Sony Music Entertainment UK has announced today that DJ and producer Anton Powers will be joining Ministry of Sound Records as Head of A&R. Widely considered one of the industry’s leading dance A&R executives, Powers will start with immediate effect and will report into Dipesh Parmar, President of Columbia Records UK.
Parmar stated, “Anton lives and breathes dance music and is well respected in the scene. I’m delighted to have him join the label. He is at the top of his game and I’m confident he is the best person to help Ministry of Sound continue to sign and develop the artists of the future.”
Throughout his celebrated career as an A&R executive he has also been responsible for signing artists including Armand Van Helden, Martin Solveig, Kungs, Sigma, Duck Sauce, Philip George, M-22, Jodie Harsh and many more.
Seeker Music has acquired the catalogs of two of today’s most influential pop songwriters: John Ryan (over 40 One Direction songs, Maroon 5, John Legend) and Jon Bellion (Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello, Eminem).
Separately, Seeker has acquired select catalogs from two of its fellow songwriter-helmed music companies: Family Affair Productions (Julian, Damon and Peter Bunetta), and Kara DioGuardi’s Arthouse Entertainment. The Family Affair deal includes their share of John Ryan’s publishing as well as their share of publishing rights from another of today’s top songwriters, Teddy Geiger, while the Arthouse deal includes that company’s share of Jon Bellion’s publishing. The songwriter-led, creator-focused perspective that Seeker brings to the catalog space was a significant factor in leading the songwriters, and songwriter-helmed companies, to choose Seeker. Led by CEO Evan Bogart, a chart-topping songwriter himself (Beyoncé’s “Halo,” among others), Seeker only signs catalogs of songs that Bogart and his team are incredibly passionate about, genuine personal fans of, and for which they see intrinsic creative opportunity.
Pictured (L-R) are Seeker Music CFO Jennifer Scher, CEO Evan Bogart, COO Rob Guthrie, Head of Creative Steven Melrose.
Now known for co-writing and producing the albums that led One Direction into superstardom (and thus changed the face of the music industry by re-energizing the boy band format for the 21st century, and launching some of today’s top solo artists), John Ryan was working in a small studio underneath Peter Bunetta’s house when he first met Bogart.
While developing their respective songwriting careers, Bogart and Ryan’s paths crossed often. They both collaborated frequently with Julian, and Ryan went on to write many of his hits with Ricky Reed, a then-publishing client of Bogart’s, including Jason Derulo’s chart-topper “Wiggle” and Pitbull’s “Fireball.”
Steven Melrose, Head of Creative for Seeker, also intersected with Ryan over the years. As Sr. A&R at Capitol Records, he first met Ryan through the Bunettas, and also worked on those One Direction records, too, when he was at Sony in the UK. Melrose was introduced to former Island Records President Nick Gatfield by A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla, which led to the hiring of first major label A&R role in the UK back in the mid-2000’s.
APG has hired Brian Nolan as President of Global Marketing & Synchronization. In joining APG this month, Nolan will oversee all of the company’s Label Marketing, International Marketing, Sales & Streaming, Artist Development, and Sync. Nolan will be focused on breaking artists, marketing optimization, expanding business internationally, engaging brand and sync partnerships, recruiting top talent, and serving on APGs executive leadership team.
Nolan’s other achievements include a Mountain Dew and Migos deal that featured the trio and their original song, “Position To Win,” in a year-long national TV ad campaign, as well as placement for Migos’ “Stir Fry” in TNT’s 2018 All Star Weekend promotional spots. Previously, Nolan also co-created the Bonus Tracks program, which helped drive student learning through in-person seminars, internships opportunities, and college scholarships.
“I am so fired up to join APG and grateful to Mike Caren for this opportunity”, says Nolan. “APG’s model and vision redefine what it means to be a partner with the artist. Coming on board with this team, I will be relentless in our pursuit of this goal, so that our artists can achieve their dreams”.
