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A&R Worldwide Newsletter Vol. 840



Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, who has been at the helm of Atlantic Records A&R division since 2018, is stepping down to launch Pure Tone Records, a joint venture with Atlantic. The debut artist that’s being signed to Pure Tone Records is Platinum musician Forest Blakk, whom Ganbarg originally signed to Atlantic in 2016 after discovering him through Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide (who spent six years developing Forest Blakk) during an A&R meeting the two had at Pete’s office back in 2015. Ganbarg will still A&R a number of acts on the Atlantic roster which includes twenty one pilots, Shinedown, Gayle, Halestorm, and others.

PETE GANBARG – “INTERNATIONAL MUSIC PERSON OF THE YEAR” AT MUSEXPO 2023: Pictured (L-R) are Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), Pete Ganbarg (then President A&R, Atlantic Records) and Kara DioGuardi (singer, songwriter, producer, and A&R executive).

“The launch of Pure Tone Records as a standalone label is an exciting moment for me,” Ganbarg said in a statement. “It is the best of both worlds – a golden opportunity to run my own shop, while at the same time having the backing of the outstanding Atlantic team who I have worked with so closely over the past 15-plus years. I am looking forward to making Pure Tone [Records] a home for exceptional, original talent, and at the same time, I am very happy to continue to work with my amazing Atlantic artist roster,” Ganbarg continued. “I want to thank Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman for their tremendous support over the years, and for having the faith to join me in this new adventure.”

“For the past 16 years, Pete has brilliantly led our A&R mission – discovering, signing, and championing a genre-crossing array of hit artists, while also boosting our theatrical presence with a string of award-winning cast albums,” Atlantic Music Group Chairman & CEO Julie Greenwald and Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman said in a statement. “At the same time, he mentored and built a fantastic A&R team who are experts at nurturing baby acts and superstars alike. The formation of Pure Tone is an important event for Pete and Atlantic, as he brings his decades of experience, his impeccable taste, and great ears to steering his own ship, and we are thrilled to be his partners on this exciting next phase of his musical journey.”

Ganbarg formed Pure Tone Music before joining Atlantic as an A&R consultant. His clients included Kelly Clarkson, Chaka Khan, Santana, Aaron Neville, Donna Summer, among others. He also runs a couple of publishing ventures alongside Warner Chappell Music and its writers have garnered numerous Gold and Platinum certifications, including the 2024 Grammy-winning record of the year for Miley Cyrus‘ “Flowers.”

Ganbarg was hired by Atlantic in 2008 as an executive VP of A&R. During his time there he signed and aided Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, Melanie Martinez, Skillet, Brett Eldredge, Matchbox Twenty & Rob Thomas, among others. He also spearheaded Atlantic’s Broadway cast albums, including co-signing and A&R’ing the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton. He has accumulated Grammy awards as a producer of the original Broadway cast recordings of Dear Evan Hansen and Jagged Little Pill and has helped support the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman and Daisy Jones & The Six.

Ganbarg started his A&R career in 1989 at SBK Records and then in 1997, while at Arista Records, he A&R’d Santana‘s Platinum and Grammy-winning album Supernatural. Ganbarg’s successor as president of A&R is yet to be announced. However, A&R Worldwide has a good idea of who is the most likely candidate – stay tuned.




Hotly-tipped British duo Good Neighbours have signed with Capitol Records and Polydor Records in a worldwide joint venture after their debut single “Home” turned from viral a song to cementing itself in the charts.

Good Neighbours

Having accumulated over 200 million combined streams, Good Neighbours’ “Home” is 2024’s highest streamed debut single across the globe from a new artist. In addition, the song entered the singles charts in 13 countries, having spent 14 weeks on the U.K. Official Singles Chart, 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, and 13 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboard‘s”Hot Rock Songs.”

Before Good Neighbours become exclusively a part of Capitol and Polydor, both companies will help assist indie labels Some Action (U.K.) and Neon Gold/Avenue A (U.S.) for the release of the band’s debut EP, sometime down the line this year.

