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Major and independent record labels from across the globe are shifting their A&R strategy more towards talent driven A&R signings, as opposed to purely analytics and data-driven A&R-focused repertoire.
The move in recent months is partly due to the lack of catalog driven talent being developed, which ensures broader long-term driven revenue (catalog accounts for over 80% of revenue in the U.S. alone), as well as artists that have meaningful cultural impact. This compounded with the likelihood that platforms such as TikTok and others, which pose potential data and security concerns, and consumer intelligence manipulation with its algorithm according to numerous government reports (both in the US and other key countries around the world), potentially being removed from key markets.
Pictured (L-R) at the A&R Worldwide offices back in early 2006 are Joe Arnold (VP, A&R Worldwide), global superstar Adele, Jonathan Dickins (manager Adele), Monte Malone (Sr. VP A&R Worldwide) and Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide). A&R Worldwide helped shop Adele to U.S. labels with Adele’s manager; however, almost every U.S. label initially passed on Adele due to a lack of data – even though she had global hit songs!
A&R Worldwide has sat down with key major and independent label heads and key A&R executives over the past year in markets including the U.S., UK, Germany, India, Australia, Sweden and others, and there is a shift happening with more focus on artists, that whilst have some measurable data, are also fueled by undeniable talent that can create musical movements that stand the test of time. And less on moment driven acts who drive huge numbers in a short amount of time, but can’t deliver anything meaningful long-term, including long-lasting revenue outside of just streaming and social, including audio platforms (radio), live, merchandise, sync (film, TV, promos, videogames), brands and beyond.

A&R Worldwide’s team which boasts one of the best global independent A&R track records over the past few decades, which have not only resulted in over one trillion streams for the artists they’ve helped sign and provide support to, but also tens of billions of dollars in revenue across a myriad of consumer and B2B facing touchpoints.

Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide stated, “A&R Worldwide is known for supporting songwriters and artists before their US and/or global deals including – Adele, Coldplay, Keane, Muse, Dido, Bonnie McKee, Missy Higgins, Faithless, Gavin James, Sia, Fatboy Slim, Forest Blakk, LMFAO, Airbourne, Shepperd, Gotye, The Temper Trap, Lime Cordiale, Mia Rodriguez, Liquido, Lily Allen, Frank Turner, KONGOS, Jeremy Loops and countless others – all before they had any measurable data, or any data for that matter! As music fans and consumers, our gut is what drives us to engage with technology and other touchpoints to learn more about the artists and their songs, which creates the data – the data does not create our emotional connection to the artist and songwriters. Bisla adds, “Its refreshing to see that my friends and colleagues running major and independent music companies, and those in A&R roles are shifting more of their focus towards undeniably talented and culturally rich artist repertoire, and not relying solely on soulless data-driven acts, which will not serve the global music business well long-term.”

A&R Worldwide will be unveiling a number of new global signings that have recently been signed based on undeniable talent, as opposed to purely data in the near future.


Virgin Music Group

Virgin Music Group, the global independent music division of Universal Music Group, has elevated three executives at the company.
Leslie Cooper has been named Sr. VP, Artist Development & Special Projects. In her new role, Cooper will oversee K-Pop releases within the Virgin Music Group. Based in Los Angeles, she will also identify new artist development opportunities within the company and lead collaborative efforts in that area. Cooper was previously VP at the company, where she worked closely with SM Entertainment on their SuperM and NCT 127 projects, which resulted in No.1 and No.3 album debuts. While at Virgin she worked closely on projects by newcomers Polo & Pan, Maggie Lindemann, and Grace Ives. In 2018 she won a prestigious Webby Award for her work with Katy Perry. Cooper worked previously at Capitol Music Group, Columbia Records, and Atlantic Records. Cooper will report to Virgin Music President Jacqueline Saturn.
(Pictured L-R) are Leslie Cooper, Marisa Del Frisco & Lauren Holman.
Marisa Di Frisco has been named VP of National Promotion. In her new role, she will continue to oversee promotion campaigns at Alternative, Rock, AAA, and Non-commercial/College radio for Virgin Music. Before she came to Virgin, she worked for many years at iHeart Media at the office of Tom Poleman. During her tenure at Virgin, she has worked closely with artists including SHAED who achieved a No.1 record at alternative radio, Clairo and The Maine, who had Top 5 records at alternative radio, Bad Omens, and others. Di Frisco will continue to be based in Virgin Music’s New York offices and will report to Marni Halpern, Sr. VP of Promotion for Virgin Music.