Universal Music has announced that Cindy Mabe has been appointed Chair and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN), effective April 1, 2023. Mabe will succeed Mike Dungan, who announced his intention to retire from his position at UMGN after more than a decade there and a total of four decades in the music industry.
In 2014, Mabe became Nashville’s highest-ranking woman label executive when she was appointed as UMGN President. Her promotion to Chair and CEO further extends this distinction, as she makes history again by becoming the first woman to serve as Chair and CEO of a Nashville-based major label group.
Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO said, “We’re thrilled to have Cindy step into this role. She is a transformational executive, who has a distinguished track record of designing and implementing innovative strategies to help build artists’ careers and bring their music to fans around the world. Cindy’s credibility in the artist community and her deep experience will help us deliver countless additional artists’ successes going forward.”
Mabe’s dedication and tremendous work for her artists and her countless contributions to the music community have earned the industry leader multiple awards and honors, including the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum Award and the SOURCE Hall of Fame Award. Mabe was recognized as one of Billboard’s “Women in Music” 2015-2022 and named to Billboard’s “Country Power Players” list every year since its inception in 2015 including earning 2019’s Billboard “Country Power Players Executive of the Year.” Mabe also serves on the Academy of Country Music board and the Alumni Association Board of Belmont University.
JOIN EXCLUSIVE SYNC FORUM AT MUSEXPO 2023
MUSEXPO 2023 www.musexpo.net the highly regarded annual global music business conference and showcase event will return to the “Media Capital of The World,” Burbank, California from March 19th – 22nd.
This year’s event will see an exclusive panel forum featuring the key creative music strategy and music supervision team from Paramount TV join the event for an exclusive deep dive into the dozens of film, TV and other sync projects they’re involved with. MUSEXPO delegates will also have an opportunity to pitch their music for upcoming synch projects that the global TV network is involved with next month during a pre-pitch opportunity for all delegates registered to attend this year’s MUSEXPO. Selected tracks will be revealed during the exclusive Paramount TV panel taking place during MUSEXPO’s Global Sync Summit (which was first launched at MUSEXPO 2010 and has inspired and shaped other sync events around the world with its unique programming and focus).
Joining the key panel at this year’s event are Anita Chinkes-Ratner – Executive Vice President, Creative Music Strategy, Paramount; Danica Bates – Sr. Director of Creative Music Strategy, Paramount; Rochelle Holguin Cappello – Sr. Vice President, Creative Music Strategy, Paramount; Sabrina Del Priore – Sr. Vice President, Creative Music Strategy, Paramount and Toussaint Hunt – Director of Creative Music Strategy, Paramount.
Additionally, dozens of other music supervisors from film, TV, videogames, trailers, promos, ad agencies and brands will participate in various panels, roundtables meetings with delegates and keynotes throughout this year’s multiday MUSEXPO event.
MUSEXPO joins a week-long series of events that includes the Global Synch & Brands Summit, A&R Summit, the esteemed A&R Worldwide gala dinner event (with 300 guests from the US and around the world anticipated to attend), and more, as it brings together the international music community for key insights and discussions on the evolution of the worldwide music business.
MUSEXPO has also unveiled dozens of new speakers for its forthcoming “United Nations of Music” event from within the various touchpoints of the worldwide music business from A&R, music publishing, management, digital, streaming, radio, booking and live, distribution, marketing, technology, performance rights and much more.
To register to attend the event with the current A&R Worldwide discount, or for organization and group discounts contact Dusty Bisla at email@example.com.
For more information on event sponsorship, showcase opportunities and event partnerships contact Sat Bisla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on direct flights to the Burbank Airport and conference discount hotel room bookings within the Burbank, CA area is available at www.musexpo.net.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
STACE CADET SIGNS WITH WARNER MUSIC AUSTRALIA: Producer, DJ, and vocalist, Stace Cadet has signed a major label deal with Warner Music Australia. Stace Cadet rose to prominence in 2020 with their tech house single “Energy” which racked up over 40 million streams worldwide. The single is ARIA Platinum certified and landed an ARIA award nomination for “Best Dance Release.” In conjunction with the new deal, Stace Cadet has released a new electronic single, “Light Me Up,” which was first teased during the Sydney, Australia’s New Year’s fireworks display. This will be the first time that Stace Cadet will take on the lead vocals on one of his own music releases.