Good Neighbours consists of artist and multi-instrumentalist Scott Verrill and singer/songwriter Oli Fox who both had their own independent projects before forming the band. The duo has neighboring studios at their building in East London, England, and started creating songs for the project together out of a need to highlight positivity in an area where most of the music felt gentle and dulcet.

Having a yearning to elicit the early 2000s exhilaration of bands like Passion Pit and MGMT, Good Neighbours acknowledges its predecessors, among its other inspirations.

The band is represented by Joe Etchells and Ollie Hodge.




Downtown Music (Downtown), a leading service provider to the global music industry, recently announced a significant expansion in its capacity to support the independent music community in partnership with Bank of America. Initially established in 2022 with $200 million (USD) of capacity to provide artists and rights holders with advances in exchange for a short-term share of future royalties, the partnership now equips Downtown with an additional $500 million (USD) of advance capacity in the coming years.

Pieter van Rijn

This credit facility is designed to enable independent artists, songwriters, labels, and publishers all over the world with ready access to the capital they need to finance their work and grow their businesses on their own terms.

Pieter van Rijn, CEO, Downtown, said “Downtown is at the center of a major shift in the music industry where creators and the businesses that support them are completely aligned. Our clients depend on us for the resources they need to bring their work to life and retain ownership and control of their work. Flexible financing solutions like this are another essential way we can support artists and grow the industry as a whole.”

As a leading service provider to the global music industry, Downtown provides services across multiple rights types, allowing it to extend creative financing solutions to a wide range of artists and rights holders. From distribution and publishing administration to neighboring rights and UGC monetization, Downtown provides customized and combined services to empower it to meet the diverse needs of artists and music companies around the world.

With a continued shift towards the independent artists sector worldwide, Downtown, along with many others are aiming to capitalize on the A&R shift that is beginning to happen, whereas, more A&R executives and companies are focusing efforts on nurturing young talent with long-term career sustainability that exceeds the potential of short-term passive data-driven A&R signings.




Respected A&R executive Luis “Lu” Mota has joined Atlantic Records as Executive VP, A&R. Based at Atlantic’s New York City headquarters, he will report to Lanre Gaba, Co-President of Black Music. Mota comes to Atlantic from Columbia Records where he played a pivotal role on the team that discovered and developed Platinum-selling hip-hop stars including Lil Tjay, Polo G, Fivio Foreign, and Joey Bada$$.

Luis “Lu” Mota

In making the announcement, Gaba stated, “Lu is one of the most promising A&R execs I have met in a long time. He has proven his ability to find and nurture talent while delivering hit records. Sharing Atlantic’s unwavering commitment to long-term artist development in black music, he’ll be key in helping us break new acts and deliver great music.”

Luis Mota added, “Atlantic has a rich history of getting in early and championing superstars from the ground up. To now be a part of this dynamic and accomplished team is an honor. There’s so much undiscovered rising talent out there on the global music scene, and I am looking forward to making my mark here.”

Most recently, Mota served as Senior VP, A&R at Columbia Records. After discovering Lil Tjay, Mota brought him to Columbia Records, developing the breakout star and playing a key role in the Bronx native’s success, including his Billboard Hot 100 No. 3 smash “Calling My Phone,” and multi-Platinum hits “F.N” and “Brothers.” Mota and his team also A&R’d Polo G’s “Pop Out,” a record that went Platinum four months after its release and has since gone eight times Platinum. He is also credited with inking a deal between Columbia and Fivio Foreign whose debut album B.I.B.L.E. went on to secure a Top 10 spot on the Billboard 200.

Prior to joining Columbia in 2018, Mota held an A&R role at 300 Entertainment. His expertise has earned him recognition on Billboard‘s R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players list as well as a pivotal role on the XXL Awards board where he serves alongside many hip-hop industry’s top executives and veteran artists.