Lauren Holman has been named VP of Streaming Marketing. In her new role, Holman will lead the Streaming and Playlisting Strategy team to ensure the label partners and artists maximize their exposure on the DSPs. She and her team have been integral to the success of such artists as Rema, whose global hit “Calm Down” just crossed 11 billion streams globally. She has also worked with Montell Fish, Surfaces, ACRAZE, Mac Demarco, Lauv, and David Kushner who just achieved his very first Billboard Hot 100 debut with “Daylight.” Holman is based in Los Angeles and will report to Cindy James, Sr. VP of Commercial Marketing.

Jacqueline Saturn stated, “These three accomplished executives have played a crucial role in artist development. They make sure our labels and artists get the support they need at every phase of their careers. I’m happy to be able to promote them to these important new positions where they will be able to contribute even more to our continued success.”



Bertelsmann is bringing forward the long-planned change in leadership at the helm of its BMG division, which was announced in January 2023. Thomas Coesfeld, the current CFO of BMG, will now become the music company’s new CEO with effect from July 1, 2023. He succeeds the founding CEO Hartwig Masuch, who is leaving BMG and Bertelsmann at his own request and on the best of mutual terms. The CEO changeover was originally scheduled for January 1, 2024. Upon taking office at BMG, Thomas Coesfeld will also become a member of Bertelsmann’s Group Management Committee (GMC). The committee advises the Group Executive Board.
Thomas Coesfeld
Thomas Rabe, CEO, Bertelsmann stated, “I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch and Thomas Coesfeld for the smooth handover at the helm of BMG. Hartwig has written many chapters in BMG’s success story, which Thomas will now continue. Thomas Coesfeld takes the helm of a company whose revenues increased by more than 30 percent in the record-setting year 2022. As CFO, he got to know BMG well, drove forward its digital orientation, and invested considerable funds in the acquisition of music rights.”

As he prepares to take office as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Coesfeld has announced further senior appointments for BMG. The new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – his successor in this office – will be Mathis Wolter, who joins BMG from RTL Group. Sebastian Hentzschel, currently Chief Technology Officer at BMG, will assume responsibility for the operating areas Rights & Royalties, Supply Chain, and Technology & Data as Chief Operating Officer (COO), and will continue to advance BMG’s global technology platform. Dominique Casimir, who has been with BMG since 2008, will remain responsible for Repertoire and Marketing for the world outside the US, as well as Global Synch and Corporate Responsibility, as Chief Content Officer (CCO). Nikola Holle-Spiegel, who joined BMG in 2018, remains the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

Mathis Wolter
Thomas Coesfeld stated, “We have a strong team at the helm of BMG, bringing together a wide range of skills and experience. Together we will drive the company’s progress, and I very much look forward to working with them all. I would like to thank Hartwig Masuch for handing over a company which is both highly creative and successful. Hartwig’s clear focus on building a company which works for artists and songwriters has resulted in a globally relevant music company which has redefined what a music company can be in the streaming age. Together, with the aid of Bertelsmann’s Boost strategy, we have invested more than €500 million (euros) in acquiring music rights catalogs including those of such megastars as Tina Turner, Mötley Crüe, Simple Minds, Jean-Michel Jarre, and ZZ Top. I am excited to build on this incredible foundation. In addition, I very much look forward to working alongside Bertelsmann’s top management on the GMC and would like to thank Thomas Rabe for appointing me to this committee.”

Mathis Wolter, Sebastian Hentzschel, Dominique Casimir and Nikola Holle-Spiegel will join Thomas Coesfeld on the BMG Executive Board. An additional new appointment to BMG’s top management team is Alberto Chullen Llamas, who joins BMG from Bertelsmann Education Group as Executive Vice President Investments to drive forward the Boost strategy and support future catalog acquisitions.