KARSTEN JAHNKE BUYS INTO KOPF & STEINE: Owner of Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion and Morgenwelt, Björn Hansen, has bought a stake in festival promoter Kopf & Steine via their joint venture KJ Projects. The Hamburg-based festival promoter has been promoting festivals in the district of Wilhelmsburg since 2007. Some of the festivals include MS Dockville, Vogelball, Spektrum, MS Artville, Habitat Festival, and Lüttville. KJ Projects was founded in 2021 and has produced festival and open-air formats including Baltic Soul Weekender, Cruise Inn Hamburg, and Zeltphilharmonie.
NORTH WEST SONGS LAUNCHES NEW ROSTER: Former Capitol Records UK President Nick Raphael, along with Christian Tattersfield(Founder Good Soldier, and the former CEO, Warner Music UK and Chairman, Warner Bros. Records UK) and Ben Brodie have joined together to launch North West Songs. The new music publishing company has agreed to a global partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group. The company is run by Ben Brodie who was previously the founder of Ministry of Sound Publishing with David Dollimore. North West Songs and North West Sync are part of the NWS Music Group, an independent venture that houses recordings, publishing, and sync, founded by Raphael and Tattersfield. North West Songs has a growing roster which already includes Dan Fable, Sekou, Daniel Avery amongst others.
KAKAO ENTERTAINMENT SECURES $966M INVESTMENT: Kakao Entertainment, the South Korea-based subsidiary of Kakao Corp, has secured an investment of $966 million (USD) from sovereign wealth funds. The names of the funds backing the company have not yet been revealed. Kakao Entertainment plans to use the funds to accelerate its overall global growth. The company has three divisions in which the proceeds will be spread across which includes Story for webtoons and web novels, media, and music. The music division runs streaming platform Melon which offers over 40 million songs and has over 5 million subscribers. Kakao is also a multi-label management system for K-Pop artists including IVE, Monsta X, IU, The Boyz, Jay Park, and STAYC.
ORFIUM ACQUIRES MUSIC REPORTING SERVICE SOUNDMOUSE: Orfium, the global music technology platform has acquired Soundmouse. Soundmouse is a London-based company that specializes in music reporting and audio recognition services. Soundmouse was founded in 2000 by Kirk Zavieh and Charles Hodgkinson. With a team of almost 400 staff, Soundmouse connects broadcasters, program makers, collecting societies, distributors, labels, publishers, and music creators. Orfium has a team of over 300 and provides software, data, and licensing solutions to the entertainment industry, working with record labels, music publishers, production music companies, and collecting societies to track and monetize music. The company was founded in 2015 in Los Angeles by Drew Delis and Chris Mohoney with a goal of bringing cutting edge technology to the music rights management space. Orfium is run by the highly-respected former Universal Music Group executive Rob Wells, who currently serves as its CEO.
PRIMARY WAVE UNVEILS PROMOTIONS: Primary Wave Music has kicked-off the new year announcing the promotions of Catie Monck, Samantha Rhulen, and Lexi Todd. All three women have been an integral part of Primary Wave’s growth, especially in 2022 which saw an investment of $2 billion (USD) from Brookfield Asset Management, as well as over $300 million worth of deals. Both Monck and Rhulen move into Senior Vice President roles in Publicity and Business & Legal Affairs, respectively. The two previously held Vice President positions in their corresponding departments. Todd, who served as Director within the Business & Legal Affairs department, moves into a Vice President position. All three are based out of the company’s New York office.
