Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has added Brandon Creed to his team, joining longtime manager Jodie Regan of Spinning Top, Variety has learned. Parker has increasingly become an in-demand producer — he has recently been working with Lil Nas X and Dua Lipa — in addition to his role as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of psychedelic-rock outfit Tame Impala. In 2020, he signed a global publishing deal with Sony/ATV. Australia-based Spinning Top’s roster includes such acts as Cameron Avery, Haiku Hands and POND, among others. Creed has called Full Stop Management home since 2017 when he merged his Creed Co. company with the Azoffs’ bringing over clients like Mark Ronson and Charli XCX. Full Stop clients currently include Harry Styles, Cardi B, Lizzo and many more.
Thursday, Jan. 26
+ After more than 20 years at the company, Sas Metcalfe, Kobalt‘s first employee and chief creative officer, will be exiting her post effective Feb. 28.
“Her creative taste is second to none, from her first signing of Badly Drawn Boy to Andrew Watt. She has built a great spirit in her team because she is happy to share success,” commented Willard Ahdritz, founder and chairman of Kobalt, who hired Metcalfe in 2001. “All our fun moments together are what I will miss the most. I wish her all the best in her next endeavor.”
According to the company, Metcalfe helped foster a global creative team that is almost 70% female and has helped spearhead several key signings from the Weeknd to Diplo, Gunna and Karol G, among others.
“I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished at Kobalt,” said Metcalfe. “When I look back, I’m in awe of how much great music the Kobalt creative team has ushered into the world. But what makes me most proud is working alongside so many talented music lovers and helping them develop into great creative and A&R minds – I’d argue they are some of the best in the music industry today. Kobalt’s team is so rich with talent, and I am excited to see what awaits. Overall, it has been a joy being a part of such a visionary company.”
Said Kobalt CEO Laurent Hubert, “Simply put, Sas is one of a kind. Her impact in the music industry and at Kobalt is undeniable, as she nurtured and managed not just amazing songwriters but also built one of the best global creative teams in the industry. The work that Sas has done at Kobalt will be felt for many years to come. We thank Sas for her extraordinary contribution to making Kobalt what it is today.”
+ Universal Music Group has appointed television producer and recording industry exec Roey Hershkovitz to the newly created role of VP of sound and picture.
Hershkovitz will spearhead visual content across the company’s studios, develop new programming and build on the company’s leadership in immersive audio. He will work across UMG’s studios globally, as well as with Joe McCrossan, head of video services, to create new strategies that build upon the company’s multimedia tools available to record labels, recording artists and songwriters.
Hershkovitz has also been tapped as head of West Coast studios, where he will continue to oversee Capitol Studios and the facility’s ongoing renovation. He joins UMG’s Audio Leadership team to help lead creative innovation and audio quality, including Dolby Atmos Music adoption across a wide range of consumer products.
Hershkovitz is based out of Santa Monica and will continue to report to Christopher Jenkins, executive VP of digital studios, and Pat Kraus, senior VP of recording studios and archive management.
+ Reservoir Media has acquired Dion‘s publishing catalog and synchronization rights for his master recordings. The singer is best known for his hits with Dion and the Belmonts and as a solo artists including “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer,” “Ruby Baby” and “Dream Lover,” among others.
A star of the 1950s and 1960s, Dion is among the most recognizable voices of the doo-wop and early pop-rock era. He’s released over 40 albums and earned 39 Top 40 hits. Dion was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
+ Exceleration Music, which has partnered with notable indie labels like Mom+Pop Music, Kill Rock Stars and Heroic Music Group, has entered into a strategic global partnership with +1 Records. With the deal, Exceleration will invest in +1 and provide resources and operational support for the independent label. Based in New York and Los Angeles, the +1 roster includes The Heavy, Rejjie Snow, Nate Husser, Lo Village and Anna Shoemaker.
Co-founder and CEO Jonny Kaps will lead the label’s team. “+1 Records has always been different,” he said. “We are an independent record label that comes from a management perspective, specializing in artist development. Our A&R prioritizes music and artists over data. I am so happy to partner with an independent company whose values, philosophies, strategies, and resourcefulness mirror our own. Together we will be an even great resource for independent artists. Our first goal has always been and will always be to allow artists to be artists, supported by a passionate and creative team where the artist always comes first.”
Added Exceleration partner Amy Dietz: “Jonny and the +1 team have built a vibrant and impactful label by focusing on artist development and being agile and innovative. From my first meeting with Jonny it was clear his passion, vision and artist first ethos, completely aligned with our mission at Exceleration Music. I know that by combining the talented +1 team, with the expertise and resources of the growing and talented Exceleration team, we will together take +1 and its artists into a bright future. I am genuinely thrilled to have Jonny and +1 as part of the Exceleration family.”
+ Empire Publishing has entered a new joint venture with Surf Club, a group of young artists, producers and writers put together by artist and producer Hit-Boy. They simultaneously announced their first signees: Gary “G Dav” Davis, Jesse “Dr. Blum” Blum and Randy “Bandz” Holmes.