Warner Chappell Music

Warner Chappell Music UK (WCM UK), the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has announced the promotion of Amber Davis to the role of Sr. Vice President. She will also continue in her position as WCM UK’s Head of A&R and will report to Shani Gonzales, WCM UK’s Managing Director.
In addition to continuing to oversee the A&R department, Davis will take on a broader role in shaping the publisher’s overall UK strategy.
Amber Davis
Davis joined WCM UK in 2014 as Creative Director and was named Head of A&R in 2019. She has played an instrumental role in the company’s success and, during her time at the publisher, has been pivotal in the signing and development of songwriters such as CeeBeats, Celeste, Dave, Fraser T. Smith, J Hus, Legendury Beatz, Skepta, Stormzy and Willow Kayne.

One of her earliest WCM signings was Raye, who this year landed her first solo UK No.1 single with her smash hit “Escapism” and saw her debut album My 21st Century Blues go to Number Two in the UK charts and win widespread critical acclaim. Raye is nominated for an Ivor Novello award at this week’s ceremony.

It was also recently announced that Davis has signed one of the biggest breakout stars of the last 12 months – multi-award-winning DJ, producer and singer-songwriter, Nia Archives.

Amber Davis said, “I’m honored to be stepping into this wider role at Warner Chappell Music. We have an incredible team here and a roster of world-class songwriters that I’m extremely privileged to work with. I believe our A&R team is the best there is and I’m grateful to work with such a strong, dynamic team of individuals. I’m excited to carry on discovering the best UK talent whilst also working with our senior leadership team to drive the company forward. I’d like to thank Shani, Carianne Marshall and Guy Moot for this incredible new opportunity.”

Shani Gonzales, Managing Director, Warner Chappell Music UK, added: “Amber is one of the industry’s most important executives, and her success and passion has helped Warner Chappell Music UK become a leading player in the music business. Her care, dedication and ability to read the market will make her an invaluable asset in her new role. I’d like to congratulate her on this promotion, and I look forward to supporting her as she develops further.”

Recently, Davis has helped grow WCM UK’s presence in the dance scene by overseeing the signings of writers such as Eliza Rose (who topped the UK charts with her single ‘B.O.T.A.’), Joy Annonymous, Jake Shears, Nia Archives and piri & tommy.


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! Click HERE to submit your photo to our team for potential exposure!

A&R Worldwide
Enjoying a robust A&R conversation with the super passionate music team Glassnote Music Group in New York City recently were (L-R) are Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide), Cassidy Murphy (Publishing Coordinator, Glassnote Music), rising singer/songwriter sensation VELLA, Jackie Post (Head of Music Publishing, Glassnote Music), and Daniel Glass (Founder & CEO, Glassnote Music Group).


Armani White

RESERVOIR ANNOUNCES PUBLISHING DEAL WITH ARMANI WHITE: Reservoir Media has announced a new deal with rapper Armani White. This is White’s first publishing deal and includes his full catalog, featuring his viral hit “BILLIE EILISH.,” as well as future works. In 2022, White’s popularity rose meteorically with his global hit “BILLIE EILISH.” The 90 second song was tailor-made for social virality and boasts more than 40 billion views on TikTok, as well as over 250 million streams on Spotify. “BILLIE EILISH.” also reached No.58 on the Billboard Hot 100, cracked the top 20 of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and has been Gold-certified in the US. White’s success with the single helped him secure a record deal with Def Jam.

Rostrum Records

ROSTRUM RECORDS LAUNCHES ROSTRUM PACIFIC: Rostrum Records, the Los Angeles-based independent music label has launched a parent company called Rostrum Pacific which was designed to accommodate its portfolio of various entertainment properties. Benjy Grinberg, Founder & CEO, Rostrum Records made the announcement accompanying the company’s 20th anniversary. Jonathan Partch, General Manager of Rostrum Records, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer at Rostrum Pacific. The launch follows the recent announcement of Erika Montes’ appointment as President.