DEF JAM RECORDS NAMES NEW GLOBAL A&R: Award-winning musician and producer, Kardinal Offishall has been selected for the new position as Global A&R for Def Jam. In his new role, Offishall will sign and assist in promoting talent all over the world. Offishall has served as Sr. Vice President, A&R for Universal Music Canada since 2021. Prior to his transition to the majors, Offishall spent the 1990s developing his own profile. Over the years he has had hits such as “Ol’ Time Killin’” and “Dangerous” featuring Akon. He also featured on hit records in the late 2000s including Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and Akon’s “Beautiful.” Additionally, Offishall has worked with artists such as Drake, K’naan, Daniel Caesar, and Glenn Lewis among others and is also a judge on Canada’s Got Talent.
SWEDEN’S FORCE DEMOTIONAL SIGN TO AFM RECORDS: Swedish melodic metal band, Demotional has signed a worldwide record deal with German rock and metal label, AFM Records. The group from Gothenburg released their debut album State: In Denial in 2013 and their second album Tarassis landed them a spot to support Dead By April for their European tour. The band now has four albums, many live shows, tours, radio airplay, and over 15 million streams on Spotify. The new deal with AFM Records will allow the band to reach a new global audience with future releases.
TIKTOK INKS SIGNS DEAL WITH ROTANA MUSIC GROUP: Rotana Music Group, which is one of the Middle East’s most prominent Arabic music companies has announced that it has inked a licensing deal with TikTok for use of its music catalog. Rotana Music Group, which was established back in 1993, and secured investment from Warner Music in 2021, is the largest record label and music repertoire owner in the Arab world. The company is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and has affiliate offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Beirut, Kuwait and Cairo. Rotana is home to Saudi music icon Mohammed Abdu, Egyptian star Amr Diab and many others.
ASM GLOBAL ACQUIRES MADISON ENT’T: ASM Global has acquired Madison Entertainment. Madison Entertainment is a talent-buying agency for concert venues, festivals, fairs, music cruises and private events. The company, founded over two decades ago by Roger LeBlanc, has clients that range from small-capacity venues to larger venues and multi-day festivals and has worked with artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Aerosmith, and Pink. Under the new acquisition, Madison Entertainment will operate as a wholly owned business unit of ASM Global. Madison will continue its work with its current client base and will also dedicate personnel and resources to booking ASM Global-managed arenas and its network of 57 theatres and amphitheaters.
UMG & SHAMROCK TO ACQUIRE DR. DRE RIGHTS: Dr. Dre is selling a bundle of his music income streams along with owned music assets in two separate deals with Shamrock Holdings and Universal Music Group. The assets will generate close to $10 million (USD) in annual income. Both deals are close to completion. The assets are being divided into the sale based on the buyer’s strategic profile. Shamrock is focused on the income streams and incremental valuations in the future. UMG has more interest in owning the music assets. Shamrock, as stated by sources, is acquiring 75% to 90% of the package’s revenue and the remaining 10% to 25% in owned assets will probably be acquired by UMG. The assets include artist royalties from two of Dr. Dre’s solo albums as well as his share of N.W.A. artist royalties, his producer royalties, and the writer’s share of his song catalog where he does not own publishing.
VETERAN BOOKING AGENT JOINS STG: An almost 30-year respected veteran of the booking agency world, Jon Pleeter tells A&R Worldwide that he has joined the Los Angeles-based Sound Talent Group. Pleeter was most recently Sr. Vice President with Reliant Talent Agency and prior to that spent a number of years as Vice President of Concerts at ICM Partners where he represented Alice In Chains, The Cult, Dave Stewart, Richie Sambora, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Orianthi, Kristin Chenoweth, Kaya Stewart, The Kickback, LEX and Volto. Jon started his career as a trainee at William Morris Agency and also was previously an agent at CAA, Artist Direct and The Agency Group.