G Dav has contributed to several prominent hip-hop projects including Nas’ “King’s Disease,” which earned him a 2021 Grammy Award for best rap album; Dr. Blum was a touring member of Twenty One Pilots, and has credits ranging from Big Sean to Rage Against the Machine; Bandz, known for his signature West Coast sound, has worked with YG, OhGheesy, Kamaiyah, and more.
Empire Publishing A&R, Brett Sweeney, secured the deal, while the publishing arm’s directors of business affairs, Benedict Paz and Sarah Beth Gerlecz, negotiated and finalized the partnership.
“Empire has long been in the business of pushing the culture forward on a global scale, enabling recording artists to excel independently with its distribution and label services,” said Paz. “This partnership with a talent like Hit-Boy and the passionate individuals of the Surf Club team mirror that same ethos at Empire Publishing and we are excited for what this is set to accomplish in the music publishing space.”
+ Wasserman Music has announced the second iteration of its Entertainment Accelerator Experience.
The intensive music business education program will be hosted at Howard University in Washington, D.C. this year. The initiative is part of Wasserman’s partnership with Color of Change and their #ChangeMusic platform. The 10-week curriculum runs from Jan. 25 to Feb. 24 and March 13 to April 17.
Between 30 and 60 Howard students will learn about management, talent buying, tour promotions, songwriting, publishing and other aspects of the music industry. This year’s roster of guest lecturers includes Ty Baisden, Lee Anderson, Callender, Tanisha Jones, Marcus Allen, Dutch and DJ Just Blaze.
Wednesday, Jan. 25
+ Rostrum Records has appointed Erika Montes as president to lead the company’s growth strategy and oversee frontline label operations. Working closely with artists, managers, and distribution and brand partners, Montes will report directly to Benjy Grinberg, while the founder moves into the new role of CEO.
“I’m so excited to welcome such a smart, passionate and creative executive like Erika to the Rostrum family,” said Grinberg. “Her incredible track record of identifying and supporting the careers of some of the most influential musicians aligns perfectly with Rostrum’s approach to developing long-term success for artists.”
Montes formerly led artist and label relations at SoundCloud where she helped introduce platform offerings including industry-leading programs, Fan-Powered Royalties and Premier monetization as the global VP. Before SoundCloud, she worked at Fuse Networks, LoveLive, and Island Def Jam, helping launch the careers of Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Fall Out Boy, Ne-Yo and more.
“I’m thrilled to join Rostrum Records and work alongside Benjy, a visionary full of passion for music and deep expertise in building and growing artist careers,” said Montes. “I look forward to combining our talents and continuing that tradition as I build out the next 20 years for Rostrum and our artists to solidify our role as the leading independent label.
+ Vector Management founders Ken Levitan and Jack Rovner have announced Jason Murray will be stepping in as the new president of the artist management company. He will be in charge of overseeing daily operations and new business.
The owner and co-founder of Black Box Music, Murray will be merging his company with Vector and has already signed country-blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Charley Crockett for management. Murray previously helped launch the career of rockers the Glorious Sons, and he shepherded the breakout of JJ Wilde, as well as singer-songwriter/producer Blanco Brown.
“I believe today, more so than ever before, artists need a management partner that fully understands all aspects of the music business,” said Murray in a statement. “Vector has been [with] that company for decades, and we will continue to build on that ethos as we look forward.”
Vector has a number of releases on the way including a Rick Rubin-produced album from Kesha and new music and an accompanying summer tour from Manchester Orchestra. Hank Williams Jr. will also be hitting the road and bluegrass musician Molly Tuttle has been nominated as best new artist at the upcoming Grammy Awards.
+ CAA has signed Mexican pop group RBD for represenation in all areas, worldwide.
Inspired by the hit telenovela “Rebelde,” RBD was one of the most successful Latin pop groups of all time until their official disbandment in 2009. CAA has also announced the band will be releasing new music in spring of 2023.
News of the signing follows the group’s recent “Soy Rebelde” tour annoucement, which will see the band — composed of Anahí, Dulce María, Maite Perroni, Christian Chávez, and Christopher Uckermann — hitting stadiums and arenas across the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil. The gloval trek will kick off at the Sun Bowl stadium in El Paso, Texas, located at the U.S./Mexico border, and will continue to stadiums in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as arenas like Madison Square Garden in New York, Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and Viejas Arena in San Diego.
+ Yonatan Watts has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Position Music via a joint venture with Tommy “TB Hits” Brown’s Champagne Therapy Music Group, Tyler Bacon, president and CEO of Position Music, and Brown have announced.
Brown has produced songs and worked alongside Arianna Grande, Black Eyed Peas, Travis Scott and Machine Gun Kelly, among others. He commented, “Yonatan and I have already created amazing songs together that are one-of-one. This next chapter will be the best one yet. Yonatan has the right team in place to build something special and I can’t wait to have our next number one together.”
Watts and Brown first collaborated on Grande’s “main thing” off of her Grammy-nominated album “Positions.” He has since gone on to co-produce records such as “Involved” by rapper Coi Leray and “In The City” by Chris Brown, from his 2022 album “Breezy,” which is nominated at the upcoming Grammys for best R&B album.
