage for an uplifting experience, embodying the band’s spirit of facing adversity with unwavering determination and a zest for life. As Scott and Oli reflect on their journey, “Keep It Up” marks not just a song but a defining moment for Good Neighbours – a band fueled by the transformative power of music to inspire and uplift. Discover the new single “Keep It Up”
HERE, and contact Joe Etchells at, and Ollie Hodge at for all inquiries related to Good Neighbours.



Nieve Ella‘s presence in the U.K. music scene is nothing short of captivating, drawing both newcomers and devoted fans with her potent indie-pop confessionals and 90s guitar ambiance. Fresh off the success of her 2023 EP, Lifetime of Wanting, and a sold-out debut headline tour, the West-Midlands songwriter and guitarist now releases her new single “The Things We Say” on AWAL. Collaborating with producer Iain Berryman and co-writer Joel Pott, Ella crafts a track that balances heaviness and lightness, depth, and playfulness, showcasing her evolved songwriting prowess at just 21 years old. Nieve Ella followed her support for Dylan and Irish band Inhaler with a headline tour in February, selling out tickets in under five minutes and adding extra dates in London and Birmingham, which also sold out immediately. With accolades from BBC Radio 1‘s Introducing and Greg James (“Record of The Week”), along with a growing fanbase and critical acclaim from NME, Rolling Stone UK, The Independent, Clash, The Line of Best Fit and others, Ella’s authentic and vulnerable approach to music solidifies her as one of 2024’s most promising artists, poised for meteoric success. View the new video for “The Things We Say” HERE, and contact Espen Blödorn-Mentzoni at for additional information and available opportunities with Nieve Ella.


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 5th, 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:

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Eyes Wide Shut” (Chess Club/AWAL , U.K.)
SOHODOLLS – “What Kinda Love” (Filthy Pretty/A&G, U.K.)
GIANT ROOKS – “Under Your Wings” (Universal Music, Germany)
THE DREAM MACHINE – “Frankenstein” (Unsigned, U.K.)
GIRL IN RED – “Too Much” (Columbia, Norway)
GOOD NEIGHBOURS – “Home” (Unsigned, U.K.)
KEYSIDE – “Turn Back The Time” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
HINDS – “Coffee” (Lucky Number, Spain)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Fool” (Wagram, France)
THE CAVS – “Man In The Suit” (Unsigned, U.K.)
MIDDLE KIDS – “The Blessings” (EMI, Australia)
RED RUM CLUB – “Hole In My Home” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
ANAÏS – “Stephen King” (Believe, Germany)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Oh No :: He Said What?” (RCA Records, U.K.)
NEWDAD – “Madra” (Atlantic Records, U.K.)
DOTAN – “Louder” (7 Layers Music, Holland)
RHETT REPKO – “My Love Will Stay” (Unsigned, N. America)
MICHAEL ALDAG – “Sabotage” (3 Beat/Universal, U.K.)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
HOLYOAK – “You’re The Home” (Unsigned, Australia)
RADIO FREE ALICE – “Waste of Space” (Double Drummer, Australia)
ACROBVT – “Neon” (Unsigned, U.K.)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Always By My Side” (Universal Music, S. Africa)
SEA GIRLS – “I Want You To Know Me” (Alt Records/Believe, U.K.)
PICTURE THIS – “Act Of Innocence” (RCA, Sony, Ireland)
CORELLA – “Head Underwater” (Corella Music, U.K.)
TALISCO – “Sorry ” (Roy Music, France)
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – “The End of The Contender” (BMG Rights, U.K.)
BO MILLI – “Making Friends” (AWAL, Norway)
JAMIE HANNAH – “What If” (Unsigned, U.K.)
MASI MASI – “Cigarette Smile” (Unsigned, U.K.)
BETTER JOY – “Hard To Love” (Fader Amp, U.K.)
FLAT PARTY – “Aching For Living” (Unsigned, U.K.)
BRICE KENDALL – “Finest Garments” (Unsigned, U.S.A.)



Unsigned A&R buzz artist MASI MASI performs at the Seymour Stein “Global A&R Award” at MUSEXPO.

BUZZING UNSIGNED U.K. ARTIST PREPARES FOR A&R SHOWCASE: MASI MASI, the captivating British alt/indie-pop ensemble led by the charismatic Joe McGrath was the first-ever unsigned artist to perform at the inaugural Seymour Stein “Global A&R Award” honoring Wendy Goldstein, President & Chief Creative Officer, Republic Records at this year’s MUSEXPO in Burbank, CA. During his acoustic performance, MASI MASI garnered a standing ovation from the multi-Platinum singer/songwriter John Legend and over 250 influential executives from the U.S. and around the world. After his short set, he was offered several worldwide label and publishing deals, as well as management offers including from one of the world’s top artist managers. All these incredible outcomes are currently being considered by MASI MASI who has garnered tastemaker acclaim for their notable singles such as “Favourite Gold,” “We Don’t Care,” and “The Good Stuff,” along with the latest release, “Cigarette Smile.” These tracks have not only enjoyed global radio play but have also secured placements on prominent Spotify and Apple Music playlists. In addition, he’s recorded five songs for sync placement with the major U.S. TV network Paramount (part of Viacom) and has also been on the recent sold-out Michael Aldag U.K. tour dates. Joe McGrath, the band’s versatile lead singer, 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. MASI MASI will perform his U.K. A&R showcase at the Green Door Store as part of The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, England at 8:15PM on Saturday, May 18th.