FOURWARD LAUNCHES RECORD LABEL, SIGNS BRENN! & MORE: Fourward, the global management, production, publishing, and business development company that was founded by Will Ward, has launched a record label called Fourward Records. The label has already signed folk-pop artist Brenn! and indie-rock band Sarah and the Sundays. Additionally, Fourward launched Fourward Ventures earlier this month, which is a $50 million growth fund used to invest in sectors including health and wellness, sustainability, and consumer packaged goods.

Shahendra Ohneswere

ISLAND RECORDS NAMES HEAD OF CREATIVE STRATEGY: Shahendra Ohneswere has been named Head of Creative Strategy at Island Records. Ohneswere will be responsible for leading the overall creative strategy and digital marketing initiatives across the label. In his newly created role, Ohneswere will be based in New York City and will report to Co-CEO’s Imran Majid and Justin Eshak. Previously, Ohneswere served as Senior Vice President of Content Development & Co-Head of Digital Marketing at Columbia Records.


DANCE ACT PNAU SIGN TO SONY MUSIC: Pnau, the Australian dance act, has signed to Sony Music ahead of an October album release. Pnau is a trio that is well-known for their global hit with their remix of “Cold Heart” by Elton John & Dua Lipa and collaborations with Troye Sivan and Khalid. The trio is signed to Columbia Records in Germany and Insanity in the UK. They have also previously released albums via AWAL and Ingrooves. Additionally, Pnau has teamed up with Bebe Rexha and Ozuna for the new single “Stars” which was released with an AI generated video to accompany it.

Johnny Cash

WHITE RABBIT TO PUBLISH JOHNNY CASH: THE LIFE IN LYRICS: Lee Brackstone, Publisher at White Rabbit, has acquired world English language rights for Johnny Cash: The Life in Lyrics by Johnny Cash with Mark Stielper and with personal contributions from John Carter Cash, to be published on November 23, 2023. Twenty years after this legendary artist’s passing, Johnny Cash’s work remains as relevant and inspiring as ever. This book marks the first time Johnny Cash's 50 years of songwriting have been collected anywhere. Cash is one of the most beloved and influential country music stars of all time, having composed more than 600 songs. He is perhaps best known for blending country, rock, blues, and gospel in his music, and ushering in the countrypolitan and outlaw country movements. An essential collectible that sheds new light on Cash's life and work, the designed book includes rare and never-before-seen visual material alongside stories and commentary from Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, Mark Stielper, Cash and Carter family historian and others.

Cazzi Opeia

MOA ”CAZZI OPEIA” CARLEBECKER MAKES HISTORY WITH EUROVISION: Songwriter and artist, Moa ”Cazzi Opeia” Carlebecker, has made history recently by becoming the first and only songwriter in the world to achieve a trifecta within a span of one year. Her accomplishments include winning American Song Contest with AleXa’s “Wonderland”, the Swedish Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest 2023 as a co-writer for Loreen’s “Tattoo.” This year’s Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Liverpool England, drew according to the BBC the largest audience in the history of British television with hundreds of millions of views from all around the world. These numbers have had a great effect on the winning act leading “Tattoo” to reach No. 5 on Spotify’s Top 50 Global list and hitting No.1 on Spotify’s Top 50 list in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Luxembourg.

Terrance Martin

TERRACE MARTIN PARTNERS WITH BMG: Grammy-nominated artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from the Crenshaw District, Terrace Martin has partnered with BMG in a new global recordings agreement to launch a brand new, multi-album jazz series with his vibrant, progressive, genre-crossing record label, Sounds of Crenshaw. The first project in a six-album deal is scheduled for release this summer, with new music expected soon. Renowned as being one of the top jazz musicians in the world and a creative engine at the epicenter of Los Angeles’ progressive hip-hop scene, Martin’s productions have included major collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (good kid, M.A.A.D. city and the Grammy award-winning To Pimp a Butterfly), Travis Scott, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, and many other influential artists. In 2021, Terrace Martin released his latest Grammy nominated solo album Drones with BMG.