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!

BACK TO BLAKK AT MUSEXPO. Pictured (L-R) are Monte Malone (Sr. VP, A&R Worldwide), Platinum-selling artist and songwriter Forest Blakk, and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide) at MUSEXPO in Burbank – the event that paved the way for Forest Blakk to launch is global career.

Canadian singer/songwriter Forest Blakk first showcased at MUSEXPO back in 2011, and thanks to the event and support from A&R Worldwide landed a worldwide label deal with Germany’s DEAG Music with his previous artist incarnation.

In 2013, Forest Blakk parted ways with DEAG Music. However, with his then manager and pivotal support from A&R Worldwide Forest Blakk garnered key support to continue with his music career when he was considering leaving music altogether. A&R Worldwide’s team (Sat Bisla, Monte Malone, and Joe Arnold) convinced Forest Blakk to continue with his music career and helped him secure his first-ever worldwide music publishing deal with a JV with Sony Music Publishing U.K., and a booking agent at Wasserman Music (then Paradigm).

A&R Worldwide helped A&R Forest Blakk’s debut self-released single, “Love Me” in 2014. A&R Worldwide was able to garner worldwide radio and streaming support for the song and racked up over 10,000 Shazam tags in just a few months, as well as helping the single become one of the top researching tracks ever on the audio consumer and music industry research platform SoundOut. This was all compounded with live opportunities and sync support from A&R Worldwide.

It was in 2015, after a series of instrumental events orchestrated by A&R Worldwide that Forest Blakk showcased at MUSEXPO, which led to a worldwide major record label bidding war after his performance at the event – and eventually with the personal recommendation of Sat Bisla and his A&R Worldwide team, and his late and great friend Seymour Stein, Co-Founder, Sire Records (who discovered him at the MUSEXPO showcase) that Forest Blakk decided to sign with Atlantic Records who discovered him originally through Sat Bisla.


A&R Worldwide Artist Of The Week


Baby Said
, is a talented teenage duo consisting of Italian/Punjabi sisters Veronica and Jess Pal. They ignited their music career with the debut single “Fight,” earning substantial support on Apple Music playlists like “New Music Daily” and “The New Rock” No.2 (U.K., Italy), followed by “You Killed It,” also placed on Apple Editorial “The New Rock” and New in Alt. Radio support includes significant BBC Introducing support and features on BBC Radio 1 from Alyx Holcombe, XS Manchester, Student Radio, and Radio X, as well as on the globally syndicated Passport Approved radio show. Their journey began at an early age, with Veronica starting guitar at six years old, inspired by church musicians, and Jess starting acoustic guitar at four years old, later drawn to bass after Måneskin’s live performance at Sanremo in 2021. After busking in 2021 and forming the covers band AstroModa, they signed with Big Hug Management in March 2023, adopting the name Baby Said from their favorite song by Måneskin. Now joined by Holly Knowles (Rhythm and BV’s) and Maddie Hackett (Drums), and booked at the official Great Escape Festival, Baby Said is slated to captivate the global soundscape with their latest single “Mouth Shut,” embodying messages of self-belief and determination, influenced by artists like The Arctic Monkeys, Måneskin, and Hole. Listen to the brand new single HERE, and for management, publishing, and sync opportunities with Baby Said, contact; for bookings, contact; and for press inquiries, contact