Nicole Thomas & Nick Ghelakis

VIRGIN MUSIC SOUTH AFRICA NAMES CO-COUNTRY MANAGERS: Virgin Music Group has announced Nick Ghelakis and Nicole Thomas will be their co-Country Managers of its South African division following the passing of Chris Ghelakis, the former Managing Director of Virgin Music Group South Africa. Similarly to his father, Nick Ghelakis started off as an artist (winning a South African Music Award), and then worked as a studio engineer and later helmed a digital marketing position at Electromode (a leading independent record label) where he advocated for South African talent. Furthermore, Nicole Thomas, who served as an executive assistant to the late Chris Ghelakis, has worked in studio management at SCR Studios overseeing client relations, marketing and promotions, business development, and operations. Her recent tenure involves being the General Manager at Electromode before transitioning to Ingrooves Africa in 2021, and then Virgin Music Group last year. “Nicole and Nick both bring with them decades of experience in the South African music market, characterized by a fierce devotion to local artists and a real vision to spread the country’s incredible music far beyond its own borders,” said JT Myers, Co-CEO of Virgin Music Group. “Their leadership ensures continuity as we continue to grow this hugely important music market both within the country and around the world.”


GERMAN PRODUCER SIRA GARNERS 3X PLATINUM CERTIFICATION: Last year’s German summer anthem of “9 Bis 9,” by SIRA, Bausa and badchieff has been certified triple Platinum. The hit was produced by SIRA in collaboration with Southstar and released via Four Music/Two Sides which are independent labels within Sony Music Entertainment in Germany. The single “9 Bis 9′ stayed at the No.1 position in the German singles charts for a total of six weeks and has been streamed more than 110 million times since its release. The song also earned SIRA a nomination for the prestigious 1LIVE Krone 2023 award in the “Best Hip Hop/RnB Song” category. The sped-up remix by music creator How2Shirli played a role in the success of the song, which alone achieved almost 35 million streams. SIRA is one of Germany’s most up-and-coming producers and currently has over four million monthly listeners on Spotify. For his first release “Powerade” (2022), the 23-year-old from Berlin was certified Platinum in Germany and Gold in Austria and Switzerland. SIRA has already celebrated chart successes in 2024 and reached No.1 at the beginning of the year with the reimagination of the single “Wonderful Life” together with Luciano, Hurts (the U.K. band who garnered global success with the original release of their song almost 13 years ago), and 6PM Records.


Pictured (L-R) are Bryce Sherlow (Manager, A&R, WCM), Bradley Kind (The Core), Chief Zaruk (The Core), Ben Vaughn (President & CEO, WCM Nashville), Simon Tikhman (The Core), and seated up front is Hannah McFarland.

WARNER CHAPPELL & CORE ENTERTAINMENT SIGN HANNAH MCFARLAND: Warner Chappell Music(WCM) and The Core Entertainment have announced that they have signed a joint worldwide publishing deal with Hannah McFarland. McFarland has opened for country artists like Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion, Travis Tritt, and more. In April, McFarland performed with Zach Bryan onstage in Alabama to carry out Kacey Musgraves‘ part of their hit, “I Remember Everything.” Bryce Sherlow, Manager, A&R, Warner Chappell Music Nashville, tells A&R Worldwide, “We are so excited to work with Hannah McFarland and represent her unique talent. Hannah is an incredibly insightful and talented songwriter that has already accomplished numerous major milestones. Her storytelling and emotion drew me to her instantly and I am looking forward to our journey together.” Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Simon Tikhman, co-founders & CEOs, The Core Entertainment, added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Chappell Music Nashville on an artist like Hannah whose star is so bright already. We are so excited for what her future holds in Nashville and beyond.”


AWAL PROMOTES WILL HUNT TO VP OF A&R: Will Hunt has been named Vice President of A&R at AWAL in the United Kingdom. Hunt will report to Matt Riley, Managing Director in AWAL’s London office, and will continue to assist and develop AWAL’s roster. Transitioning to AWAL from Columbia Records in 2018, Hunt has collaborated with artists including Girl in Red, Dayglow, CMAT, and Joesef. He maintains an engagement with the roster of artists including new additions, Clara La San, Nieve Ella, Mikayla Geier, Sarah Julia, and Brandon Nembhard. He also leads AWAL’s relationship with Rules The World Records. Will Hunt stated, “I am delighted to be stepping into this role. AWAL is a cutting-edge record company, where there is an opportunity to sign incredible talent and do artist development, which I love. I am honored to be able to contribute in my own way to its story and keep working with the special team here.” Matt Riley added, “Will has world-class A&R instincts and a unique approach when it comes to finding and developing artists. AWAL has been on an A&R-led journey for many years now and we have managed to cultivate one of the best rosters out there. Will has played a key role in this, and it has been a privilege to witness his personal development to become an essential part of our global A&R team.”