Christian Berthelsen

FOURTH CTO JOINS VOLY GROUP: The parent company of Voly Music, Voly Group, has announced the appointment of Christian Berthelsen as a Non-Executive Director. Berthelsen is CTO and part of the founding team of Fourth. Berthelsen has over 25 years of experience in software engineering and management. His past achievements include developing web applications and inventory control solutions at a private SaaS company that he co-founded called FnBshop.com, which was sold to Fourth in 2003.  He oversees product roadmap, development, and infrastructure of all software. 


PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC PARTNERS WITH SKILLET: Primary Wave has announced their partnership with the award winning, rock band Skillet. The deal will see the publisher acquire the multi-platinum band’s music publishing, as well as their record royalties across five of their critically acclaimed albums released from 2003 through 2016. Albums included in the multi-million-dollar deal are the band’s fifth studio album Collide, the 2006 Platinum selling album Comatose, the Top 5 and multi-Platinum selling 2009 release Awake, their critically acclaimed 2013 album Rise, and their 2016 Gold selling, ninth studio album Unleashed. Songs across those five releases include some of the band’s biggest hits over their nearly two-decade long career, such as the “Whispers in the Dark,” “Awake and Alive,” “Feel Invincible,” “Monster,” “Hero,” and “The Resistance.” Their repertoire of songs, which has been described as “melodic, catchy, and uplifting” by Metal Injection and have garnered more than one billion streams on Spotify alone. Their music has been featured by Marvel, NFL, NHL, MLB and has become a staple of the WWE. Terms of the deal also include access to Primary Wave’s marketing team and publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film & TV production.

Donna Vergier

CHRYSALIS RECORDS/BLUE RAINCOAT MUSIC NAMES INT’L VP: Chrysalis Records/Blue Raincoat Music has announced the appointment of Donna Vergier as VP, International Marketing. Donna joins the staff full time from her previous position as the company’s freelance international consultant and prior to that held international marketing positions at Mute, Domino Recordings and Good Soldier Records. She will be based in London and will report directly to James Meadows, Sr. VP, Marketing at Chrysalis Records/Blue Raincoat Music. In her new role Donna will work with artists on the Chrysalis Records/Blue Raincoat Music roster and their representatives overseeing international campaigns and managing relationships with the company’s global partners and distributors. She joins as Chrysalis prepares to release new albums from Ben Harper, William The Conqueror, and the multi-artist Nick Drake covers project “The Endless Coloured Ways” in the coming months.

OTM Music

BOUTIQUE PUBLISHER OTM EXPANDS ITS ROSTER: London and LA-based independent music publisher, OTM, has announced a wave of new signings. Slinger, The Heavy, Poter Elvinger, Flyte and moa moa are the latest artists to join its ever-growing roster that includes the likes of Alessandro Buccellati (SZA, Mike Sabath), Joseph Mount of Metronomy and Gianluca Buccellati (Arlo Parks, Biig Piig, Easy Life). Slinger, is the co-writer and executive producer behind the viral American singer, rapper, and songwriter Ashnikko, who recently headlined Coachella’s Gobi Stage. The Heavy is a trans-Atlantic four-piece that has ripped wildly across stage and screen for the past fifteen years with seditious blues drama, soul and gospel passion, the crunch of prime hip-hop and garage punk’s visceral electricity. Also joining OTM’s roster is Canadian-based writer and producer, Poter Elvinger. Poter has achieved sync success having his music placed with Gucci, YSL, Apple, Adidas and many more global brands.


OPENPLAY LAUNCHES DEVELOPER NETWORK: OpenPlay Inc. has launched a new developer network that will enable fast and highly customized API integrations for OpenPlay clients. The lead partner for the network will be DataArt, a global software engineering firm that takes a uniquely human approach to solving problems. Under the companies’ preferred partnership agreement, DataArt will dedicate a team of engineers and resources to the OpenPlay product, enabling complex API integrations to be readily implemented. This includes both internal and external integrations, allowing users to easily leverage metadata and assets stored in OpenPlay with third-party partners who provide services such as streaming metrics, lyric search, copyright registration, and more. In addition, any API customization completed for any OpenPlay client will be made available for all other clients to use.