Aaron Frazer, the Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and member of Durand Jones & the Indications, reveals details about his upcoming sophomore solo album, Into the Blue, set for release on June 28th through Dead Oceans. Alongside this announcement, he unveils the visual for the lead single “Payback,” directed by Eliot Lee. Frazer’s new album is described as a bold fusion of soul, psychedelia, spaghetti western, disco, gospel, and hip-hop, showcasing his diverse musical talents. Reflecting on themes of heartbreak and personal growth following a significant relationship shift, the album delves into emotions of grief, loneliness, and the quest for healing. Collaborating with Grammy-winner Alex Goose as co-producer, Frazer incorporates eclectic elements like iPhone recordings and experimental sampling, drawing inspiration from unexpected sources like 90s R&B group Hi-Five. “Payback” captures a dynamic blend of Northern soul drums, fuzz guitar, tambourines, and a driving bass line, conveying the theme of karma and personal accountability. Frazer’s musical journey, rooted in influences ranging from classic rock to hip-hop, signifies a fearless exploration of his artistic identity, building upon the success of his debut album Introducing… with Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach and pushing boundaries in his solo career. Frazer is performing across the U.S., U.K., and Europe this year, and at the Fool in Love Festival in Los Angeles featuring Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Al Green, Santana, Smokey Robinson and more in August. Get ready to immerse yourself in the adrenaline-fueled journey of “Payback” as you experience every thrilling moment from the front row HERE. For additional information and available opportunities regarding Aaron Frazer contact Lauryn Kidd at


Passport Approved | Global Music Pre-Discovery

“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 12th, 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.)
KINGFISHR – “Shadow” (Doonane Records, Ireland)
SOHODOLLS – “What Kinda Love” (Filthy Pretty/A&G, U.K.)
SEA GIRLS – “Midnight Butterflies” (Alt Records/Believe, U.K.)
GIANT ROOKS – “Under Your Wings” (Universal Music, Germany)
LIME CORDIALE – “The Big Reveal; Ou L’Hypocrite” (Chugg Music, Australia)
THE DREAM MACHINE – “Frankenstein” (Unsigned, U.K.)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Fool” (Wagram, France)
KEYSIDE – “Turn Back the Time” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
GOOD NEIGHBOURS – “Home” (Unsigned, U.K.)
MIDDLE KIDS – “The Blessings” (EMI, Australia)
THE CAVS – “Man in The Suit” (Unsigned, U.K.)
ANAÏS – “Stephen King” (Believe, Germany)
NOTHING BUT THIEVES – “Oh No: He Said What?” (RCA Records, U.K.)
RHETT REPKO – “My Love Will Stay” (Unsigned, N. America)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Always By My Side” (Universal Music, S. Africa)
RADIO FREE ALICE – “Waste of Space” (Double Drummer, Australia)
HINDS – “Coffee” (Lucky Number, Spain)
RED RUM CLUB – “Hole in My Home” (Modern Sky, U.K.)
HOLYOAK – “You’re the Home” (Unsigned, Australia)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Andy” (ICEA, Sweden)
ACROBVT – “Neon” (Unsigned, U.K.)
THE MEZZ – “Now I Found You” (AWAL, U.K.)
HOCKEY DAD – “Base Camp” (Farmer & The Owl/BMG, Australia)
JERUB – “Gonna Be Okay” (Elevate Music, U.K.)
MICHAEL ALDAG – “Sabotage” (3 Beat/ Universal, U.K.)
GIRL IN RED – “You Need Me Know? (Feat. Sabrina Carpenter)” (Columbia, Norway)
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – “The End of The Contender” (BMG Rights, U.K.)
CORELLA – “Head Underwater” (Corella Music, U.K.)
TALISCO – “Sorry” (Roy Music, France)
MASI MASI – “Cigarette Smile” (Unsigned, U.K.)
JAMIE HANNAH – “What If” (Unsigned, U.K.)
BETTER JOY – “Hard to Love” (Fader Amp, U.K.)
BRICE KENDALL – “Finest Garments” (Unsigned, U.S.A.)