Tuesday, Jan. 24
Ultra International Music Publishing has signed Atlanta-based songwriter and producer Zaytoven, whose catalog includes work for Future, Travis Scott, and Migos, to a co-publishing deal that will focus on the development of new music. The deal will additionally aim to build his ongoing collaborations with the company in Los Angeles, Atlanta and London.
UIMP has also fully acquired Zaytoven’s remaining co-published interest in his existing catalog alongside the writer’s share of the existing catalog, which consists of 560 songs written between 2005 and 2022, including Migos’ “Versace,” Travis Scott’s “3500,” Lil Wayne’s “Problems,” and 21 Savage’s “Famous,” among others.
He has also released collaborative projects with artists including, but not limited to, Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, Jack Harlow, and Usher, whose album “Raymond v. Raymond,” earned Zaytoven a Grammy Award in 2011 for his work as a co-producer. He most recently helped co-produce Quavo’s “Without You,” a tribute song dedicated to deceased Migos rapper Takeoff, alongside Mike Dean.
Patrick Moxey, founder & CEO of UIMP, said, “Zaytoven is an extraordinary talent. He is the Father of trap music and has been the driving force of much of how we define that genre. Gucci Mane, Migos, Future – he’s been right there with these artists from the beginning in 2004 right up to the present day. I’m proud to announce that after working with him since 2007 we continue to be focused on future success.”
+ TuneCore (owned by Believe) has tapped rapper Papoose as head of hip-hop for the company. He will report directly to Andreea Gleeson, CEO of TuneCore, and will lead the company’s artist ambassador program for hip-hop and rap, scouting rising talents on behalf of the music distribution service.
Papoose will also be in charge of overseeing artist education and career advice workshops, acting as a brand advisor for TuneCore’s new programs and innovative technology launches.
“For my whole career, everyone has known what I stand for: independence,” said Papoose. “For me, being in this position with TuneCore where I can directly contribute and help other self-releasing artists on the come-up is like magic. I understand what it’s like to be in the studio, to be on the road, to chase your dreams as an artist, and I’m excited to help up-and-coming artists make their dreams a reality.”
According to the news release, TuneCore and Papoose will aim to amplify the value of self-releasing artists through their new partnership, with the hopes of expanding “educational programs to benefit and inspire independent creators around the world.”
In addition to his new role with TuneCore, Papoose has also announced the release of his latest single, “Makin Plays (feat. Jim Jones and Jaquae)” out Feb. 10.
+ Whitney-Gayle Benta has joined JKBX, a new music-investment platform founded by Orchard co-founder and Warner Music chief innovation officer Scott Cohen, as its first chief music officer. Benta most recently served as the global head of artist & talent relations for Spotify.
Pronounced “Jukebox,” the company aims to create a new asset class by fractionalizing ownership of song royalties allowing fans to participate in the financial rewards of the music they consume. The platform, expected to launch in 2023, will bring to market billions of dollars of exclusively licensed catalog, making it the largest music rights platform in the world. JKBX will be the largest music royalties platform in the world that will create a new asset class that won’t disrupt the existing players.
Benta previously held top posts at Facebook, Def Jam Recordings and in 2013 helped launch Diddy’s Revolt TV and Media network. In an earlier post at MTV News, she Jay-Z earn recognition from the United Nations for his efforts to bring clean water to underdeveloped areas of Africa.
+ Concord has hired Colton McGee for the position of senior VP of business and legal affairs for Concord Label Group. McGee will report to the executive VP of business and legal affairs, Gregg Goldman, and will work out of Concord’s Nashville headquarters.
In his new role, McGee will support Concord Label Group and Craft Recordings through new artist signings, acquisitions and management of historical rights. Before coming to Concord, McGee spent 13 years at BBR Music Group in Nashville and was a key player in the acquisition of BBR by BMG in 2017. From 2017 on, McGee handled business and legal affairs for both BBR Music Group and BMG.
“I am thrilled to welcome Colton to Concord,” said Goldman. “As Concord continues to expand, it is vital we have people who understand the complexities of acquisitions as well as have a deep appreciation for artists and a love for music. Colton exemplifies all of this.”
+ BMG has elevated JoJamie Hahr to the role of executive VP of recorded music, Nashville. Hahr will oversee daily operations at the branch, including BBR Label Group and its roster and imprints Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records, and Wheelhouse Records. She will continue reporting to Jon Loba, president of BMG Nashville.
In 2020, JoJamie Hahr was promoted to senior VP of BBR Music Group, overseeing all artist project strategy, brand partnerships, strategic marketing, as well as digital and creative efforts for each of the BBR Music Group’s three aforementioned imprints.
The exec has been with BBR Music Group for eight years; previously serving as VP of promotion, and then VP of marketing, Hahr took the helm of the then-newly created marketing department at BBR Music Group, before being promoted to SVP of the label group. Prior to joining the BBR team, Hahr served as the national director of field promotion for the Valory Music Co., after being promoted from director of SE promotion and marketing. Her 20 years in the industry include stops at UMG, WSIX and WWKA.
From Variety US