TRANSPORTED AUDIO FORMS MUSIC DIVISION: Transported Audio, a full-service post production audio facility with clients including Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, FX, NFL Network, EA and PlayStation, marks its latest major expansion with the formation of a new Music Division. The announcement was made by company founder Eric Marks. Established in response to increasing demand among longtime and new clients alike for premium-quality, multi-genre original and customized music, Transported Audio’s new Music Division is headed by noted film, television, commercial and trailer composer Daniel Berk. Known for composing in a wide range of styles running the gamut from intimate acoustic to modern cinematic, Mr. Berk has a particular passion for writing trailer and advertisement music. He began his career writing music for short films as well as for top networks including Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, A&E and Discovery and since then has amassed more than 75 credits working on a wide range of commercial projects, including recent feature films for Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and Lionsgate.
BMG APPOINTS TOP BOOKER: BMG has announced the appointment of one of Germany’s most renowned bookers Stefan Lehmkuhl to mastermind the concert and event program for Berlin’s historic Theater des Westens. BMG announced in September that it had taken a two-year lease on the iconic building to host its own theatrical productions as well as concerts and residencies. Lehmkuhl is best-known for his two decades of success curating and producing music events such as Melt Festival, splash! and Lollapalooza Berlin. Working alongside him will be event producer Parker Tilghman, known in Berlin and beyond by their alias Pansy. For the last decade they have created acclaimed underground performance events and club nights in some of the city’s most prominent institutions like SO36, Deutsche Oper, Volksbühne, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and more.
CARYS HITS ONE BILLION STREAMS!: Daytripper artist CARYS has hit one billion streams. CARYS has earned award plaques for certified Gold songwriting for her track “Princesses Don’t Cry,” and now for commemorating over one billion streams worldwide of her catalog. Additionally, her song “Princesses Don’t Cry” went Gold in India and Platinum in Brazil. Daytripper Music Publishing, a division of CCS Rights Management, is a global independent music publishing company and stand-alone brand focused on creative development and support of established and up-and-coming artists and songwriters, while enhancing, capitalizing, and promoting their works. Daytripper’s growing roster of award-winning, established and up-and-coming songwriters, artists, musicians and producers includes Hill Kourkoutis, Tribe Friday, Featurette, POESY, Nuela Charles, Yukon Blonde, Laurent Bourque, and Mikhail Laxton, among others.
LEVEL 77 ACQUIRES EGG MUSIC CATALOG: In less than two years since its formation, Level 77 Music has continued to grow its presence and is becoming a fast-growing US-based production music company. Level 77 Music has announced the acquisition of the renowned catalog from the Minneapolis-based advertising music house eGG Music. Tracks from the expansive eGG catalog have been featured in placements worldwide, promoting such top brands as Microsoft, Ralph Lauren, Target, Chevrolet, Motorola and many others. Patrick Avard, Owner/Founder of Level 77, made the announcement last week.
WASSERMAN MUSIC UNVEILS SIX KEY AGENT HIRES: Wasserman Music has announced the addition of six agents to its ever-growing global team. With the hiring of artist representatives Jake Bernstein and Ollie Seaman, Wasserman continues to bolster its industry leading electronic roster, while with the hiring of Juan Toro, the agency welcomes one of the world’s most experienced and successful Latin music agents to its team. The addition of Natalka Dudynsky booking casinos and performing arts centers, Jesse Fayne handling international festivals and Matt Malcolm focusing on Country and Americana fairs & festivals significantly expands Wasserman Music’s artist services and capabilities, creating even more opportunities for artists to connect with audiences worldwide.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP N.V. NAMES NEW BOARD CHAIR: Universal Music Group N.V. announced that its Board of Directors has designated Sherry Lansing as Chairman of the Board with effect from January 10, 2023. Ms. Lansing will succeed Judy Craymer CBE, who has decided to retire from the Board with effect from the same date, to focus on her activities as a film and theatre producer.