WINNERS OF THE IVORS 2023 ANNOUNCED: The Ivors Academy has announced the winners of this year’s Ivor Novello Awards with Amazon Music which took place last week at Grosvenor House in London. In the 68th year of The Ivors, 30 songwriters and composers collected Ivor Novello Awards across 14 categories in recognition of outstanding achievements in songwriting and composing for screen. Key highlights included “Songwriter of the Year” went to Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers; Raye’s UK No.1 single “Escapism” won “Best Contemporary Song;” Sting, Charli XCX, Debbie Harry & Chris Stein (Blondie), James, and Kamille received the prestigious “Gift of the Academy” awards; Sault won “Best Album” for No.11; Harry Styles & Kid Harpoon, Florence Welch, Victoria Canal and more were also recognized. This year’s event featured live performances for the first time in decades from Sting, Raye and Matilda Mann. The full list of winners can be viewed here.


SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS ACQUIRES STAKE IN PROACTIV: Sony Music Masterworks has announced a majority investment in Barcelona-based Proactiv Entertainment, a leading producer of live music and experiential events around the world. The company – which has sold two million tickets over the last 5 years, works with top talent and brands to stage concerts and festivals, touring and immersive experiences based on established intellectual property, and live productions of family shows, theatre, musicals, and other entertainment. Under the agreement, Proactiv Entertainment’s managing director Nicolas Renna will continue to lead the company’s day-to-day operations and work closely with Masterworks President Mark Cavell, as well as Sony Music Spain & Portugal President Jose-Maria Barbat on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment’s Latin Iberia region, to grow the business through an expanded range of events, venues, and experiences.

Better Noise Music Better Noise Music

BETTER NOISE MUSIC NAMES NEW CEO, PRESIDENT & COO: BETTER NOISE MUSIC (BNM) continues its evolution with three important changes that are effective immediately. Allen Kovac (New York) is now Chairman of the label, Dan Waite (London) becomes CEO, and Steve Kline (New York) adds President to his COO title at BNM, home to many of mainstream rock’s top acts including Five Finger Death Punch, Dirty Heads, The Hu, Asking Alexandria, Bad Wolves, From Ashes To New and Nothing More. Other key executives at Better Noise Music that work closely with Waite and Kline to deliver for their artists, with support from their teams are Harris Masood (CFO); Paul Cormack (General Manager); Lexie Viklund (Director of A&R); Jackie Kajzer (SVP Promotion); Trish Stirling (VP Marketing); Paolo Bettaglio (Sr. Director of Digital Marketing & Audience Growth); Bryan Raisa (SVP Tour Marketing & Partnerships); Joe McFadden (Chief Commerce Officer); Henry Tongue (Sr. Director International Streaming Strategy); Tim Mclean Smith (Director of Catalog Marketing and Managing Director Australia/NZ); Victor Lang (General Manager, Germany); and Michael Lombardi (Head of Production and Development).


WARNER CHAPPELL PRODUCTION MUSIC LAUNCHES SCOREMONGERS: Warner Chappell Production Music (WCPM) has launched SCOREMONGERS, a new music resource that includes a premium underscore label and custom music-to-picture services. The label caters to the growing demand for on-trend, high-quality film and television music specifically designed for narrative programming at a cost-effective price. SCOREMONGERS is debuting with more than 60 albums in 10+ filmic genres inspired by trending films and high-profile television series. The library features companion albums with wide tonal range, complimentary palettes, transitions, and recurring themes, along with extensive stem and submix options. The music was created by award-winning film and TV composers, including Michael Brook (Into the Wild, The Vow), Lisbeth Scott (True Blood, Salem’s Lot, Gratitude Revealed), Greg Tripi (The Wilds, Ma, War Dogs), Tony Morales (Reacher, The Endgame), and John Kaefer (A Score to Settle, Only, Spirit & Soul).