ANNIE ABERLE NAMED SENIOR VP/HEAD OF CREATIVE AT PULSE MUSIC GROUP: Annie Aberle has been promoted to Sr. Vice President/Head of Creative at PULSE Music Group from her previous position as Vice President of A&R. Aberle’s duties will include signing, developing and applying creative strategy for the label’s roster of songwriters and producers for the publishing division of the company. The A&R team for the publishing division of PULSE Music Group will now report directly to Aberle, and Aberle will report to Scott Cutler and Ashley Calhoun. Since joining PULSE back in 2018, the company states that Aberle has helped the development of its roster by working with the label’s client Tyler Johnson, who co-wrote & produced Harry Styles‘ “As It Was,” as well as nine other songs on the album, Harry’s House. Aberle is also the A&R go-to person for Aldae whose work on “One More Time” with Blink-182 was the highest charting single for the band in 20 years with over 100 million streams, in addition to having collaborated with Justin Bieber, The Kid LAROI, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes. Scott Cutler and Josh Abraham, Co-Founders, PULSE Music Group said, “With Ashley Calhoun, we have built out a powerhouse publishing A&R team, and, as Ashley grows her senior management role as President of Pulse Music Group, Annie Aberle will continue this incredible legacy of true artist/writer development on the publishing A&R side as Sr. Vice President, Head of Creative. Annie not only is a tremendous leader at PULSE, but she also has impeccable taste. It has been incredible to watch her growth over the last six years and we are excited about her future here.”


KOBALT SIGNS IMANI “MOCHA” LEWIS: Kobalt has announced the signing of songwriter Imani “Mocha” Lewis. Mocha recently co-wrote Tyla‘s Grammy-winning song “Water,” as well as eight other songs on the South African artist’s debut album. The track was a Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit, making Tyla the highest-charting African female solo artist ever on the chart. “Mocha is a phenomenally gifted and versatile songwriter whose power to create lyrics and melody are only just now being recognized in the creative community,” said Genevieve Jackson Huguely, Creative Manager, Kobalt. “Her contributions to the success of Tyla’s debut album are just a sampling of what we can expect from her in the coming years. We are thrilled to have her at Kobalt.” Mocha is an actor originally from Southside Jamaica, Queens, and only just recently returned to songwriting as a full-time pursuit. She gained traction, working out of multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Tricky Stewart‘s Sessions Atlanta studio. Her work there led to songwriting credits on P1Harmony’s “Fall in Love Again” and Iggy Azalea‘s “Money Come.” Also, Mocha’s acting credits include Netflix‘s First Kill, Hulu‘s Miguel Wants to Fight, the Baz Luhrmann series The Get Down, and A24′s film Eighth Grade.


Seated (L-R) are Tyler Bacon (President & CEO, Position Music), Mike Molina (CEO, Global 7 Publishing), Zev Perilman (CEO, Global 7 Publishing), Delmar Powell (Vice President, A&R, Position Music), and Mark Chipello (Partner and Head of A&R, Position Music).

POSITION MUSIC SIGNS GOLDEN TO WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING DEAL: Tyler Bacon, President & CEO, Position Music, tells A&R Worldwide that Golden has signed a global publishing deal with Position Music alongside a joint venture with Global 7 Publishing. The Grammy-nominated producer has collaborated on projects spanning a plethora of genres such as Reggaeton, R&B, Dancehall, Afrobeat, Hip-Hop, and Pop. Originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, Golden was discovered by producer Mike Molina and manager and A&R Zev Perilman, later signing to their publishing and record label venture Global 7 Entertainment. In 2023, Golden co-produced a couple of tracks on the ¿Téo? album Luna. In the same year, he also co-produced the track “Double Back” for Coco Jones which hit Top 20 on U.S. Urban Radio. Also, that single was from the album What I Didn’t Tell You, which was nominated for “Best R&B Album” at the 66th annual Grammy Awards. Alongside his recurring collaborator London On Da Track, Golden recently co-produced “Dolla” by Shenseea from her upcoming album Never Gets Late Here, which is released on May 24th. Delmar Powell, Vice President, A&R, Position Music said, “We’re thrilled to welcome the young and talented Golden to the Position Music family. Golden’s unique sound and innovative approach to music production and songwriting make him a perfect fit for our roster. We are excited to collaborate with him and support his artistic vision as he continues to create impactful music across all genres.”


SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING SIGNS BRIAN FULLER TO GLOBAL DEAL: Sony Music Publishing Nashville has announced the signing of country music songwriter Brian Fuller to a global publishing deal. Brian Fuller has made a name for himself as one of the most promising new songwriters in Nashville’s country music scene. He recently achieved his first major label cut as a songwriter with “I Could Be That Rain,” which is featured on Randall King‘s 2024 album Into the Neon. Fuller is set to release new music throughout this year including his new single “That Girl Can Drive,” co-written with Joey Hyde and Justin Wilson, which will be available on May 24th. The deal was signed with the support of Aubrey Landon, Director Creative, Sony Music Publishing Nashville who said, “Brian is a special talent – his song sense, unique melodies, and ideas set him apart as one of the most promising young songwriters/artists. We are excited to join forces and be a part of his team!” Brian’s songwriting career first began in 2019 when he moved to Nashville from Savannah, GA. He spent his first few years in Music City writing as much as possible, touring, and perfecting his craft as an artist and songwriter. Since then, he has released several songs as an artist including the singles “Blue Sky Beautiful” and “Tellin’ On You,” and has recently been working on songwriting projects for artists throughout Nashville.


WILL BLOOMFIELD JOINS TAP MUSIC AS CO-PRESIDENT & HEAD OF GLOBAL ARTIST MANAGEMENT: Modest! Management executive Will Bloomfield is joining TaP Music as its new Co-President and Head of Global Artists Management. Bloomfield will work side by side with TaP co-founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, in addition to Co-presidents Wendy Ong and Anna Neville to lead TaP Management, TaP Futures, and TaP Sports. Bloomfield worked with numerous artists at Modest! Management for two decades including One Direction, Niall Horan, 5 Seconds of Summer, MNEK, PARISI, and others. Bloomfield was featured as an executive for Billboard’s 40 Under 40 in 2019. Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, Co-Founder, TaP said in a statement, “Will joins us at a time of great change in the industry and what we believe is an opportunity for managers and artists. TaP’s founding principle of self-sufficiency informs our approach to management now more than ever, with a range of specialists across all key areas. Will joins with a wealth of experience, to help us shape the next stage in TaP’s development as a global artist services company.”


WARNER CHAPPELL NAMES DELIA ORJUELA AS HEAD OF CREATIVE MEXICAN MUSIC: Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced Delia Orjuela as Head of Creative Mexican Music/Musica Mexicana. She will report to Gustavo Menéndez, President, U.S. Latin & Latin America, and collaborate with the publisher’s Mexican music writers and artists in the U.S. and Mexico. Orjuela helped lead WCM Latina’s Mexican Music division and has been important in the achievements of WCM artist DannyLux. She will still work closely with the recorded music team and look for cross-collaboration chances between the label and publisher. WCM’s co-chairs, Guy Moot (CEO) and Carianne Marshall (COO), said in a joint statement, “Delia has supported countless songwriters and established a reputation for energizing teams and elevating music. We see enormous potential to create timeless songs in the Mexican music market, and her leadership will help us continue to develop songwriters who shape culture.” Previously, Orjuela worked at BMI for over two decades, eventually leading as VP of the Latin department. She aided the department in signing and developing acts like Juanes, J Balvin, Luis Fonsi, Pitbull, Espinoza Paz, Tucanes de Tijuana, Jenni Rivera, Horacio Palencia, Ximena Sarinana and Pepe Aguilar. Since joining Warner Chappell Latina in 2021, she has constructed the team and spearheaded the division, which now includes a roster of over 15 musicians.