Joe Dent & Jill Weindorf

JILL WEINDORF & JOE DENT PROMOTED TO EVP ROLES AT CONCORD: Jill Weindorf has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Marketing for Concord Label Group, while Joe Dent has been upped to Executive Vice President of Operations. The promotions are designed to modernize Concord’s structure to support a growing roster while increasing the Company’s ability to sign, develop, and maintain artists in a global ecosystem. Weindorf began her career in marketing at Elektra Records and with an almost two-decade tenure at Concord, she has led marketing campaigns for Paul McCartney, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Ghost, among other artists. As Executive VP of Marketing, Weindorf will lead marketing efforts across Concord’s eight active labels, including Radio Promotion, Sync Marketing, Digital Marketing, Brand Management, and Creative/Design. Meanwhile, Joe Dent spent a decade at Fat Beats Distribution, rising to General Manager. At Concord, he oversaw the stabilization of Concord’s vinyl pipeline during the COVID pandemic, increasing Concord’s in-house spatial audio capacity, and developing a B2B system for interacting with artists. Dent will concentrate on improving processes across the active label and back-office teams, including Physical Sales, Production, D2C, A&R Operations, and Digital Operations, according to the announcement.


SONGKICK ENTERS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOOBS: Songkick, the concert discovery app, has teamed up with Black music and culture ticketing and marketing company Shoobs. The deal will see Songkick list and promote Shoobs’ events to its 155 million fans through its app, website, and eCRM. The partnership will help boost the visibility of Black culture events and gigs, such as Afro Nation Portugal, Burna Boy, and Piano People in The Park, engaging fans both old and new. Louise Broni-Mensah founded Shoobs in 2013 and became the first Black female founder to be financially backed by Y Combinator. Over the last decade, the company has gone from strength to strength, partnering on marketing and ticketing with Afro Nation, Rolling Loud Portugal, and AMA Fest. In 2022, Christine Osazuwa joined the team as Chief Strategy Officer having previously held roles at Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Pollen. Songkick’s app enables music fans across the globe to track their favorite artists, discover concerts, and buy tickets. Its mission is to create transparency in the live industry so that fans have equitable and consistent access to the gigs they love. Over the last few years, Songkick has expanded its international language services into French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, which will help foster and build cultural collaborations amongst fans and artists in this partnership with Shoobs.


UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP GENERATED $2.8 BILLION IN Q1: Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced its Q1 results with revenues soaring to EUR €2.594 billion (USD $2.816 billion) across all divisions. UMG showcased a robust 7.9% year-over-year growth at constant currency, fueled by an array of segments. Recorded music remains a pillar of UMG’s success, with revenues hitting €1.989 billion ($2.159 billion USD), up 5.6% year-over-year. Streaming experienced a notable surge, with subscription streaming revenues witnessing a 12.5% growth to €1.123 billion ($1.219 billion USD). Even ad-supported streaming, reflecting industry recovery, saw a 10.3% increase. However, the physical sector faced challenges, with a 14.4% decline in revenues. Despite this, UMG’s diversified revenue streams, including licensing and other avenues, continue to maintain its position at the top with artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Morgan Wallen, and Olivia Rodrigo being the top sellers for Q1.


BMG’S COMMUNICATIONS HEAD STEVE REDMOND TO STEP DOWN: BMG Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Communications Steve Redmond is set to step down from the company after a 12-year tenure. Redmond influenced the company’s image and assisted in its positioning over a time that its revenues have more than quadrupled to become the biggest international record company apart from the three major labels. He also led communications for over 100 acquisitions and advocated for BMG’s fairness initiatives towards artists and songwriters alongside previous CEO Hartwig Masuch. Not long ago, he led communications for the company’s transition to its current CEO Thomas Coesfeld, and the company’s new strategy. Redmond began consulting for BMG in 2012, then moved to BMG’s headquarters to become Sr. VP Global Corporate Communications in January 2016, and was finally promoted to Executive VP Global Corporate Communications in 2021. In the 90’s Redmond led the Music Week group of magazines first as editor and then publisher, as well as overseeing the pan-European music business publication FONO. In the early 2000s, he spent four years at the U.K. record companies trade association the BPI as Director of Communications & Development before becoming an independent media consultant. Steve Redmond said, “My time at BMG has been a career-defining opportunity to demonstrate how communications can really make a difference. As BMG enters a new phase and the entertainment industry on a broader level enters a new chapter, this is the ideal moment to move on. I send my best wishes for the future to my BMG colleagues.”


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 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.


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: Andy Olyphant, Kim Revie, Dipesh Parmar, Abhishek Patil, Adam Ryan, Jamie Oborne, Matt, Oliver Hild, Detlef Schwarte, Karl Kongkham, Cristina Chavez, Alex Hackford, Ken Komisar, Austin Daboh, and Alistair Norbury.

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