Shannan Hatch

SESAC NAMES SR. VP, HEAD OF NASHVILLE CREATIVE: SESAC has announced the promotion of Shannan Hatch to the role of Sr. Vice President, Head of Nashville Creative. Hatch formerly held the position of Vice President/Creative Services. In her newly appointed role, Hatch will report to Sam Kling who is the company’s Chief Creative Officer. Hatch will maintain leadership of the Nashville Creative Services team in supporting SESAC-affiliated songwriters and publishers. Shannan held roles at SESAC from 2002-2019 and returned to the company again in 2021.

Utopia Music

UTOPIA MUSIC COMMITS TO PHYSICAL WITH 25K SQM NEW WAREHOUSE: To meet growing demand for physical music and video across the UK, Utopia Music has entered a long-term contract to provide warehousing and logistics with DP World, a leading provider of supply-chain solutions. The move highlights the ongoing resilience in the UK’s physical music and video market, worth £1.5 billion (GBP) in 2022. To facilitate Utopia’s growing operations, DP World is fitting out a state-of-the-art, specifically designed warehouse in Bicester. The 25,000 sq meter site, equivalent in size to 10 Camden Roundhouses, will showcase technologically advanced solutions such as high-density storage and robotic transfer of product, to enable smooth and efficient distribution of over 30 million units a year across the UK and export markets. All jobs have been secured, with Utopia running a shuttle from Aylesbury to the new site, just 15 miles away. With more capacity for product and online orders no longer needing to travel to a retailer’s warehouse on the way to the consumer, distribution is becoming more efficient, resulting in less impact on the environment.


SONAR LAUNCHES EVOLUTIONARY MUSIC APP: Sonar Media Inc., Co-founded by music industry veteran Jason Markey and tech entrepreneur Chris Palumbo, has launched the Sonar app, a groundbreaking mobile platform that aims to revolutionize how fans discover and share music. Designed for iPhone and iPad devices running iOS 15+, the Sonar app aims to offer a unique listening experience that puts the power of music discovery in the hands of fans. The Sonar app is a social network that connects music fans from all over the world. With the app, users can build curated music lists using Apple Music and soon, Spotify. The app also creates personalized profiles to share musical preferences with friends and followers and meet new friends who share their passion for music. The Sonar algorithm is built on peer-to-peer sharing and consumption, similar to how Myspace Music once did. Sonar’s algorithm is fueled by music fans, not by machines that lack the ability to uniquely understand emotionally driven music.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mark Wood, Adrian Hillekamp, Caroline Elleray, Arina Logacheva, Laura Minutolo, Jannik Kleber, Brandon Davis, David Joseph, Gary Mandel, Jeff Smith, Saurabh Abbi, Rachel Kurstin, Ray De La Garza and Phyllis Belezos.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mark Wood, Adrian Hillekamp, Caroline Elleray, Arina Logacheva, Laura Minutolo, Jannik Kleber, Brandon Davis, David Joseph, Gary Mandel, Jeff Smith, Saurabh Abbi, Rachel Kurstin, Ray De La Garza and Phyllis Belezos.


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. Life is full of surprises and things we can’t explain as they happen without notice or reason! Click HERE for a shocking collection of jackass moments going wrong in the most unexplained and unexpected ways possible.


The Royston Club

The Royston Club, hailing from Wrexham, has tantalized their devoted fan base with a series of captivating singles, culminating in the much-anticipated release of their debut album, Shaking Hips and Crashing Cars, available from Run On Records/Modern Sky. Comprised of the talented quartet consisting of vocalist and guitarist Tom Faithfull, guitarist Ben Matthias, bassist Dave Tute, and drummer Sam Jones, the band recently unveiled their latest offering, the thought-provoking single “The Deep End.” Boasting the skilled production of Alex Quinn, renowned for his collaborations with The Lottery Winners and She Drew The Gun, the forthcoming album, slated for release on June 2nd, showcases standout tracks such as "Shallow Tragedy" and “Cherophobe,” which have garnered support from radio stations worldwide, including BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, XS Manchester, Passport Approved (syndicated on almost 50 radio stations worldwide), as well as numerous influential radio outlets across the United States, Germany, Italy, and Singapore. The Royston Club will soon be gracing the stages of esteemed festivals like the Neighborhood Weekender, TRNSMT, Splendour, and Y Not Festival, while also supporting acts like Blossoms, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Wombats throughout the summer. Discover "The Deep End” HERE, and for any inquiries or opportunities related to The Royston Club, reach out to James Bohrsmann at james@modernagemusic.co.uk.