AEG PRESENTS UK NAMES NEW SR. VP: AEG Presents UK has announced the appointment of Lee Laborde to the position of Sr. Vice President, Promoting Division for AEG Presents UK. From the New Year, Laborde will be heading up the team of promoters as the company continues to bring growth and expansion across its venues and touring businesses. Laborde will report to Steve Homer, CEO, AEG Presents UK and support with developing the long-term strategy for the division. Formerly at Live Nation for over 15 years, Laborde brings his experience and passion for finding artists at the start of their career and taking them from intimate club shows to the arenas and stadiums they respectively play today, including the likes of Dua Lipa, Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Headie One, London Grammar, Nothing But Thieves, Daniel Caesar, Griff, Becky Hill and Gang Of Youths.
“DRINK CHAMPS” SIGNS WITH INTERVAL PRESENTS: Interval Presents, Warner Music Group’s (WMG) in-house podcast network, recently announced the award-winning hip-hop podcast series “Drink Champs” will join its network via a new distribution partnership. Through the collaboration, Interval Presents gained the exclusive licensing rights to the audio version of the podcast on all major podcast platforms. The next episode of the weekly podcast series, and the first episode under the Interval Presents partnership, will premiere on January 27. A long-form podcast, with a conversational art for exploring ideas, friendship and the most interesting anecdotes from the hip-hop community, “Drink Champs” is a leader in unconventional, and cultural storytelling.
SAM BOOTH JOINS AEG EUROPE: AEG Europe has appointed Sam Booth as their Director of Sustainability. In this new role, Booth will provide strategic direction, expertise, and support to AEG Europe’s various business units as they continue to transition to Net Zero and confront the impact of the climate emergency on the business and operations. Whilst AEG Europe seeks to minimize its impact on the planet and raise public awareness about important issues that affect the environment, the timely appointment of Booth and his experience of over 10 years working across high-profile event production and sustainability projects with some of the world’s biggest brands such as Nestlé, adidas and Pernod Ricard, is integral to the company.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rick Krim, Max Paproth, Oum Pradutt, Taylor Testa, Lisa Worden, Savan Kotecha, Dave Holmes, Kate Basolo, Mike Pickering, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, Heath Johns, Jason Magnus, Doug Mark, Rocío Guerrero and Denis Ladegaillerie.
JACKASS OF THE WEEK
Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E-mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our lives. It seems that in recent years “Mother Nature’s” wrath has reached a whole new level unseen in most of our lifetimes! Click HERE to view a ferocious interaction between nature and humanity and who ends up being the “Jackass!”
Singer, songwriter and musician Mia Wray is a talented artist on the rise. She signed with Ivy League Records (The Rubens, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever), and that same year received nominations for Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year at the AIR Awards, Best Solo Artist at the Music Victoria Awards, and placed second in the Performance category at the International Songwriting Competition. After recently spending a month in London, which included her debut headline show in the UK and an invitation to the Great Escape Festival as part of its FIRST FIFTY, Mia returned to Australia inspired and announced the release of her debut EP, Stay Awake, due February 10th. With the announcement comes the release of the title track, which takes an empathetic look at the strain that depression can have on a friendship. Listen to the single HERE, and contact Madeleine O’Gorman at Madeleine O’Gorman at email@example.com for available opportunities with Mia Wray as she prepares for her first national Australian tour.
HERE, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org, as Waiting For Smith is available for booking, publishing, synch and collaboration opportunities.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 1/15/2023
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, January 15th, 2023: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, Germany; NINETYSIX Radio (Indonesia); JioSaavn (India); Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; WZRH–FM New Orleans, LA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix, AZ; KRML “102.1FM” Carmel, CA; KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno, CA; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); 96.2 ZFM The Netherlands; WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, OH; 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; Rock 96.5FM Zambia; 897 FM Bratislava, Slovakia; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, NY; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia; WRUR 88.5FM Rochester, NY; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY; KZND Anchorage, AK; KQCJ Quad Cities, IL; Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany; Indie 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:
NOBLE – “Lost In You” (Metrosonic Records, Portugal)