BETTER NOISE SELLS HALF OF ITS CATALOG: Better Noise Music (BNM) has had a portion of its catalog sold to RAVEN Capital for a nine-figure sum, the deal was led by label Chairman Allen Kovac. Until recently, the deal was kept secret due to a non-disclosure agreement, which involved the sale of 50% of the label’s catalog, featuring titles from musicians such as Awolnation, Papa Roach, and Escape the Fate. The label’s roster includes artists like Five Finger Death Punch, Asking Alexandria, Bad Wolves, and others. The administration of the sold catalog albums now falls under the purview of Endurance Music Group. Better Noise Music’s dominance in the hard rock and alternative space has only grown since the catalog sale. As of April 22, 2024, BNM had four of the Top 15 tracks in the Active Rock Mediabase radio chart, and BNM had the longest duration No.1 of 202 Alternative Radio Chart with Dirty Heads‘ “Rescue Me.” The transaction was overseen by Tim Mandelbaum and the law firm Fox Rothschild, along with assistance from RBC Bank, Royal Bank of Canada. Dan Waite, CEO, BNM, “The sale of half of the Better Noise Music catalog in 2022 means that many of our ambitions for acquisition and expansion are now possible as Hard Rock and Alternative deals are ending at other labels, Better Noise Music is becoming the natural home for those acts that want major label results with indie label sensibilities and attention to detail. We have the deep pockets to spend on global marketing and promotion in both the USA plus internationally that large acts expect.”


Pictured (L-R) are Mike Sault, Head of A&R, Peermusic U.K., Dylan Myerscough-Harris, A&R manager, Peermusic U.K., and Nigel Elderton, European President, Peermusic.

MARSHALL SIGNS GLOBAL PUBLISHING DEAL WITH PEERMUSIC U.K.: Marshall (the U.K. founded music equipment brand) has inked a worldwide publishing agreement with Peermusic U.K., in which both companies will sign and developing artist with the Marshall Records label through a creative joint venture. Furthermore, Marshall Records Publishing has signed an exclusive music publishing deal with Peermusic. Nigel Elderton, European President, Peermusic, tells A&R Worldwide, “The Marshall brand is synonymous with ground-breaking music. For over sixty years, Marshall has amplified the sound of the world’s most talented artists and for nearly 100 years, Peermusic has championed songwriters and music creators. The opportunity to align with Steve Tannett, and the Marshall team is a perfect fit for our creative culture at Peermusic. We look forward to working on some exciting projects together.” Mike Sault, Head of A&R at Peermusic U.K., added, “We’re delighted to be working with Steve and the incredible team at Marshall and look forward to aligning and amplifying our core businesses together.”


LIL DURK PARTNERS WITH AWAL TO RELAUNCH LABEL VENTURE OTF: Lil Durk has announced that he will be collaborating with AWAL to relaunch his Chicago-based label, OTF (Only The Family). The label was created in 2012 by its founders Durk Banks, Dontay ‘Dthang’ Banks, Cedrick ‘SB’ Earsery, and Uchenna ‘Chino’ Agina. The affiliation will allow OTF to make use of AWAL’s worldwide infrastructure, and artist development practices to hone in on new talent. With Durk as the CEO, the team is rounded out by COO Earsery, who will work alongside AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick, President Pete Giberga, Sr. VP/Head of Urban Music Norva Denton, and the rest of the AWAL A&R and marketing teams to structure the label’s expanding roster. OTF’s first release as part of the new unification is the track titled, “GTA” by DJ Bandz featuring Rob49, Skilla Baby, and Fivio Foreign, which was released last Friday.