Merci, Mercy
Following the bold move of releasing her single “Be” online, merci, mercy swiftly captured the attention of Liberation Records (Vance Joy, The Temper Trap), marking the beginning of an exciting journey. She unveiled her debut single “Fucked Myself Up,” instantly captivating indie-pop enthusiasts worldwide. With her first two EPs, namely no thank you, no thanks and is it me, or is it you?, she has accumulated an impressive 20 million streams, earning widespread acclaim. Notably, her music has garnered substantial radio support in countries such as Australia, Germany, and Austria, including BBC Radio 1 support from Jack Saunders as the Next Wave Artist, while her live performances have graced esteemed events like Reeperbahn Festival, Beyond The Valley Festival, and Lazy Mountain Festival. Additionally, she has had the privilege of touring alongside George Ezra. merci, mercy returns with her latest offering, “Shovel,” a highly anticipated release following her previous EP. Co-written by Matthew Murphy from The Wombats and her trusted collaborator Chris Collins (Middle Kids), this infectious track is accompanied by a captivating psychedelic music video, featuring merci literally digging a hole for two. Immerse yourself in the visual experience of “Shovel” by watching it HERE, and seize the opportunity to catch merci, mercy as she supports Conor Maynard on his inaugural Australian tour, with stops scheduled in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne in June. For international booking inquiries, please contact Sarah Donelly at sarah.donelly@mushroommanagement.com.


“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 21st, 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:

IAMJJ – “King Size” (Unsigned, Denmark)
THE GOA EXPRESS – “Portrait” (Communion Records, UK)
SAHARA BECK – “Hunter” (Believe Music, Australia) 

THE ROYSTON CLUB – “Shallow Tragedy” (Run On Records, UK)
TALISCO – “C’est Ici” (Talisco Music, France)
THE DREAM MACHINE – “Lola, In The Morning” (Unsigned, UK)
THE VICES – “At Least That’s What They’re Saying” (Mattan, Holland)
KAMRAD – “Feel Alive” (Sony Music, Germany)
BOY DESTROY – “No Sleep” (Warner Music, Sweden)
DOLORES FOREVER – “When I Say So” (Sweat Entertainment, UK)
SAD BOYS CLUB – “Delicious” (Modern Sky, UK)
SLOPES – “Nervous” (SME, WMG, Norway)
THE VELVET HANDS – “40 Up 40 Down” (Jam X Recordings, UK) 
LAUREN WALLER – “Backseat” (Unsigned, N. America)
CRYSTAL TIDES – “Just Friends” (Run On Records/Modern Sky, UK)
GOOD LEKKER – “Life In Real Time” (Good Intent, Australia)
LUKE NOA – “Femme Fatale” (Unsigned, Germany) 
THE LATHUMS – “Lucky Bean” (Island Records, UK)
VELLA – “Happiness” (L3V3L Music, N. America)

INHALER – “When I Have Her On My Mind” (Polydor, Ireland) 
DUAL – “Lights Out” (Warner Music Group, New Zealand) 
HUNDRED REASONS – “So So Soon” (Fierce Panda/SO Recordings, UK)
ILLUMEN – “What’s Going On” (Unsigned, Sweden) 
PARLIAMO – “You’re An Animal” (Alt Waves Records, Scotland)
RHETT REPKO – “I Guess You’ll Find Out” (Unsigned, N. America)
3REE – “Out Of My Mind” (Unsigned, Australia) 
WILL LINLEY – “Last Call” (Island Records, South Africa) 
CIRCA WAVES – “Your Ghost” (Lower Third/[PIAS], UK)
BARBERA MARI – “Hunter” (Unsigned, Czech Republic)
LIME GARDEN – “Bitter” (So Young Records, UK)
KARIM – “Home” (Unsigned, Germany)

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