Music News

Jo Charrington named Co-President of EMI Records U.K.

Bishop Briggs has signed with Arista Records, Clio Massey, the label’s VP of A&R, and David Massey, the company’s chief executive, revealed on Instagram. The Scottish artist (pictured) was previously on Island, which released two studio albums by the singer and songwriter: 2018’s “Church of Scars” and “Champion” in 2019. Arista was relaunched in July 2018, alongside Work of Art, a combined publishing-management operation, for which Clio serves as GM. Other acts on the Arista roster include Maneskin, Tai Verdes and JP Saxe.

Thursday, March 17

+ Universal Music U.K. has united its EMI and Capitol labels under the joint leadership of Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington, the company announced. As part of the move, Capitol Records U.K.’s roster and team become part of the wider EMI family, reuniting two historic labels whose partnership goes back almost 70 years. Capitol Records U.K. will continue as a division of EMI label group, alongside Motown U.K.

In her nine years at Capitol, Charrington – who became sole president of the label earlier this year – has overseen the success of singer Sam Smith as well as working with emerging talent including Aitch, Mae Muller and Zoe Wees, all of whom are working on new music for 2022. In the past year, EMI enjoyed No. 1 albums from Bastille, Elton John, Kanye West, Taylor Swift and the Killers.

After starting her career at London Records, Charrington spent five years in artist management before moving into A&R, a change which led her to Universal Music in 2011 as vice-president of A&R, initially for London Records then Capitol Records when it was launched as a UK label in 2013. Throughout her career she has worked with 5SOS, Paloma Faith, Scouting For Girls, Liam Payne, Imogen Heap and Smith.

David Joseph, chairman & CEO of Universal Music U.K., says, “This is a game changing moment for EMI. Becky and Jo make an exceptional team with a united vision for what a modern record label should be. Becky’s leadership together with Jo’s unrivalled A&R track record sets up what promises to be an exciting new era for EMI and their artists.”

+ After a provisional clearance earlier this year, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has officially cleared Sony Music’s purchase of the AWAL label services division from Kobalt.

“We welcome the decision by the CMA to clear Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL and Neighbouring Rights, allowing us to focus on offering the best service for their artists, in an intensely competitive market with multiple competitors and many offerings,” Sony Music said in a statement. “This is the start of an exciting new venture for SME, AWAL and Neighbouring Rights, and ensures we can continue to deliver real benefits for artists globally as the music industry continues to evolve.”

+ Kobalt announced that Tom Sansone, has stepped down as chief financial officer. He will remain an advisor to the CEO and aid in the transition of recently promoted CFO, Catrin Drabble, effective April 15, 2022. Drabble, who joined Kobalt in 2017, most recently held the title of executive vice president, corporate development, and finance.

“Tom has been an incredible leader for Kobalt over the past six years and has led the business to be in the strongest financial shape it has ever seen,” said Kobalt CEO Laurent Hubert. “I am glad he will remain as a close advisor, and we all agree elevating Catrin was a natural next step for the company. Catrin has constantly been a high-performer with a deep understanding of music business economics. She has been the key leader in bridging finance and investment teams, as well as a critical part of our path to profitability.

+ Independent label Encore Recordings, launched last fall by industry veteran Joie Manda, expands their team with Tra’Von Williams joining as VP and head of streaming. Williams most recently served as director of hip-hop and R&B streaming at Epic Records, where he worked with artists including 21 Savage, French Montana, BEAM, Young T & Bugsey (known for their viral hit “Don’t Rush”), among others. Before his time at Epic Records, Williams was Director of Streaming for Atlanta based record label Since The 80s.  Williams will be reporting to Encore GM Ned Monahan.

+ SoundExchange has named Tommy Korpinen chief business development officer to oversee the SoundExchange digital footprint expansion. Korpinen will report to SoundExchange president and CEO Michael Huppe and is based in Los Angeles, California.

Prior to joining SoundExchange, Korpinen was vice president, global business development & digital strategy at Sony Music Entertainment in New York. He also has held leadership positions at The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks Animation, and The Warner Music Group in multiple digital and business capacities.