CINQ MUSIC BUYS CATALOG OF PRODUCER FLOW LA MOVIE: Cinq Music has bought the music catalog of the late producer and songwriter José Ángel Hernández, aka Flow La Movie. The deal happened after Cinq Music raised $250 million (USD) from GoDigital Media Group, for acquisitions specifically in the reggaeton, Música Mexicana, Afrobeats, and country genres. Flow La Movie’s catalog is of the reggaeton genre, with songs such as “La Jeepeta,” recorded by Nio Garcia, Brray, and Juanka – “Travesuras,” by Nicky Jam, and “Te Boté,” by Nio García, Darell and Casper Mágico. Also, a remix of “Te Boté,” featuring Bad Bunny, Ozuna, and Nicky Jam, is the highest Latin RIAA-certified hit ever, having spent fourteen non-continuous weeks at No.1 and amassed over four billion streams. Barry Daffurn, President & Co-Founder, Cinq Music, said “We all mourned the loss of José, and we are honored to continue his legacy with the addition of his catalog to our storied portfolio. Cinq is committed to honoring his life’s work and to preserving his remarkable legacy. We have tremendous respect and admiration for him and his family, and we are looking forward to continuing to build upon the special place that he occupies in the hearts of music fans everywhere.”


BMG NAMES SARAH MITCHELL TO HEAD U.K. & EUROPEAN RIGHTS & ROYALTIES: BMG has announced that Sarah Mitchell will lead its Rights and Royalties operations across both music publishing and recordings in the U.K. and Europe. She will report to Sebastian Hentzschel, COO, BMG, and will further form part of the company’s senior leadership team in the U.K., having a seat on the BMG U.K. board. Mitchell joined BMG in 2022 as Sr. Vice President Neighboring Rights where she aided in the signing of Coldplay, Christine & The Queens, and Pete Townsend, improving a roster that already included the Rolling Stones, Jonas Blue, Roger Daltrey, Simple Minds, and Chris Rea. Prior to her tenure at BMG, she was the Director of Membership & Communications for PPL, and before that, she held positions in senior client service roles at Eurostar and Carphone Warehouse. As Sr. Vice President Rights and Royalties U.K. and Europe, Mitchell will oversee rights and royalty management for much of the world outside the U.S., including the U.K., Continental Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Among her duties will be client onboarding and service, royalty accounting, copyright administration, and analytics across both publishing and recordings. Also, she will maintain control of neighboring rights.


STEVE OBERMAN NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF PARTNERSHIPS AT TIXR: Tixr has named industry executive Steve Oberman as Vice President of Partnerships. In his new position, Oberman will lead strategic global expansion in music and accelerate growth across the variety of industries that the Tixr platform services. Oberman joins Tixr after a long stint at See Tickets as Executive VP and Head of Music following See Tickets’ acquisition of Flavorus in 2016. Since 2011, Oberman has acted as Flavorus’ Head of Business Development across festivals, concerts, nightlife, and food and beverage sectors. Before working in ticketing, Oberman managed musicians such as Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver at Frontline and Azoff Music Management. Oberman will be based in the company’s Santa Monica, CA headquarters.


KRISTAL MCKANDERS DUBE NAMED GLOBAL CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AT BMG: BMG has announced Kristal McKanders Dube is to be the head of its Global Corporate Communications. McKanders Dube joins BMG after almost six years at Warner Music Group (WMG) where she spearheaded the global communications function at Warner Chappell Music, which included overseeing executive and songwriter communications, corporate events, and philanthropic initiatives at WMG’s offices in Los Angeles. As Senior VP of Communications and Marketing at WMG, McKanders Dube was vital in forming Warner Chappell’s communications strategy in which she was instrumental during a CEO transition and in announcing its milestone of excelling past $1 billion in revenue. In 2023, she was honored as a leading music industry PR executive on Billboard‘s Power of Publicity list. McKanders Dube will report directly to Thomas Coesfeld, CEO, BMG, and will also handle the company’s corporate communications worldwide, leading internal and external communications efforts, and cooperating with Bertelsmann. McKanders Dube replaces the longstanding BMG EVP Corporate Communications executive Steve Redmond who announced he was stepping down from his position after 12 years at the company.


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Matt Marshall, Aton-Ben Horin, Allan Klepfisz, Taylor Jones, Jo Charrington, Larry Rudolph, Katie Romanovich, Janine Kerr, Martin Goldschmidt, John Doelp, Kaite Pool, Kelly Sayer, Gene Saloman, and Dave Shapiro.

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