+ Downtown has promoted Dan Miller to director of client services at Downtown Music Services, reporting to COO Ben Patterson. Based in Austin, Dan will oversee the company’s global artist and label-facing Client Services Team with a remit to make the process of releasing and promoting music as successful and simple as possible for creators and their teams.

Miller’s career in music distribution began as a metadata specialist at Octiive Distribution (formerly Mondotunes) before joining Downtown’s CD Baby in 2017 as an Artist Representative, where he ultimately rose to manage CD Baby’s “Creator Services” team.

Wednesday, March 16

Hitmaker Starrah has teamed with Pulse Music Group for a joint publishing venture. Starrah is launching her own publishing company, 3:02 Music Group, via the joint venture, for which she serves as CEO (3:02 is named after the area code in Delaware where Starrah was raised). Starrah manager Nick Jarjour is co-founder of 3:02. There, Starrah will sign and develop a roster of artists, writers and producers.

“Pulse Music Group was the first publisher that made me feel like they truly understood my vision when I walked into the room,” said Starrah, who also extended her worldwide co-publishing deal with Pulse. “Since I’ve been with them they have been nothing but supportive every step of the way. I know that I can always walk into the office or make a phone call and have someone to help me work through the goals that I want to accomplish, or get past any obstacles that I come across. Being with Pulse is like being with family. They are my extended family.”

Proudly LGTBQ+ and Black, Starrah’s credits include such hits as Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug); Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” (featuring Cardi B); and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix” featuring Beyoncé. For the latter, Starrah won a Grammy in 2021 for best rap song.

Pictured (from left): Josh Abraham, co-CEO, Pulse Music Group; Ashley Calhoun, SVP and head of creative, Pulse Music Group; Starrah; Nick Jarjour, manager of Starrah and co-founder 3:02 Music Group; and Scott Cutler, co-CEO, Pulse Music Group.

+ Reservoir has entered into a new global publishing agreement with Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render. The Grammy-winning, Atlanta-bred artist and songwriter is a member of Run The Jewels, alongside El-P, and a solo artist. The deal includes his catalog and future work.

+ Ashanti is partnering with EQ Exchange, a Web3 company dedicated to the musician-fan relationship that utilizes blockchain technology. Founded by entrepreneur Janice Taylor, Ashanti will serve as a co-founder, marking the first, Black female to hold the title at a Web3 company. She will also release creative experiences and NFTs exclusively with EQ Exchange, which officially launches on March 25.

Taylor is herself a tech pioneer who has worked at developing technologies to protect children online and to build software that supports social and emotional learning. For more information, head to www.eq.exchange.

Monday, March 14

+ Sony Music Entertainment Latin-Iberia has struck a new partnership with WK Records, the record label founded by WK Entertainment CEO-founder Walter Kolm.

WKR artists include reggaeton star Alex Rose, Grammy-nominated/ Latin Grammy-winning producer-artist Foreign Teck, singer-songwriter Emilia, Argentine trap artist Seven Kayne, and Colombian artist Cheo Gallego, with more signings to be announced in the coming weeks.

WKR is led by CEO and WKE head of music Horacio Rodriguez (who joined last year after 15 years at Universal Music Latin), with a pop and urban division led by WKR GM/co-founder Oscar Guitián, and a regional Mexican division led by producer-composer-executive Alberto De León, who previously held roles at Universal, Capitol Latin, Machete Music and  Fonovisa/Disa.

“We have an incredible relationship with the entire WK family,” said Sony Latin-Iberia chairman-CEO Afo Verde. “This was a natural next step for us, and we’re excited to work with WK Records to launch a whole new generation of international superstars together.”

“This partnership is personally meaningful to me because of the trust and admiration that I have for Rob Stringer, Afo and Sony Music,” said Kolm. “It confirms our shared vision to continue to lead and impact the Latin music industry with an unparalleled world-wide magnitude, as we combine our strengths and build an unprecedented alliance.”

+ Ari Lennox and her management team Black Wax have “amicably decided to part ways,” according to an announcement from her rep. She first signed with the company in 2012 and “still considers them family and is beyond thankful for the business ventures and memories.” Lennox is currently working on her sophomore album and seeking new management.

+ Stem, the distribution and payments platform for independent musicians and labels, has hired Charleton Lamb as head or marketing. In that role he will lead the team responsible for introducing Stem’s tools and services to the industry, shaping its visual identity, and crafting communications from the brand. He joins after four years at Spotify on the Spotify for Artists team.

“Charleton has been a powerful advocate for independent artists and labels for a long time, and he’s one of the best at breaking down the complexities of the music industry into simple messages and engaging creative,” says Milana Lewis, CEO of Stem. “We’re thrilled to have him on the team.”

+ Crush Music has named Jenny Kaufman head of streaming and sales, reporting to CMO Dan Kruchkow.  She joins from Terrorbird Media, where she was head of digital strategy.

“We love the entrepreneurial spirit that Jenny is bringing to Crush from Terrorbird, we thrive off that here. The way records break is changing by the minute so we’re excited to have more of that ask for forgiveness, not permission attitude in the building,” Kruchkow said.

+ Grandstand Media has hired Jessica Puchli as director of tours and festivals. Based in Los Angeles, she from Goldenvoice, where she oversaw publicity and some promotions for club and theatre events in Southern California, as well as select regional festival properties.

“Touring has always been a vital part of our clients’ business,” said Grandstand Co-Founders Kate Jackson, Meghan Helsel, Dana Erickson & Lisa Gottheil. “It provides significant structure that we can utilize to extend the album life cycle, build artist profile and support management teams in their desire to build bigger and more engaged audiences. This, coupled with our growing festival roster, moved us to seek out an expert in the field that could head up our internal touring teams. Having interacted with Jess all these years, her attention to detail and her marketing and press expertise as they directly relate to ticket sales made her the absolute best candidate for the position and we are so thrilled to have her on board.”

+ The recipients of ASCAP’s 2022 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, recognizing gifted jazz composers under 30, have been named by the performing rights organization. “These emerging voices are taking their music in creative new directions, and we deeply appreciate the Herb Alpert Foundation for helping to nurture the craft of jazz with this enduring partnership,” said ASCAP president Paul Williams, thanking the Alpert Foundation for the support that had the award renamed in his honor 10 years ago.

The recipients are: Evan Abounassar, age 22 of Los Angeles; Ben Beckman, age 21 of New Haven, CT; Sonya Belaya, age 27 of Brooklyn, NY; Max Bessesen, age 27 of New York, NY; Gabriel Chakarji, age 28 of Brooklyn; Jessica Curran, age 28 of Boston; Kira Daglio Fine, age 25 of Bosto; Sebastian de Urquiza, age 29 of New York; Michael R. Dudley Jr., age 27 of Potsdam, NY; Joseph Durben, age 18 of Buffalo, MN; Quinn Dymalski, age 23 of Los Angeles; Conner Eisenmenger, age 29 of Seattle; Eliana Fishbeyn, age 25 of New York; Brandon Goldberg, age 16 of FL; Vicente Hansen, age 29 of Brooklyn; Ennis Suavengco Harris, age 23 of Los Angeles; Daiki Nakajima, age 19 of San Jose, CA; Yu Nishiyama, age 27 of Hawthorne, NJ; Robert Perez, age 29 of Los Angeles; Gary (Kaiji) Wang, age 26 of Miami; and Griffin Woodard, age 23 of Boston. Composers receiving honorable mention are: Claire Dickson, age 25 of Brooklyn; Michael Echaniz, age 27 of Los Angeles; Amanda Ekery, age 27 of New York; Chase Elodia, age 27 of Brooklyn; Peyton Nelesen, age 14 of CA; and Malcolm Xiellie, age 14 of CA.

One of this year’s winners will be picked to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival this summer. Judges for the 2022 competition were Fabian Almazan, Chuck Owen and Camille Thurman.




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